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FULL-TIME: Mansfield Town 1 Bury 4
BURY finally hit top gear under David Flitcroft with a classy demolition of Mansfield at the One Call Stadium.
The Shakers had been in fine form since the turn of the year, with just one defeat in nine matches going into the showdown with the Stags.
But they had failed to score more than one goal in a game since New Year's Day.
Danny Mayor started the overdue rout with a well-placed drive in the 25th minute before laying on two second-half goals for striker Daniel Nardiello.
And while Sam Clucas gave the Stags faint hopes of a comeback 20 minutes from time, Huddersfield loanee Jake Carroll extinguished those with his first goal in Bury colours just a minute later.
Captain Craig Jones was given a rude introduction to the match, suffering a nasty head wound in only the seventh minute following what looked like an elbow from giant wing-back Colin Daniel.
The Shakers skipper was able to carry on, with the aid of some heavy strapping and half-time stiches.
It looked like Flitcroft’s side would be in for a bruising encounter as challenge after challenge flew in during the opening stages.
But after showing they could deal with the rough stuff, Bury slowly wrestled control of the ball.
And it wasn’t long before Mayor opened the scoring, cutting in from the left and to rifle a low drive into the bottom corner from the of the box.
It was the midfielder’s second goal in as many games, following his last-gasp winner at Wimbledon on Saturday, and Bury never looked back after that.
They stroked the ball around with ease, restricting Clucas to a couple of half chances, with the striker prodding a loose ball wide from close range before testing Bury stopper Brian Jensen with a hooked shot from 30 yards.
The Shakers were unlucky not to take a two-goal advantage into the break, however, after Nardiello poked a wicked low ball from Mayor just over.
Bury were soon two goals to the good, though, as Mayor popped up on the right to find Nardiello with another great low ball in the 56th minute, although the Bury striker’s close-range effort only found the back of the net via the inside of the back post.
The victory looked to have been sealed just six minutes later as Mayor put Nardiello through again and this time he crafted an exquisite lob from 30 yards for his second of the night.
But while Clucas seized on a mistake from Jensen to tap into an empty net, Carroll’s stabbed shot looped over Alan Marriott in the Stags’ goal to seal the three points.
Nardiello almost became the first Bury player to score a hat-trick since 1999, but Marriott blocked his last shot while Stags substitute Ollie Palmer missed the chance of a consolation, dragging an effort across goal with four minutes remaining.
There was no way the hosts were going to spoil the Shakers party, though, as they stretched their unbeaten run to six matches and moved up five places to 15th in the League Two table.