BURY took a giant stride towards League Two safety with a comfortable victory over fellow relegation strugglers Northampton Town.
The Shakers secured their first win in eight matches with debut goals from loan signings Hallam Hope and Danny Rose and a deflected strike from Danny Mayor, opening up a seven-point cushion over the second-bottom Cobblers.
Hope stooped to head home a Mayor cross off the underside of the crossbar just 19 minutes into his first match for Bury following his loan signing from Everton.
And Mayor doubled the advantage 10 minutes before the break with a shot that looped up off Northampton defender Zander Diamond and over keeper Matt Duke.
Hope had wasted two decent chances to extend the Bury lead before fellow loan signing Rose, who came off the bench to replace Daniel Nardiello in the second half, had a shot blocked by Duke.
The home side, who offered little going forward, had a penalty appeal for a Jim McNulty handball turned down in the first half.
And while they threatened with a barrage of long balls and throws in the closing stages, Rose had the final say, tapping in after getting on the end of a horror back pass from Evan Horwood to ensure David Flitcroft’s side moved up to 18th in the table.