Bury 1 Southend 1 - Shakers Lucky after shocker
by The Boy Holty
Bury salvaged a late and grossly undeserved home point against a Southend side that looked the epitomy of 'ordinary' at Gigg today.
Trevor Carson pulled off two fantastic first half saves either side of a thunderbolt free kick that gave the Shrimpers a 1-0 first half lead. So considering that we should probably have gone in 0-3 down at half time (Bury having had just one notable effort on target), it was quite fortunate that we were still in the game for the start of the second half.
Bury's tactics were all wrong, with every goal kick being launched upfield to our wingers, neither of whom won a single one of the headers presented to him. In fact I can only remember one goal kick that was retained, and that was when Big Jessica won a header late in the game.
To his credit, Blackwell made some much needed substitutions at the break, removing Soares and Harrad and introducing Reindorf and Mayor and this seemed to wake the lumbering, slumbering and quite useless home side but still we looked like we would huff and puff with no reward until a 90th minute Sinnott cross was headed home by Anton Forrester, a player who had done precisely nothing right until that point.
It was an angry, sweary kind of a day and I'm glad I decided not to take the kids. People who have been talking us up as promotion contenders need a rethink, as on the basis of this performance there are a lot of problems at the club.
For starters, we lack a leader on the pitch. We don't have a midfielder who can drive the team forward and who force the ball into the opposition half. Miller was rubbish today. Gareth Roberts is not captain material. Players like Tom Soares are being played out of position, and there's a distinct lack of desire to win that was painfully evident today.
Kevin Blackwell should be ashamed of this performance. The excuses he has given so far for poor performances or results (new squad etc), are growing weaker with every game that passes. He should be able to see by now that Soares would be better used in central midfield, or on the right. He should have noticed that our midfield contains two holding midfielders, and no-one who is forcing the initiative. He surely must have spotted that Forrester doesn't have the professional maturity to bear the weight of responsibility of being the primary striker. He's dropping players who are playing well, and sticking with those lads who are out of form. I've always supported and backed Blackwell, but today was a bit of an eye opener. Blackwell needs to retain the support of those fans who, like me, still believe in him as he is in danger of having no-one on his side. I believe his one year contract expires in the next few weeks, and if Stewart Day decides enough is enough, it won't cost the club anything to let him go.
Today was piss-poor, last week was rubbish and we all know about Rochdale away. We're better than this . . . or are we?