BURY manager Alan Knill slammed referee Nigel Miller after the County Durham official let Saturday's match go ahead in unplayable conditions.

The Gigg Lane pitch was frozen throughout, and players were visibly struggling to keep their feet on the slippery surface in sub zero temperatures.

Shakers striker Andy Morrell, a veteran of more than 300 Football League games, said he had never played in such dangerous conditions before.

Michael Jones' first-half strike gave Bury the points, but Knill said: “The surface was not playable and the referee went ahead and played it.

“It was dangerous for the players, but most of all, they couldn't express themselves properly.

“The public pay to be entertained, and for the majority of the game it was pretty poor. But the conditions dictated that.

“I think there is a bigger picture. When people turn up and pay money, they deserve to be entertained.

“It was difficult because we were telling the players to focus and said that the conditions were the same for both teams, but I know that if I was a player I wouldn't want to play on that pitch.”

Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes as both sets of players struggled to adjust to the conditions.

Paul Furlong hooked over Tommy Black's corner on 17 minutes, before Andy Bishop fired straight at Ran Kadoch.

The conditions brought about a number of late challenges, and none more so than when Kenny Gillet scythed down Elliott Bennett with the sort of tackle that might have seen red on another day. As it was, Gillet received nothing more than a firm ticking off.

Bury went into the lead on 37 minutes through Jones. Elliott Bennett's deep cross from the right was flicked on by Morrell and Jones was on hand to slide home his third goal of the season.

Jones had the first real effort of the second half when he forced Kadoch into a low save, before Bishop's curling shot brought about another good save from the Israeli keeper.

Kadoch was proving to be a thorn in the side for Bury, and he acrobatically tipped Morrell's header over the bar following another quality Bennett cross.

The same two players combined for the home side on 73 minutes when Morrell released Bennett clean through on goal, but the on-loan winger saw his shot tipped wide.

It really was a chance that Bury should have taken, and they were made to pay for their profligacy for the remainder of the match as Barnet laid siege to the Shakers' goal.

It was real edge of the seats stuff, but it need not have been if the home side had taken their chances.

Tommy Black and John O'Flynn both had shots saved by loan keeper Tyler, but Bury managed to hold on and moved up to fourth in the table with the victory.

They are back in action on Saturday when they visit fellow promotion chasers Exeter City.

BURY: Tyler 7, Scott 7, Futcher 7, Cresswell 7, Buchanan 7, Bennett 7, Dawson 7, Barry-Murphy 7, Jones 8, Morrell 7, Bishop 7. Subs not used: Haslam, Baker, Racchi, Belford, Rouse.

BARNET: Kadoch 6, Gillet 5, Yakubu 6, Leary 6, Adomah 7, Porter 6, Black 7, Ogogo 6 (Bishop 6 57), Breen 7, Furlong 6 (Birchall 6, 74), O'Flynn 6. Subs not used: Akurang, Deverdics, Carpenter.

Attendance: 2,402 (103 Barnet fans)

Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham)