Football: Bury's rocket men

Watford 0 Bury 0 Attendance: 9,017

Bury gained the draw they required for promotion and Watford got the result they wanted off the pitch with the announcement that Elton John is to return as chairman and figurehead of a consortium buying out the club owner, Jack Petchey. They eventually hope to float on the Stock Exchange.

Plans are already in hand for ground-sharing with Saracens, so Division One rugby union should be seen at Vicarage Road next season. First Division football will not be, Watford having blown their play-off hopes by losing at home to a tired Chesterfield on Thursday, then missing a penalty four minutes from time yesterday. Tommy Mooney's kick struck the legs of the goalkeeper, Dean Kiely, who was engulfed by his team-mates at the final whistle.

It would have been hard on Bury to have lost after having three shots and headers cleared off the line in a game that was unexpectedly open and entertaining despite the high stakes.

Pushed back early on, they responded with a tactical switch, bringing on the former Manchester United striker David Johnson and sensibly refusing to sit back as the afternoon wore on.

Watford, relegated a year ago despite a late fusillade of goals, have managed no more than 44 in 45 League games this season, and missed chances undid them again yesterday.

Throughout their long history, Bury's main claim to fame has been recording the most embarrassingly one-sided FA Cup final victory - 6-0 over Derby in 1903. Until 1957, they had never played in the lower divisions, but decline set in thereafter.

Under Stan Ternent and the former manager Sam Ellis, now his assistant, the only way has been up, from the Third Division's bottom four 18 months ago to the company of Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and who knows which other big boys next season.

Yesterday, Ternent put the success down to "a lot of hard work on the training ground, good players and organisation". Home form has essentially won promotion - unbeaten in 22 matches at Gigg Lane - but points from important away games recently at Brentford and now Watford ought to ensure that the title follows shortly.

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