IN years to come, the answer to a particularly niche quiz question on the origins of Bury AFC will be the name ‘Matty Williams at Daisy Hill’.

On a night which represented a first tentative step into the unknown for the newly founded club, it was the former Mossley and Radcliffe full-back who claimed the honour of scoring its first-ever goal.

Just 150 people were there to witness the game, separated in socially distanced pockets in Daisy’s modest New Sirs home.

This will be a season of firsts for AFC, whose very existence is born out of confusion over the future of its parent club, still stuck in limbo at Gigg Lane.

Just how important a milestone the 5-0 win at Daisy Hill will be is still unclear too – but for Williams and Co, the opportunity to carve out a fresh start for football in the town is one they cannot wait to embrace.

“It’s quite overwhelming,” he told The Bury Times.

“In a few years to come, when the club are back where they should be in the Football League, people might just ask who scored the first goal on the way back… and that’s me. A lot of the fans have been through a lot but I’d like to think that this can be the start of something good.

“We don’t know what will happen, where it will take us, but we’re in it together.”

Williams should be comfortable enough in AFC’s first ‘home from home’ at Radcliffe, where they will kick-off the North West Counties League season and play their next two pre-season friendlies after losing 3-0 to their landlords on Tuesday night.

The defender spent 12 months playing under Jon Macken at the Neuven Stadium and helping Boro get promotion to the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

“I was there for a while and I know the pitch,” he said. “That second half up the hill isn’t nice.

“I’m looking forward to playing there again but hopefully it won’t be for too long.

“The club needs to be at Gigg Lane. I think we all want to see Bury playing back there.

“It might take some time but I’d like to think that we can all get there together.”

AFC will find out soon who they face when the real business begins in the North West Counties League but for Williams and so many other non-league players, it has been great to return to action after such a spell of uncertainty during the pandemic.

“We haven’t played for so long it’s been a case of itching to get out there,” he said.

“There was months and months when we hardly kicked a ball.

“We’ve enjoyed every minute so far. The gaffer (Andy Welsh) has put on good training sessions, the chairman (Chris Murray) has made me feel welcome, and everything has just gone really well.

“Every one of the lads will tell you, though, we can’t wait to get started and get the season kicked off. That’s what we’re here for.”