Preview: Bury vs. Sheffield United
Updated Friday, 13th January 2012
Sheffield United travel to Gigg Lane for the first time since 1998 and hope to continue there fine League One form which has seen them being defeated twice in ten matches.
The Blades were boosted by the return of defender Matthew Lowton (hamstring) after he missed three games through injury, whilst James Beattie could be pushing for a starting role.
Blades boss Danny Wilson is likely to name striker Chris Porter somewhere in his sixteen man squad to face his former club. He started his football career with the Gigg lane club, signing professional terms in March 2003.
He made his league debut the same month in a 0-0 draw at Macclesfield Town as a substitute. The following (2003/04) season he went onto become a regular in the team and netted his first goal in a 3-2 home defeat to Scunthorpe United and went onto score ten goals in total that campaign. He netted a further ten goals the following season before in June 2005 signed for rival Lancashire club Oldham Athletic In total he made 54 (+24) appearances for the shakers and netted 20 goals.
Since then the Shackers embarked on a trip to Gibralter to face the national team; in their friendly last Sunday the Lancashire side lost 2-1 at the British owned Country - Lennell John-Lewis opened the scoring in the first half but their opponents hit back and eventually scored a winner from the penalty spot seconds from time.
Ahead of the match, Bury maanger Ritchie Barker made this statement; "We're obviously not looking over our shoulder at the minute, but we've still got that aim to get to 50 points. If we're in there and round about with six, seven or eight games to go then who knows? They (Sheffield United) are certainly the team to beat in our division, so we'll need every bit of help we can."
He may be without winger Mike Jones, 24 who according to reports is bound to join fellow League One club Sheffield Wednesday and may make his Hillsborough move prior to the weekend.
Sheffield United and Bury have a steeped history of battles between the two clubs and have to go back to the 1895/96 season to our first ever meetings. Bury claimed the first ever victory, winning the Division One tie 1-0 on 21 September whilst later on 6 April United took revenge; wining 8-0 at Bramall Lane - this the Blades best result against the Shakers.
Earlier in the season the Blades boosted there early bid for promotion with a 4-0 victory over Bury at Bramall Lane, it was only six months ago that the pair were two Divisions apart but with relegation and promotion forming both sides were on equal terms. But in an entertaining display United swept aside the Shakers in a convincing win which saw Chris Porter (43 minutes), Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (47), Matt Lowton (71) and Erik Tonne (84) all found the net.