Portsmouth, Wycombe, Southend, Records and Danny Mayor
by The Boy Holty
It has been an eventful weekend.
Our long trip to Portsmouth was rewarded by an outstanding effort from the boys to secure a hard fought one nil win. Ryan Lowe was the goal hero rising to head home a Joe Riley cross right at the end of the first half. We'd began the game with Tom Eaves on his own up front, a selection that had the 500 Bury fans scratching their heads but when it clearly wasn't working (i.e. when he'd made virtually no impact and then fluffed a one-on-one opportunity) off he went after half an hour and on came Lowe who was much better.
Portsmouth showed a bit of quality but gave a lot of effort and they had a couple of really good scoring chances but both were repelled in a typically gutsy Shakers defensive performance. Bury didn't create much apart from the goal and Eaves' chance but we stood firm and gave the travelling supporters a reason to be cheerful.
There were further reasons to be cheerful too as Wycombe not only lost more players to injuries but also drew 0-0 at Wimbledon meaning that its now in our own hands (Gareth Ainsworth complained after their draw that everything is going against them - what like 102nd minute soft penalties Gareth?). Three wins from our final three games and we will be promoted. That's easier said than done though as our next game is utterly huge, one of the biggest games for years.
Its Southend at home of course and after Saturday's results both teams can now catch Wycombe. True, Southend will need to win 6-0 but if they do they will go third. If Bury win by any scoreline, we will go third and if its a draw Wycombe will stay third. Its a biggie and no mistake and I wouldn't be surprised to see some Wycombe fans there, especially as its free entry for all supporters.
Here's another thing, Saturday's win was our seventh consecutive away win which the best run of away wins in 130 years of Bury Football Club, and the last six of those have been with no goals conceded too. Dave Flitcroft quite rightly says he's not interested in the record at the moment and is focussed on promotion, but when he looks back at the end of the season, he'll hopefully reflect on a phenomenal effort from himself, his staff and his players in achieving that. Of course the seven away wins on the bounce could mean nothing at all if we don't make it eight. I wouldn't want to come this close and then bugger it all up at Tranmere on two weeks time.
Finally Sunday evening saw Danny Mayor crowned the SkyBet League Two player of the season at an event in London. He wasn't there to collect his award as he is quite understandably getting ready for the visit of Southend on Tuesday. Well done to Danny and all who work with and around him. Hopefully this award will spur him on to three final magnificent performances as the Shakers bring to a close an exciting season and one which could yet be a very successful one.
Up the Shakers.