Bury better than Tesco!
Bury had contacted several Premier League clubs and offered their season ticket holders admission for ten pounds to their big Good Friday match, against fellow promotion challengers Shrewsbury Town.
How many took up the offer is unclear but on enquiring on arrival whether myself and Brian were only two , I was told there had been at least twelve others and that was 70 minutes before kick off.
We opted for seats in the main stand which for those of you who haven't visited Gigg Lane, is part of a smart all seater stadium.
The tickets were unreserved and we chose seats as close to the half way line as possible.
The stand quickly filled up and a sizeable majority of those around us were children and families creating a very pleasant atmosphere.Indeed I didn't hear any swearing all afternoon.
Bury and Shrewsbury were both pushing for promotion and as a result approx 800 Town fans had made their way up from the midlands to the game and a very good atmosphere was present.
A look at the team line ups revealed several familiar faces. For Bury the bandana wearing much travlled Efe Sodje was at centre half. At this level Efe is class player albeit one given to occasional Bramble like gaffes. Bury hero and one time Latics' target Bishop and Hunt respectively, were on the bench.
For the visitors, ex Rochdale player Grant Holt earned the ire of the home fans, very much in the mould of a pantomine villan every time he touched the ball and he was partnered up front by ex Everton forward Nick Chadwick, who is a bullocking forward very much in the likeness of a younger Dean Windass.
Bury in the first half,showed the better short passing game but the visitors had looked the quicker on the break, effectively cancelling each other out and whilst both sides appeared to be going into the break with a nil scoreline, after a lot of effort and committment but not a lot of skill, a Bury player went down in the penalty area like a sack of spuds and the referee pointed to the spot Ex Yeovil player Jevons converted and Bury had a surprise half time lead.
The second half showed Bury play with more confidence and Shrewsbury responded in kind, pushing for an equiliser which made for a more open game. Chadwick got the equiliser with a header however there was a doubt whether he had fouled the defender.
As the half continued Bury decided to bring on their knights in shining armour in local hero Bishop and Hurst and it was Hurst whom sent the home fans into raptures with a lovely chip over the Town keeper for what eventually was the winner.
The final whistle brought a massive roar for the three points and the end to an enjoyable afternoon.
Bury must be congratulated for their initiative in trying to attract neutral fans to the game In the current financial climate many clubs will struggle for sponsors etc and cut price admission to other fans is a good way of offsetting any losses.
Bury is a friendly little club and its no surprise to me that the friendliest away grounds that I have visited this season are Bury and Ipswich proving that football outside the Premier League can be enjoyable, irrespective of the quality.
Watching Bury better than Tesco?
You bet it is