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Danny Hylton can be the boy to spark a Bury revival
RONNIE Jepson knows his goal-shy Shakers have one striking problem and has wasted little time in trying to correct it.
The Bury caretaker boss signed Danny Hylton on loan from League One side Rotherham last Monday – the day he was appointed to the role following the sacking of Kevin Blackwell.
He handed the 24-year-old forward his debut at Portsmouth on Saturday, partnering Hylton with recalled striker Shaun Harrad after reverting to a two-man front line.
It did not quite pay off as Bury went down 1-0, failing to score for their third game in row.
But there was a marked improvement in their attacking threat, which augurs well for tonight’s visit of promotion hopefuls Mansfield.
“To go to Pompey and get that much ball in the box, you just hope something is going to drop for you,” said Jepson after seeing Hylton have one decent shot charged down and two Harrad headers saved by inspired Portsmouth keeper Phil Smith.
“When those chances start going in, we will be a decent team. But it’s got to be sooner rather than later.”
Bury went on a run of scoring 16 times in six games at the start of the season, but the goals have since dried up.
They haven’t scored more than one goal in a game since beating Cheltenham 4-1 on August 31 – their last victory – and have only scored four in eight games since then.
Hylton looks capable of providing a decent foil for either Harrad or Bury top scorer Anton Forrester, who was rested on Saturday.
The new signing is a real workhorse, described by Jepson as able to “chase down a leaf in the wind”.
Whether or not Harrad and Hylton get another chance to seal their partnership with a goal tonight will depend on the possible return of 19-year-old Forrester, who has five goals to Harrad’s one so far this season. Jepson could even shake things up further by handing a first start to youth team striker Regan Walker, who was called up to the bench on Saturday.
“Regan was fantastic for the reserves in midweek,” said the caretaker boss.
“He’s come on, scored a great goal and has really taken my eye, so I thought I would take him down.
“So has young Anton. The only reason I left Anton out was because I think the kid just needed a little rest. He’s been our main man up there and he has been battered from pillar to post.”
Influential winger Craig Jones remains a doubt for tonight’s match with a groin strain, while Marco Navas (hamstring), Rob Lainton (shoulder) and Jessy Reindorf (hernia) are also set to miss out.