DAVID Flitcroft dedicated Bury’s fourth straight away win to on-loan goalkeeper Nick Pope after the former York player came through a night of barracking from the home fans with yet another clean sheet.

It was the young Charlton stopper’s fifth shut-out in his last six games, claimed against a club he helped to 16 clean sheets in 24 appearances whilst on loan last season.

The home supporters, according to Flitcroft, failed to show their former goalkeeper the appropriate respect, booing the 23-year-old on his return to Bootham Crescent.

But after an early Tom Soares goal proved enough to earn Bury a sixth victory in seven matches, their manager said he was most pleased to see Pope leave York on the winning side.

“When you hear Popey getting booed (by the home fans) after keeping 16 clean sheets in 24 games here, that’s not football for me,” said Flitcroft.

“You have got to appreciate quality when you see it.

“He was outstanding for this football club when he was here on loan and he has been outstanding for us.

“That’s one thing I wanted tonight.

“I said to the lads at half time ‘Nick Pope comes off this pitch with a clean sheet and we win this football match’ and that’s what we have done.”

Bury’s promotion bandwagon rolled on thanks to a blistering start that saw Flitcroft’s men take the lead inside the opening 10 minutes.

Soares stormed into the box with a late run to sidefoot home Joe Riley’s low cross from 10 yards.

The move was started by a surging drive from holding midfielder Kelvin Etuhu, who broke through the York lines before putting Riley in down the right.

Runs from deep were an early feature of Bury’s play, with the attacking midfield trio of Soares, Danny Mayor and Nicky Adams often bursting past lone front man Tom Eaves.

York, who are struggling to stave off relegation after last season pipping Bury to the play-offs, looked unable to cope with their midfield movement.

Both Bury full-backs also provided an additional headache, with Chris Hussey charging to the byline on the left in the 19th minute before flashing a pass across goal that begged to be put away.

But Flitcroft’s side slowly took their foot off the gas and handed York a way back into the game.

Shaq Coulthirst had a thunderous shot blocked by his own man before Emile Sinclair sidefooted a Michael Coulson corner just wide.

Shakers skipper Nathan Cameron added to the growing sense of frustration by kicking away the ball to pick up a senseless booking, his 10th of the season that will see him miss the next two matches.

Adams should have lifted the growing pressure though, blasting over a chance in first-half stoppage time after seizing on a mistake by the last man to run clear of the York defence.

The visitors regained the upper hand briefly after the break, as a Mayor volley on the turn from the edge of the box whistled past the post.

But York were not silenced for long, with Coulthirst heading over a corner and Sinclair narrowly missing with a shot across goal.

Pope would have beaten on both occasions had the York forwards hit the target, but the Bury stopper redeemed himself by getting down well to smother a Bradley Halliday strike from outside the box.

Despite spending much of the second half on the back foot, the visitors always looked to be playing within themselves, capable of stepping up a gear if needed.

Although they required Etuhu to be on his toes, with the former Barnsley midfielder providing an effective screen in front of the back four, tracking back to rob the ball from Diego De Girolamo just as he was preparing to shoot.

As the home side’s intensity inevitably dropped, the Shakers started to come back out of their shell, with Riley coming close to adding a second goal after shooting wide following a mazy dribble into the box.

Bury still had to survive a late scare, when Pope rushed out of his goal to close down the run of Jake Hyde and the York substitute took the ball around him, only to roll his shot from a tight angle just the wrong side of the near post.

The Shakers stopper also gambled on a few late claims, losing control of the ball on more than one occasion but getting lucky with the bounce.

He probably deserved his luck though after taking stick from a crowd that were only too happy to show their support last season when he was helping York sail into the play-offs on the back of a raft of 1-0 victories, including one against Bury on Easter Monday that ended their faint promotion hopes.

Fast forward 12 months and York are sitting perilously above the League Two trap door in 21st place while Pope and the Shakers are building up a head of steam, moving up to fourth in the table (at the time the Bury Times went to print) and remaining just four points outside the automatic promotion places.

YORK CITY (4-4-2): Olejnik; McCoy, Keith Lowe, Zubar (McCombe 76), Ilesanmi (Hyde 74); Coulson (Carson 71), Penn, Halliday, De Girolamo; Sinclair, Coulthirst.

Not used: Montrose, Platt, Meikle, Ingham.

BURY (4-1-4-1): Pope 7; Riley 8, Cameron 8, McNulty 8, Hussey 8; Etuhu 8; Adams 7 (Jones 6 57), Tutte 7 (Hope 6 62), Soares 8, Mayor 7 (Sedgwick 6 82); Eaves 6.

Not used: El-Abd, Lowe, O’Brien, Lainton.

Goals: York 0 Bury 1 (Soares 9).

Yellow cards: York – Carson 93. Bury – Cameron 39.

Referee: Andy Madley.

Attendance: 3,194 (414 visiting).

Star man: Kelvin Etuhu – The former Barnsley man helped make the opening goal with a surging drive from midfield, but made an equally important contribution with a lung- busting run towards his own box in the second half. He tracked back to make a telling tackle on Diego De Girolamo just as the York midfielder was lining up to shoot. Etuhu has not always stood out in his role as a holding midfielder but it is hard to over state the part he has played in Bury’s recent run of clean sheets.