Bury look to stop the rot at home to the Seasiders
- Credit: Archant
There is no cause for panic at Ram Meadow, despite a hat-trick of defeats for high-flying Bury Town in Isthmian League North since the turn of the year.
Manager Ben Chenery believes that his side are still "exceeding expectations," ahead of tomorrow's Suffolk derby at home to second-from-bottom Felixstowe & Walton United.
Since winning 2-1 away at Cambridge City on New Year's Day, Bury have suffered three defeats on the bounce at the hands of Canvey Island (1-0 at home), Heybridge Swifts (1-0 away) and Aveley (3-1 away).
That has seen them drop to fourth in the table - they only lost two of their first 15 league games - although they are still very much in the play-off shake-up.
"We are still in the top five, and still exceeding expectations," insisted Chenery.
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"There are a few things to consider from our defeats at Heybridge Swifts and Aveley. Last Saturday we had six players out, while at Aveley on Monday we had eight out, with just two outfield substitutes and six players aged 18 or under in the starting line-up.
"That's a big plus, although the physicality of Aveley probably caught out our young team during the later stages.
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"One bit of quality won it on Saturday, in a match that we didn't deserve to lose, but didn't deserve to win. They were two well-matches teams, and the same was the case on Monday.
"Missing Ollie Hughes and Ryan Jolland for both matches, due to illness, was a big blow, but hopefully both will be back this weekend.
"Felixstowe are fighting for their lives, and they will come to us with no fear.
"We have had the upper hand in recent encounters, but form always goes out of the window in low derbies," added Chenery.
Over the next three weeks, the Blues have a sequence of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games, with seven fixtures squeezed into just 22 days.
Following tomorrow's home encounter against the Seasiders, Bury face back-to-back away trips to Hullbridge Sports (on Tuesday) and Tilbury (next Saturday), followed by back-to-back home matches against Grays Athletic and Dereham, a midweek local derby at AFC Sudbury (Tuesday, February 4) and a home fixture against Histon (Saturday, Feb 8).