A look ahead to Saturdays game with Fleetwood Town
Bury v Fleetwood Town
Saturday, 25 March 2017 – 3:00pm
EFL Sky Bet League One
Preview: Fleetwood Town will arrive at Gigg Lane sitting in third place, in League One, four points adrift of an automatic promotion place, but what a story they are building. It was only in April 2012, that they achieved promotion to the Football League yet, just five years later, they are looking to be promoted to the Second tier of English Football. That, in itself, is an outstanding achievement.
For Bury, it’s another massive chance to pull further away from the relegation zone and to keep going our good run of form since Lee Clark arrived at Gigg Lane with fourteen games to play. The previous game, a 0-0 home draw with MK Dons, saw the Shakers sitting in 21st place but showing signs of recovery.
After playing a further seven games, which consist of four wins, two draws and one defeat and include four clean sheets and with only four goals conceded the Shakers enter Saturday’s fixture on an unbeaten run of three games and three clean sheets. This is very much a changed team. Hard to beat, hard to break down and with a striker that is scoring goals at will, it’s funny how times have changed in such a short space of time.
Now, with seven games remaining, and they are seven tough games to boot, confidence is high – but not too high. Morale amongst the players is good – but they are not over-confident and Lee Clark will make sure they keep grounded.
Two games recently showed that the lads can achieve anything, two fixtures against sides, both with Play-off ambitions, against Bristol Rovers at home and Millwall away, saw the Shakers face sides who thought a game against Bury would be easy for them. It’s not going to happen. Bristol Rovers left with nothing after a 3-0 defeat as the Shakers put them to the sword to end their nine-game unbeaten run. Millwall may have lost against Spurs in the FA Cup, just before Bury arrived, but their League run without defeats stood at 14 games – yet they failed to break down a resilient Bury.
Lee Clark has been boosted by the return to training of Craig Jones, one of four long term injuries over the season. A return, from a ruptured thigh muscle, is all but complete with only strength in the muscle and a lack of match fitness is preventing Jones going straight back into the side and anyone of a Shakers persuasion knows how much Craig has been missed. He should, at least, make the bench in the coming days, but Saturday may just be a little too early for him.
Suddenly, opposing clubs are finding themselves with a tough game on their hands. Strong at the back, resilient in the middle and with quality finishers at the front the Shakers are fast becoming hard to beat and another key factor in our recent good form is the ‘keeper – Joe Murphy. The genial Irishman, regarded by Chris Brass as “the best goalkeeper I have ever worked with”, arrived at Gigg Lane with a pedigree. An experienced and steady ‘keeper that has been instrumental in keeping those clean sheets. His heroics, in throwing himself around the New Den last weekend, quite rightly, brought accolades from his team mates and manager following the game but now the whole side looks balanced, confident and assured. It only begs the question – how high can they finish?
For Bury, Andrew Tutte may, again, face a week or two more on the side-lines following his very early withdrawal from the game last weekend with a hamstring problem. Nathan Cameron may soon resume training with the squad, following his long-term injury, whilst Danny Mayor, Reece Brown and Zeli Ismail remain the only players on the treatment table.
As for Fleetwood, the promotion chasing Cod Army have been short of options up front with both Devante Cole and Wes Burns side-lined, and both remain doubtful for Saturday. Jimmy Ryan (foot) and Martyn Woolford (knee) are also still doubts for Uwe Rosler’s men.
Betting: Bury are the 2/1 outsiders with Sky Bet to win at home to promotion contenders Fleetwood on Saturday afternoon. The Cod Army are available at 11/8 with the EFL sponsors to get the three points and the draw can be backed at 23/10.
Bury haven't conceded a goal in their last three games and Sky Bet offer 12/1 for the Shakers to win 2-0 in this contest.
Five top tips:
1. Bury to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 – 11/4
2. Bury 2 Fleetwood Town 0 – 12/1
3. James Vaughan first goal and a 2-0 Shakers win – 35/1
4. James Vaughan and George Miller to both score – 13/2
5. Bury to score two goals, or more, in the first half – 9/1
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Referee: Saturday’s referee is Mr Kevin Friend from Leicestershire. Kevin, a member of the select group of referee’s, has dropped down to League One from the Premier League during the international break. So far this season, Kevin has taken charge of 25 games, showing 94 Yellow cards and two Red cards.
Kevin’s last game was on Saturday, 4th March when he took charge of the Premier League game between Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth at Old Trafford. The game finished 1-1 with six Yellow cards and one Red card shown during the 90 minutes.
His last game involving the Shakers was certainly one to remember as he took charge of an important clash, at the top of League Two. It was Kevin Friend who oversaw the now famous match at Chesterfield, on 25th April 2011, as Bury won the game 3-2 to seal promotion, with seven Yellow cards shown during the game.
Kevin’s last visit to Gigg Lane was on Saturday, 19th April 2008 when he took charge of the Shakers 1 - 0 win against Macclesfield Town with Elliott Bennett scoring the only goal of the game with Mr Friend issuing four Yellow cards.
Coverage: We’ll have full match commentary, via Shakers Player HD, with Maurice Dickson and Brian Rigby. The lads will be on air from around 2:45pm and 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 2pm and, later on Saturday evening, we’ll have our match report together with match action photos, from our club photographer Ross Cooke, together with video interviews with the manager and a key player from the game.
Sunday will bring goal highlights on our YouTube channel with extended highlights going live on Shakers Player HD at approximately 3pm. We’ll also have the key comments, in text format, from the manager.
Programme: Available in and around the ground from 2pm, 72 pages for £3.00
Tickets: This game falls under the Shakers Local Promotion schedule and, as such, tickets are available to Home supporters only at the following prices:
Under-23, Students, 65 & Over and Disabled: £5
Please note that Away supporters will pay the normal Cat C prices.
Click here for full details of the Shakers Local Promotion
Cash turnstiles will be open from around 1:45pm and you do not need to buy a ticket before entering the ground. Away supporters, paying on the day, can pay directly at the turnstiles using cash only.
Last time we met: Fleetwood Town 0 – 0 Bury Monday, 26th December 2016
Bury finally ended a 12-game losing streak in League One with a goalless draw at Fleetwood.
A swirling wind on the Lancashire coast made life tricky for both sides in the opening 45 minutes but the Shakers adapted better to the conditions and piled pressure on their Play-off chasing hosts.
Towering forward Tom Pope was their most potent threat, his back-post header in stoppage time the closest either side went to breaking the deadlock before the break.
Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler made two half-time changes and Ash Hunter nearly made an immediate impact after being set up on the edge of the box but his shot sliced across the face and wide.
Bury remained a danger and Pope almost dealt a blow to Fleetwood on the hour but took a heavy touch with the goal at his mercy.
George Miller then forced a fingertip save from Alex Cairns and Fleetwood launched a fast break from the loose ball which ended with Chris Long blazing over.
The hosts ended the stronger and Victor Nirennold forced a save late on from Hunter's cross but his header lacked the power to test Rob Lainton.
Lainton was beaten soon after when George Glendon lifted a free-kick over the wall but the woodwork denied the midfielder what would have been a winner.
Archived Game: Bury 2 Fleetwood Town 2 – 11th March 2014
Daniel Nardiello struck twice to earn Bury a draw against Fleetwood Town.
The visitors led when Bury failed to clear a Josh Morris cross and Antoni Sarcevic fired home at the far post.
Nardiello flicked Danny Mayor's cross past Chris Maxwell to equalise at the start of the second half.
Fleetwood restored their advantage when Jamille Matt reacted quickest after Brian Jensen had denied Jon Parkin, but Nardiello converted a penalty after being fouled by Charlie Taylor.
Nardiello's goals ensured the Shakers remained unbeaten at home under David Flitcroft.
Finally, once again, at the request of the Chairman, Directors, Management and, most especially, the Players… please get behind the lads, make plenty of noise – BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE BURY!
Enjoy the game!