On Friday I wrote about how Bury were ready to make a charge for promotion automatically, missing out on those pesky playoffs. Three days later I won’t now start saying the Shakers are suddenly in a crisis.
However, even the most loyal Bury fan would admit going 3-0 after just thirty minutes was pretty alarming, especially in a local derby against an Oldham side who began the day outside the top twelve.
When finding out nearest rivals Colchester had also been thumped 4-0 by Carlisle, the away dressing room at Boundary Park would have had smoke whistling out of the windows.
Yet the away dressing room hasn’t always been a happy place for the Shakers this season. More recently the atmosphere may be getting just a bit worse. After a penalty save against Exeter only seven days previously, Joe Murphy had an afternoon to forget, Oldham’s fourth goal is certainly a moment he won’t want to relive.
The Shakers have dominated virtually all their games this season until Saturday’s derby, therefore this may have just been a ‘bad day at the office’. However, with both sides operating in a 4-4-2 formation, Oldham found themselves in dreamland with Latics manager Frankie Bunn winning out on the tactical battle.
But Bury’s defence certainly has a fair few weaknesses. Chris Stokes at left back looks a particularly weak link for example and there are times when – should the Shakers end the season with promotion – this defence could need investment.
Whereas Jose Mourinho can spend millions upon millions on a back line in the January transfer if afforded such luxuries by those above him. Ryan Lowe is not quite as fortunate, yet will have to work out where best to play Eoghan O’Connell and find Bury’s strongest centre-back partnerships amongst a fair few defenders.
Away from home though and Bury aren’t quite having the same luck. In 11 away league games, Bury have won 3, drawn 3 and lost 5. Something similar in 2019 and the Shakers will struggle to make the top three or need an over-reliance on their performances at Gigg Lane.
That might not be such a worry though in this season so far, as 7 wins in 11 have been topped up. For now, there should be no reason to worry, yet the hectic schedule over Christmas may be more telling.
For now, Lowe will hope some festive joy can do away with the ever-increasing away day blues.