Returning to their home ground of Gigg Lane after a four-year hiatus, Bury FC faced a tough test against Mark Hughes' Bantams. The match kicked off the 2023/24 pre-season campaign but ended in a difficult 6-0 defeat for the hosts.
From the start, Bury faced an uphill battle. Emmanuel Osadebe's incisive run and assist to Alex Pattison for the first goal just seven minutes into the game set the tone for the encounter. Bury's defensive solidity was further tested when Andy Cook, last season's top scorer, doubled the visitors' lead five minutes later.
Despite an early onslaught, the Shakers showed resilience. A disallowed goal for Tyler Smith due to a foul brought a brief respite for the hosts, only for City to find the net twice more before half time, with goals from Osadebe and Luke Ridehalgh.
Bury displayed flashes of attacking threat with a promising move that resulted in the ball being in the back of the net, but their joy was short-lived as the offside flag was raised against Benito Lowe, denying what would have been a moral-boosting goal.
After the break, Hughes' side continued their offensive as Bury faced a refreshed City XI. The Shakers' defense was breached again by Matt Derbyshire, bringing the scoreline to 5-0. Despite this, Bury didn't relent. They nearly rewarded their home fans with a goal, only to be denied by a smart save from City's Heath Richardson.
The final nail came in the form of Jamie Walker's goal, rounding off a tough day for the hosts. Although the result was far from ideal, Bury FC took away valuable lessons from this match and the return to Gigg Lane marked a significant milestone in the club's history, offering a stepping stone towards regrouping and focusing on the rest of the pre-season campaign.