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VERDICT: Bury 4 Cheltenham Town 1
PUNDITS are starting to talk up Bury’s chances...and manager Kevin Blackwell is at the head of the queue.
This convincing victory against last season’s League Two play-off semi-finalists moved the Shakers into the top half of the League Two table for the first time.
The manner of their performance, coupled with the fact Bury have scored 16 goals in their last six games, has got tongues wagging that the Gigg Lane outfit could be serious promotion contenders.
And Blackwell hopes their growing reputation can work to their advantage.
“People are saying it’s some of the best football they’ve seen in this league for many years and that’s the accolades I want for my players,” said the 54-year-old Shakers boss.
“It’s all right playing pretty football, but I want us to play purposeful football and that’s what we’ve done.
“We are going to make Gigg Lane a fortress, that’s for sure.
“When people come here, they know they are going to go home on that bus with nothing.”
Bury did not have it all their own way against Cheltenham though after having to come back from conceding an early goal.
Trevor Carson made a surprise first start of the season in place of the injured Rob Lainton and his first job, in the third minute, was to pick the ball from the back of the net after Andy Procter miscued a clearance from Terry Gornell’s errant shot.
But man-of-the-match Danny Mayor, pictured, led the fightback with a 30-yard peach on nine minutes.
And Bury went ahead two minutes later when Procter made amends for his own goal by heading home a Craig Jones corner.
Defender Nathan Cameron showed surprising composure in front of goal to turn home Jones’s low cross for his first league goal and Bury’s third in a devastating eight-minute spell.
The Shakers went off the boil in the second half but cult hero Jessy Reindorf came off the bench to head Mayor’s floated cross into the top corner and finish off the scoring 15 minutes from time.
The well-deserved victory left Bury just two points outside the play-off places and justified Blackwell’s decision to leave senior pros Shaun Harrad and Adam Lockwood out of his match-day squad all together.
“It’s not that I didn’t want to select them, I just can’t fit them in at the moment,” he explained.
“I feel for them because they are great pros but it’s tough to get in the team and that’s what I want – competition for places.
“I want everybody to realise if they are not pulling their weight then they are not going to be in the team.
“If you’ve got the shirt then you keep it and if you lose it, it’s down to you.
“I wouldn’t want to be a player at the moment that loses their starting shirt, that’s for sure.”
Bury: Carson 7; Beeley 8, Cameron 7, Edjenguele 8, G Roberts 6; C Jones 9, Procter 7, Miller 7, Mayor 9 (Obadeyi 84); Jackson 7 (Reindorf 68), Forrester 6 (Sinnott 76).
Not used: Hinds, Grimes, Holden, Charles-Cook.
Cheltenham: Brown; Lowe, Taylor, Elliott (Harrison 28), Braham-Barrett (Jombarti 10); McGlashan, Richards, Inniss, Penn, Deering; Gornell (Gillespie 84).
Not used: B Jones, C Roberts, Kotwica, Vincent.
Goals: Bury 4 (Mayor 9, Procter 11, Cameron 17, Reindorf 76) Cheltenham Town 1 (Procter og 3)
Yellow cards: Bury – Carson 19.
Referee: Scott Duncan.
Attendance: 2,910 (167 visiting).
Star man: Danny Mayor – The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder’s best game for Bury since joining on loan and rightly awarded man-of-the-match by the club. Opened the scoring for the Shakers with a peach of a strike and crossed for their fourth on to the head of big Jessy Reindorf. Mayor also caused Cheltenham nightmares running with the ball at his feet, flying down the left wing as well as cutting inside to go at the heart of the defence. In tandem with fellow wing man Craig Jones, the pair looked unplayable at times.
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