BURY boss Ryan Lowe was frustrated with his side’s first half performance as they struggled to find a way through a resolute Grimsby back-line but was happy leave Blundell Park with a point.

The Shakers extended their unbeaten League Two run to 14 matches and remain in the automation promotion places.

And although improving in the second half, Bury missed the chance to extend the gap to fourth placed Mansfield.

Lowe said: “The first half wasn't particularly good and we were nowhere near the level we have been performing of late.

"We created a couple of decent half-chances, but it was much better in the second half.

"There was only one team in it as far as I was concerned.

"You have to give lots of credit to Grimsby. They defended really resolutely and they were putting their bodies on the line.

"This is a good point here.

"Some might look on it as two points dropped by us, but I'm happy with the one.

"Grimsby have been in decent form here - I think they're unbeaten in five at home.

"Because of that I've got to be happy with a point, it's another one closer to where we want to be and what we're trying to achieve.”

Backed by a healthy following of around 500 noisy travelling fans, the Shakers took a while to get going at Blundell Park.

The Mariners' experienced midfielder Martyn Woolford found himself in far too much space in the 10th minute, but his half-volley was comfortably saved by Joe Murphy.

Jay O'Shea carved out the visitors' first clear opportunity. He jinked his way past a couple of challenges before seeing a deflected strike expertly palmed away by 'keeper James McKeown.

Despite being winless in five games, it was the hosts who were on top in the opening quarter, however, and Murphy was called upon again to keep out Luke Hendrie's 20-yard shot.

The Shakers went very close just before the half-hour mark. Eoghan O'Connell played a smart one-two with Nicky Maynard before the defender's side-footed shot was turned away by McKeown at full stretch.

With both sides now parading fresh impetus in the second half, a breakthrough did look on the cards, and Maynard almost grabbed it when his fierce goal-bound effort was blocked by Hall-Johnson.

The Shakers' hit-man went even closer when his rasping shot on the turn was brilliantly beaten away by an agile McKeown.

Lowe's men were eyeing another dramatic late winner, though they were almost stunned when Grimsby's Jake Hessenthaler blazed wildly over from 12 yards.

Substitute Gold Omotayo and Maynard fluffed the Shakers' best late chances of snatching a winner.

Lowe added: “My players can't be any fitter now.

"It's just about staying sharp now ahead of these final few games of the season.

"I could never be critical of a team who have scored 90-odd goals by this stage of the season.

"We've had a great season so far, but we just need to keep plugging away now.

"The effort and desire is there for everyone to see.

"The lads have been magnificent all season so we've just got to keep that level, that standard, high during the games that are left."