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JAMIE HOYLAND: Great by the fans, shame about the game
11:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in Sport
THE Bury support at Spotland on Saturday just shows what a combination of good results and a bit of decent PR from the chairman can trigger.
I was sitting in the press box facing the away end, doing a bit of punditry for BBC Radio Manchester, and I have to say I could not believe my eyes as the fans streamed in before kick-off.
They just kept coming and coming.
Rochdale were clearly taken by surprise as they had cordoned off both ends of the stand with safety strips, but had to remove one to release more seats.
It was a brilliant effort by the Bury fans and it must have been great for the players to run out to. They were making such a racket it must have felt like they were playing at home.
I must admit, as a Bury player, I can’t ever remember playing Rochdale.
The biggest derby I ever played in was at Old Trafford, when 9,000 fans turned out to cheer us on, but our main derby was always against Bolton.
I’m glad to say we had a decent record against them so I rarely experienced the feelings I imagine the Shakers squad, and Kevin Blackwell and his team, will have woken up to on Sunday morning.
I warned last week that Bury’s free-scoring start to the season would not have gone unnoticed by their rivals and I think Keith Hill and Rochdale did a job on them on Saturday.
You didn’t have to be a footballing genius to see from Bury’s 4-1 win against Cheltenham the previous week that they got their breaks by getting in behind the defence, using their pace in attack and on the wings.
Rochdale just sat back, even before they went down to 10 men, meaning the attackers had to play with their backs to goal.
The ball was continually played in to their feet but it just kept coming back with interest.
Rather than pinging the ball about and playing around the sides of Rochdale, tiring them out, they ended up resorting to going direct and Hill’s players just lapped it up. They must have enjoyed defending against it.
That will have hurt Kevin as he will have worked on different ways of breaking teams down on the training pitch. But it looked like they just didn’t have a plan B.
It is something they will have to work on as the season progresses but with so many new faces it will take time to perfect.
Sadly for the fans the game fell flat and it ended up being a damp squib of a derby.
The good thing is, after going into the Rochdale game as favourites, they will revert back to being the underdogs at Fleetwood on Saturday, so that might just work in their favour.
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