Dave McNabb admitted it felt ‘surreal’ playing in an empty Gigg Lane as Bury suffered back-to-back defeats in the league for the first time this season as struggling Barnoldswick Town pulled off a shock 2-1 win on Tuesday night.

In a game played behind closed doors - after Bury’s appeal against charges relating to offensive supporter behaviour in September was dismissed - goals from Gareth Hill and Andy Hill sealed a surprise Barlick win after Sam Burns had given the Shakers the lead.

Defeat followed Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Irlam which means Bury are now ahead of Wythenshawe Town at the top of the NWCL Premier Division on goal difference alone with Wythenshawe just two points behind but with two games in hand.

“It was surreal from start to finish,” Boss McNabb told the club website.
“From turning up at the ground and not having anyone around, not just the fans, but the support people as well. It felt really surreal leading up to the game and then coming out for the warm-up it was basically just really rubbish.”

McNabb admitted there were some home truths said immediately after the game and he will be looking for a reaction against Charnock Richard at Gigg Lane on Saturday - again behind closed doors.

“We have had some quite honest and open conversations in the changing room. There were some harsh words said that I think were very much needed and we need to try and get back together and go again,” he said at the weekend.

"Still seven games to go, still a lot of twists and turn to happen we have to make sure we put ourselves in the best position if they do.

“We need a massive reaction. The last two games have not been good enough whatsoever. 

“So we just need to pull together for a tough game against Charnock, no doubt about that. 

“Again, no atmosphere, no fans but we have just got to keep going.”

Speaking about having to play the two games behind closed doors, McNabb said: “Firstly I think it is a ridiculous ruling.”

“But my job is to make sure the players are prepared for what we can control.

“The FA have decided that we are going to be playing behind closed doors so we just have to get on with it, we are not going to feel sorry for ourselves.

“I’m disappointed for the fans, both for us and for Barnoldswick and Charnock (Richard) as well because they deserved to be able to come and watch the game.

“We just have to get on with it, someone else has made the decision and it is out of our hands and we can’t change it.

“What we can do is make sure we turn up and make sure we show some fight, determination and try and win.”