IT is a widely known fact Bury is the precise centre of the universe – not just in interplanetary terms but also in football parlance.
Not only are The Mighty Shakers still holders of the biggest FA Cup Final victory when we trounced Derby County 6-0 in 1903 but we also erm … errr, hmmm … OK so we've achieved the square root of f*** all in the ensuing 115 years and we've got no money but maybe we're just biding our time!
Joking aside, we may not quite be the centre of footballing evolution but there's a definite gravity towards Bury with both of this evening picks.
Tranmere vs Bury
Back in the day Bury v Tranmere games were always ones I looked forward to and the early 90s saw plenty as we were both half decent (as was) Div Two/Div Three sides – they were a class outfit with names like Nixon (now goalie coach I think) and Muir still stuck in my mind and the games and crowds were always tasty affairs.
Fast forward two decades and there's plenty to play for here once again as both sides find themselves in contention for a route out of League Two. We are certainly in a better position having seen all games go our way on Saturday despite kicking a ball!
But who could predict the outcome of a Bury game … they really are up and down with the only true constant being goals!
Without going into the maths we will go up automatically with a point from tonight's game but Tranmere themselves are right in the thick of it – a win on The Wirral will see them just one point off Bury and their own potential automatic spot!
The hosts just have to go for it here and despite the fact they are a tight defensive unit having let in just 12 goals all season at home their necessity to attack will leave gaps for the speed and skill of Mayor, Telford and Maynard to exploit as they have done all season.
Eighty Bury goals in this campaign sees us as League Two's top scorers and speaks volumes – while any normal side may be tempted to park the bus, The Shakers have two very real reasons as to why that won't happen.
a), Ryan Lowe's boys simply know no other way but too attack and b), the bus has been repossessed!
- Over 2.5 match goals
- (29-25, Marathonbet) – 4pts
- Both teams to score 1st half
- (9-2, bet365) – 1pt
Radcliffe Boro vs. Ramsbottom United
Massive semi-final play-off derby match here as Rammy fans don their best hessian clothing and descend from their hillside lairs towards the mean streets of Radcliffe just a few miles from the Pennine foothills.
It's going to be a tough night for those travelling Rams fans although not in a footballing sense. For many it will be the first time they have experienced motor vehicles, electric streetlights and cooked food so it's an evening to remember.
Hard as it is to believe, it's all Tapas and trendy bars now and upmarket Rammy actually have a cracking away record having won 11 and drawn 3 of their 14 away days since gaffer Chris Willcock took charge in autumn.
Raccy Boro have themselves been in fine fettle though and it could be a test of attrition here – especially these two played out a 0-0 draw over the Easter break.
My 2golden rules” of betting have fallen apart at the seams in the last 2 months but I'm sure they'll come good again and, although there are never any guarantees, certain rules are very much applicable in certain scenarios.
“If a game can go to penalties, it probably will” is one such rule and I'm going to invoke it here in a game that has to be settled on the night – as poor old Craneguy knows only so well, you're just as well hung for a sheep as a lamb.
- Draw after 90 minutes
- (12-5, bet365) – 1pt