David and Goliath stories are usually talked about in the third round of the FA Cup, yet the opening round of football’s oldest knockout competition is no exception.
Bury were no exceptions to the rule twelve months ago, suffering an embarrassing cup defeat to Non-League South side Woking last season in a first-round replay.
The loss prompted severe backlash from the fans towards the players as Bury hit rock bottom. The Shakers would never properly recover and were relegated at the end of the season.
The feel around the club feels a lot different this time around, not least the fact manager Ryan Lowe seems to have steadied the ship. Despite failing to land the manager role on a permanent basis a year ago, nothing feels temporary about his job this time around.
Yet it’s hard not to spot similarities between last year’s victors and Saturday’s opponents Dover. Woking were relegated from the National League last season and were without a win in five games twelve months ago. This time around Dover lie rock bottom of the same league having won just twice all season.
But it’s Bury themselves that have made the biggest change. A new manager, squad and general mood around the club has lead to a rise in form. Yet despite all that, the attitude and desire of the players will count for everything on Saturday.
Lowe and Co will hope to avoid history repeating itself this weekend. The fear of what might happen should the unthinkable occur will most likely be enough to drive the Shakers onwards into the second round.