Football: Gray adds a touch of class to Bury

Bury 1 Tranmere Rovers 0

In a world where money rules if Bury can exist it is surely not in the First Division. A rung or two down the Nationwide ladder maybe, but within a good season of the Premiership, never. Not on average home gates of less than 5,000 anyway.

Which just shows how wrong you can be. Football might be selling its soul to the highest bidder but Bury are confounding the laws of financial gravity that say the poor will fall. They were supposed to be the First Division's cannon fodder this season, but so far they are holding their own even if they are above their station.

This result gives them nine points from six matches which might not seem a staggering return but on success divided by resources ratio puts them on a par with Wimbledon of the Premiership. Manchester City, the leviathans from nine miles down the A56 who, along with United suck Bury's natural support away, would love such a start.

The secret, according to manager Stan Ternent, who has guided Bury to promotion in successive seasons, would also ring familiar at Wimbledon, too. "From the chairman to the tea lady we work hard," he said. "We all pull in the same direction."

The players certainly do. Paul Butler, a centre-back who has attracted bids from bigger clubs, has lost a stone since moving from Rochdale two seasons ago thanks to Ternent's training regime while yesterday's victory was testament to the labour ethic.

No one embodied it more than Andy Gray, a former England international who at 33 could be expected to take it easy. In the 86th minute he bewitched the Tranmere defence with a lovely dribble down the right wing and when his cross came to nothing he slogged back like his career depended on it.

Gray oozed class. Bury, not surprisingly, are not blessed with an abundance of players who can do things with the ball that make you gasp with admiration but he still can. Ally that to David Johnson's unpredictable dribbling and the more prosaic qualities of his huge colleagues and Bury are a handful. Particularly for Tranmere, whose days of a permanent place in the play- offs seem long ago.

You did not need to wait long to understand Bury's tactics. From the kick-off the ball was launched at the giant features of Peter Swan and the pattern was indelibly set.

Which made the 42nd minute goal something of an exception. Gray began as per script with a long throw but once the ball came back to him he beat two players on the touchline before passing to Butler. The defender hit a shot that was blocked but the rebound fell to Swan, who turned sharply and beat Danny Coyne from 12 yards.

At seventh in the First Division, the have nots have so far confounded expectation. Money may talk in football, but in this part of Manchester they are not listening.

Goal: Swan (42) 1-0.

Bury (4-3-1-2): Kiely; Hughes, Lucketti, Butler, Armstrong; Daws, Gray, Johnrose; Johnson (Jepson, 80); Battersby (Randall, 69), Swan. Substitute not used: Woodward.

Tranmere Rovers (4-4-2): Coyne; Stevens (Morrisey, 72), Thorn, McGreal, Thompson; G. Jones, Irons (Challinor, 72), Cook, L. Jones; Branch, Morgan (O'Brien, h-t).

Referee: R Furnandiz (Doncaster).

Bookings: Bury: Hughes, Johnson; Tranmere: Thompson.

Man of the match: Gray.

Attendance: 5,073.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'