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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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16 September 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 Plymouth Argyle

15 September 2017

It’s a similar story for both sides ahead of the weekend's game at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.  Both sides have started exactly the opposite way they had planned for and both sides are quite obviously languishing at the wrong end of the table.

The pre-season euphoria over the summer raised the levels of optimism to a new high.  That optimism is thinning after a succession of bad results.  Performances have been getting better with some signs that it’s about to click and fall into place.

Lee Clark and his staff are as frustrated as everyone with the way the season has started.  They expected it to take a few games for things to start flowing and for the results to start coming.  In recent games, we’ve scored goals and created chances – though unfortunately have also conceded too many goals – six in the last two games, and work has been done this week to correct that.

The introduction of Michael Smith on deadline day brought some success on Tuesday evening at Fleetwood.  The fledgeling partnership with Jermaine Beckford looked good on the eye, and Smith’s own performance was certainly good on the eye.  He looks to be a player with a point to prove, and so far, he’s quite welcome to get out onto the pitch and prove that point.

Nathan Cameron has gone back into the squad for Saturday's game.  His injury, or rather his situation, is being carefully managed by the medical team.  So far, he’s won our Social Media Man of the Match vote twice and his goal at Rotherham United last weekend was certainly a boost for the lad after being out of action for 12 months.  It wouldn’t surprise anyone if his name is the first on the team sheet.

None of the injured players will return for this game although the news from Lee Clark this morning is certainly encouraging with Eoghan O’Connell expected back in training next week and Jay O’Shea not far behind him.

With no fresh injuries following Tuesday’s game, the manager will again send his side out looking for that elusive win.  A win at the moment will work wonders for team spirit on and off the field.  It will bring that much-needed boost and the urge to kick on and chase more points.

For Plymouth though, keeping all 11 players on the pitch will be one of the main aims. The Pilgrims have had three players sent off in three successive home games, so perhaps a road trip is exactly what is needed.  Antoni Sarcevic will return for the game after serving his three-match

Plymouth Argyle’s View:  Click here to visit the Official Plymouth Argyle Website

Last time out: 23 August 2015 – Bury 2 Plymouth Argyle 1
Goals from Tom Soares and Danny Rose helped Bury register their first home win of the season after hanging on for victory against Plymouth.

Bury were in front inside five minutes as Soares got a glancing header to Nicky Adams' inswinging free-kick.

Ryan Lowe's low cross then allowed Rose to tap in at the far post for his third goal in three games soon after.

Plymouth pulled one back through a 66th-minute penalty by Reuben Reid but the hosts held on for all three points.

Referee:  Saturdays referee is Mr Anthony Backhouse from Cumbria 

So far, this season, Anthony has taken charge of six games – showing 17 yellow cards and three red cards.  His last game was on Sat 9 Sep when he took Charge of the EFL Sky Bet League Two game between Stevenage & Lincoln City at the Lamex Stadium.  Lincoln City took all three points with a 2-1 win, though it was a busy night for the referee with five yellow cards and two red cards were shown.

As this is Anthony’s first season on the EFL List of referee’s, Saturday's game will be his first visit to the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane, and his first game involving the Shakers or the Green Army.

Quick Betting Tip:  Bury are 6/5 to win the game whilst Plymouth Argyle are 21/10.  A draw is on offer at 12/5

Top Ten Tips for the game

  1. Bury to win 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 –9/4
  2. Michael Smith first goal of the game and a 3-0 Bury win – 85/1
  3. Nathan Cameron first goal of the game and a 2-0 Bury win – 200/1
  4. Bury to win by exactly two goals – 6/1
  5. Bury to win and both teams to score – 100/30
  6. Correct Score only – Bury 3 Plymouth Argyle 0 20/1
  7. 1st Goal – Beckford – 4/1
  8. Last goal – Bunn – 6/1
  9. To Score a hat-trick – Jermaine Beckford – 40/1
  10. To score in 90 minutes – Nathan Cameron – 11/1

Click here for plenty of markets available on Saturdays game 

We’ve met before:  Saturday’s game is the 75th such meeting between the two clubs.  The first meeting was back on 9 January 1915 when the two sides met in the FA Cup at Gigg Lane.  The game finished 1-1 with John Lythgoe scoring for Bury in front of 8,150 supporters.  Bury then won the subsequent replay at Home Park with a 2-1 victory with goals from skipper Billy Peake and Eddie Connor in front of 12,051 supporters

Since that first game, Bury have won 30 games with Argyle winning 27 games.  The remaining 17 games have finished all square.

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

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Match Reports

Match Report: Bury 0 Plymouth Argyle 0

Plymouth Argyle keeper Luke McCormick will be the toast of the City once he gets back to his native South West after a string of fine saves deep into injury time claimed a point at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane.

16 September 2017

The first move of the afternoon came from a very effective Chris Humphrey on five minutes.  His pace down the flank drew a defender out of the area to meet him, and as he was about to make the challenge, Humphrey delivered a stunning cross that sailed slightly behind striker Michael Smith.  The forward Pompey man twisted and managed to hook his foot through the ball, but could only send his shot rising above the bar from the edge of the box.

Josh Laurent was the next to try with a shot from around 20 yards on 11 minutes.  After collecting the ball from Greg Leigh, Laurent took two touches before driving the ball at goal, but his effort lacked any venomous pace and was easily dealt with by keeper McCormick.

A Bury free kick on the quarter hour, following a foul on Smith, brought Chris Maguire into action, and his curling effort from the set-piece brought the first good save from the Argyle keeper, though he did need two attempts at holding the ball.

Within three minutes, Josh Laurent found himself in a similar position to his first shot – and went for exactly the same again, though this time his effort had the pace and direction, but could not beat McCormick as he tipped the ball around the post for a Shaker's corner.  From that corner, Maguire’s delivery found Laurent, via the head of Smith, but from six yards out, Keeper McCormick again managed to save the goal-bound effort.

Another chance came the way of Mike Smith on 21 minutes.  Harry Bunn and Chris Humphrey combining down the flank before the latter delivered another great cross into the box.  Smith connected with a firm header, but could only send his effort wide.  It was exactly the same on 26 minutes with the same combination delivering the same outcome.

Probably the best chance of the first half came on 40 minutes.  Another Humphrey cross fell to Mike Smith on the edge of the box.  His initial shot seemed to be heading wide of the target, but somehow deflected of Nathan Cameron and straight into the arms of Luke McCormick.

Smith had another effort just before the break when Humphrey delivered the ball to the shakers striker.  With his back to goal, and at an acute angle, he managed to turn quickly and fired the ball at goal from a tight angle, only for it again to slide out of play for a goal kick.

Bury began the second half on the front foot.  A high ball forward from Ince fell nicely for Smith on the edge of the box, his first time shot though brought a challenge from the Argyle defence that saw the ball cannon off high into the air and out for a Bury corner.  Maguire’s corner was pushed to the edge of the box where Smith let fly with a stunning shot on the half volley, but again – keeper McCormick was perfectly positioned to save the shot.

Chris Maguire surprised many with a 51st-minute free kick.  From a very acute angle in the corner, the former Oxford man fired the ball straight at goal.  Luke McCormick reacted the quicker as he managed to get a hand to the ball whilst diving to push it away from goal.

The game really came to life in the final ten minutes.  The pace of Mihai Dobre has people rising from their seats and one such run came on 80 minutes.  Collecting the ball on the halfway line, Dobre charged at the Argyle defence before delivering a great pass to Smith.  His first time shot beat keeper McCormick but cannoned back into play of the post leaving the visiting defence the chance to smash the ball clear.

With Plymouth having made all three substitutions, keeper McCormick caused the visitors great concern on 82 minutes when a challenge in the box left him injured.  After lengthy treatment, he was pushed back to his feet for the final eight minutes, though seemed to be obviously struggling.

Two minutes later and another electrifying run from Dobre saw him take the ball to the edge of the box before pulling the trigger on a rasping shot, that unbelievably, McCormick saved.  The frustration shown in the young Romanian winger was obvious for everyone to see.

Dobre repeated the effort two minutes later, and again McCormick was equal to the shot and saved well with a dive to his left.  With time quickly running out, it was down to the on-loan Bournemouth winger to again show his frustration as another shot was stunningly saved by McCormick, though this time he didn’t hold the ball and it bounced back into play and straight to Laurent, who unleashed an equally venomous shot that again – McCormick saved.

As the Green Army behind the goal celebrated the save, the officials brought the game to a half and both sides finished the game with a point and a clean sheet and for Plymouth Argyle keeper Luke McCormick, the praise he deserved from his team-mates and fans.

Bury: J Murphy, P Edwards, N Cameron, G Leigh, T Aldred, R Ince, C Humphrey (R Lowe, 66), J Laurent, H Bunn (M Dobre, 57), M Smith, C Maguire

Subs not used: R Cooney, L Fasan, J Williams, C Styles, J Skarz        

Plymouth Argyle: L McCormick, S Bradley, Y Songo'o, G Miller, G Sawyer, D Fox (R Lameiras, 65), A Sarcevic, J Ness, L Ainsworth (J Jervis, 77), J Grant, N Ciftci (A Fletcher, 68)

Subs not used: N Blissett, R te Loeke, G Wylde, J Sokolik

Gate: 3,642 (526 Plymouth fans)

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