Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat in a cup competition is not a scoreline alien to Bury fans when it comes to knockout football. This was the same result as the embarrassment against Woking back in The FA Cup first round replay in 2017.
The fans took out their frustrations on the players that night with several verbal complaints, as a sorry Shakers side were dumped out of the FA Cup which would end with relegation back to League Two only a matter of months later.
Yet despite a disappointing second-half display against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade trophy, the reaction from the fans could not have been different. As the game drifted to a rare Bury defeat, fans in the North Stand turned to loud cries of the chant ‘Ryan Lowe’s barmy army’, just to show how strong the backing of this promotion-chasing side is.
There has been plenty of support from the fans this season, something the players have bounced off strongly. This follows the season-high attendances last Saturday, which saw nearly eight thousand fans flock to Gigg Lane in Saturday’s 3-1 derby win over Oldham Athletic.
Despite spending large parts of the game behind, a 25-minute blitz saw Paul Scholes’s Oldham side blown away, as a Nicky Maynard brace and Caolan Lavery goal brought home a derby victory, another thing that has been a struggle in recent years for Bury.
Yet there is no question Ryan Lowe has brought an attacking brand of football not seen at Bury for years, yet League One Portsmouth did take advantage of the defensive lapses that still exist amongst the defence in Tuesday’s cup defeat.
Pompey did this in the space of only three minutes. Gareth Evans free kick to open the scoring was well taken, but the three-man backline was caught napping as Oliver Hawkins found a clinical and crucial second goal, acting quicker than any Bury defender in the box to end Bury’s Wembley dream.
Pompey may have made the final score grim reading for Bury, however, it definitely flattered Kenny Jackett’s men. But after Evans put Pompey ahead, the home side’s response was lacking in order to cause an upset against a team who have struggled to find wins over the past few weeks in League One.
Yet for Bury to reach a semi-final speaks volumes and no fan could leave their seat feeling too annoyed with their side, having exceeded all expectations, especially to make the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy.
After league Two leaders Lincoln dropped points against Exeter, there was indeed a silver lining feeling in the air at Gigg Lane as The Imps lead at the top was cut to only three points. A response against Macclesfield on Saturday is much needed though, but even after a defeat, it’s hard to go against this Bury side.