ALMOST 6,300 fans were treated to a pulsating East Lancs derby at the JD Stadium on Friday night as Bury battled to a well-earned point against local rivals promotion hopefuls Rochdale.
While there were no goals to marvel at, the thousands of people watching the game live inside the ground and on Sky TV were treated to a thrilling end to end spectacle.
Manager David Flitcroft is hopeful his side’s determined display will have won them a few more supporters to add to this season’s average home league gate of 3,166.
“If the word spreads and we are successful and win games then people will come through the turnstile because everyone wants to be part of a successful team,” said Flitcroft, whose side are unbeaten at home under his guidance but have won just two of their seven matches at the JD Stadium since his appointment.
“I think once they come and enjoy the experience then we will get them back.
“The board are trying everything, on every front, to get people to come down just to sample it, find out what it’s about.
“If you don’t enjoy it then you will make your own mind up, but at least come down and see what we are about.
“We are trying to make a difference.”
Bury chairman Stewart Day cranked up the pressure on Flitcroft last week, setting a target of promotion from League Two next campaign in what will be the club’s 130th anniversary season.
He made the statement in an open letter to supporters on the announcement of the latest season ticket prices, which will be a reasonable £250 for adults, with reductions for concessions and families.
The plan is to create a team that will boost the Shakers gates to help fund the ultimate ambition of Championship football at the JD Stadium.
And Flitcroft believes that, despite ending the weekend in 20th place in League Two after results elsewhere went against them, great strides have already been made in that direction.
“Daniel Nardiello and Jim McNulty for me were two stand-out signings (in the January transfer window),” he said.
“If you have got aspirations of getting out of this league you have got to sign that type of player.
“The chairman has seen that, he’s ultra professional off the pitch and he wants to get out of the league.
“That’s why I have come here because this football club deserves to get out of this league, but we will only do that by hard work and a unified effort.
“Certainly, the chairman will back my team and our judgement because we plan together, we strategise together and we are going to build together.
“He’s got a relentless approach to making Bury as good as it can be because he is hell-bent on that, which is brilliant for me because I am quite demanding myself and he’s demanding the highest standards from everyone who works at Bury Football Club.”