CHRIS Henderson is expecting a rough ride when he comes up against his former Bury Town team-mates, including in-form Lee Reed, in Boxing Day’s big Suffolk derby (3pm).
The Lowestoft Town winger left the Blues in the summer to join their Ryman Premier rivals for an undisclosed fee and has since made 17 appearances for his new side, scoring twice.
Derby day specialist Henderson scored on three of the four occasions Bury and Lowestoft clashed last season, including the Easter Monday derby at the Trawler Boys’ Crown Meadow in which he netted the only goal of the game.
“I’ve got a knack of scoring in derbies,” said Henderson, ahead of Lowestoft’s home match. “Even when I was at Kirkley I always used to seem to score against Lowestoft in derbies, and hopefully I can do it again, but for Lowestoft.”
However, left-sided Henderson — who is set to start for Lowestoft with fellow winger Joe Francis suspended — will have to face up to some formidable former team-mates in Bury right-back Russell Short and skipper Tom Bullard.
Speaking about his battle with Short, Henderson said: “He knows me and I know him so I’m sure there will be a couple of times I will get put up in the air and a couple of times I will skin him.
“But if I get past him then I’ve got Bully to face — and I’m sure he’s been dying to put me up in the air.”
Henderson will also have to get past the in-form Lee Reed if Lowestoft are to come out on top.
The Blues midfielder is hoping he can be the derby day hero against the side who knocked them out of the play-offs last season, as Bury look to cut the gap on their county rivals to six points and put the disappointment of their 3-2 defeat to Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday behind them.
“With any derby match there is a little extra pressure and incentive to win.
“That presssure has probably increased after the defeat to Wingate and Finchley but we are still confident of handling that pressure and getting three points.
“However, we know going there at any time, no matter what our current form is like, it is going to be a tough place to go to and we are going to have to be right on form to get anything from the match,” said Reed.
Despite suffering from a hernia that will almost certainly require an operation in the New Year, Lee Reed has rediscovered the form that has made him a regular fixture in Bury’s midfield in recent seasons.
“I have finally been moved into the middle alongside Lee Smith and we seem to be striking a really strong balance,” said the playmaker, who has set up three of Bury’s last four goals. I have been pleased with my form and hopefully now I can just keep that going through the Christmas period.
“We are still aiming to get into the playoffs and I think it would be considered a disappointment if we don’t achieve that - there are no excuses.”