The Bury captain, David Pugh, punished Preston for squandering a host of chances by scoring the only goal of the Third Division play-off at Deepdale. The midfielder struck his 18th goal of the season after 40 minutes, latching on to a pass from Nick Daws before firing past John Vaughan from 10 yards.
Preston's list of chances started in the 13th minute, when Ian Bryson shot against the legs of Gary Kelly after Simon Davey had released him with an inch-perfect through ball. It was one-way traffic in the second half, with the Preston substitute, Lee Cartwright, twice shooting just wide, and Ryan Kidd having a shot blocked.
Chesterfield emerged as favourites to progress to the play-off final after a 1-1 draw with Mansfield at Field Mill. Chesterfield took the lead in the 64th minute through Phil Robinson, but Stewart Hadley snatched the equaliser eight minutes later.
Robinson outpaced three defenders following a long clearance out of defence and coolly slotted the ball past Darren Ward as he came off his line. Mansfield took the initiative when a free-kick was not cleared and Hadley slammed the ball home from the edge of the box.
The Mansfield manager, Andy King, later accused Chesterfield of negative tactics. "Of course I'm disappointed," he said. "We were the only team out there who wanted to win."Reuse content