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By Editor
Last updated : 10 November 2005
http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk

BURY TIMES:

It's crucial for Shakers

CHRIS Casper and his Bury side hit the road twice in the next five days anticipating a crucial brace of matches.

A trip to Mansfield Town in the league on Friday night is followed by the eagerly awaited FA Cup first round replay against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Two good results would give an even greater boost to a young side that has improved no end following a poor start to the campaign that ultimately cost manager Graham Barrow his job.

First up, it's a trip to Field Mill to take on a Stags team that are also enjoying a new lease of life under a new manager.

Peter Shirtliffe was handed the permanent first team reins only this week following the resignation of Carlton Palmer in September.

And in a mirror-image of the position Casper found himself, it was a series of improved displays and results that helped persuade the Mansfield board to give the former Sheffield Wednesday player the job.

The Stags sit in 18th position in League One, only one place and one point behind the Shakers.

So Casper will be looking for his side to pick up a welcome three points that will, hopefully, begin an ascent up the table and put some fresh air between the club and the relegation places which are currently only two points away.

"They have had a good response since Peter took over and I'm expecting a tough game," said Casper.

"But we are confident we can do well and there is no reason why not.

"Hopefully it will be a good game for the supporters, we are playing some entertaining stuff and hopefully we'll continue.

"It would be good to open a gap up and get us further up the league."

And there is one Bury player who, more than most, will want to do well tomorrow evening and that's striker Matthew Tipton.

He joined the Shakers from Mansfield in August following a well-publicised disagreement with Palmer who had signed him only weeks earlier.

During his time there he played only four games for the club and on the night he would love to add to the single goal he has scored for the Shakers since his arrival.

Suspended goalkeeper Neil Edwards is likely to be recalled after missing last weekend's game following his sending-off against Notts County.

Casper is confident his side can upset the formbook when they travel to Scunthorpe next Tuesday.

The Shakers put in a real gutsy display on Saturday to battle back from two goals down against one of the best teams in League One.

And it's that kind of performance that the manager reckons should be giving his young squad the confidence to progress, not only in the money-spinning competition, but in the league too.
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