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19 August 2017 Venue The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Bury v Bristol Rovers

A look ahead to Saturdays game with Bristol Rovers at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane

18 August 2017

Preview:  Bury v Bristol Rovers
Which is worse a 4-1 defeat at home or a 4-1 defeat away?  Both results are unwanted in any footballing circles, but these are the results of both sides last weekend.  Whilst the Shakers spent the Saturday afternoon away from football, Darrell Clarke’s side were being pulled apart at home by Peterborough United.

The following day, a below-par second half performance from Bury brought the same result at Wigan’s DW Stadium.  To use a phrase from the footballing book of cliché’s – Lee Clark is looking for a reaction, whilst Darrell Clark is also looking for a reaction.

Saturday’s game at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane is all about which side reacts stronger and quicker.  With one victory and one defeat already in the bag as we approach the third league game of the season, Lee Clark wants to turn Gigg Lane into a fortress.  It’s fundamental to his plans for the season.  Win at home, pick up points away – it’s a simple philosophy for any manager.

What isn’t helping of course is injuries, and key injuries.  Eoghan O’Connell and Stephen Dawson are walking (limping) around Carrington with the latest in protective devices for knee problems.  Both braces are high tech and look like something from a sci-fi movie.

Granted O’Connell is closing on a return to training, skipper Stephen Dawson now starts that long road to recovery and a four month wait to a return to training.  His surgery was a success and it’s now a waiting game for the normally happy smiling Irishman.  His face on Wednesday saw no sign of a smile as his rehab began in earnest at Carrington, just two days after his operation.

Whilst one starts the rehab process, another may become available following his own surgery.  Phil Edwards is now back on the training ground and looking to get into the Manager’s side, more than likely from the bench due to a lack of match fitness. Having said that though, Alex Bruce went straight into the starting XI last weekend, but more of a necessity following Dawson’s injury.

Lee Clark could change tactics ahead of the weekend’s game with Bristol Rovers.  Last weekend’s game at Wigan saw Nicky Ajose drop to the bench, and he could find himself back amongst it at the weekend with the Pirates visiting the Energy Check Stadium.

Lee Clark wants Gigg Lane to become a fortress.  It’s the third game in and he wants points on the board.  Having collected three points from six, it’s obvious that more points are wanted – especially at home. Whilst this ‘settling in process’ continues, the gaffer has been keen to stress that nothing is won or lost in the first month of the season and has used last season’s League One Champions as an example 

Sheffield United lost their first four league games, yet they finished the season asChampions.  Sheffield United picked up just one point in August, yet they finished the season as Champions.  Sheffield United scored just three goals in their first four games, yet they finished the season as Champions.  Nothing is won in August.  Nobody is panicking.

Alex Bruce is set for a home debut, whilst his striking options have increased with the availability of Chris Sang and Tom Heardman – who have both suffered with minor knocks in the opening weeks.  

Harry Bunn and Chris Maguire are both settled into their new club and can only improve in terms of output and fitness.  Jermaine Beckford was the most frustrated person at Wigan last weekend, after Lee Clark and around 1200 Bury fans, but slowly, things are improving and will continue to do so.

Saturday will be all about which side reacts stronger to last weekend’s respective hammering’s…

Bristol Rover’s View (Courtesy of the Official Bristol Rovers Website):  Click here for the Pirates preview of Saturdays game

Last time out: Bury 3 Bristol Rovers 0 – 14 March 2017
Bury moved six points clear of the League One drop zone after a home win over 10-man Bristol Rovers.

Stuart Sinclair handed the hosts the initiative when the Pirates midfielder was sent off in the 39th minute after being booked twice for simulation.

Bury then broke the deadlock with a 50th-minute penalty by James Vaughan before Greg Leigh and half-time substitute George Miller ensured the Shakers' ended Rovers' nine-match unbeaten run.

Rovers trio Luke James, Billy Bodin and Lee Brown were all off target before Sinclair got his first booking in the 24th minute.

Bury keeper Joe Murphy then tipped over a Byron Moore shot and moments later the visitors were down to 10 men.

The Shakers responded with Andrew Tutte and Vaughan firing over, and shortly after the break Leigh was fouled in the box by Lee Mansell.

Vaughan fired the penalty high past Joe Lumley for his 21st goal of the season - and 11th in 10 games.

Rovers almost hit straight back, though, as Tom Lockyer's long-range shot deflected against a post and Brown's follow-up was blocked on the line by Tom Pope.

The hosts doubled their lead in the 65th minute when Vaughan crossed for Leigh to head home his first Bury goal.

Miller then latched onto Kean Bryan's 75th-minute pass to cut in from the left and fire into the top corner, making it five wins from eight for the resurgent Shakers.

Referee:  Saturday’s referee is Mr Carl Boyeson from East Yorkshire. 

So far this season, Carl has taken charge of just one game – last weekend’s EFL Sky Bet League Two game between Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers.  Mansfield won the game 2-0 and seven yellow cards were shown.

Carl’s last visit to Bury was on 28 January this year when he took charge of the Shakers’ 3-3 draw with Walsall.  Three yellow cards were shown during the game.

Quick Betting Tip:  Bury are 7/5 favourites to win the game whist Bristol Rovers are 9/5.  A draw is on offer at 5/1

Top Ten Tips for the game

  1. Bury to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 – 5/2
  2. Harry Bunn first goal of the game and a 3-0 Bury win – 95/1
  3. Adam Thompson first goal of the game and a 2-0 Bury win – 240/1
  4. Bury to win by exactly two goals – 13/1
  5. Bury to win and both teams to score – 100/30
  6. Correct Score only – Bury 3 Bristol Rovers 0 22/1
  7. 1st Goal – Beckford – 4/1
  8. Last goal – Ajose – 6/1
  9. To Score a hat trick – Jermaine Beckford – 40/1
  10. To score in 90 minutes – Zeli Ismail – 100/30

Click here for plenty of markets available on Saturdays game


Match day Links:  All the essential info needed ahead of the game

  • Match Coverage – Click here
  • Ticket Arrangements – Click here
  • iFollow – Lee Clark – Click here
  • iFollow – Alex Bruce – Click here
  • Ticket news – Click here
  • Gigg Lane – First Time Visitor Guide – Click here

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Match Reports

Report: Bury 2 Bristol Rovers 3

The Shakers fell to defeat at the hands of Bristol Rovers on a difficult day at the Energy Check Stadium.

19 August 2017

Two second half headed goals played a pivotal role in the outcome of the game. Rovers captain Tom Lockyer and Billy Bodin found the back of the net on the 53rd and 73rd minute respectively.

Bodin added to the scoreline late on, before the Shakers pulled two goals back in added time through Jermaine Beckford and Nicky Ajose, but it was too late for a comeback.

Lee Clark made three changes to the starting line-up since last Sunday’s defeat against Wigan Athletic, with Ajose, Alex Whitmore and Callum Styles replacing Zeli Ismail, Adam Thompson and Chris Maguire. The Shakers began with a 5-2-1-2 formation with the emphasis on Craig Jones and Greg Leigh playing as attacking wing backs.

An open start to the game set the scene for an afternoon of attacking football. There were early chances inside the Bury penalty area for Liam Sercombe and Ollie Clarke, as they both came close to grabbing the lead for Rovers, but the solid presence of Joe Murphy between the sticks denied them the dream start.

A clever one-two between Beckford and Ajose allowed a good chance for Harry Bunn, but his first-time shot lacked enough power to trouble goalkeeper Sam Slocombe.

On 25 minutes, good build-up play from the away side, right to left, gave Ellis Harrison an opportunity in front of goal, he shifted the ball onto his right foot, dummying Jones in the process, although his shot was easily saved by Murphy.

Two minutes later, the ball was at the other end with Bunn finding himself on the end of a cross from the right wing, but his powerful shot was well saved by Slocombe at his near post.

The visitors’ counter attack on the 40th minute almost resulted in a goal for Chris Lines, after the ball was pulled back to him on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was deflected a whisker away from the crossbar.

Clark reacted to a goalless first half with two substitutes for the second: Chris Humphrey and Tsun Dai replaced Craig Jones and Callum Styles.

On 55 minutes, the visitors received a dubious corner kick and, as a result, the deadlock was broken. Lockyer rose highest to meet a Lee Brown corner with his head, and the ball bounced off the post and into the back of the net.

Rovers doubled their lead with another headed goal, Bodin this time jumped above substitute Humphrey and gave Murphy no chance of stopping the goal-bound header.

Murphy was on hand again moments later, his fast reactions and strong hand denying Tom Nichols from close range to prevent further damage to the scoreline. 

The away side found their third goal of the game nine minutes later, Bodin again finding the goal as he beat Tom Aldred and placed the ball past Murphy.

Beckford then scored a consolation goal as the fourth official raised the board for additional time. His header nestled into the right-hand side of the goal from a Bunn corner.

Three minutes later and the Shakers came close to an extraordinary comeback. Ajose this time finding the back of the net as he passed the ball past Slocombe from inside the area, following a Greg Leigh cross.

Next up for the Shakers is a trip to local rivals Rochdale in seven days’ time as they attempt to return to winning ways.

Attendance: 3,402 (542 travelling supporters)

Bury starting line-up: Murphy, Jones (Humphrey 45), Whitmore, Bruce (Ismail 59), Aldred, Leigh, Reilly, Styles (Dai 45), Bunn, Ajose, Beckford

Unused subs: Thompson, Edwards, Fasan, Lowe

Bristol Rovers starting line-up: Slocombe, Partington, Lockyer, Sweeney, Brown, Sercombe, Sercombe, Lines (Sinclair 71), Bodin, Harrison (Gaffney 71), Nichols (Telford 82 

Unused subs: Burn, Broom, Bola, Andre

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