WILKINS: DON’T BECOME THE NEARLY MEN

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BURY Town are in danger of becoming the ‘nearly men’, according to manager Richard Wilkins.

The Blues followed up one of their best displays of the season to beat Canvey Island on Saturday by finding themselves 3-0 down after half an hour against Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday night.

And ahead of a crucial Suffolk derby at Lowestoft Town on Boxing Day (3pm), Wilkins reiterated Bury’s need for consistency.

“Yet again we’ve lost to a team that’s below us in the table when we’ve had an opportunity to get points to push us up the table,” said the Blues’ boss.

“It’s happened on a few occasions where we have lost to teams this season that we should have beaten.

“We keep making ourselves these opportunities and keep letting ourselves and the fans down.

“It’s becoming a season where we seem to be the nearly men. We have had some great performances, like on Saturday, and then drop our levels, like we did on Tuesday.”

Bury mounted a fightback against Wingate with goals from Danny Cunningham and Lee Smith, but the Blues’ penalty curse struck again when Billy Clark saw his weak effort easily saved by the home goalkeeper.

It followed a wonderful display at Ram Meadow on Saturday when Cunningham and man-of-the-match Craig Nurse each netted in a 2-0 victory over fellow play-off chasers Canvey Island.

But the defeat at Wingate has heaped the pressure on a festive run of three games that starts at title-chasing county rivals Lowestoft on Boxing Day, takes in seventh-placed Hendon on New Year’s Eve (3pm) and ends with a home clash against current leaders Billericay Town on January 2 (3pm).

“There are nine points up for grabs,” added Wilkins. “Then we will see where we are.”

Although several players are still carrying knocks, Bury’s injury crisis appears to be finally easing, although Elliot Hunter (knee) is now set to be out until the New Year.

James Scowcroft (groin) and Wayne Brown (illness/calf) also remain out until at least the early part of 2012, but John Kennedy (shin) returned for a 20-minute appearance on Saturday, while Kieran Leabon (groin) could be used from the bench on Boxing Day.

With Team Bury not playing until January 7, midfielder Callum Kearns may get some minutes for the senior side as he continues his rehabilitation from his long-term knee ligament injury.

Bury (from): Bullard, B Clark, R Clark, Coulson, Cunningham, Garnham, Hitching, Ingram, Kearns, Kennedy, Leagbon, Nunn, Nurse, L Reed, S Reed, Robbins, Sands, Short, Smith.