Two Points, Cup Progression, Three good Performances and Nev Neville
by The Boy Holty
Bury have kicked off life in league one in encouraging fashion.
On the opening day we travelled to Doncaster to play one of the division's fancied teams. We outplayed them by all accounts and had by far the greater and better chances. It all ended in bizarre fashion as you will no doubt have heard with two 'goals' scored in the 94th and 95th minutes but we got a point that should have been three. Paul Dickov showed a great deal of sportsmanship and has restored a lot of peoples' faith in the game. I couldn't see Jose Mourinho making such a gesture.
Last Tuesday we visited Wigan for the first time in 14 years and having gone behind early in the second half, we roared back and won thanks to two Leon Clarke goals to progress into the next round where we will play Premier league Leicester City at Gigg in a few weeks.
Then this last Saturday we played last season's beaten play off finalists Swindon Town. We were one nil up thanks to an excellent 4th minute Tom Pope header, then a minute later Leon Clarke missed a fantastic chance to make it two nil and later he crashed a penalty against the post as Bury utterly dominated the match. A wonderful Danny Mayor strike made it two nil and at that point it could have been four quite easily. After about 70 minutes Flicker was forced through minor injuries to remove Etuhu and Mayor and this seemed to change the game in Swindon's favour. They had, in the previous week, come back from a goal down to hammer Bradford and this time they came from two goals down to salvage a point as the game swung in their favour, the equaliser being a direct free kick expertly guided into the top corner with the clock ticking down. It finished 2-2.
Despite letting a two goal lead slip and failing to take advantage of our superior posession and chances, there's a lot of positivity. We've played three of the better teams in the division, got an away point that should have been three, won at Wigan and should have hammered Swindon out of sight so no-one's down in the dumps after an encouraging start.
The Swindon game was the first home game since the sudden and sad death of Neville Neville and it was at times an emotional occasion. The Bury supporters at Doncaster and Wigan had already given him a minute of applause and chants but now the Shakers were at home the great man was given an official send-off by the club and Bury supporters. Before the game, during which the players all wore black armbands, the club chaplain gave a short speech and this was followed by a minute's applause. Later, with the clock reading 65 minutes played (and with the Shakers 2-0 up - he would have enjoyed that), the fans stood and broke in to a chant of "There's only one Neville Neville" for a minute and the scoreboard read "Neville Neville rest in peace" which was a really nice touch.
Also a mention should go to the travelling Swindon fans who respected the tributes to Nev impeccably and joined in aswell so a big 'Thank you' should go to them.
It was quite clear that he is held in the highest regard by supporters and club officials alike. Most, if not all of the programme contributors made comments about a man without whom, we quite simply would not have a club to support anymore.