The end is near, and promotion is in sight for both Bury and Southend United ahead of their Tuesday evening Sky Bet League 2 showdown.Both teams are targeting the third automatic promotion place, which is currently being occupied by Wycombe Wanderers, and a win for either would be significant in their chase for the Chairboys.
The Shakers are fourth and trail Gareth Ainsworth's side by two points, so know a victory would move them up to third with two games to go, with promotion firmly in sight.
Fifth-placed Southend, meanwhile, trail Wycombe by three points but wouldn't overtake them with a win due to their inferior goal difference. But the Blues are the form team having picked up five successive victories, and six clean sheets on the spin, so would have the momentum in their corner.
The standings: Click here to view the Sky Bet League 2 table
Phil Brown's assistant at Southend, Dave Penney, believes his side are ready for what is a mouth-watering promotion encounter.
He told southendunited.co.uk: “It's a big game and it always was going to be.
“We're looking forward to it. We're on a decent run with five wins and six clean sheets in a row. We have belief in the changing room and we are confident of getting a result.
“Bury have won four on the spin I think, but they've recently lost to Morecambe and I think Oxford won their game at Gigg Lane. We're capable of getting a result there, so bring it on.”
Bury have won 12 of their last 14 matches to go within touching distance of the third-placed Chairboys, and Ryan Lowe was instrumental in securing their latest three points, with the experienced front man scoring the only goal of the game against Portsmouth on Saturday.
The striker is excited for Tuesday's match, and the Shakers are expecting one of their biggest crowds of the season for the crucial clash.
“There’s a lot to be done, three big games," Lowe told the club's official website. "Southend are a good team, and we’ll show them the respect they deserve.
“We’ve still got a job to do and we’re looking forward to Tuesday, we’ll do everything right in the build-up and then go out there and perform.”