The Guardian’s Tony Howard on the bitter rivalry amongst sections at the Northwest Counties Division Two’s FC United, currently sharing Bury’s Gigg Lane (above).

They’re calling it the Battle of the Song, with the Manchester Road End and the Main Stand raging an open vocal war. All in the best possible taste, of course.Once upon a time it was simple: if you wanted a singsong with like-minded friends then you’d go behind the goal. But as FC’s crowds have soared some fans, locked out of the popular end, have been forced into the Main Stand.

Those in the seating section have quickly developed their own identity and, as their numbers have grown, they have also perfected their own vocal creations. Many of them taunt supporters in what they call ‘the stand full of jesters’ behind the goal.

“We are the Main Stand, we’re louder than you,” sing the Main Stand boys as those in the MRE look on. The popular end retorts: “We can see you eating prawns”, in reference to Roy Keane’s infamous dig at Old Trafford’s executive clientele.

With a serious lack of away fans visiting Bury this season the banter among the home support has been a welcome addition to the matchday experience. It’s also like a battle of the decades. The MRE resembles the halcyon days of the Stretford End in the 1970s: an all-singing, all-dancing, all-scarf-waving mass of colour and fervour.

The more casual Main Stand is made up of lads with knowing looks on their faces and a preference for Henri Lloyd jackets over butchers’ coats. It’s like Old Trafford’s K-Stand in the late 1980s as swarms decamped from the terraces to the seats.

When 4,328 piled in to see FC beat title rivals Winsford over the New Year, even the Cemetery End (opposite Manchester Road) was three-quarters full. The MRE duly asked the ‘Dead End’ to give them a song. It goes without saying that they obliged.