Non-league review: Historic night for Ashton Town
The bumper crowd of 1,066 smashed the attendance record for a Town fixture at Profiles Park, meaning a much-needed cash boost off the field.
On the field, Bury continued their promotion charge with a 3-1 victory.
But Town boss Lee Bignell's glass was very much half-full after the game.
"At this level if you make a mistake the top teams will punish you, and from that we have to learn," he said.
"But it was about more than the result for me. It was about seeing where this group is at.
"And they didn’t disappoint with that performance. We go again Saturday."
Chairman Mark Hayes tweeted: "Huge thanks and good luck to Bury going forward.
"Not the result we had hoped for, but we weren't far off at all.
"Proud about us getting over 1000 through our gate, and magnificently managing that through 100 per cent volunteers. Magic."
Jonathan Southward, commercial manager, added: "The result may not have been in our favour.
"But we acknowledge a great effort from everyone involved to promote the game and make this possible.
"Thank you to everyone who's had a hand in the smooth running of this game."
On the field, it was a tough night for Town, who trailed 3-0 at the interval.
But a determined second-half effort saw them not only prevent Bury scoring again, but Liam Keenan also managed to pull one back in the last minute.
Neighbours Ashton Athletic were also in action on home soil in midweek.
They also tasted defeat, with West Didsbury and Chorlton running out 5-2 winners at Brocstedes Park in the quarter-final of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.
After the visitors took an early lead, Josh Nicholson equalised from the penalty spot on 15 minutes.
Athletic trailed 3-1 at the break, but Richard Brodie pulled back another goal six minutes after the restart.
Unfortunately, Athletic conceded straight from the restart, and a red card just before the hour mark made it a mountain to climb.
West Didsbury and Chorlton added a fifth before the end, leaving Athletic to focus on Saturday's trip to Charnock Richard.
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