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Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game

Three Points Please!
Three Points Please!

Bury Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/12/2005

AFTER a 16 day break from league action, the Mariners travel to a resurgent Bury on Boxing Day, looking to close the gap on league leaders Wycombe Wanderers.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Bury (a)

The Mariners haven't been in action since the 1-0 home defeat to Bristol Rovers over a fortnight ago. Whether this break will be helpful or not remains to be seen. However, Town travel to Gigg Lane to face a Bury side who have beaten Leyton Orient and Wycombe in their last few games.

The Opposition

After a poor start to the season, which saw the Shakers languishing near the foot of the table, they decided to end their 21 month association with manager Graham Barrow. Former Manchester United defender Chris Casper (left) was given the job on a temporary basis, but after some useful results and some impressive performances - he has been given the job on a permanent basis. At just 30 years old, he is the youngest boss in the Football League.

Their Squad
Since the appointment of Casper, the Shakers have returned to a traditional 4-4-2 formation after previously playing with wing-backs in a 3-5-2. In goal is the vastly experienced Neil Edwards who has clocked up over 400 league appearances with the likes of Stockport and Rochdale. In defence is a man despised by many Town fans - Dave Challinor (left) - who of course ended Martin Pringle's career with a horror tackle in 2002. Joining him will be ex Aberdeen defender Colin Woodthorpe. Few have as much experience in the league's basement division as midfielder David Flitcroft, brother of Blackburn's Gary. He has had spells with Chester, Macclesfield and Rochdale in recent years. One man who likes playing the Mariners is Brian Barry-Murphy who scored against Town in both our meetings last season. The former Sheffield Wednesday player can play either at left back or on the left wing. One man who was signed in the summer but is yet to see his Bury career take off is striker Tom Youngs. Youngs netted 48 times in a five year spell with Cambridge but has been limited to just three starts this season. Meanwhile, the vastly experienced Stuart Barlow provides plenty of know-how from the bench, with 140 goals in a 15 year career in England.

Key Player
Simon Whaley. If the papers are to believed, Everton, Birmingham, Bolton, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday are all going to lodge bids for Whaley in the January transfer window. The 20 year old made his debut as a 17 year old in 2002, as a substitute against Rochdale in an LDV Vans Trophy game. This season he has been a regular in the side, netting seven goals from midfield - scoring the winners against both Wycombe and Orient in recent weeks.

Recent Form

LBristol R(h)0-1
Currently 2nd in League Two.
LCheltenham (h)0-1
LScunthorpe (FAC)(a)0-1
Currently 15th in League Two.

Top Scorers

Gary Jones6
Michael Reddy6

Team News


  • The Mariners only absentee is John McDermott, who is still sidelined with the ankle injury he sustained in the win against Rochdale. However, Macca could be back in January after recovering quicker than expected.

  • Despite reports to the contrary, JP Kalala is fit though will probably stay on the bench after the good form of Ciaran Toner in midfield.

  • Therefore, Town are expected to be unchanged from the side that lost to Bristol Rovers a few weeks ago.
  • Dwayne Mattis, Allan Smart and Lee Unsworth are all fit again and may be involved in the game. However, with a busy festive period boss Chris Casper may decide to save them for later games.

  • However, striker Jake Speight and defender Colin Woodthorpe will hope to recover in time after both were forced off with injuries in the game against Wycombe last week. Speight has an ankle injury while Woodthorpe has a calf strain.

  • Strikers Jon Newby (achilles) and Matthew Tipton (hernia) remain on the sidelines but should play a reserve game on the 4th January.
  • Probable Teams

    1Steve Mildenhall
    20Gary Croft
    3Tom Newey
    12Rob Jones
    6Justin Whittle
    15Gary Cohen
    18Ciaran Toner
    8Paul Bolland
    11Andy Parkinson
    19Gary Jones
    9Michael Reddy
    1 Neil Edwards
    23 Andy Parrish
    5 Dave Challinor
    6 Colin Woodthorpe
    12 Paul Scott
    16 Simon Whaley
    7 David Flitcroft
    17 David Bucchanan
    11 Brian Barry-Murphy
    31 Danny Reet
    24 Jake Speight


    4Simon Ramsden
    10Martin Gritton
    25Paul Ashton
    23Glen Downey
    7JPK Kalala
    9Allan Smart
    10Tom Youngs
    4John Fitzgerald
    20Nicky Adams
    21Craig Dootson

    Head to Head

    The Mariners have been meeting the Shakers for quite a few years - the first meeting being way back in 1894! That ended in a 5-1 thumping for the Mariners. Recent visits to Gigg Lane have been miserable for Town - with three defeats in their last three. Overall, only two goals separate the two sides. Each side has won 23 games and lost 23 and there has been 15 draws. The Mariners have scored two more goals than Bury, which is all that separates the two sides over the last 111 years.

    P 61 W 23 D 15 L 23 F 91 A 89

    Bury Head-to-Head (41st on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    Town crashed to a 3-1 defeat on their last visit to Gigg Lane back in March. A catalogue of errors in the Town side gifted Bury two goals in the first 12 minutes. Chris Porter and Brian Barry-Murphy netted for the Shakers before Michael Reddy gave Town hope three minutes after half time. However, minutes later Colin Kazim-Richards finished the game off to make it 3-1 to Bury and give them a deserved three points.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, McDermott (Soames, 85), Whittle, Forbes, Bull (Robert Jones, 45) Reddy, Pinault, Crowe, Parkinson, Harrold Gritton (Coldicott, 45)
    Subs (not used): Downey,Hockless,

    Bury Team: Garner Whaley Scott, Challinor, Kennedy, Unsworth (Cartledge 58) ,Barry-Murphy Flitcroft, Mattis, Porter (Shakes 81), Newby (Kazim-Richards,34)
    Subs: (not used) Collinge, Boshell

    Attendance: 5,671    Report


    Town end Bury's run and pinch a classic 1-0 win!

    1-0 to the Mariners

    Recent Predictions

    Bristol R1-00-10
    Bristol R2-01-21
    Reader's POMs


    Click on the link for directions to Gigg Lane (left).


    Click on the link for pubs close to Gigg Lane.

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