Shirtliff: We must get stuck in
Sat, 16 Feb 2013 21:57:00
Rod Fanni's 94th-minute goal kept Marseille's Ligue 1 title challenge alive with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Valenciennes at the Stade Velodrome.
Starting the weekend eight points adrift of leaders Paris Saint-Germain, Marseille knew they could not afford another slip after a disappointing run of form since the winter break.
But despite dominating the match from start to finish, Marseille could not find a breakthrough until deep into injury time when Fanni beat his man to fire a low shot into the goal and relieve the pressure.
The win sends Marseille into second place, at least until Lyon face a tricky trip to Bordeaux on Sunday.
Nice moved up to fourth in the congested scramble for European places with a 1-0 win over Bastia.
Neal Maupay scored the only goal of the game just after the hour mark, condemning Bastia to a defeat that leaves the Corsicans just three points above the bottom three.
Lorient are seventh, three points behind Nice, after beating Evian 2-1.
Jeremie Aliadiere opened the scoring from the penalty spot three minutes before half-time after he was fouled by Ebert Betao.
Kevin Monnet-Paquet doubled the lead in the 77th minute with a powerful close-range finish, and although Betao soon got one back with an outstanding volley, Lorient hung on.
Toulouse scored twice in the final five minutes to deny Troyes a much-needed win in a barnstorming finish to their 2-2 draw.
Troyes had grabbed the lead with two late goals of their own as substitute Mohamed Yattara slotted home from close range in the 78th minute before Benjamin Nivet grabbed a second five minutes later.
But Eden Ben Basat got one back in the 86th minute, striking a post but then getting the ball back from Aymen Abdennour to make sure second time around, while Etienne Didot lobbed Yohann Thuram-Ulien to level in the 88th minute.
Troyes do at least move off the foot of the table, four points from safety, thanks to Nancy's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Montpellier.
Emanuel Herrera got the only goal in the 34th minute, heading home Anthony Mounier's cross to send Montpellier ninth, still only four points from fourth place.
Brest and Ajaccio shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Florian Raspentino put Brest ahead after only 11 minutes, firing a strong shot beyond Guillermo Ochoa, but Dennis Oliech levelled in the 71st minute from close range.
Pools leapfrogged over Portsmouth with two goals in the closing minutes to complete the most unlikely of turnarounds at Victoria Park.
Peter Hartley's late header cancelled out Martin Rowland's seventh-minute penalty opener. Then, four minutes into five minutes of injury time, substitute Luke James drilled in a low volley to make it five games without defeat for Pools.
"We scored in the 94th minute - fantastic. It was a fantastic strike on the half-volley and it's so nice to see if fly in," admitted Hughes.
"I felt we deserved something and had them hemmed in. They would only get something on the counter-attack and we got plenty in the box. Fair play to the guys for the spirit. The ground was bouncing at the end, that's what we want.
"We don't get carried away, just enjoy the taste of winning. It keeps the run going and it's important we do that."
Pools have won four of their last nine games and sit eight points shy of League One safety. It is still a tall order, but one they are now relishing.
"I got pelters from one guy behind the dugouts all day - when we scored the winner I got a kiss!" Hughes laughed. "But the fans go away delighted, enjoy an extra pint, and it makes everyone feel better for it.
"It's so pleasing, the players have responded to the challenge ahead of us. All I keep saying is 'give yourself a chance'.
"We are off the bottom, there's some big games to come and we get carried away when we score, but it's nice so go and enjoy it."
Goals from Leon Clarke and Carl Baker inflicted defeat and ensured Bury currently sit five points adrift of safety in the League One table.
"All the games left are tough but some are tougher than others," assistant boss Shirtliff said. "We're looking at games we can target and games we think we can pick up points from. Being realistic that's what you have to do.
"We wanted to be a little bit more offensive and, at times, it looked like we were causing them problems. They're a good side and we caused them problems but didn't take our opportunities and, at the end of the day, that's what you've got to do.
"We won't come up against that quality every week. We've got to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in against the teams in the bottom nine and we're more than capable of getting results against them."
Bury lacked cutting edge, a big reason for their signing of former Hull striker Craig Fagan, who made his debut as a late substitute.
"Fagan's signing is just to give more firepower if we can," said Shirtliff. "We need those extra bodies to add to the squad.
"This is it now. I don't think we'll sign any more."