See what the media had to say about Blues' unbeaten start under Chris Powell which extended to four games with a 0-0 draw at Bury last night...
CHRIS Powell’s unbeaten start as Southend United manager continued with a hard fought 0-0 draw at Bury last night.
The Shrimpers went into the game at Gigg Lane on the back of three successive wins.
But Blues were unable to make it four in a row as the bottom of the table Shakers continued their own recent improvements with a spirited showing.
The Shrimpers came close to taking an early lead when Shayon Harrison teed up Michael Timlin, who fired just wide of the right post from 20 yards.
The on loan Harrison partnered Freddie Ladapo in attack in the only two changes from Saturday’s win against Wigan Athletic as Marc-Antoine Fortune dropped down onto the bench and Simon Cox missed out altogether due to personal reasons.
However, Ladapo was the next to threaten as he sent a low, left footed shot wide of the right post before Michael Kightly fired a low shot straight at Bury goalkeeper Connor Ripley after a bright burst forward.
Moments later, Kightly and Harrison combined well to create another opportunity for Ladapo, but his left footed shot was too close to Ripley, who tipped it wide of the right post.
In reply, Bury midfielder Zeli Ismail sent a deflected 20 yard shot inches wide of the right post before Blues hit back with Harrison having a well struck effort well saved low down to his left by Ripley, who also reacted sharply to beat Ladapo to the rebound.
The Shrimpers stayed on top for the remainder of the half but were unable to make a breakthrough before the break, when boss Powell was forced into making his first change as Jermaine McGlashan replaced Kightly on the left flank.
However, Bury began the second half brightly, with James Hanson heading straight at Mark Oxley from 12 yards before Harry Bunn saw an effort cleared off the line by Stephen McLaughlin.
After surviving the scares, the Shrimpers hit back with Dru Yearwood sending an effort wide of the left post from the edge of the penalty area.
With 61 minutes on the clock, Yearwood headed over from 12 yards following a weak punch from Ripley.
But, 15 minutes later, Blues came even closer to breaking the deadlock when Harrison’s 20 yard shot was parried out by Ripley before Yearwood sliced the resulting rebound wide of the right post. In a further bid to make a breakthrough, Powell made a second change in the 82nd minute with Marc-Antoine Fortune replacing Harrison in attack.
After the alteration, captain Ben Coker had an effort pushed away by Ripley as the Shrimpers were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Chris Powell’s Shrimpers three-game winning start ended at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night.
In a game where chances were at a premium, both defences were on top.
However, this result does little for the Shrimpers’ slim play-off hopes, leaving them in 14th position and nine points off sixth place, with Bradford City picking up a point at Charlton.
Arguably, the stalemate is worse for their hosts. Despite moving off the foot of the table, the Shakers are still ten points from safety, with only 14 games left to play, as neighbours, Oldham Athletic climbed out of the drop-zone, after beating MK Dons.
Bury and Southend managed to stretch their unbeaten runs after settling for a 0-0 draw at Gigg Lane.
The visitors had the better chances but goalkeeper Connor Ripley made several saves to earn rock-bottom Bury a point.
The Shakers are now five unbeaten but results elsewhere saw them slip 10 points from safety.
Chris Powell failed to maintain his winning start as Southend manager but a four-match unbeaten run has lifted the Shrimpers up to 14th.
Ripley denied Michael Kightly and Freddie Ladapo early on while Harry Bunn went close for Bury.
Shayon Harrison's low strike then forced Ripley to save at full stretch and the on-loan Middlesbrough keeper gathered at the second attempt.
Bury striker James Hanson saw a tame header saved early in the second half and Peter Clarke had a header cleared off the Southend line.
The visitors then finished strongly, with Dru Yearwood firing wide before blazing over after Ripley parried a Harrison shot.
And Ben Coker went closest to claiming a late winner as his shot from a tight angle was again kept out by Ripley.
A goalless draw for the Shakers against Southend United was enough to extend their unbeaten run to five games.
There were chances at both ends in the game but there was nothing between the two teams in a tense match at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.
After Saturday’s dramatic end to the game in Bradford which earned the Shakers a valuable point, three changes were made to the starting line-up. Nathan Cameron, Neil Danns and Danny Mayor were replaced by Adam Thompson, Stephen Dawson and James Hanson.
Both teams were in good form before the game with the visitors winning their last three games under new Manager Chris Powell, but the Shakers were unbeaten in their last four games since Ryan Lowe’s return to the hot seat.
Within the first three minutes, it was a lively start in front of goal as George Miller came inches away from finding the target following a quick cross from James Hanson down the left before the ball ran out of play. That chance was followed by Freddie Ladapo’s low hit shot for the visitors, but it could only find the side netting after cutting in onto his left foot from the right wing.
The Shakers had to wait until the 23rd minute to find another sight of goal through Harry Bunn, the left winger turned his man and fired a shot at goal from distance but he could only find the side netting.
On 36 minutes, a nice combination between Miller and Zeli Ismail allowed the latter to take aim at goal from the edge of the penalty area, his shot was deflected but could only bounce wide of the target.
Lowe’s side bravely weathered the storm in the final stages of the first half as they came under heavy pressure from the away team but managed to hold on to their position at the break.
Six minutes into the second half, Miller’s persistent chasing of the ball mounted the danger on the Southend defence as he did all the hard work before rounding the goalkeeper, he crossed the ball back for Hanson, but the experienced striker was unable to find enough power in his header to beat Mark Oxley.
Dru Yearwood had a golden chance to find his side a goal on the 61st minute with a header inside the penalty area, following Ladapo’s battle with Connor Ripley in the air, but his header dipped way over the crossbar.
Another chance was to follow for the visitors as Shayon Harrison’s effort from 18-yards out was parried excellently by Ripley, the rebound fell to substitute Jermaine McGlashan but he was unable to find the target from close range.
With two minutes of normal time remaining, Ben Coker dribbled his way free of the Shakers' defence before firing low to Ripley’s left, a shot which was equalled by the Bury goalkeeper.
CONNOR Ripley produced a string of fine saves to earn Bury a point and keep their unbeaten run going.
Southend had the better of things at Gigg Lane as they aimed for a fourth straight win since Chris Powell replaced former Bolton defender Phil Brown as manager.
But the Shakers were indebted to Ripley as their on-loan Middlesbrough keeper kept the visitors at bay.
That made it five games without defeat for Bury since Ryan Lowe replaced Chris Lucketti as boss, although results elsewhere saw them slip to 10 points from safety.
Lowe made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Bradford on Saturday, with Nathan Cameron, Neil Danns and Danny Mayor making way for Adam Thompson, Stephen Dawson and James Hanson.
With morale still high after Saturday’s last-gasp equaliser, the Shakers made a positive start by earning a corner, from which saw Zeli Ismail drag a tame shot into the side-netting.
Southend’s lone striker Freddie Ladapo then fired wide, while winger Michael Kightly cut in from the left and shot straight at Ripley. Bury replied with Ismail’s cross going just over the head of Hanson before Harry Bunn fired wide after his sharp turn created a shooting opportunity.
The Bury players and fans shouted for offside as Shayon Harrison played in Ladapo, but his shot was too close to Ripley.
The former Oldham loanee was at full stretch to stop Harrison’s low strike from just outside the box, though, before pouncing onto the rebound.
Ismail had a shot deflected wide but was brought off for Andrew Tutte at half time.
That seemed to pay dividends as George Miller got in behind the Southend defence and rounded Mark Oxley before chipping back towards Hanson, but his header lacked enough power to trouble the visiting keeper.
Bunn then had a shot deflected wide for a corner, and Peter Clarke had a header cleared off the line.
But the visitors got back on the front foot with Dru Yearwood’s shot from the edge of the box creeping wide as Ripley scrambled across goal.
Ripley then parried a Jason Demetriou cross towards Yearwood, who failed to head goalwards with the keeper slightly out of position.
Substitute Jermaine McGlashan also went close, while Ben Coker’s inswinging cross forced Ripley to punch clear.
A fierce strike by Harrison stung Ripley’s palms, with Yearwood blazing over from the rebound. Coker then burst into the box and tried his luck from a tight angle, only for Ripley to deny the visitors a late winner.