They say that too much of a good thing can be bad for you. That’s why you can really only eat one egg custard tart in a sitting - they are delicious, but if you have more than one you’re going to be sick. It’s why you really don’t want that extra Jagerbomb in Arizona - the first one was lovely but that second is going to unleash fire and fury like the world has never seen before.
The same goes with playing the same away fixture twice in the space of a month. A trip to Gigg Lane in pre-season was wonderful. A glorious Friday evening where everyone arrived without a care in the world. We scored some goals, they scored some goals and in the end we all retreated to the alehouses of Bury town centre with a smile on our face.
When the draw for the Carabao (CARABAO) Cup first round was made the prospect of visiting the home of the Shakers again was less inviting. Even less so was Sky’s decision to put this game on a Thursday night like we’re playing a bunch of Azerbaijani farmers in a Europa League qualifying round.
The gloss of a potentially enticing away day had been well and truly washed away with the prospect of getting up for work at 7am the following the morning. However, this was not stopping this hardened traveller to request a 5pm finish, hop on a rickety Northern Rail service and sup a can of Polish lager on the 471 from Rochdale like some vagrant.
Before returning to Gigg Lane there was time to enjoy a loosener in the best (The Trackside) and the worst (The Staff of Life) pubs in Bury. Passing through the turnstile with a ripped ticket, it was time to settle into a game while staring directly into the sun.
While there was the absence of Elite Big Dawg Lee Cattermole, my guy Darron Gibson took it upon himself to run the show. Not only did everyone’s favourite power drinker spray passes around at will, he also managed to injure two Bury players. Clearly, these League One bystanders couldn’t handle the prowess of The Ramside Raider.
We had a few chances, with Aiden McGeady going close, while some lad me brother once beat in the 100 metres in school had a shot blocked for Bury. With a half-time of 0-0 there was a collective thought rippling around the away end - “please don’t let this go to extra time”.
Wahbi Khazri tried his best to keep us all here past the regular 90 minutes as he managed to fall on his arse after rounding the goalkeeper. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long as George Honeyman started and ended a lovely move which compelled one Sunderland fan to jump on the pitch and the Bury “ultras” decided that was the time to let off a smoke bomb.
The remainder of the game consisted of us missing a host of chances and Bury forlornly trying to get anywhere near our box. Sunderland being Sunderland, however, tried to threaten us all with extra time by sitting deeper and deeper but because Bury are terrible it never came to pass.
Shades of 2006 never materialised and we waltzed into the second round of the Carabao (CARABAO) Cup and set up an equally sexy date with Carlisle United - on an evening when the last train back to the north east is at half 9. Enjoy everyone!
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