A look ahead to Sunday's final game of the season
Southend United v Bury FC
Sunday, 30th April 2017 – 12:00pm
EFL Sky Bet League One
Preview: Lee Clark will not be phased by the result of Port Vale’s late win at Walsall on Tuesday evening, it changes nothing. Plans remain unaltered, preparations for the trip down to Southend are very much on track and the lads will board their train, on Saturday, buoyed by their 3 – 0 victory over Northampton Town last weekend.
Three points and a clean sheet going into the final game of the season has given everyone that much needed lift. Two clean sheets on the bounce, one of them against a team that will, most likely, be promoted to the Championship on Sunday. Things are looking good and much more positive again.
The manager says results, elsewhere, cannot affect what happens in this game on Sunday and so the game plan remains the same. The game plan is, of course, to go to Southend and win the game. What happens at Fleetwood, or Northampton, will hardly be mentioned in the dugout at Roots Hall.
Scores will be watched, by the fans, as games progress through the 90 minutes, but will the events of other games affect the manager’s thoughts throughout the game? Lee Clark says it’s all about us, and what we do – nothing that the lads do in training, on the train down South, ahead of the game or during the game will affect what goes on in Fleetwood. That part of the equation is completely out of our hands but what happens on the pitch at Southend is in our hands and will be controlled, in a positive manner, by Lee Clark, Alan Thompson and Chris Brass.
Recently, Bristol Rovers, Millwall and Fleetwood Town have gone into games with Bury, looking to make progress with what they thought were an easy three points but they didn’t get them either because a resurgent Shakers side refused to hand them over, taking five points from the nine available. Southend, on the other hand, also require the points for their own needs but Bolton Wanderers also needed the points, just over a week ago, but they didn’t get them because a stubborn Bury steadfastly refused to hand them over.
It’s that kind of mentality that will bring the result needed but if you were to offer the manager a 0-0 or 1-1 result now and he’d probably snap your hand off but it’s more likely that Lee Clark wants to head back North with all three and there is absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t demand it from the players ahead of this game.
Last weekend’s performance and victory was, in many respects, extremely pleasing with three points and a clean sheet but it needs that same mentality and positive thinking going into this game. The fact that this is the last game of the season should not even be mentioned. The players can start to think about their holidays once the full time whistle goes at Roots Hall on Sunday.
Plans for next season are already underway and further thoughts and processes will kick in, probably on the way back from Southend, as, come 1:45pm on Sunday, the Lee Clark era will begin in earnest. As stated, plans are afoot and from then, and only then, can we see a real Lee Clark team.
Southend boss Phil Brown believes Bury are under pressure this weekend but the real pressure will be on Port Vale and Gillingham. Bury can control their game, we cannot control the other games. Phil Brown’s side need points to reach the Play-offs so it is Southend who under pressure to claim that last Play-off spot ahead of Millwall. A point may be enough for Southend should Millwall lose at Bristol Rovers as their goal difference is better than The Lions.
A result for Bury will, obviously, see the Shrimpers face at least another season on League One although should Millwall and Southend both lose our neighbours from the Crown Oil Arena could leap-frog both and claim the final Play-off berth.
Lee Clark could have a few recent injuries return to the side for the game. Jacob Mellis, Jermaine Pennant, Reece Brown and Callum Styles will all travel but, perhaps, the happiest man on that train will be Nathan Cameron. After a season long injury, ended with a 90 second cameo role playing up front last weekend, big Nat is back and is targeting a start in the first game of next season.
The run in – remaining games
Sunday, 30th April 2017
Fleetwood Town v Port Vale
Northampton Town v Gillingham
Southend United v Bury
Port Vale need nothing less than a win at promotion-chasing Fleetwood to have any chance of avoiding the drop. An unlikely victory would then see Gillingham and Bury dragged into the relegation shake-up. Shrewsbury, mathematically, could be involved but it would take an eleven goal swing in goal difference with Vale to see the Shrews go down.
Betting: Bury are the 7/2 outsiders with Sky Bet to beat Play-off chasing Southend on Sunday. The Shrimpers are heavy 3/4 favourites to bag three points which could see them knock rivals Millwall out of the last Play-off place. James Vaughan scored twice in the Shakers' last outing and the striker is available at 13/2 with Sky Bet to net a double again.
Port Vale need a victory, and a Gillingham defeat, otherwise they'll be down and they are 16/5 outsiders to win away at Fleetwood. The Cod Army are odds-on at 7/10 to bag a victory that would see them take the second automatic Play-off place should Bolton lose at home to Peterborough United. If you fancy the same result as the reverse fixture, 2-1 to Port Vale, you could back it at 12/1 with Sky Bet.
Despite one win in eight, relegation-threatened Gillingham are 6/5 favourites with Sky Bet to beat Northampton away from home. The Cobblers have an equally as bad recent record and are 2/1 outsiders to take the three points and, potentially, send their opponents down to Sky Bet League Two. Josh Wright has two goals in the last five games for the Gills and is priced at 11/2 to score first in this game.
Top Five bets worth a fiver…
1. James Vaughan to grab his 25th goal of the season with the first goal of the game – 5/1
2. George Miller and James Vaughan to both score – 17/2
3. Southend 0 Bury 2 – 25/1
4. Southend 0 Bury 2 with Vaughan first goal – 90/1
5. Bury to keep a clean sheet – 9/2
Sky Bet are the official betting partner of the EFL and Bury Football Club. Click here
to visit the full 73 markets on this game, and others…
Referee: Sunday’s referee is Mr Gavin Ward from Surrey. So far this season, Gavin has taken charge of 40 games, showing 144 Yellow cards and 6 Red cards. His last game was on Saturday, 22nd April when he took charge of the EFL Sky Bet League Two game between Portsmouth and Cambridge United at Fratton Park. Pompey won the game 2-1 with four Yellow cards being shown.
His last game involving the Shakers was on Saturday, 18th March when Bury claimed a vital point in a 0-0 draw with Millwall at the Den, two Yellow cards were shown during the 90 minutes
Coverage: We’ll have full match commentary, via Shakers Player HD, with Maurice Dickson and Brian Rigby, direct from the Press Box at Roots Hall. The lads will be on air, for the final time this season, from around 11:30am and they’d like to thank all Shakers Player listeners for joining them over the season.
We’ll also have full coverage of the game with updates via our official Twitter account (@buryfcofficial). Team news will go live across all our social media platforms from around 11:00am on Sunday morning. Video Interviews with Lee Clark and a key player from the game will be uploaded as soon as we arrive home from the game and will be live at some point on Sunday evening. Ross Cooke’s match action images will also be live on our official Facebook page at some point on Sunday.
Monday will also bring goal highlights on our YouTube channel with extended highlights going live on Shakers Player HD at approximately 12pm.
Tickets: Tickets for this game will be on sale until 12pm on Saturday, 29th April. Please note that the Ticket Office will only be open from 11am to 2pm on Saturday.
Early Bird ticket prices from Gigg Lane:
17-20 and Students: £14.00 (STUDENTS MUST SHOW PROOF WHEN PURCHASING TICKET)
Ambulant Disabled: £14.00 (Carer Free)
Wheelchair Disabled: £14.00 (Carer Free) - 6 pairs available
Tickets bought on the day at Southend will bring a price increase of £3
for full details of ticket and travel details for this game.
SLO Info: Bury FC Away Fans Questionnaire:
Are there any known traffic issues en route to the Stadium? Possible delays on A13 and A127
Is there car parking available for Bury fans? If so, please provide details (where, how much etc.) There are some side roads near the ground but this is very limited and look out for parking restrictions. There is plenty of council parking in the town centre, about a 15 minute walk. There is a car park in Victoria Avenue.
Is there Blue Badge parking available for Bury fans? If so, please provide details (how to pre book, how much etc.) We have availability for 2 or 3.
Where is recommended for Bury supporters for pre-game? The Blue Boar, a 5 minute walk from the ground, on Victoria Avenue is the designated away pub.
Where is the nearest cash machine to the Stadium? Marks and Spencer’s Garage. This is on West Road just around the corner from Roots Hall.
What is the approximate distance from the train station to the Stadium? Roots Hall is a 10 minute walk from Prittlewell Station.
What food and drink is available in the concourse at the Stadium? Pies, hotdogs, sausage rolls, and hot and cold drinks
What is the postcode for Satnav users? SS2 6NQ
Any additional information you think may be useful for our fans? Seating in the away end is covered and unallocated so although seats are printed on the tickets, supporters can choose where they want to sit in the away end
Previous meetings: Sunday’s game will be the 42nd such meeting between the two clubs. The very first game with the Shrimpers was on Saturday, 13th September 1958, with Southend taking both points in a 3-2 win at Gigg Lane, with Bury’s goals coming from Gordon Atherton and Ian McIntosh.
Of the previous 41 meetings, Bury have won 11 games, Southend United have won 17 games and the remaining 15 game have finished all square. As for goals, it’s currently standing 47 goals for the Shakers and 42 goals for the Shrimpers
Of the previous 20 games at Roots Hall, Southend have won eight, Bury winning three and the remaining nine games have finished all square. Southend have scored 18 goals, with the Shakers replaying with 17 goals.
Last time we met: Saturday, 12th November 2016 – Bury 1 Southend United 4
Nile Ranger scored twice as Southend won at Bury to stretch their unbeaten league run to five matches.
The former Newcastle striker claimed a ninth-minute opener before Simon Cox doubled Southend's lead three minutes later.
James Vaughan pulled one back with a 20th-minute penalty, but Ranger secured the first brace of his career after the break before Stephen McLaughlin's superb late strike condemned Bury to their seventh straight league defeat.
Ranger's early opener was his first goal in two years, with the 25-year-old curling his shot inside the far post from Michael Timlin's pass.
Bury had two chances to equalise as Hallam Hope's shot was blocked before Vaughan headed wide, but another Timlin pass set up Cox to fire into the bottom corner.
Ben Coker's trip on Hope gave Bury a lifeline, with Vaughan hitting the spot-kick into the bottom corner. McLaughlin was then denied by Ben Williams while Hope dragged a shot wide.
The hosts remained on top after the break, forcing Mark Oxley to tip over a deflected Neil Danns shot while Hope volleyed over.
But Cox pounced on a Leon Barnett error to cut back for Ranger to side foot home in the 61st minute before McLaughlin smashed in a 30-yard strike with 14 minutes left.
We all know what is at stake, we all know what’s needed. There is nothing we can do to affect the other games being played but you can play your part in this game. If you are making the trip down to the Essex coast please, for the final time this season, get the lads. Maximum support, maximum noise. Be Loud and Proud from the moment you arrive to the final whistle.
On behalf of the Chairman, directors, management and, especially, the players, many, many thanks for all your magnificent efforts in travelling the length and breadth of the country to show your support to the lads. You are our 12th man so please give us that one last push…
Enjoy the game!