Sunday, 28 November 2010

Bury 1 – 2 Peterborough United; 27/11/10.


Saturday morning in Leeds.

I'd been sat refreshing a few screens for too long, and had to catch the train to Halifax before it became too late. Shortly after the train left the station the Bradford Park Avenue match at the Horsfall had been declared off due to a frozen pitch, a quick decision had to be made in order to save Saturday. My second team being Bury, I checked their site to find out there wasn't even a mention of a pitch inspection over in Lancashire, so off we went, getting there a few minutes after kick-off. And no, they haven't got their rose the wrong colour.

I've watched Bury several years more than Halifax Town as it's a joy I've inherited from my father, but this is possibly the longest I've gone without seeing a match of theirs in person. The last time being the two home games against Accrington Stanley at the end of the season and then Shrewsbury in the play-offs as we missed out on automatic promotion by one goal. Both of them had huge crowds of several thousand, and on both of them we lost by the thinnest margin. Halifax's season had been taken off the hob months before, and finished away to Chorley with a final farty bubble of a goalless draw a week or so prior to Accrington. It was good to be back at a spiritual home of mine.

Better scores, better times.

The prospect of playing a higher league team hadn't inspired Bury this time around, with one of the lowest attendances of the season clocking in just over 2,500. Peterborough stand at 10th in the third tier; the most relaxing position they've had in a while. I attended the last meeting of the sides at Gigg Lane a few seasons ago in a fourth tier affair where we coolly won 2–0. Posh earned a promotion by the end of the season, followed by another to the Championship. Followed by an unstoppable fall straight down again. Maybe they'll find League One to be the league where they belong after a few intense seasons. For the Shakers, a home draw against a competent team in the league above would potentially show how we would fare if we were to secure promotion this time around.

The Boro congregation was nothing to write home about. 186 fans travelling 150 miles or so would be expected of the Shaymen five leagues below. They made themselves heard nonetheless, though their drum overpowered their voices. It was obvious why they outsung us a few times as well. Bury merely covered Peterborough from ripping straight through their midfield and defense and were far too shy to tackle. Posh wasted no time in punishing us as they scored on the 12th minute with Tomlin. We peeked out from their domination a few times in the first half but lacked fundamental desire. Things got worse on the 37th with a hideous goal that rolled in at jogging pace as Sodje (another great game otherwise) sent a header back to goalie Fon Williams with so little power that Mackail-Smith could deflect it from Fon Williams' reach. In the first-half Bury were the weaker team and went forth with counter attacks. Haworth was a tricky dribbler down the wing but Ajose had the chances of the match, including one that was blocked off the line in the first half.

Knill must have made some effective changes to the Bury mentality at half-time, as we eventually declared our dominance over the game as Peterborough had done in the first half. It didn't take too long for our defenders to stay just inside of our half to set up chances destined towards the onion bag at the Cemetery End. On the 51st minute, Ryan Lowe smashed one in to make things promising. It's a shame the equaliser never came, but what better chance was there than the powerful strike Ajose delivered, one that Posh goalkeeper Lewis could just about get his hand to. Ajose charged like a bulldog, him and Lowe able to run through Peterborough's middle, and in a half where Bury deserved an equaliser, Ajose deserved the credit for scoring it.

The Gigg Lane family stand is one of great atmosphere where you're free to scream and yelp to your heart's content if need be. No turning around and tutting from the East Stand masses at the Shay here. A highlight was the bringing on of Posh substitue Aaron Davies, which was met by a cry behind me of "AARON PENIS?! THAT'S AN UNFORTUNATE NAME!" Following that, many fans got wound up by a referee (one that, earlier today, declared the match at the Horsfall should be on), who easily commiserated with a few Peterborough midfielders who were quick to fall over at any touch. The real challenge for the Shakers, however, is asserting their authority over league leaders Chesterfield in next week's six-pointer. This weekend neither side let their opponents get away with error and Bury, though down from a 5–0 away win at Lincoln City's Sincil Bank this Tuesday, look like they have every chance. Let's make it happen.

Bury 1 – 2 Peterborough United; att. 2514
Entertainment: 8/10


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