Crewe Alexandra were only denied victory by an injury-time Andy Bishop penalty in a 2-2 draw with lowly Bury at Gigg Lane.
Substitute Brad Inman appeared to have won it for them courtesy of his seventh goal of the season on 83 minutes, only for Matt Tootle to then bring down Steven Schumacher and allow Bishop to equalise from the spot. Max Clayton had earlier given the visitors a first-half lead that was cancelled out by Tom Soares on the hour.
Bury’s Nicky Ajose could only locate Alex goalkeeper Steve Phillips during the early stages while team-mate Bishop had the ball in the net but was adjudged comfortably offside. Former Nigerian international Efe Sodje then lashed over after Phillips fended off Scumacher’s free-kick before the visitors went in front from their first real effort when Clayton clinically finished Kelvin Mellor’s pass inside the area.
Back came their opponents with Bishop heading wide and Ajose being denied at close-range by Phillips, who also collected from home skipper Scumacher from the edge of the box after goalscorer Clayton had already tamely despatched towards opposite number Cameron Belford.
Home keeper Belford was again required to gather a Michael West free-kick following the restart, but it was his side equalising on 59 minutes when Soares eventually forced in after Phillips had blocked from Ajose during a goalmouth scramble.
Crewe defender Tootle then covered well to check the progress of Scumacher while Mathias Pogba headed at Belford in reply and West steered another opportunity wide. Leading scorer Pogba then saw an attempt turned aside by Belford before the visitors made a triple substitution with around fifteen minutes remaining.
However, it was Bury once again providing the threat with Phillips poking away a curling shot from Soares before also gathering from Scumacher, until Alex’s Chuks Aneke rolled across for fellow substitute Inman to fire his side back in front with just seven minutes remaining.
That same pair then combined again as Belford thwarted Inman before Shakers’ Bishop thumped a 94th minute penalty beyond Phillips to dramatically equalise with virtually the last kick of the contest.
Bury: Belford, Eastham, Sodje, Ebanks-Landell, Worrall, Schumacher, Carrington, Soares (Healy 84), Bishop, Ajose (Clarke-Harris 66), Fagan
subs (unused): Carson, Thompson, Mezague
Goals: Soares (59), Bishop (pen 90)
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Mellor, West (Turton 75), Osman , Colclough (Aneke 75), M. Clayton, Pogba, Leitch-Smith (Inman 74)
subs (unused): Martin, Ray, Stewart, Nolan
Goals: M. Clayton (28), Inman (83)
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