BURY AFC boss Andy Welsh says he is happy with his side’s points return after the opening five games of the season.

Three wins, a draw and a defeat has seen AFC climb to second place in the North West Counties League First Division North.

Now with all ‘non-elite’ sport on hold for a month, Welsh is looking to kick on when they return to action next month.

“Ten points after five games, I’ll take that,” said Welsh. “It could have been better but it could have been worse. We are still getting to know each other as a club and the players are still getting used to playing with each other so I am very pleased with the way we have started.”

It’s certainly been an eventful start to the club’s first ever season in the NWCL, book-ended by two dramatic results – a last-gasp 3-2 win over Steeton on the opening day of the season and a 1-1 draw against Golcar last time out, secured with an injury-time equaliser despite having two players sent off.

Those performances are what Welsh wanted to instil when he was appointed AFC manager back in July.

“From the very beginning, I wanted to put a team together that would never give up, work hard for each other and give everything for the club,” he said. “That was very important to me and those two games, especially Golcar where everything was against us, summed up what we are about.”

With 16 goals to their name after five games – including a 6-2 win over AFC Darwen and a 5-1 victory at Garstang – Bury AFC are the division’s highest scorers with Tom Greaves scoring 10 of them.

The much-travelled striker, who is FC United’s all-time leading scorer, has netted in all four league games he has played for AFC but missed the Golcar game through injury.

“Tom is very important to us and his record speaks for itself,” said Welsh on Greaves, who scored four times against AFC Darwen and a hat-trick against Garstang. “We lost him to injury just before the Golcar game which was a big blow for us but we managed to deal with it and no doubt, these are the sorts of things we will have to cope with as the season goes on.

“But Tom will be back when we return to action.”

Bury Times:

With a 2-1 home defeat to Prestwich Heys the only blot on the copy book to date, victory over Golcar would have seen Bury go top of the table but Welsh is not getting carried away.

“Going top would have been nice this early in the season but it is a long campaign and there an awful lot of games to be played,” he added.

Despite his vast experience in professional and non-league football, Welsh admits he was slightly shocked by the reaction from some clubs to Bury AFC.

“When we started we wanted to be everyone’s friend but we have quickly found out that has not necessarily been reciprocated,” said the former Sunderland player.

“There has been a lot of disrespectful stuff said about us, there are those who think we are paying players big money but that is simply not the case.

“We are living within our means.

“We just now have to get used to the fact that Bury AFC are up there to be shot at but that just brings us closer together.

“I suppose you could call it a siege mentality and you have seen that in our performances and our results.

“We have shown we are Bury AFC and that we are all together and we are not going away.”

As it stands, clubs can return to training on December 2 with the league programme resuming just three days later.

Welsh is hoping their will be no long-lasting effects to a month without football.

“We haven’t seen the players, we haven’t trained with the players and when we return, we are expected to return to action almost immediately,” he said.

“I know all clubs are in the same position but it isn’t great. The players all know they have to work on their own fitness and we have given them programmes to follow so hopefully when we get back together we will be ready to go again.”