Sodje header denies Valiants
Efe Sodje popped up to rescue a point for Bury against fellow play-off hopefuls Port Vale.
Last Updated: 17/04/10 7:53pm
Bury's veteran defender Efe Sodje popped up to rescue a point for his side to keep their play-off hopes alive with a 1-1 draw against Port Vale.
The former Nigerian international gave away a first-half penalty with a handball which allowed Vale's Marc Richards to step up on the half-hour and blast home his 21st goal of the campaign.
The Shakers huffed and puffed in search of an equaliser in the second half and they looked to be running out of ideas until the 82nd minute when Sodje rose unchallenged to meet Brian Barry-Murphy's corner and head the ball into the top corner.
Bury's Ryan Lowe had a shot brilliantly saved by Chris Martin and team-mate Paul Scott should have put his side ahead with his close-range header 60 seconds earlier before Vale took the lead.
Richards might have then put the visitors further ahead on 37 minutes when he was put through one-on-one with Cameron Belford, but the Bury keeper made enough contact on the ball to divert the shot wide.
The home side pressed for an equaliser after the interval but Vale stayed strong at the back, but just when hope of a goal was fading 37-year-old Sodje popped up to save the day.
The result leaves Bury in fifth place in the table, four points ahead of the ninth-placed Valiants, who are two points adrift of the play-offs.