BURY may have shown a soft underbelly on their travels in recent weeks but their home form remains rock solid after they cruised to a seventh straight league win on home turf.

Manager David Flitcroft described it as a performance of quality and character in equal measure and the combination was certainly too much for Richard Money’s Cambridge United side.

Last season’s Conference runners-up, who knocked the Shakers out of the FA Cup before earning promotion via the play-offs, had no answer to Bury’s guile and invention in the opening half.

Goals from Nicky Adams and Danny Rose gave Flitcroft’s men something to protect as they put in a more measured display after the break to see out the match.

“At times, that first half for me was the best football we have played,” said the Bury boss.

“It was the best performance (in terms of making) great decisions - when to cross, when to hurt the opposition, when to slide a pass - and it had two fantastic, well-worked goals.

“No two halves are the same in football. You expect a Richard Money team to come at you second half, which they did, but to then withstand it, I think we showed two halves of our quality - we showed a character, a resilience and a resolve second half that saw us claim a clean sheet.”

Bury had slipped out of League Two’s automatic promotion places after picking up just one point from their two previous matches, which were both away from home.

But normal service was very quickly resumed on their return to the JD Stadium, where Bury have dropped just three points this season, in an opening day defeat against Cheltenham.

Cambridge keeper Chris Dunn was forced into action in the opening minute, diving at the feet of Ryan Lowe to check his run on to a slide-rule Adams pass before Rose chipped the loose ball just wide from 25 yards.

He put in another telling block to deny Rose moments later before Tom Soares forced him into a diving save with a low shot from distance.

But there was no way Dunn was getting a hand to Adams’ 13th-minute opener after the midfielder turned sharply on the edge of the D and curled in a shot off the far post to claim his first goal since returning to Bury in the summer.

The Shakers never looked back after that.

Danny Mayor had another stand-out game, teasing the Cambridge defence down the left wing with some mazy runs and sublime skill.

Bury’s second goal came from the right flank, however, as Dunn got under the flight of Craig Jones cross and Rose beat his marker to bundle the ball home from a couple of yards out.

Midfield lynchpin Kelvin Etuhu was withdrawn at the break with a hamstring problem, and that seemed to have given Cambridge a boost as they worked harder to close down the space in the middle of the park.

Lowe still managed to sting the fingertips of Dunn with a snap shot from just inside the box.

And Rob Lainton remained untested until the 80th minute, when Liam Hughes fired in a free kick from distance that the Shakers stopper gathered comfortably.

Ryan Donaldson then had a late shot cleared by Pablo Mills as it headed for the bottom corner.

Returning full-back Tom Kennedy and Everton striker Courtney Duffus were introduced for their first home appearances since signing on loan.

And Duffus, who dropped to the bench after starting the last match at Southend, just missed with a late lob that grazed the top of the net.

Adams then almost capped a superb individual display with a left-footed strike from outside the box that cannoned back off the woodwork.

“He’s tried so hard, Nicky, he wants to do so well and his performances have been incredible,” said Flitcroft.

“Today was just the icing on the cake because I do want goals from Nicky.

“I know he wants goals too and he’s been very unlucky not to score before today.

“His goal assists have been good – he’s been creating goals – and as long as Nicky is doing what he has been asked to do, which is pressing players and having that energy and drive, then that’s fine.

“With four minutes to go he’s closed down six or seven of their players and ran past two of our players to do it.

“He’s had a great game but the performance of the whole team has been high octane.” Elsewhere, a late winner for Shrewsbury meant Bury were unable to force their way back into the top three, but they moved up one place to fourth in the table, just two points behind new leaders Wycombe.

BURY: Laintion 6; Cameron 7, Mills 7, McNulty 8; Jones 7, Etuhu 6 (Tutte 6 45), Soares 6, Mayor 9; Adams 9; Rose 8 (Kennedy 7 68), Lowe 7 (Duffus 72).

Not used: Jalal, Hussey, Sedgwick, Thompson.

CAMBRIDGE UTD: Dunn; Tait, Coulson, Nelson, Taylor; Chadwick (Naylor 55), Simpson (Hughes 55), Champion, Donaldson; Elliott (Dunk 45), Appiah.

Not used: Norris, Hurst, Taylor, Bird.

Goals: Bury 2 (Adams 13, Rose 28) Cambridge United 0.

Yellow cards: Bury – Soares 14, Duffus 77. Cambridge United – Donaldson 69, Coulson 77.

Referee: Graham Horwood.

Attendance: 3,704 (326 visiting).

Star men: Nicky Adams – Along with Danny Mayor, the energetic midfielder is the creative hub of this Bury side. Adams set the bar high with a first-minute through ball for Ryan Lowe and he just grew into the game from there on in. His first goal since returning to Bury in the summer felt like the release of a pressure valve that blew the top off the JD Stadium when it flew in off the far post. The 28-year-old showed a great touch to control Tom Soares’ driven ball into feet, and, with his back to goal, he turned on a sixpence before letting loose from the edge of the D. It was an almost mirror image of Mayor’s three goals this term and Adams very nearly repeated the trick, only with his left foot, hitting the woodwork in second half stoppage time. Two goals would have been just reward for his display, but, as manager David Flitcroft noted, Adams brings much more than goals to the table.