Bury Town goalkeeper Alex Archer is determined to keep his focus on football and end the Blues’ bad run at Bognor Regis Town tomorrow (3pm).
The Ram Meadow-based outfit have conceded five goals on each of their last two visits to the south coast, but Archer is confident of stopping that rot after earning his first Bury win at the 10th time of asking.
That shot in the arm to the Blues’ survival hopes came at Canvey Island on New Year’s Day and Archer, on loan from AFC Sudbury, is hoping for more away-day glory — even with managerial upheaval at his parent club hanging over him.
“There’s been a lot of changes at Sudbury and I don’t know where my situation stands,” said Archer, who saw Sudbury boss David Batch leave the club for St Neots Town on December 30. “I’m really enjoying my time at Bury and I feel it’s been very beneficial to me.
“It’s a great club and I get on well with all the lads, Cheners (manager Ben Chenery) and Christian (Appleford, assistant manager).
“I have to make sure I keep putting performances in and, when it comes down to it, sort it out then.
“I can’t afford to let the changes at Sudbury get in the way of my performances and have to keep doing my best for Bury.”
His next test of that focus comes at Bognor’s Nyewood Lane home — a scene of great pain for Bury in recent years.
One change is expected to the starting line-up from the win at Canvey, with Tevan Allen and Callum Bennett vying to replace suspended player-coach Russell Short at right-back.
“Hopefully I can stop that run and not concede five goals,” said Archer, whose replacement at Sudbury — Marcus Garnham — was in goal for each of Blues’ heavy defeats at Bognor. “But off the back of the win and our last three performances we have to go down there with the view of getting something from the game — as we do every game.
“We have to pick up points whenever we can, especially when we have momentum because that’s quite hard to pick up when you are down the bottom.”
Bury remain bottom of the Ryman League Premier Division — six points adrift of safety — and have played more matches than anyone else in the division, but a quarter of their season’s points tally has come in their last three fixtures.
A major reshuffle of the Blues’ line-up has played a major part in their upturn in form, with player-coach Russell Short having switched to right-back, while Justin Miller and Milton Elenge have formed a promising new partnership in central defence.
That has allowed Connor Hall to push forward into midfield with confidence having built up enough fitness to dominate the middle of the pitch.
After draws with VCD Athletic and Leiston, those changes finally bore winning fruit as Hall netted twice in a thrilling 4-3 triumph at Canvey.
“That win has been a long time coming, but anyone who had seen the games before would say there had been a progression,” added Archer. “It was disappointing to concede three, but when you’re down the bottom you can’t afford to be fussy how the win comes.”
Manager Ben Chenery — who is having to manage flying winger Jordan Patrick’s thigh injury very carefully at the moment — was thrilled with the first away win of the campaign and believes his side are now a much more complete outfit.
“We looked a danger going forward and can defend,” he said. “We are looking like a team playing with a bit of confidence and hoping to push on.
“Three games unbeaten is very good — it’s important we kick on through the January period and make sure we remain unbeaten.
“The biggest thing from the Canvey game was the character we showed — these lads are resilient and will get us out of trouble.”
The Blues’ boss had special praise for all of his players, but was particularly delighted to see young striker Remi Garrett mark his seventh consecutive starts with the dramatic winning goal.
“Remi is someone I look at for the future of Bury Town Football Club — he is athletic and quick,” said Chenery. “I feel he has a lot to learn with his forward runs, so he is probably better wider for us at the moment. He’s a great lad to work with — he takes things on board and executes it.
“His work-rate is phenomenal — he has shown that really well from wide right.
“I’m really pleased he got his goal because nobody deserves it more than he does.”
Saturday’s home match with title favourites Maidstone United fell victim to the wet weather — it will be rearranged for a future date.
“It’s a shame Saturday was off because I really fancied us,” said Chenery.
Bury Town Football Club SuperDraw week 31 results: £1,000 S Kendrick; £150 S Cook; £100 M Woodruff; £75 A Barker; £50 K Sullivan, B Cook; £25 L Price, S Rhodes, A Piper, Mr Carter.
Week 32 results: £1,000 D Bowles; £150 M Deighton; £100 E Watkins; £75 L Thompson; £50 D J Mudge, C Taylor; £25 C Sandland, A Tattersdill, Ms Price, B Hudson.
There were no winners of the birth date draw (week 31: 07/01/31; week 32: 29/09/00) either week, so next week’s jackpot will be £400.