Back in August the majority of Bury fans would have been pleased to see their side make the play-off places this season. The fact that the end of January is upon us and the Shakers are second in League Two and into the Checkatrade semi-finals, the season so far has been above and beyond what any Gigg Lane regular would have believed possible.
To end the season as League Two champions would be a bonus, rather than a necessity for the club. Just to bounce straight back up to League One, which of course is still not a guarantee, will be so very valuable as the side look to consolidate themselves as a stable League One side over the next few years.
After battling for the play-off places for the majority of the season, suddenly Ryan Lowe’s side have found themselves in an unlikely position to what many, including Lowe himself, could have imagined.
Now however things are different. A win for Bury over Lincoln in their Sky live clash on Saturday will have them only three points off The Imps. Impressive you think? Most definitely, especially since Bury have had a winter takeover in a new chairman which saw Steve Dale take over the ranks from Stewart Day. The club put their faith in Lowe, who leading into the season had very little managerial experience.
The League Two table is tight though and despite Bury’s unbeaten run in 2019, they can’t afford a defeat anytime soon. To start with one against rivals Lincoln wouldn’t be ideal. Only six points keep apart second place Bury and seventh-placed Colchester, while a matter of four points keeps them above Carlisle in fourth. A few winless games would be fatal, yet this side managed by Lowe doesn’t seem to do this very often anymore. 77 goals have been scored in all competitions this season by the likes of Maynard, O’Shea and co. The only team ahead of them on that front is near geographical neighbours in Manchester City.
A Lincoln win tomorrow will see the Shakers fall nine points behind the Table toppers, and they have a game in hand as well over Bury in the league. Most likely impossible to chase down. But to dismiss Bury this season would be careless. Just ask the other 22 teams below them in the league.