RICHARD Skelly has promised Bury Town supporters a vastly-improved performance when play-off chasing Concord Rangers visit Ram Meadow tomorrow (3pm).
The Blues kept their Ryman League Premier Division title dreams alive on Tuesday by moving within six points of league-leaders Sutton United following a dramatic 2-1 victory against Margate.
But, Bury struggled to progress much beyond third gear throughout a hotly-contested midweek encounter, before Sam Reed’s superb finish under pressure sealed the spoils.
“We must raise our level of performance,” said assistant manager Skelly. “Concord are a team I was quite impressed with when we played them earlier in the season and we need to be better if we are to continue to put pressure on Sutton.
“We need to get the ball down and pass the ball as we normally do.”
The Blues have opened up a five-point cushion between them and third-placed Tonbridge Angels, but Skelly insists a club could still mount a late charge from the chasing pack and challenge for the title.
“I don’t think it is a two-horse race yet,” he said. “Teams are still playing for 30-odd points and there remain some good teams just behind us.
“There are always some funny results at this stage of the season so we can’t take anything for granted. I’m sure Lowestoft (in fourth) will also come good again towards the end.”
Holding midfielder Neil Andrews is set to be recalled to the starting line-up after missing Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury and will add much-needed steel in the centre of the park.
Elsewhere, skipper Tom Bullard is set to miss out again with an ankle problem, while left-back Ashley Sloots is believed to be a couple of weeks away from a return.
In spite of their below par display on Tuesday, striker Sam Reed’s 14th goal of the campaign had Skelly celebrating at the final whistle.
“We scored at a time when they had no time to respond,” he said. “They made it difficult for us, but at this stage of the season, a win is a win.
“Defensively, I thought we coped with their threat very well.”
On Tuesday, Town – unbeaten in eight games – bid to banish the ghosts that still haunt Ram Meadow when they travel to Harrow Borough for a rearranged league fixture (7.45pm).
The Greater London club stunned home supporters when they fought back from two goals down to thump Bury 5-2 last month – and now Skelly is urging his players to avenge that defeat.
“Don’t remind me of that game,” joked Skelly. “It was a strange game. They are another side who score lots of goals, but we need to give a better account of ourselves this time – both in terms of taking our chances and at the back.”
n Meanwhile, Richard Wilkins was among the 408-strong crowd to watch Bury’s 2-1 win in midweek. The team boss has been struggling with viral meningitis but is expected back soon.