Blues face pivotal spell

RICHARD Wilkins has promised Bury Town fans that his side’s dismal luck in front of goal is bound to improve – and soon.

Blues tackle a pivotal spell of Ryman League Premier Division action over the next fortnight in which four of their next five fixtures are at Ram Meadow – a venue where Bury have lost just three times in the league, in 15 months.

The run begins with two successive home matches against mid-table Carshalton Athletic tomorrow (3pm) and lowly Horsham on Tuesday (7.45pm) – kicking off a five game period that Wilkins believes will determine whether his charges are genuine title contenders or play-off chasers.

“This is perhaps a defining period in that we should know by the end of February whether we are going for the title, or targeting a play-off spot,” he said.

“We have a lot of home games coming up and we need to make that count.”

Town are without a win in two games, but will take heart from outplaying Harrow Borough for large spells in last Tuesday’s bizarre 5-2 loss, before somehow failing to convert a series of chances in the 1-1 draw at AFC Hornchurch on Saturday.

“Our luck will change for the good very soon,” said Wilkins. “We just have to keep plugging away and we will reap the rewards. We are playing well, just not putting the chances away.

“On Saturday, we hit the post, hit the bar, had a technically-sound goal disallowed, an effort cleared off the line, while their goalkeeper produced a couple of very good saves. That cannot continue for ever.

“Hornchurch didn’t even get a shot on target, which tells its own story.”

The Blues slipped to third in the promotion race on Tuesday. Without a game themselves, Wilkins’ men could only watch as surprise-package Tonbridge Angels leapfrogged them into second after a 3-2 win against Concord Rangers, while pace-setters Sutton United increased their advantage over Bury to eight points thanks to a 3-0 triumph against Hornchurch.

“The chasing pack have caught us up and we need to respond,” added Wilkins.

Callum Kearns will return to action quicker than first thought after the midfielder was told his knee operation has been brought forward by three weeks. His operation will now take place on Friday, February 18.

Ryan Clark will miss tomorrow’s game through suspension, while captain Tom Bullard may be rested ahead of a busy schedule.