Preview: Stevenage v Bury
Boro hope to book their place in the League 1 play-off places
Stevenage go into the last game of the regular League 1 season knowing that a win at home to Bury will see them clinch sixth place and with it a play-off place.
Recent wins over rivals Brentford and Carlisle United in addition to last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield United have left Boro in pole position ahead of this weekend’s action.
Boro are currently on level points with Notts County (seventh), but have a far greater goal difference, and are a point better off than Carlisle as the fight for the last remaining play-off position goes down to the wire.
The Magpies are at home to Colchester United while Carlisle face a trip to Oldham Athletic, but Boro know that as long as they match or better those two teams’ results they will take on one of the two Sheffield clubs in the play-off semi-finals.
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Manager Gary Smith has a decision to make with regards to who partners Patrick Agyemang up front. Robin Shroot played off the striker at Sheffield United last weekend, but if Smith wants to play a straight 4-4-2 Craig Reid is likely to return to the starting XI. Other than that Smith is unlikely to make any changes from the team that earned a point at Bramall Lane.
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Bury will be without striker Andy Bishop, who has recently undergone a knee operation. Phil Picken should play while Nathan Clarke, currently on loan from Huddersfield Town, should be making his last appearance for the club before returning to the Terriers at the end of the season.
Last time they met
Mark Roberts and Byron Harrison were on target for Stevenage in a 2-1 win at Bury back in October. Bishop scored from the penalty spot for The Shakers.
These two teams met on the last day of last season, and a 3-3 saw Bury seal promotion and Boro take the last play-off place.
Eddie Ilderton takes charge of Saturday’s match. Ilderton has taken charge of 36 games this season including Boro’s goalless draw at Hartlepool United in March, and has shown 76 yellow cards and six red cards. The linesmen are Darren Blunden and Mathew Buonassis.