CHRIS Stokes admits Saturday’s visit of Colchester is a ‘must-win game’ if Bury are to have a chance of automatic promotion from League Two.

The Shakers came from behind last Saturday to lead 2-1 at Carlisle, who had ex-Bury man Mike Jones sent off right on half time.

But the hosts struck twice in the second half to win 3-2 and condemn the Shakers to a third straight defeat.

That saw Bury slip out of the top three and they now lie a point behind both Mansfield and MK Dons with five games left.

“At both ends of the pitch we didn’t get it right,” said Stokes, who scored both goals from left wing-back.

“We need to work that out for the next match because we’ve got some massive games left towards the end of the season.

“We need to go out with all guns blazing at home to Colchester because we need to make sure we win that game.”

Having played on the left of a back three for most of the season, Stokes came back into the starting line-up for his first game since February.

And although the 28-year-old scored his second and third goals since arriving from Coventry last summer, Bury succumbed to a late winner by former Shaker Hallam Hope.

“It was very frustrating,” said Stokes. “There was no way we should have lost that game. At 2-1 up we should have seen it out.

“We’re used to coming from behind, we’ve done it lots of times this season. We did all the hard work to get in front but then let ourselves down at the end.

“I don’t know what happened in the second half. We had plenty of chances and conceded two goals we should never concede so we have to analyse that.”

Bury manager Ryan Lowe added: “The lads are in a bad vein of form at the moment, they’ve conceded nine goals in a week, but we’ll keep doing the work with them.

“They’ve got a great team spirit and togetherness, but it’s over to them now.

“We’re putting the emphasis on them to make sure they get out the other side.

“We’ve got five games left and they’ve got to have a good push because they don’t want to have any regrets.”