Skipper Bullard to miss Bury’s play-off charge

SKIPPER'S PAIN: Tom Bullard will miss the end of the season
SKIPPER'S PAIN: Tom Bullard will miss the end of the season
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BURY Town skipper Tom Bullard admitted he feels ‘physically sick’ that he is going to miss the climax to the Blues’ promotion challenge.

Bullard was sent off in Easter Monday’s 3-2 defeat to Suffolk rivals Lowestoft Town, ruling him out of Bury’s last Ryman League Premier Division fixture at Tooting and Mitcham United on April 28 and any play-off matches that may follow.

His final league appearance of the season will therefore be at home to Cray Wanderers a week tomorrow, and he plans to help Bury qualify for the play-offs before his three-match suspension.

Bullard, who travels to Aveley with his team-mates tomorrow (3pm), said: “I feel terrible.

“I’ll give it my all and gee the lads up, even when I’m banned – we are more than capable of getting promoted through the play-offs.”

The only way Bullard’s season would not be over is if Bury reach the Ryman Premier play-off final, which would then allow him to play against Lowestoft in the Suffolk Premier Cup final at Portman Road on May 10.

Meanwhile, as we went to press, Bury were planning to appeal the controversial sending off of Danny Cunningham in the same fixture on Monday, using video evidence.

Cunningham — whose four-match ban would see his season end at home to Cray on April 21 – was dismissed for a late tackle on Lowestoft’s Scott Mitchell, although the challenge did not appear to be malicious, reckless or dangerous.

Of his post-match conversation with referee Nick Cooper about the ex-Leiston winger’s red card, Bury boss Richard Wilkins commented: “He said it was because of a thigh/waist-high challenge,

“I’ve seen the video evidence and both his feet were on the floor.”

The Blues’ boss added: “I feel sorry for the lads and the fans, who were fantastic.”

Easter Monday’s defeat to Lowestoft means Bury have won just one of their last four matches, and Wilkins therefore knows the importance of a trip to relegated Aveley tomorrow.

“We need to get three points at Aveley,” he added. “They may have been relegated, but they have got pride to play for and would love to stick a knife into a team near the top.

“If we win, it will go a long way towards us securing a play-off place.”

Lee Smith (lower leg) is a doubt after being injured in a bad tackle at Met Police on Saturday while Craig Nurse (ankle) could miss the rest of the season. Elliot Hunter has undergone knee surgery, but remains a long-term absentee.

Bury (from): Bullard, Clark, Coulson, Cunningham, Garnham, Hall, Hipperson, Kearns, Kennedy, Leabon, Nunn, L Reed, S Reed, Sands, Short, Smith.