The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

I WAS lucky enough to be at Bury on Tues­day night to watch a quite out­stand­ing game.

Both Bury and Southend had ev­ery­thing to play for and it most cer­tainly showed. But there was no fear or ap­pre­hen­sion.

There was sim­ply fast-paced, high-en­ergy, won­der­ful qual­ity foot­ball played be­tween two teams way bet­ter than League Two level. Southend boss Phil Brown came out on top of David Fl­itcroft but both man­agers should be con­grat­u­lated.

For 45 min­utes, Bury stretched and strained Southend with an ex­hil­a­rat­ing pass­ing game. They did ev­ery­thing but score.

Bury’s Danny Mayor showed pace, driv­ing abil­ity and Cham­pi­onship tech­ni­cal qual­ity as he ram­paged be­hind their front two. Southend’s cen­tre-backs kept them in the game.

Then af­ter half-time, Southend de­vel­oped more play, counter-at­tacked much bet­ter af­ter chang­ing shape and scored a bril­liant win­ner to draw level with Wy­combe in the au­to­matic hunt. Ben Coker for Southend was quite ex­cep­tional at left-back.

I came away feel­ing like I had watched a com­pet­i­tive Cham­pi­onship level match.

And that is what is hap­pen­ing in English foot­ball. Clubs are ben­e­fit­ting from the fact that very good, ex­pe­ri­enced man­agers are not be­ing given top jobs. They are be­ing forced to drop down and do great work at smaller clubs.

It was a won­der­ful ad­vert for Brown, Fl­itcroft and League Two.


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