THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

8 October ~ The sun shone brightly for Bury fans in Chesterfield on April 25. Manager Alan Knill had left for Scunthorpe five games previously, but caretaker Richie Barker then led the team from play-off also-rans to automatic promotion near-certainties. An early goal from Leeds loanee Tom Lees put the Shakers 1-0 up before the Spirerites pulled level. David Worrall gave Bury a second lead before the hosts equalised with a goal culminating in a pitch invasion and assault on Bury goalkeeper Cameron Belford.

Then, with three minutes to go, the division's leading goalscorer Ryan Lowe curled the ball home and Bury's nine-year tenure in the basement came to an end. Players and fans celebrated as one in the Gigg Lane social club after the delirious trip home from Derbyshire. 

A torrid, win-free September has almost wiped that optimism that followed promotion and an excellent start in League One. Lees returned to Yorkshire and went straight into Leeds' first team, Nicky Ajose chose to rejoin Knill on loan and Kyle Bennett was sold to Doncaster. But the biggest loss was influential skipper, still-top goalscorer and team spokesman Lowe, who left for one of the sides that Bury had humbled earlier in the season, Sheffield Wednesday. The collective loss of confidence suffered by the team reached its nadir in the local derby against Rochdale at home in which Bury found themselves 3-0 down inside 20 minutes.

The final game of the month was a much improved goalless draw with MK Dons which stemmed from a great performance from Sunderland loan goalkeeper Trevor Carson as much as the flashes of excitement when Liverpool loanee David Amoo came on from the bench. When he started last Saturday at Yeovil, Bury claimed a huge 3-1 win thanks to goals from another loanee Giles Coke, Amoo and Peter Sweeney.

Hopes are high for todays's game with Exeter. With the previous, wretched month featuring heavy defeats against the league's bigger clubs, the general consensus seems to be that Bury should be winning against clubs of a similar size, which was reflected at Huish Park. Worries about reliance on loan players remain, but the temporary silence that will follow them after a win against the Grecians would be welcome as Bury continue to get to grips with League One. James Bentley

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