Then Bury were in the Third Division, City the Premiership, and if the twain should ever meet it was only going to be in the cups. That last night's result kept the rising proletariat above faded Mancunian aristocracy underlined how things have changed.
Indeed it might have been an overturning of massive proportions when Bury took the lead through David Johnson until David Morley rose at the near post to score from an 83rd-minute corner.
Last night's result means Bury are unbeaten at Gigg Lane in the League for 29 matches, a record that covers three divisions as they have shot from the Third to the First in successive seasons. The magic formula under manager Stan Ternent has been simple: hard work, big, fit players and Route One.
City quickly found that out. As soon as they got possession they were surrounded by opponents who yielded little space and less time. The visitors, particularly Georgi Kinkladze, tried to prise their way through with trickery but were frequently halted by a thunderous tackle.
City were driven backwards after a bright start as Bury pounded on the door, Peter Swan and Gordon Armstrong the battering rams. The home team's best chance before the interval came after 36 minutes when Tony Battersby cut in from the right and hit the foot of the post.
City had a volley from Gerard Wiekens cleared off the line after 42 minutes which signalled that their more refined football might prosper and seven minutes after the interval it sprang to life with a glorious flourish from Kinkladze.
The Georgian received the ball in the centre-circle and sped towards the goal leaving two players in his wake. On the 18 yard line he toyed with the tacklers, skipping one way then the other, before darting into the area where he was brought down by a lunge from Chris Lucketti. It was a clear penalty and should have been rewarded, but Kinkladze's kick was hit too close to Dean Kiely.
If City rued their luck they were cursing more vehemently after 65 minutes. Nick Daws passed towards the right wing, Kevin Horlock slipped as he attempted to clear and ball ballooned for Johnson to chip over the advancing Martyn Margetson.
City charged forward, Wiekens hit a post, and with eight minutes to go Bury were breached, Morley scoring on his debut. Both he and Bury were pinching themselves last night.
Bury (4-4-2) Kiely; Hughes, Butler, Lucketti, Armstrong; Daws, Gray, Battersby (Woodward, 69), Johnrose; Johnson (Jepson, 83), Swan. Substitute not used: Randall.
Manchester City (4-4-1-1): Margetson; Edghill, Morley, Symons, Van Blerk (Scully, 47), Summerbee, Brannan, Wiekens, Horlock; Kinkladze; Bradbury. Substitutes not used: Rosler, Beesley.
Referee: P Richards (Preston).Reuse content