Bury boss Richie Barker evidently thinks his side won't have an easy ride against the Addicks tomorrow at Gigg Lane even though the Shakers are 6th in the table. He said of Charlton, 'They're a good side and probably one of the favourites to win the league. There has to be an element of realism again as we're playing against Charlton Athletic.'
One element of realism is that our record is none too good against Bury. Of sixteen games we have played against them, they have won eight, we have four and four have been drawn. The last time we played them was in 1997-8 when both matches ended in goallless draws.
I still remember my sense of disappointment at The Valley result in a season when our promise was eventually fulfilled. Bury turned up as a big northern side determined to close us down and they did. They were greatly helped by their goalkeeper, Dean Kiely, whose merits became apparent to Curbs if they weren't already were.
36-year old Scouser Barker was brought in as manager a temporary measure last season after Alan Knill departed for Scunthorpe. He proved himself by clinching six straight wins putting the club in the runners up spot and into League One for the first time in nine years. It's just as well he did as Iain Dowie was waiting in the wings to take over and we all know what the curse of Dowie means.
A key player is striker Ryan Lowe who has scored six goals in as many games following up on 27 last season. There were fears he would leave over the summer but the League 2 player of the year has stayed put.
Goalkeeper Cameron Belford is something of a fans' favourite. The 22-year old started his career in the Coventry City academy and kept his cool when he was punched in a pitch invasion at Chesterfield last season.
Bury have signed Ashley Eastham on a loan deal from Blackpool after central defender Mark Hughes picked up a hamstring injury: http://www.skysports.com/football/match_preview/0,19764,11065_3407371,00.html
Four Four Two have them finishing bottom while The Times put them at 19th. They have come out of the traps well, but one question is whether they can sustain themselves over the season with a relatively small squad.
Bury fans are saying they will edge the match but Charlton have been playing well and their confidence will be boosted by the Reading win even if relatively few of the participants appear tomorrow (but hopefully Danny Green will). I am going for a 2-2 draw.
The Radio Scilly sports show returns tomorrow (Saturday) from 10 to 11 hosted by Mark Twynham and I will be contributing.
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