THE result against Bury was not a surprise to many Reds fans as it was Stanley’s 15th defeat in 23 home league games.
Before the game, whispers had already started about suspect betting patterns and betting was suspended on the match – with about £300,000 riding on a Bury win.
It was the talk of the press box ahead of the clash with various national newspapers suddenly wanting more information about the meaningless last match of the 2007-8 season.
Some speculation centred on a rumour that it was Stanley captain Peter Cavanagh’s stag party the night before the game.
However, that wasn’t true as viewers of the Granada Television documentary on the club saw the stag party taking place later that month.
Manager John Coleman was expected to make sweeping changes with the Reds safe and Bury in mid-table.
But Coleman admitted within minutes of the final whistle that he had been forced to change his team after hearing of the unusual betting patterns and the FA suspending all betting well before kick-off.
Only Jay Harris and Peter Cavanagh – two of the five named in the Football Association’s investigation – played in the game; David Mannix was not in the squad and Robbie Williams sat out the match injured. Bury’s Andy Mangan – the only Shakers player named in the scandal – sat out the game, which Bury won 2-0.
The first goal was down to a penalty given by replacement official Darren Deadman – called in as the FA replaced all the match officials as a routine procedure "to protect the integrity of the fixture".
Phil Edwards brought down Nicky Adams in the box to concede a penalty that Andy Bishop scored, adding a second just before half-time. None of these three players were involved in any of the allegations.
Speaking after the game, Stanley boss Coleman said: "Anyone who thought we weren’t the better side needs their eyes testing. There were rumours flying around about a stag do but it’s rubbish.
"I had to leave out a couple of players because of the investigation."
Stanley finished the season in 17th place with just nine points out of a possible 33 in their last 11 games.