Crappy little northern holes
Report by Tom Holman
Not the best of days. I took the train from York to Bury, and passed through real football
territory: Leeds' Elland Road; Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium; Man City's Maine Road; Man Utd's Old
Trafford. And then I got off and walked to Gigg Lane.
It's not a very nice ground. Another new one for my sad collection, but hardly up to the standard of
Vic Road. There were leaves on the pitch, and the winners of the half time raffle walked across the
pitch to collect their prizes and celebrated by kicking a ball into the goal. A little bizarre, to
say the least.
Arriving just before two, I found eleven people in the ground and sat around for a while
contemplating the miseries of second division football. The lads emerged in what Kevin has called
the AC Milan strip, though goodness knows why as Bury were playing in Persil White- hardly a
clash of colours.
It was quite a good game by this division's standards. Two reasonably good teams playing some
nice stuff with the obligatory spells of midfield scrambling thrown in. We had the best of the first
half and scored a cracker after half an hour: Bazeley ran on to a superb wide ball (source unknown)
and whipped in a low cross for Andrews to volley home at the near post. Cue great celebrations
amongst the Watford faithful.
The rest of the half was uneventful, but Bury scored the softest of goals just before the whistle.
Kevin Miller came for a long throw on his near post, flapped hopelessly at it and dropped it on his
goal line for a simple goal. No hint of a foul, just poor goalkeeping.
The second half was mostly Watford, though Bury seemed to have more ideas going forward. After
an hour or so, Jackett subbed Andrews, who was the most impressive player on the park by a mile,
and brought on Penrice. A few minutes later Penrice had a close range shot blocked by Devon
White [!], and Bazeley had a shot saved. Johnson then made a flying two footed tackle on a
forward's head and still managed to look amazed when he got sent off. Mooney and Palmer had late
chances to win it, but a draw seemed quite fair in the end.
A few thoughts:
1. Andrews gets better and better: he's looking stronger, fitter and more inventive every time he
2. White gets worse and worse: the crowd are beginning to turn on him.
3. Miller came in for some stick form some sections, all of it utterly undeserved. I think we can
allow him to drop a cross every few years or so.
4. Penrice did well again. I would love to see him play behind a decent front two (that excludes
5. I hate Bury and all crappy little northern holes of football grounds with pathetic crowds and
And that's about it really. Not very inspiring, but another game unbeaten and we're still in touch
at the top. And Bazeley Had A Good Game and Devon Won Some Headers, so things can't be too bad.
Miller in poor form
Report by Rupert Licht
First impressions of Gigg Lane were that this was a club who had at least
tried to smarten up themselves (Scum take note). It was slightly annoying
to find that the turnstile couldn't change twenty pound notes and that you
had to get change at the ticket office. We were the first fans to make use
of the new stand behind the goal (one for the anoraks there), it was quite a
way back from the pitch, but offered a decent view and provided decent
legroom. On the two sides of the ground were what looked like two fairly new
neat stands. Opposite however was really wierd, it was a terrace that would
not have been out of place at Baldock, and there were literally twenty home
fans in that end: It made the Watford end of the old Rookery terrace look
like a seething cauldron of passion. I liked the leaves on the pitch as
well, a nice professional touch. The programme was up to standard for this
division - ie shite.
First half was pretty tame, we had most of the chances though and Wayne's
goal was well taken. As for Bury's, well, it came from one of the worst
goalkeeping howlers ever. A long throw came over, Miller completely missed
it and Rat Carter tapped it in. I didn't hear the crowd turn on Miller as Tom
Holman claims, but he has now cost us four points in two weeks. Today was a
dreadful blunder as was the header he completely misjudged against Wrexham.
Of course he is a brilliant keeper, but he is in poor form at the moment. If
he keeps making errors like this, then perhaps Chamberlain should come in
for Miller to recover some confidence.
Second half: Bury dominate but we were denied two blatant penalties. One
where Tommy Mooney was hauled down in the box and then right at the death
when Penrice was quite clearly pushed. I know you don't get much away from
home, but the referee quite clearly bottled it both times. Richard Johnson
got sent off for two yellow card offences, the first card was justified for
a bad foul, but the second was given for leaning too high on an opponent in
an aerial challenge, it looked more clumsy than malicious and did not merit
a yellow card. An away point is normally looked on as a point won, but
regardless of the referee, Bury were quite awful. If we are going to
challenge for promotion then we have to look to beat teams like this, and
put together decent winning runs, three tough matches lie ahead and in my book
we lost two points here today. Nice tram ride though from Manchester.