Tim Stoodley looks ahead to Saturday's trip to Gigg Lane.
From Stamford Bridge to Gigg Lane for Peterborough United as they head up to face Bury this Saturday at 3pm. A return to league action provides more familiar opposition following the adventure of last weekend's FA Cup trip to the capital.
Waiting for Posh is a Bury side who have been suckered into a relegation battle and currently occupy 21st in the Sky Bet League One table. Incredibly without a win in twenty games (and just three draws in that period), The Shakers fall from a decent opening to the campaign, has been dazzling for all the wrong reasons. The club started the league well, in fact they won every game in September, but a 3-1 defeat by 'Boro at the ABAX Stadium, started a downward spiral that has since smashed out of control. That said, in their last game away to Scunthorpe, they did push the promotion-wannabes to the wire in a narrow 3-2 defeat. Scoring also comes pretty easy for Bury. They've scored just two goals less than Peterborough, amassing 36 in 26 league games. Indeed, they draw many similarities to Posh with a never-say-die and 'we'll score more than you' attitude.
Their main attacking threat though comes in the shape of former Everton and Norwich front-man, James Vaughan, who joined Bury this season from Birmingham. He's proved to be an inspired signing top-scoring with ten goals this season, but it's his tricky, natural ability that makes him the biggest threat.
There's quality at the back too, and Posh will do well to watch the services of Gregory Leigh. The young Sale-born left back just loves to explore any space down that side. He toys with full backs and has a good final delivery.
Taking charge of this one is Sebastian Stockbridge, who takes to the Gigg Lane field for only the second time in his career. Mr Stockbridge has officiated an impressive 25 games this season, averaging four cautions per match, while showing red on four separate occasions, one of those to Jack Baldwin, whom was sent off when he officiated Oxford v Peterborough back in August. Bury have been taken charge of by Mr Stockbridge this season as well. He was in charge for their 3-3 thriller against Walsall, just a week after sending Baldwin for an early bath. It is worth noting that in the five Peterborough games he's taken charge of in his career, he's sent off three 'Boro players.
As aforementioned, Peterborough beat Bury 3-1 in the reverse of this fixture, back in August. However, it is The Shaker's that have the better recent history, as well as overall bragging rights against Posh. The pair have clashed 46 times, with Bury winning on 20 occasions. Posh have been triumphant on 15 occurrences, with just 11 draws making up the numbers. Bury did the double over Posh last season, winning 2-3 at the ABAX and 3-1 at Gigg Lane. All the meetings between these two sides have come in the league, bar a solitary FA Cup match back in 2010, when a Lee Tomlin and Craig Mackail-Smith strike saw 'Boro progress to the second round.
Grant McCann has a full squad available at his disposal, except for long-term absentee's Jack Baldwin and Jermaine Anderson. New signing Dominic Ball could be set for his debut after featuring in a reserve game on Tuesday. Fellow newbie Junior Morais also featured and bagged a brace in that game. Martin Samuelson will also be looking to get some game time.
Gigg Lane, whilst modern and recently rebuilt, is a far cry from last week's venue of Stamford Bridge. Rebuilt in the 90's, it's a good, average League One stadium, with decent facilities. There's no train station in Bury so fans travelling by train will most likely end up in one of the Manchester stations. From there you can use the Bury Metrolink, which is served by trams from Manchester Victoria and Piccadilly. The Bury Metrolink station is a brisk 10-15 minute walk from the stadium. If travelling by car, be aware there is street parking nearby, but this is permit controlled and is patrolled by wardens. The usual advice of plan before you leave is in force here.
On the drinking front, there is actually a supporters bar at the ground. It welcomes away fans (with a small entrance fee of £1) and provides a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The remaining options for away fans can be found on Manchester Road, in pubs such as the Swan & Cemetery and the Staff Of Life, where a pint will set you back £3.50. The good news is that a pie at Gigg Lane will set you back just £2.40, some 75p cheaper than the League One average.
The key figures:
League positions; Bury - 21st Peterborough United - 9th
Last five; Bury -LDDLL Peterborough United - WDDDL
Previous meeting; 08/10/2016 (Sky Bet League One) - Peterborough United 3-1 Bury
Average attendances (2015/16); Bury - 3,751 Peterborough United - 5,447
Top Scorer (league); Bury - James Vaughan (10) Peterborough United - Gwion Edwards (7)
Interesting fact: Bury front-man James Vaughan was a talented youngster. At the age of 13 he ran 100 metres in just 11.5 seconds. The third fastest time in the UK for somebody his age. Tickets for the trip to Gigg Lane cost £18 for adults, £12 for students, the unemployed, under 23s and over 65s, £5 for under 11s, £1 for under 8s and free for under 5s. Ticket prices are the same if purchased on the day. Tickets can be purchased at www.theposhtickets.com, via the Ticketmaster hotline 0844 847 1934* and in person at the ABAX Stadium Box Office. *calls cost 7ppm plus your network access fee.