Tag Archives: Lincoln City

Can Bury Take Advantage of Lincoln’s Tricky Fixture Run-In To Be Crowned Champions

In today’s football calendar there are very few weekends off, so Bury’s postponement against Cambridge last weekend means it’s been two weeks since a late Nicky Maynard winner saw the Shakers steal all three points over Stevenage, with a performance typical of ‘the hallmark of champions’.

Since that dramatic afternoon, Bury are still capable of winning League Two as the season enters the home straight. In order to take the top spot, they’ll need to avoid any more defeats, home or away. That may seem almost impossible on paper but Bury hasn’t got much choice with Danny Cowley’s Lincoln still six points clear.

With only 8 (Lincoln) and 9 (Bury) games left to play, Ryan Lowe will be hoping for something extra special to end his superb first season in charge at Gigg Lane. Bury have 27 points left to play for, meaning that right now a total of 97 points are the maximum Lowe’s men can reach. Lincoln on 76 points have an achievable target of 100, but can’t afford more than one slip up realistically due to the gap at the top of the table so tight.

What’s likely is neither team will suffer more than two stumbles before the end of the season, but a few stand out matches could cause the odd issue, however.

Back-to-back games against playoff chasing Colchester and Carlisle will be no easy task, the same goes for Tranmere in the final away game who sit in the top seven as things stand. For Lincoln, their games will bring a smile to a Bury fan dreaming of the League Two end of season number one spot.

They’ll play the same opposition as Bury who are listed above plus MK Dons who have a puncher’s chance of automatic promotion. A home game taking on Sol Campbell’s Macclesfield will also throw up a different challenge altogether, and one that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Retro Football Shirt Cushions

Many Bury fans will relish the thought of promotion alone this season, going up as champions will merely be a bonus to what’s already been accomplished. In Lincoln’s game at Mansfield last Monday night, several shakers fans would rather have seen an Imps win than three points for former manager David Flitcroft and Mansfield for example.

Bury’s own ambitions will probably rest on how many, or how few points Lincoln drop before the season is out. Therefore, looking at Lincoln’s run in fixtures, fans can dream at least.

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What Scholes Should Learn From the Lincoln Defeat

Losing an away game against a side who are top of the league isn’t the end of the world, although you would think so given some of the comments on social media yesterday. What slim chance Latics had of sneaking into the playoffs, has now disappeared and the remainder of the season will be played out with the only goal being to achieve a top half league position.It has been Oldham’s lack of consistency which has led them here of course. The fighting spirit we saw which defeated Fulham in the FA Cup has been replaced by vapid indifference. That is surely down to a lack of motivation, and Scholes may well have already targeted certain players to ship out at the end of the season who haven’t really shown any interest in getting us out of this division.

When two forward players in Chris O Grady and Urko Vera are introduced to audible groans from the visiting supporters, the question has to be asked as to whether the squad we have has been strong enough to compete at this level. There are a lot of supporters who don’t think so. All the players who have competed at a higher level need to take a long hard look at themselves and decide whether they want to be remembered for being part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Scholes will have already seen enough of League Two to have realised that the teams who are at the top of the division aren’t there because they play a pretty, free flowing attacking game. Quite the opposite in fact, with Lincoln’s bullish, direct approach coupled with an uncanny ability to fall over at every opportunity seemingly being the key to success. The same can be said of MK Dons, Mansfield and Tranmere.

Nobody at Boundary Park would wish to see Athletic adopt a similar approach, but the one thing I have noticed is the sheer size of some of the players in this division. To counteract the height of Lincoln’s players, the introduction of Alex Iacovitti, on loan from Notts Forest and 6′ 10″ might have been interesting. Instead, Latics back line were battered and subjected to an aerial bombardment that they couldn’t handle. Any summer signings should meet a minimum height requirement or, we are going to face similar problems next season.

One thing Scholes can’t do a lot about is change the mass charge towards the referee whenever there is a foul on an opposing player. It seems to have got worse this season and the mobbing of the referee by the Lincoln players after Jose Baxters foul, contributed to the decision to send him off.

Maybe a mass clear out is needed at the end of the season and, a squad assembled specifically to match those who are going to be heading out of this division in May. That would probably require a certain amount of expenditure and whether that is made available is another story.

Oldham Face Top Of The League Lincoln Tonight Hoping To Upset The Form Book

It can be reasonably argued that Oldham face a heavy defeat at Lincoln tonight. The League Two leaders may have had a few draws at home in recent weeks but they haven’t lost a league game since Boxing Day, and despite the attentions of Bury and Mansfield, remain favourites to take the title.

They have achieved top spot by being aggressive and direct which isn’t pretty to watch but in League Two serves as a successful potion. Latics on the other hand, whilst at times being able to play in an aggressive manner, often fail to keep that up for the entire game and have suffered the consequences.

It is difficult to see how Paul Scholes can change his side defensively other than to bring in untried youngsters. There would be no better folly than to pitch them in against the league leaders and, ask them to put in a better defensive performance than that which has already been displayed.

It would be far better to instruct the side to keep the ball for longer periods. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing the ball continually given away when a little concentration could reap rewards.

I am at a complete loss to explain why Latics ‘switch off’ late in the game and gift the opposition winning goals but giving the ball away has a great deal to do with it. Assistant manager Mick Priest standing in for Paul Scholes on Monday, also hinted at the lack of concentration and the fact that several of the players look fatigued.

It is difficult for many Latics fans to swallow the idea that we may get turned over by a club that was in the National League three seasons ago but, there have been a lot of hard facts we have had to swallow in the last few years.

It is possible that Lincoln might be suffering from an attack of the jitters but they will certainly fancy themselves against Latics. Especially as a win would take them five points clear at the top with just nine games remaining.

If Oldham can grab an early goal (and recent form suggests that we are likely to get one goal at least) then concentrate sufficiently for the remainder of the game, they could cause an upset. Lincoln arrived at Boundary Park in the fixture back in November fulling expecting to take advantage of Latics poor form but could only manage a draw.

A positive result tonight might show Latics fans that Scholes has fixed the lack of concentration and is moving in the right direction .

Lowe Scores a Hat Trick For Bury With Top Award

Ryan Lowe has had plenty to cheer about in his first full season as manager of Bury and, the awards keep on coming with the Shakers boss again the man of the hour.

With Bury still yet to taste league defeat in 2019, Lowe was named manager of the month for February,  the third time he’s picked up the award this season.  With Bury 2nd and on the verge of promotion with only 10 games to play, everything seems to be shaping up nicely for a grand stand finish at Gigg Lane between now and May.

It’s the second time in as many months Lowe has won the accolade, yet he knows more than anybody that most important award is still to be achieved this season.

“I’m over the moon to get a hat-trick of Manager of the Month awards for the season, but as I’ve said before, it’s not just me, it’s my staff, my players.

“It’s nice to have them accolades, it’s recognition we’re playing the right way, but ultimately, it’s just another personal accolade, with the big picture at the end of the season. I’d happily trade them all in for where we want to get to’.

Bury sit just two points off Lincoln-having played a game more than Danny Cowley’s men, but the form guide will show the Shakers are more than worthy to return to League One at the first time of asking, following on from their relegation last April.

Despite being knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy by League One Portsmouth, February was again an impressive month for Lowe’s side, picking up 10 points from a possible 12, one that included a derby win over Oldham and season defining wins at both Morecambe and Exeter.

The Shakers have been the EFL’s entertainers this season, never mind in League Two where already 25 goals have been scored by Bury in 2019, more than another club in England’s top four divisions.

Yet despite these eye-catching statistics, Lowe won’t be satisfied until his side are promoted, no matter how many individual awards he picks up before the end of the season.