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Sunday 28th April 2013 17:44

Kevin Blackwell: Hailed despite Bury's relegation

Kevin Blackwell: Hailed despite Bury's relegation

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Bury FanZoner Don Hale is predicting big changes down at Gigg Lane this summer, and reserved special praise for boss Kevin Blackwell.

Bury ended their nightmare season in League One with a dream first-half home display against play-off victors Yeovil Town, scoring three goals without reply to stun their overconfident visitors at a packed Gigg Lane.

For fourth-placed Yeovil, their chance to obtain a record club points haul soon disappeared as the rampant Shakers quickly turned the tables upside down with two goals from Jonson Clarke-Harris and a wonderful free kick from Nick Ajose.

Although the Glovers players had to endure a locked dressing room door and some harsh words from disappointed manager Gary Johnson, they came out fighting in the second half and through a gritty and determined display regained some credibility with two second-half strikes to make the final result more respectable at 3-2.

It was obvious that their minds were already on this week's play-off games against Sheffield United but for Johnson, a tactical perfectionist, those first forty-five minutes were most certainly not acceptable as his players soon found out!

For Bury and their hard pressed supporters, this win was no great surprise as their form of late has been worthy of a far higher placing with seven points from their last three fixtures following the certainty of relegation, and remarkably with a posse of strikers ruled out, the young hopefuls have since rattled home six goals to climb from the foot of the table to twenty-second place.

This victory also avenged a narrow 2-1 away defeat in October, which enhanced a string of poor results that led to a slippery slope down the league.

It was Hartlepool's draw at Crawley that eventually allowed Bury to leapfrog another place but they still finished ten points adrift of safety - yet at least ended a financially troubled season in style.

The Shakers as predicted in my earlier Blog could only raise three substitutes on the bench again, and I noted that it was at least four matches since they have been able to boast of a full house on the team sheet.

As the dust settles from this current campaign, supporters and sponsors are still being urged to help raise over £1M to save the club and guarantee life in Division Two, however, as news of manager Kevin Blackwell heaping much deserved and expected criticism at the board for keeping his backroom team and players in the dark over these financial problems, it now seems highly unlikely that he, or many of his colleagues and key players will still be there come the start of next season.

Blackwell has not had the best of luck and yet working on a broken shoestring, he has somehow performed near miracles each week to produce a team worthy of competing at this level. Whatever his, or the board's decision will be, he is to be applauded for keeping the club and the team going at one of the worst time in the club's history.

I am sure that somehow Bury will survive and as before, supporters always rally to their aid at a time of crisis but the ongoing financial problems of Bury and other similar smaller clubs in the lower divisions will continue whilst the powers that be refuse to consider a fairer share of combined higher league revenues. Long live the minnows!

By Don Hale, Bury's FanZoner. Don't forget to follow @FanZone on Twitter!

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