Black­well’s fu­ture in doubt af­ter Bury drop

BURY ..................0 OLD­HAM ............1

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Oliver Rhodes

BURY boss Kevin Black­well ad­mit­ted his po­si­tion was up for re­view af­ter the Shak­ers bowed to the in­evitable and slipped out of League One fol­low­ing de­feat to Old­ham.

The Shak­ers are re­turn­ing to the fourth tier af­ter Lat­ics sub­sti­tute Matt Smith scored the de­ci­sive goal in the 79th minute to end their two-year stay in League One.

It was a dis­as­trous – if pre­dictable – end to a ter­ri­ble week for Bury who an­nounced in the week they ur­gently need £1mil- lion to stay afloat. And af­ter ac­cept­ing the drop al­ways looked likely Black­well ad­mit­ted it was time to look at what went wrong – even if that en­tails him los­ing his job.

“Rel­e­ga­tion feels as bad as I thought it would feel, and worse,” he said.

“But you can­not con a conman – we knew it had been coming. And it has come in the week where ev­ery­thing bad about the club has been ex­posed. I have had to apol­o­gise to the play­ers, be­cause I don’t think we have helped them one iota. They have given me ev­ery­thing, but we lacked the qual­ity and the num­bers.

“What we have to do now is save Bury Foot­ball Club and hopefully it will have a fu­ture from here.Who­ever that is, time will tell. The club got rel­e­gated and you have to look at the man­ager too.When you get rel­e­ga­tion as a man­ager, your fu­ture is un­der scru­tiny.”

The game be­gan with hun­dreds of Old­ham fans locked out af­ter the club had ad­ver­tised they could pay on the gate only for the ground to be­come too full.

Andy Bishop nod­ded the ball just be­yond the right-hand post, be­fore Rob­bie Simp­son looped his header over the cross­bar with half-time ap­proach­ing.

Old­ham grabbed the cru­cial win­ner af­ter Kirk Mil­lar served the ball on a sil­ver plat­ter for Smith to crash his header into the net. Lat­ics man­ager Lee John­son and his staff jumped for joy with the goal and he said the three points are vi­tal to their sur­vival.

“What a mas­sive, mas­sive game,” he said.“We tried not to over­hype it be­fore the game to take pres­sure off the lads, be­cause some­times it is dif­fi­cult to pro­duce.

“The first-half was not the best, but in the sec­ond-half we had them on the rack. The sub­sti­tutes made a dif­fer­ence and it was a very good away win.We did have to win the bat­tle. It was al­ways go­ing to be an emo­tional day for sup­port­ers and an in­tense game.

“We had to play the right characters and in the sec­ond-half we lim­ited Bury to very few shots. “Kirk Mil­lar is a lit­tle rat in the nicest pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion of the word. It was a good ball by him.”

MATT SMITH

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