Bury boss Ryan Lowe was full of praise for Mansfield Town after they leapfrogged the Shakers with today’s 2-1 home win, but was disappointed in his own side’s unexpected lack of desire and quality in such a big game.
Bury’s reply came from a 96th minute penalty, by which time they had been out-thought and out-manoeuvred all afternoon, despite starting out on the front foot.
“We were not good enough. That was not us,” said Lowe.
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“We showed a lack of quality and poor decision-making and it’s cost us.
“We wanted too many touches and we needed to be calmer on the ball.
“The first 15 minutes I thought we were on it. But from then on we were sloppy and a bit disorganised.
“I don’t know if you put it down to a bad day at the office, but I didn’t really see the desire today to want to really run through those brick walls.”
He added: “Mansfield are a good team. We knew that. And they probably wanted it a bit more which is disappointing.
“They were threatening in behind us quite a bit, playing a few good balls over the top to willing runners.
“You have to give Mansfield credit – they are where they are for a reason. They’ve got some good players and the fans were getting behind them.
“So we knew it was going to be a tough place to come. We were under no illusions.
“But it took us 94 minutes to put a ball down the side of their defenders and what happened? We got a penalty.
“But I do keep saying we are nowhere near the finished article. People may be talking about this and that and we are in a good position, playing some good football. The hardest part is staying there and we need to work hard to do that.
“The boys have been great, but today we just fell short of that.”
Stags went 1-0 up on 61 minutes through a sublime through ball from Jacob Mellis that saw CJ Hamilton net at the second time of asking after excellent keeper Joe Murphy kept out his first attempt.
Lowe admitted: “It was a great ball if that was my midfielder playing that ball. It was a weighted pass clipped over the back line and it was a great run from Hamilton.
“Murph has been outstanding for us and pulled off some great saves. He pulled that off and you hope it will just stay in his midriff and he can catch it, but unfortunately it bounced out and it was good reactions from the kid to score.
“They deserved to go 1-0 up but we then showed a bit of fire and got our backsides in gear.”
However, they were then rocked by a penalty decision that saw Tyler Walker double the lead on 79 minutes.
Lowe said he wasn’t sure if it should have been a penalty or not, but agreed: “The referee was right there.
“You can argue the lad was blocking Tommo (Adam Thompson) and Will (Aimson), but you just can’t put your arms round someone’s neck in the penalty area – simple as that.
“You give the referee a decision to make and he’s made one - right or wrong.”