Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins has caught a glimpse of the Jordan Patrick he wanted to sign — and now he’s desperate for more.
The former Cambridge United winger is yet to hit his stride after stepping out of the professional game, but he scored one and set up another as the Blues began their defence of the Ryman League Cup with a 3-0 win at Maldon and Tiptree on Tuesday.
That display has thrust the pacy wideman into Wilkins’ thoughts as Bury bid to reach the FA Cup first round proper for just the third time in their history by shocking Blue Square Bet South high-flyers Dorchester Town in Dorset tomorrow (3pm).
“That was the Jordan Patrick I knew who played for Cambridge United a year or so ago,” said the Blues’ boss. “He had a smile back on his face, had good fitness levels and played 90 minutes for the first time in a long while.”
With a number of players rested for Tuesday’s trip to Essex to make sure they are fit for tomorrow’s huge FA Cup clash, worth £12,500 to the winner, Patrick took his chance to shine with his first goal for the club, while on-loan midfielder Craig Parker — who is cup-tied tomorrow — also netted for the first time.
However, of those rested, Tom Bullard, Connor Hall, Luke Ingram, Lee Reed and Alex Rossis are set to return to the squad, with John Sands (groin) the only player likely to face a late fitness after limping off during the Blues’ 1-0 reverse against Harrow Borough on Saturday.
The inclusion of Lee Flavin (ill) in the squad depends on Sands being fit or not, while Bury’s biggest blow looks set to be the absence of top scorer Billy Clark to a thigh problem.
Youngsters Daniel Hitching and Evan Key are also set to travel with Bury today, with the team staying in Dorset overnight to prepare properly, but Allicion Blake, Adam Burroughs and Liam Wales are cup-tied so will play for Woodbridge Town, Diss Town and Team Bury respectively.
“It’s all about how we play,” said Wilkins. “I am confident that if my lads play to their levels then we can get a result down at Dorchester.”