Next Up: Bury Away in the FA Cup

If a well-known brand of lager made FA Cup draws, it would probably have been the exact opposite of that which was pulled out of the little tub thing (it sounds so much better saying a velvet bag!) by Earl Barrett and Sean Dyche a couple of weekends back. Away? To one of the smallest clubs in the division above barely getting 2,000 crowds for league games? For the 3rd time in six seasons? A fair distance away? Yeah, cheers Earl and Sean! Anyway, the FA Cup may prove a welcome distraction from recent league form, and Bury’s lowly status could provide some impetus should City pull off a shock. Arron Davies was an injury casualty in the defeat at Cheltenham, while Paul Tisdale may look to other changes for the cup match. One player who will definitely not feature is Elliott Frear, the young winger shipped out to Salisbury on loan this week.

It’s fair to say it hasn’t been the best of seasons so far for Bury. Losing their manager in pre-season to Crawley won’t have helped their preparations, and it was only in October that they made a permanent appointment in ex-Leeds and Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell. He has overseen something of a revival, the Shakers recording their first win against fellow strugglers Hartlepool before drawing with Walsall at the weekend to leave them in 23rd place in League One. If he is allowed to play, Leeds loanee Dominic Poleon will be one to watch having scored twice in four appearances so far, while City fans might hope to see 86 year old Efe Sodje in action.

As mentioned previously, the FA Cup seems to draw Bury and City together, this being the third encounter between the sides in the past six seasons. Bury won both the previous meetings, the second something of a “shock” albeit coming during City’s illness epidemic of early November 2010. With both teams in League One last season, the honours were shared – Bury comfortably won 2-0 at Gigg Lane before City gained revenge with a 3-2 win (Archibald Henville, Nardiello from the spot and Logan) at The Park. Bury hold the head-to-head lead, 16 wins to City’s 8 (7 draws).

A previously unseen referee for the Grecians, read here.

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