A new dawn had certainly broken over Carlisle United come 1992. A moribund run at the foot of the English game ended dramatically that summer with the sale of the club to Michael Knighton.

The sharp-suited, smooth-talking businessman arrived from Manchester United with big promises, declaring United would in due course be playing Premier League football.

For starters, they simply had to prove capable of competing in the fourth tier, having finished bottom of the pile the previous season.

Under Knighton’s early tenure, a cluster of new players arrived in Cumbria. This gang of new hopefuls included the former Swansea midfielder Simon Davey, former Hartlepool attacker Ricardo Gabbiadini (brother of Derby star Marco) and ex-Preston defender Neil Williams.

Also joining this new-era Blues was a player at the more experienced end: striker George Oghani, whose CV included spells at Burnley and Bolton plus a stint in Greece with Paphos.

The 31-year-old added established quality to United’s front line and he was quick off the mark with goals in the first two games of the season in Division Three – the new name for the fourth division, given the advent of the Premier League in ‘92.

Carlisle at this stage were still under the management of Aidan McCaffery, the coach who’d stepped up after Clive Middlemass’ sacking and overseen a period of low-budget struggle, and he had Oghani available for the Shakers clash despite the striker needing stitches after being punched in the face during the previous game against Lincoln.

Amid a confident Brunton Park start in front of 4,650 fans against Mike Walsh’s Bury, Carlisle moved the ball brightly, Micky Holmes shooting over and, though a scrappy spell followed, they took the lead in the 26th minute.

News and Star: Simon Davey, right, celebrates Neil Williams' openerSimon Davey, right, celebrates Neil Williams' opener

It was a controversial goal from Bury’s point of view, as a linesman had his flag raised with two United men retreating from offside positions. He was overruled by referee Alan Dawson with Davey breaking clear, and when keeper Gary Kelly saved at his feet, right-back Williams converted the rebound.

United were on top and managed to survive the blow of a foot injury which saw Andy Barnsley stretchered off before half-time. As he was taken around the perimeter behind the Warwick Road End, Watson was helping himself to a Blues second at the other end. The striker received an Oghani flick, turned a defender and flashed a left-footed shot across the Bury keeper.

Dean Connelly replaced Barnsley as Davey slotted back into defence, and Watson came close to a chipped third before the break. In the second half Carlisle then put their foot to the floor.

Bury missed a rare scoring chance of their own – future Blues marksman Ian Stevens putting a header over – before United made it three just before the hour mark. This time it was Gabbiadini landing his first league goal for the club, picking up a loose ball and benefiting from a deflection as his eventual shot found the net.

News and Star: Ricardo Gabbiadini celebrates in front of United's fans, a jubilant ball-boy and a photographerRicardo Gabbiadini celebrates in front of United's fans, a jubilant ball-boy and a photographer

Walsh’s Bury pulled one back when Alan Knill headed home a high cross, but United remained in bright mood and struck twice more in the last 10 minutes.

This was the moment Oghani stepped up. His first was set up by a bold Darren Edmondson run, the experienced striker receiving a pass and driving forward before drilling past Kelly.

And the frontman made it 5-1 when he ran onto a Williams clearance and coolly chipped the Bury keeper.

It meant Oghani had already racked up five goals in as many appearances in league and cup. The 5-1 triumph gave the new United six points from their opening three games, nurturing thoughts of a return to better times under Knighton. Peter Hampton, the assistant manager, said after their biggest home win since 1985: “We are scoring goals and looking dangerous. We have good footballers in the side, as good as any in the Third Division.”

The immediate future, though, was not quite so bright, given United failed to win any of their next eight. The long-anticipated replacing of McCaffery as manager duly took place, with former Newcastle, Manchester United and Northern Ireland man David McCreery coming in as player-boss.

By then Carlisle had jousted valiantly with top-flight leaders Norwich in the League Cup, but found a familiar place in the bottom half of the table. Oghani scored 15 league goals as United finished 17th; a modest outcome, but with signs, at least, that a transitional club might make further progress in the coming campaigns.

United: O’Hanlon, Williams, Thorpe, Holmes, Walling, Barnsley (Connelly), Gabbiadini (Sendall), Davey, Oghani, Watson, Edmondson.

Bury: Kelly, Anderson (Reid), Greenhalgh, Daws, Valentine, Knill, Kilner, Robinson, Stevens, Kearney, Scott (Lyons).

Crowd: 4,650.