A look ahead to Saturdays EFL Sky Bet League One game with Gillingham
Bury v Gillingham
Saturday, 4th March 2017 – 3:00pm
EFL Sky Bet League One
Preview: James Vaughan needs one goal to make it 20 goals for the season. Not a bad return for a striker who didn’t make his Shakers debut until the sixth game of the season.
His goal, on Tuesday evening, against Coventry City came some 16 minutes into his return from injury, and whilst wearing the captain’s armband following Antony Kay’s suspension. Kay will miss Saturday’s game with The Gills as he completes his two-game suspension for collecting ten Yellow cards.
Scoring 20 goals a season is something of a rarity at Gigg Lane, Ryan Lowe was the last to achieve the 20 goal mark, finishing the 2010-11 season with 28 goals for the season. Vaughan has, thus far, refused to publicly reveal his target for the season, although it wouldn’t surprise anyone if his personal target is just one goal away from being achieved.
With 11 games remaining, the chances of adding a further ten or eleven goals to his tally are more than within his capabilities and to hit such a target and find your team battling relegation for large parts of the season is something of an achievement so a great deal of credit must go to James Vaughan for his prolific touch in front of goal but, in typical Vaughany fashion, he’d be the first to hand out praise to his team-mates for creating the chances for him to put away.
Vaughan’s return, to the starting eleven on Tuesday evening, injected a huge wave of confidence amongst supporters and it must surely do the same to his ten team-mates playing the game.
Danny Mayor also made a return on Tuesday evening, although as an unused substitute. His return from surgery must, therefore, surely have the same effect on supporters and players if he makes the starting eleven on Saturday.
Lee Clark’s introduction to the Shakers has certainly had the effect required. A 100% record with three wins from three games but a huge amount of credit must also go to Chris Brass and Ryan Kidd as they started the recovery process from a shocking run of results and performances, but Lee Clark has added to the momentum and results have certainly been a lot more fruitful.
Clark has options in abundance in the attacking department and, over the last three games, goals have come from four strikers with George Miller, Tom Pope, James Vaughan and Ryan Lowe all finding the back of the net and, at the moment, goalscoring does not seem to be too much of a problem for the Shakers and the strikers union will be hoping to continue their fine run of form tomorrow afternoon.
At the other end of the pitch, over the last five games, the Shakers kept three clean sheets (v Swindon, MK Dons and Charlton) and only conceded two goals from the same five games, which suggests the defensive area has tightened up a lot and, whilst not a one man effort, Joe Murphy must also get credit for his superb performances.
The middle of the park, though, is where the majority of the injuries seem to be at the moment and at the same volume as we saw earlier in the season. Zeli Ismail, Kelvin Etuhu, Andrew Tutte, Tom Walker and Reece Brown are on the treatment table, but the Shakers look to have unearthed a diamond who is more than capable of putting in a shift and grafting hard for the team.
At just 16 years of age Callum Styles has but a handful of games under his belt, but he has a manager that believes he has a real talent on his hands and from his recent performances and the number of scouts sitting in the Main Stand, it would seem that the club may have a real fight on their hands in keeping hold of the latest product of the Shakers academy system. It is, perhaps, a very wise move by Bury Football Club in ensuring that he put pen to paper on his first, full, professional contract that will see him tied to the club for the next two and a half years.
His defence splitting through ball for Tom Pope’s goal on Tuesday evening was exquisite and had Lee Clark praising his talents in the post-match press conference and whilst, here at Gigg Lane, we have seen talented players come and go over the years this one excites, this one thrills and he has the world at his feet but he must continue to work hard and take on board the knowledge of his coaches and from the senior players within the squad.
The Gills have several injury concerns ahead of their trip to Bury but Bradley Dack and fellow midfielder Mark Byrne are at the front of the queue for a comeback and both could be in line for a return to the Gillingham starting eleven this weekend.
Dack, who was looking back to his best in the home game against AFC Wimbledon last month, tweaked his hamstring in training ahead of last weekend’s game with Southend but his return will give Gills Head coach Ady Pennock, whose midweek substitutes’ bench at Swindon was seriously lacking experience, hope of having more options as his side prepare to face the in-form Shakers.
He said: “Hopefully, we will have two or three in contention, which will give us more numbers. Dack and Byrne are the closest to coming back.”
Chris Herd is another Gills absentee and he is undergoing treatment on a knee injury whilst the news on loan defender Deji Oshilaja is more uncertain. He is back with parent club Cardiff City after a knee injury, having had problems with his groin.
Pennock said: “Deji is to have an MRI scan on his knee. His groin is fine. Cardiff wanted to have a look at him and check out his knee. Touch wood, it isn’t as serious as we first thought and it is just a check-up.”
Betting: Bury are 5/4 favourites with League One sponsors Sky Bet for Saturday afternoon's clash with 21/10 shots Gillingham. It's 12/5 for the game to end all-square. The home side are 9/4 to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, and 13/2 to prevail by a 3-0, 3-1 or 3-2 margin.
In-form James Vaughan heads the first goal scorer betting at 4/1 and is 11/8 to score anytime. It's 28/1 for Vaughan to bag his second hat-trick of the season this weekend.
Five top tips:
1. James Vaughan to score first to make it 20 goals for the season – 4/1
2. Bury 2 Gillingham 0 – 10/1
3. First goal James Vaughan and a 2-0 Bury win – 30/1
4. James Vaughan and Tom Pope to score – 13/2
5. Shakers to keep a clean sheet – 21/10
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Referee: Saturday’s referee is Mr Darren Drysdale from Lincolnshire. So far this season, Darren has taken charge of just 14 games – showing 46 Yellow cards and two Red cards. His last game was on Tuesday evening when he took charge of the EFL Sky Bet League Two game between Grimsby Town and Colchester United. Grimsby won the game 1-0 with four Yellow cards being shown.
His last visit to Gigg Lane was earlier this season when he took charge of the Oxford United game. Oxford took the three points with a 3-2 win with nine Yellow cards shown during the 90 minutes.
Coverage: We’ll have full match commentary, via Shakers Player HD, with Maurice Dickson and Brian Rigby and the lads will be on air from around 2:45pm. We’ll also have full coverage of the game with updates via our official Twitter account (@buryfcofficial) and team news will go live across all our Social Media platforms from around 2:00pm.
Any post-match video interviews will be available to Shakers Player HD Subscribers from Saturday evening, along with our match report.
Sunday will bring goal highlights on our YouTube channel with extended highlights going live on Shakers Player HD at approximately 12pm.
Programme: The match day programme will be on sale, in and around the ground, from around 1pm on Saturday so make sure you grab your copy.
Tickets: Category C Prices apply for this game – Click here for all ticket prices
Cash turnstiles will be open from around 1:30pm 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.
Previous meetings: Saturday’s game will be the 54th meeting between the two clubs since we first played each other in the 1967-68 season when Gillingham arrived at Gigg Lane, on 4th November 1967, with the Shakers winning the game 3-2.
In terms of wins, Bury have won 21 of the previous 53 games, with Gillingham winning 19 games. The remaining 13 games have finished all square. As for games at Gigg Lane, Bury have won 17 (from 27) with Gillingham winning just five games. Five games have also finished as draws.
In terms of goals, Bury have scored a total of 83 goals compared to Gillingham’s 77. At Gigg Lane, Bury have outscored Gillingham by 54 goals to 33.
Last time we met: Saturday, 13th August 2016 – Gillingham 2 Bury 1
Ryan Jackson was an unlikely match-winner as Gillingham went top of League One with a 2-1 victory over Bury.
The right-back gave the Gills a first-half lead, before his dangerous cross was turned into his own net by Bury captain Antony Kay in the second period, with Tom Pope pulling one back in vain.
The opener came in the fifth minute after Mark Byrne's chipped through-ball found the overlapping Jackson, who took a moment to steady himself before sliding the ball under Ben Williams.
Two minutes before the break, Emmanuel Osadebe met Paul Konchesky's cross and thumped a header against the bar and a Josh Wright long-range volley drew a stunning save from Williams.
Gillingham's second came in the 57th minute when Bury skipper Kay tried to clear Jackson's low cross but skewed past his own goalkeeper.
Bury were back in the game nine minutes later though when Tom Soares crossed for Pope to plant home a header, into the bottom corner, but they could not find an equaliser.
Archived Game: Saturday, 9th September 2010 – Bury 5 Gillingham 4
Ryan Lowe was the hero as Bury claimed a thrilling 5-4 win against Gillingham. Andy Bishop bundled in the first for Bury before being brought down in the area with Lowe slotting home the resulting penalty.
Ade Akinfenwa scored two headers for Gills either side of Bishop's close-range second, before Danny Spiller's 20-yard strike made it 3-3. Efe Sodje headed the Shakers back into the lead only for Chris Palmer to level the scores once more but Lowe secured the points with a fine curling effort.
Bury boss Alan Knill told BBC Radio Manchester:
"It was an absolutely incredible game and probably great for the neutrals but definitely not for the two managers. Three points is massive for us we were kind of mid-table and now, suddenly, Bury are seventh.
"I've got great faith in the players that if the opposition score then we can score and they showed a great desire to keep going forward."
Gillingham manager Andy Hessenthaler told BBC Radio Kent:
"As a manager, it's hard to comprehend what's gone on today. We just weren't good enough; the players should be ashamed of that first half. One thing I do is praise the players if they deserve it, I couldn't praise them in the first half, they just didn't get going.
"We made some bold decisions in changing the formation in the second half, and suddenly we were back in the game."
And, finally… the Chairman, Directors, Management and Players have asked us to pass on their thanks for the magnificent support at Charlton Athletic last weekend and, again, on Tuesday when Coventry City came to Gigg Lane. More of the same is required this afternoon so please get behind the lads and make plenty of noise –
BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE BURY!