How the Shakers; became the lower divisions' Movers

Watford 0 Bury 0
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The Independent Online
Watford's Rookery End was given over to a private party after hours on Saturday afternoon as Bury's 2,000 or so travelling fans celebrated a second successive promotion.

Players and supporters alike jigged and chanted, offering a raucous demonstration of the symbiotic relationship at the heart of football.

Inevitably, Bury's goalkeeper, Dean Kiely, was hoisted onto his team- mates shoulders for special attention after the penalty save from Tommy Mooney four minutes from time which had assured the visitors of the point they needed to reach the First Division.

It is 28 years since The Shakers - who have become Movers and Shakers in the last 18 months - were as high in the footballing world.

On that occasion they spent just one season in the old Second Division before dropping down again. Whether the Lancashire side can avoid the same fate next season is something about which their manager, Stan Ternent, was understandably vague in the aftermath of success. "We'll give it a spin," he said.

How far Bury's direct style of play can take them remains open to question. But other teams of similar characteristics have shown the way in previous years. Watford, for instance.

Graham Taylor, who guided Watford to successive promotions from Fourth and Third Divisions 19 years ago, is back at Vicarage Road as general manager, and his announcement before Saturday's game that his old friend Elton John is resuming his position as club chairman elicited genuine excitement from the home supporters.

What slight hope Watford had of making the play-offs disappeared when Mooney drove his kick into the Bury keeper's legs, and their coach, Kenny Jackett, admitted afterwards that their problem was obvious - "not enough goals".

Clearly, with a new consortium in charge of the club, new money is likely to be made available to help Watford take an upward stride next season.

On Ternent's admission, Bury were jittery on Saturday, but they were still capable of testing the home side's defence. Three Bury shots and headers were cleared off the line, and Alec Chamberlain made a series of saves.

At the final whistle, no one jumped higher than Gordon Armstrong, who had conceded the late penalty with a despairing trip on Richard Johnson. Relief became joy as the end stand threshed with blue and white.

It was, as Jackett freely conceded, Bury's day. On the pitch, at any rate.

Watford (4-4-2): Chamberlain; Gibbs, Palmer, Page, Armstrong; Bazeley, Johnson, Penrice, Easton; Mooney, Noel-Williams (Phillips, 55). Substitutes not used: Flash, Andrews.

Bury (4-4-2): Kiely; West, Lucketti, Butler, Armstrong; Reid (Johnson, 17), Daws, Randall, Battersby; Jepson, Johnrose. Substitutes not used: Carter, Rigby.

Referee: R Harris (Oxford).

Bookings: Watford: Johnson, Palmer. Bury: Armstrong, Butler, Johnrose, Jepson.

Man of the match: Chamberlain.

Attendance: 9,017.