FULL TIME VERDICT: Hartlepool United 0 Bury 3

BURY started the new year off just as they finished the last – with an impressive victory that stretched their unbeaten run under new boss David Flitcroft to three matches.

Danny Mayor was instrumental in an impressive opening burst that saw the Shakers take an early two-goal lead.

The on-loan midfielder opened the scoring in the fifth minute and striker Daniel Nardiello extended the advantage seven minutes later.

And while Bury rode their luck at times as Hartlepool came back into it, Richard Hinds finished off a thoroughly professional display with their third, 15 minutes from time.

It could well have been a different story if Pool centre-back Jack Baldwin’s second-minute volley had not been cleared off the line.

But the Shakers did not look back after Hartlepool keeper Scott Flinders failed to keep out Mayor’s shot from the edge of the box, despite getting a good hand to it.

The Sheffield Wednesday winger then set up Bury’s second, threading a ball through for Nardiello who chipped the onrushing Flinders.

The Hartlepool keeper did his best to make up for his earlier mistake, showing strong hands to palm away a stinging Tommy Miller free-kick.

Bury were restricted to half chances for the remainder of the half, but never looked in difficulty until just before the break.

New signing James Burke – a 19-year-old defender from Huddersfield Town – looked assured on his league debut on the right of a back three, while Frederic Veseli – signed on a month’s loan from Ipswich – had a promising debut on the right of the midfield.

Anton Forrester also carried on his good form after signing an extension to his loan deal from Blackburn up to the end of the season, opening up a shooting chance for himself in the 22nd minute that went past the far post.

But Bury finished the half on the back foot, with Brian Jensen proving his worth after also agreeing to see out the campaign, pulling off an instinctive stop to deny Baldwin.

And the 39-year-old stopper did well to tip over a deflected Brad Walker effort before the break.

The second half began in similar fashion, with Colin Cooper’s side pressing for a way back into the game but always looking vulnerable to the counter attack.

James Poole saw two efforts go just wide, but both Mayor and Forrester had chances at the other end.

The Shakers finally settled the nerves when a Chris Sedgwick free-kick was turned in by Hinds in the 75th minute following a knockdown by substitute Shaun Harrad.

That cemented an impressive away performance, which moved Bury up four places in the League Two table to 18th – four points clear of the drop zone.

HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin (Darren Holden 78); Franks, Brad Walker, Dolan, Monkhouse (Rodney 78); Poole (Sweeney 78), James. Not used: Rafferty, Collins, Walton, Hawkins.

BURY: Jensen 8; Burke 8, Hinds 8, Cameron 8; Veseli 8, Procter 7, Miller 7, Sedgwick 7; Forrester 8 (Harrad 7 71), Mayor 8 (Regan Walker 89), Nardiello 7 (Jones 7 62). Not used: Roberts, Grimes, Euan Holden, Charles-Cook.

Goals: Hartlepool United 0 Bury 3 (Mayor 5, Nardiello 12, Hinds 75).

Yellow cards: Hartlepool United - Baldwin 14, Dolan 74, Burgess 75. Bury - Cameron 32, Sedgwick 45.

Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear).

Attendance: 3,529 (visiting 228).

Star man: Danny Mayor – The on-loan midfielder had manager David Flitcroft “buzzing” after the final whistle following his best performance yet in a Bury shirt. After opening the scoring with a strong shot, he then set up Daniel Nardiello for the second Bury goal with a perfectly weighted through ball. The Sheffield Wednesday winger showed his versatility, adapting well to a shift in position after being asked to play in the hole behind the front two. He must now be considered a genuine rival to captain Craig Jones for that role.

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