PLAY-off chasing pair Bury and Newport could not be separated as an entertaining Gigg Lane clash ended 1-1.

The Shakers extended their unbeaten run to six matches, but they really ought to have secured maximum points as they were the dominant side for the most part.

Nicky Maynard opened the scoring to put the hosts in front but they were pegged back in the second half by Jamille Matt’s simple strike and honours ended even.

The unchanged Shakers handed Newport a very presentable early chance to break the deadlock by giving away a needless foul just outside their own box.

Robbie Willmott stepped up, but curled his free-kick inches the wrong side of the post.

The Shakers responded swiftly, however, with Danny Mayor at the heart of the action once again.

The Bury midfielder tricked his way past a couple of Newport challenges before seeing a 20-yard drive deflected wide of Joe Day’s left-hand post.

Wide-man Tyler Forbes looked a real threat for the visitors, and he saw a goal-bound effort deflected wide off a Bury defender.

Both sides were testing one another out in the opening quarter, and next to try his luck was in-form Bury striker Maynard, whose daisy-cutter from distance was off target.

Mayor then expertly tee’d up Dominic Telford in the box, but he scooped an effort over the crossbar from 10 yards.

The Shakers were building up a head of steam, and they were rewarded with a brilliant individual strike after 25 minutes.

Maynard scored it – his fifth in four games – leaving Mickey Demetriou for dead in the centre circle before charging clear and drilling past Day from the edge of the box.

Maynard almost notched again seven minutes later, but he just could not stretch enough to meet a superb cross from Nicky Adams.

As half-time approached, the Shakers were well on top as they looked on track to inflict a second straight defeat on Newport.

Five minutes into the second period the Shakers almost doubled their advantage.

Mayor and Maynard combined well again just outside the Newport box, with the latter eventually firing an angled drive across Day and just wide.

It was definitely against the run of play when Newport levelled matters in the 56th minute.

On a rare foray forward, Scott Bennett crossed in from the left for Matt, who tapped home his ninth goal of the campaign from five yards.

Bury almost retook the lead two minutes later, but Day was superb in somehow beating away Maynard’s close-range strike.

Midway through the second period Mayor was in teasing form again, turning inside and outside Newport’s Dan Butler before seeing a super shot saved at the near post by Day.

Mayor was at it again in the 77th minute, weaving his way effortlessly past a couple of challenges before again being denied by Newport’s star man Day.