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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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26 September 2017 Venue The Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Bury v Oxford United

A look ahead to this evening's game with Oxford United

26 September 2017

Mentioned Oxford United playing Bury last season and you start to get that twitch on the side of your lip, it wasn’t easy.  With a 3-2 defeat at Gigg Lane early in the season and then an absolutely awful night at the Kassam Stadium and a 5-1 defeat. 

The game at Gigg Lane saw the Shakers pegged back twice before the U’s took the lead.  James Vaughan and Tom Pope had both scored for Bury before two free kicks for the visitors both found the back of the net whilst a Greg Leigh own goal – though he knew nothing about it – saw the visitors leave with all three points.

Those two free kicks though were top class, both curled around walls and both finding the bottom corners.  Both scored by the same player – a player who now wears the white shirt of Bury – Chris Maguire. 

This evening’s game would be the perfect night for Chris Maguire to grab his first Shakers goal, against his former side.  Something similar to the video (below) would be nice.

The performance at the weekend during the Charlton game has somewhat lifted spirits.  More positives, more passing football, more chances created – it’s coming and there’s no perfect time to put in that performance we all know the lads are capable of than now.

Add to that the wonder strike from Jermaine Beckford, who now finds himself centre stage as the clubs leading scorer – eight games and five goals.  Last season, James Vaughan got five goals in six games, he was still on five goals from eight at the same point last year.  If Beckford should score tonight, then his strike record will be better than Vaughan’s at the same stage last season.

Eoghan O’Connell took part in the warm-up at Charlton on Saturday, which suggests he could soon be making an appearance on the bench – maybe even this evening.  With Nathan Cameron collecting a thigh injury on Saturday, the extent of the damage is unknown at this moment in time, then a place on the bench for another Centre Half is more or less assured.  Perfect timing for O’Connell.

Jay O’Shea is another that may find himself on the bench soon, another player who is recovering quickly and all of a sudden, Lee Clark could find himself with a more or less fit squad to choose from.

Last Tuesday night’s performance in the Checkatrade Trophy brought few positives, the one big positive from the night was that of Mihai Dobre.  He showed that skill and levels of pace again on Saturday once he got on the pitch and tonight’s game could be the perfect time to unleash him and set him free.

Oxford arrive at Gigg Lane with only one point to show for their last three games.  A home defeat to Walsall on Saturday and a defeat in the North West when they visited Blackpool,  Pep Clotet’s side have shipped five goals in the last two games, tonight may be the perfect time to add to that.

With two home games on the bounce, it’s time to collect some points, starting tonight and a little payback for last season’s woes against the U’s of Oxford.

Oxford United’s View:  Click here to visit the Official Oxford United Website

Last time out: 17 December 2016 – Bury 2 Oxford United 3
Oxford came from behind to beat beleaguered Bury and stretch their unbeaten run to eight games.

The hosts twice went in front through James Vaughan and Tom Pope, only for each goal to be cancelled out by a Chris Maguire free-kick.

Greg Leigh's own goal on 70 minutes then extended Bury's club-record losing run to 12 league games, sending them into the League One relegation zone.

The Shakers dropped keeper Ben Williams for Paul Rachubka and the debutant's fifth-minute free-kick drifted over the Oxford defence for Vaughan to volley over Simon Eastwood.

The U's levelled eight minutes later, Maguire hitting a free-kick from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

They were then firmly on top, with Maguire twice testing Rachubka before the veteran keeper parried a Robert Hall shot.

Maguire also sliced wide from eight yards and moments later Pope scored at the second attempt from Scott Burgess' 39th-minute cross.

This time Oxford took just four minutes to equalise, Maguire curling in a 20-yard free-kick.

The visitors had the better of a hard-fought second half as Kane Hemmings hit a post before left-back Leigh turned Marvin Johnson's low cross into his own net.

Referee:  This evenings referee is Mr Ben Toner from Lancashire 

So far this season, Ben has taken charge of four games – showing 14 yellow cards and one red card.  His last game was on Sat 23 September when he took charge of the League Two game between Mansfield Town & Cambridge United at Field Mill.  Mansfield won the game 2-1 and two yellow cards were shown.

Ben’s last visit to the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane was on Tue 14 March, when he took charge of the Shakers 3-0 victory over Bristol Rovers.  EIGHT yellow cards and one red card were shown with Bristol’s Stuart Sinclair shown two yellow cards for simulation.

Quick Betting Tip:  Bury are 19/10 to win the game whilst Oxford United are 7/5.  A draw is on offer at 12/5

Top Ten Tips for the game

  1. Bury to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 – 3/1
  2. Chris Maguire first goal of the game and a 2-0 Bury win – 50/1
  3. Chris Humphrey first goal of the game and a 3-0 Bury win – 240/1
  4. Bury to win by exactly two goals – 17/2
  5. Bury to win and both teams to score – 100/30
  6. Correct Score only – Bury 3 Oxford United 0 33/1
  7. 1st Goal – Beckford – 9/2
  8. Last goal – Maguire – 6/1
  9. To Score a hat-trick – Jermaine Beckford – 50/1
  10. To score in 90 minutes – Phil Edwards – 8/1

Click here for plenty of markets available on this evening's game 

We’ve met before:  This evening’s game is the 36th meeting between the two clubs.  Bury have won nine of the previous 35 games, with Oxford winning 11.  The remaining 15 games have finished all square.

The highest scoring game between the two sides was on the 1967/68 season with it finished 5-4 in Oxford’s favour at the Manor Ground, which was also the very first time the two sides met.

Your visit to the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane:  Click here for our ‘first-time visitor guide’ 

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Match Reports

Report: Bury 3 Oxford United 0

Bury claimed their second victory of the season in style as they hit three goals in eight minutes to seal the three points.

26 September 2017

Photo courtesy of Harry McGuire

Lee Clark had been waiting for the best part of two months for his new look Shakers to click, and this performance and result certainly showed signs that the gelling process has been completed, though leading scorer Jermaine Beckford claimed after the game that the best is yet to come.

With the Shakers featuring three former Oxford United players within the 18, one of the three – Chris Maguire got the game underway and almost immediately released Greg Leigh with a flying run down the flank that saw the visiting defence hurriedly push out for a throw.

Jermaine Beckford warmed his shooting boots up on five minutes with a strong shot from the edge of the box that cannoned off a defender and deflected wide of the target.  Fellow striker put enough pressure on the U’s defence to make sure the ball went out for a corner.  The corner turned into four successive corners that the Oxford defence eventually cleared all the way back to Leonardo Fasan in the Shakers goal.

Beckford was at it again on ten minutes when he controlled the ball with a perfectly executed Cruyff turn before turning on the ball and firing a ferocious drive that keeper Simon Eastwood did well to tip over the bar for another Bury corner.

Bury’s opening 15-minute dominance was broken by Rob Hall on 12 and 13 minutes, the first a stunning shot on the volley from at least 30 yards that flashed inches wide of the post, and then a minute later when he danced the ball through the Bury defence before forcing Leo Fasan to make a stunning save from close range with a crisp shot on goal.

Bury should have taken the lead on 20 minutes when Mike Smith showed a pair of quick feet in superbly controlling the ball.  Flicking it over his covering defender he took the shot as the ball dropped from outside the area that flashed over a diving Simon Eastwood and agonisingly crashed off the top of the crossbar and out of play.

Within four minutes, Van Kessell charged forward and shot on goal, only for Fasan to again pull off a smart save to deny the flying Dutchman.  It was a case of Deja Vu moments later when the same player again found the Shakers backup keeper in stunning form as he again dived to save his shot.

Bury used the counter-attack to good effect on 37 minutes with Beckford leading the Shaker's charge.  With Smith and Maguire keeping pace with the Bury striker, Beckford found Smith who shot first time from the edge of the box.  A slight deflection from a defender took the ball wide of the target and out for a Bury corner.

A minute later and Smith reversed the role with a great flick to release Beckford, but as the Shakers' leading scorer touched the ball, an offside flag killed the move.  That offside flag was to kill another Bury attack just before halftime.  A stunning delivery from Maguire saw Beckford get a clean header from point-blank range on the target, only for Simon Eastwood to tip the effort over the bar, but again, the assistant referee had his flag in the air.

Within six minutes of the restart, Beckford managed to release another shot on goal, that again flew straight at keeper Eastwood.  The U’s keeper again thwarted the Shakers striker, but again – the offside flag was quickly raised.

The game suddenly changed on 62 minutes when a Maguire cross into the box saw Beckford and defender both leap for the ball, Beckford went down heavily from the challenge and referee Ben Toner immediately pointed to the spot.

Chris Maguire grabbed the ball to take the spot kick and after what seemed a long delay, he placed the ball into the bottom corner for his first goal for the Shakers, and the opening goal in what would be a frantic eight minutes.

Four minutes later and Chris Humphrey took over from Maguire with the ‘stunning ball into the box’ routine, though this time the United defence coped and cleared.  Almost immediately the visitors made three changes in an effort to get back into the game.

Two minutes later they were two goals down and Beckford chased the ball to the touchline, he somehow managed to turn and direct the ball towards the near post where confusion amongst the keeper, a defender and striker Michael Smith reigned.  The ball ended up in the back of the net with Smith wheeling away to celebrate another first goal for the club.

A further two minutes and it was game set and match for the Shakers.  Former Preston North End due Chris Humphrey and Jermaine Beckford linked up with Humphrey delivering the ball of the night, and Beckford rose to meet it superbly to plant an unstoppable header beyond Eastwood to seal the three points.

Bury had further chances to increase their goal tally with Smith, Maguire and Harry Bunn all forcing Eastwood to stop efforts, but the final whistle at the end of the game brought happiness and relief from everyone in the stadium as the Shakers finally got their season up and running.

Bury:  Fasan, Leigh, Whitmore, Aldred, Edwards, Humphrey (Bunn 85), Maguire, Laurent, Reilly (Danns 54), Beckford (Dobre 77), Smith 

Subs not used: Skarz, Ince, Maloney, Williams         

Oxford United: Eastwood, Williamson, Mousinho, Ricardinho, Nelson, Ruffles, Henry, Ledson (Rothwell 67), Hall, van Kessel (Payne 67), Mowatt        

Subs not used: Martin, Xemi, Carroll, Shearer 

Gate: 2,951 (287 from Oxford United)

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