Cunningham’s ‘final chance’ at Bury Town

BACK IN TOWN: Danny Cunningham
BACK IN TOWN: Danny Cunningham

The mercurial Danny Cunningham is set to make his third debut for Bury Town tomorrow after signing on non-contract terms.

Having had two previous spells with the Blues — laced equally with magic and disciplinary problems — Billericay Town’s New Lodge ground will mark the start of the third, and probably final, coming of Cunningham at Bury.

With attacking midfielder Billy Clark set to miss tomorrow’s trip to south Essex through suspension after picking up five yellow cards, Cunningham is in line for a start.

Bury manager Richard Wilkins, whose side also host Lewes on Tuesday (7.45pm), said: “He’s had conversations with me and Russell (Ward, chairman) and it’s probably his final chance.

“We have nothing to lose because if he doesn’t toe the line he’ll get moved on.

“That’s why it’s a no-brainer — he’s come in on our terms and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”

In his last spell at Ram Meadow, in 2011/12, Cunningham was only outscored by John Sands and Lee Smith after notching 13 times in 37 appearances, but also collected 15 bookings and two red cards.

Wilkins believes if Bury can see plenty of the good side of Cunningham and less of the bad, he will have a match winner on his hands.

“As a footballer, he probably still has got the best left foot and delivery in this league and the league higher,” said the Blues’ boss. “But you don’t want the other stuff that comes with him — I’ve made that quite clear to him and he understands that.

“If he gets his head down and plays football then we’ve got ourselves a really good addition.

“There is no doubting his quality — it’s just the baggage that comes with him that you have to get rid of.”

As well as having Clark sidelined through suspension tomorrow, striker Shane Tolley and centre-half Adam Bailey-Dennis serve the final matches of their respective bans for red cards against Lowestoft Town and AFC Sudbury, respectively.

Add to that, Joe Whight (knee) limped off after 17 minutes on Saturday with a knee injury and skipper Tom Bullard is struggling for fitness having suffered a kick to his eye and concussion in the same match.

Although Cameron Mawer, who was signed on dual registration terms with Biggleswade Town to cover absences at the weekend, is expected to be part of the squad for his parent club’s FA Cup first round encounter at Stourbridge tomorrow, the Blues have moved to add another player on dual registration terms.

Histon’s Miles Smith will provide cover at the back.

Russell Short returns after missing Saturday’s win over Chatham Town for picking up five yellow cards and will replace Cameron Mawer, who was signed on dual registration terms with Biggleswade Town to cover absences at the weekend, but is expected to be part of the squad for his parent club’s FA Cup first round encounter at Stourbridge tomorrow.

“We’ve got a tough one at Billericay and we are a few players short at the moment,” said Wilkins. “It will be good to get players back on Tuesday.”