BURY AFC’s chairman admitted to going through a rollercoaster of emotions after seeing the new club win their first league game in dramatic fashion.

The phoenix outfit, set up after the Shakers’ expulsion from the Football League in August 2019, saw off Steeton 3-2 in their North West Counties First Division North opener at Radcliffe’s Neuven Stadium on Saturday.

That only tells part of the story though, Tom Greaves scoring two late goals to spark scenes of pandemonium among the 300 in attendance on the latest historic day for AFC.

Their first league outing, Andy Welsh’s side having already played in the FA Vase, came a year to the day since a group of supporters first met and discussed the possibility of setting up a new club.

Chairman Chris Murray said: “I was a little bit stressed throughout the week, then nervous on the day running up the game and then during the game I was even more of a nervous wreck.

“As the game ended and Greavsie put the ball in the back of the net for the third it was a weird mixture of emotions.

“I was happy that we’d got past that first game and got three points. There was relief that everything had gone without a hitch and I was just thankful we’d done the first bit of what we’d set out to do and that was to have a team playing in the league this year.”

Covid-19 restrictions meant only 300 supporters were allowed to be attendance at the phoenix club’s home for the season but many more did tune in to an online stream.

Murray added: “There was relief that we’d won the game and there was relief that the stream had worked for large parts for the people watching at home, the messages that people had sent had been brilliant.

“It was just a long day in the end. I was just exhausted, the week leading up the game felt like it had been a month with everything that had been going on.”

The bigger picture was that many people’s title favourites started with a win, their second game coming at home to Holker Old Boys on Tuesday night.

“It was nice to start off with a win although I don’t think my heart will be able to take too many more games like that,” said Murray.

“But it was a good game of football that entertained 300 people. The lads gave everything for each other and the fans really got behind them.”

The short timeframe ahead of welcoming the Cumbrians has seen Murray rope in some help close to home with a vital task between matches.

“Basically, we have a laundrette that are the cleaners of the kit but with it being such a short turnaround and it being a white kit it needed rinsing so my mum and dad just took it upon themselves to do it all anyway,” he said.

“It was good but normal service will resume with the laundrette on Wednesday!”

The club are still on the hunt for match-day volunteers. Anyone interested is asked to email matchday@buryafc.uk