Frustratingly, the fan-owned board at Pilsworth Park are still only ‘satisfied’ with my performance as manager, despite now being firmly ensconced in the play-off picture and on a nine-match unbeaten run in the National League North. Guess I’ll just have to make that 14 by the end of February…
(1885 Bury score first):
York City (a): 1-2
Still the closest thing to a real derby, the last-ever fixture between the Minstermen and any team adorning the name of Bury at Bootham Crescent sprang to life when the hosts were awarded a clear and obvious penalty in the 13th minute. Liam Landers stood firm but could only help Tom Crawford’s powerful take into the bottom corner. Scott Twine thought he’d doubled the county capital’s lead, only for the flag to go up for the most marginal of offside calls. Simeon Oure equalised on the volley from a Winner Luaba whipped cross. Clear-cut chances were subsequently spurned for both teams, but Crawford made no mistake when Ben Fletcher missed an interception to retake the lead for York. The unbeaten record has gone, and they’ve leapfrogged the Shakers in the standings…
Guiseley (a): 1-0
A positive response was required from that setback, and Cameron Taylor poked home from a Denilson Carvalho free-kick to draw first blood. In a quiet game bereft of good opportunities, Scott Burton ought to have made the most of some sloppy passing along the Shakers backline, but curled his effort onto the outside of the post with Landers stranded.
Boston United (h): 1-1
Despite being the attacking midfielder of choice almost throughout the campaign, Carvalho had only scored once in any competition before this match, creating chances for James Morris and the wingers. That changed in spectacular fashion against Boston, with the Brazilian bending in a superb effort from 30 yards out. Former Bury loanee Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro headed in an equaliser on 65 minutes, and Morris was then given a straight red for an off-the-ball tackle!
Gloucester City (h): 2-0
Carvalho made it two in two from direct free-kicks, and target man Challis Johnson, handed an extremely rare outing in place of the suspended Morris, nodded home the clincher in injury time. A comfortable win and competent performance, all things considered.
King’s Lynn Town (a): 3-1
An encounter in which it was vital to obtain at least a point, given that the Linnets were lurking with intent just outside the play-off picture. Central midfielder Jason Fletcher got things off to another poor start, leaving 1885 Bury a man short for 72 minutes. However, the side were galvanised in spite of his asinine dismissal, first through a great jinking run by Oure and Morris coolly slotting home during a one-on-one, sandwiching the equaliser on the rebound by Adam Marriott for the hosts. Morris rounded off an impressive victory under trying circumstances with a poacher’s finish from a corner after some pinball in the area.
Eight games to go. Automatic promotion is out of reach, but a favourable draw in the play-offs is not…