DAVID Flitcroft invoked the spirit of 2015 as the Shakers claimed a thrilling victory after Danny Mayor's second-half brace.

With James Vaughan sent off on 41 minutes, they emerged for the second half in determined mood, not just happy to settle for a draw but eager to push for all three points.

That brought back memories of Bury's home game with Northampton 18 months ago, when they went a goal and a man down yet immediately went on the front foot, fighting back for a last-gasp 2-1 win.

It proved a turning point as the Shakers went on to win automatic promotion on the final day and the impact of that victory has not been forgotten by Flitcroft, who had to rally his troops after a half-time bust-up which saw players and staff from both camps spill back out of the tunnel.

He said: “It felt like that, and we mentioned it at half time, the what-if scenario.

“I suppose if you can get a sending-off at a good time it's just before the break because at least you can get them to half time and settle the lads down, which I needed to do.

“Even though we were a man down, we had 15 minutes to get that discipline and gain control. Vaughany's apologised for getting sent off but the lads went that extra yard to get that win.”

Ironically, it was Joe Riley who was sent off against Northampton while Adam El-Abd got the winner and not only were they both in the Shrewsbury defence on Saturday but also played a part in a game which had almost everything.

El-Abd clashed with Flitcroft when the ex-Bury loanee returned with Gillingham last season and didn't exactly cover himself in glory on Saturday.

The no-nonsense centre-half had already exchanged words with Vaughan before the pair clashed again after a foul which did not involve either of them.

Both were booked and just two minutes later, Vaughan caught El-Abd late and was given a second yellow card.

There was not much contact but there was enough, and the referee was not about to let it slide after the pair had already clashed moments earlier.

El-Abd was now the pantomime villain and Bury fans were delighted on 52 minutes when the Shrews skipper was also shown a second yellow card for blocking Mayor's run into the box.

“The first booking, their captain got involved when it was nothing to do with him,” said Flitcroft. “Then their captain rolled around as if he'd been shot, I think it was contrived.

“You try to have the right values – honesty, sincerity – and at half time our major work was control and focus. We certainly maintained that but unfortunately their captain did not.”

While it was a hard-fought win for Bury, it was a thoroughly-deserved one too as they played some excellent football either side of the mid-game drama.

Zeli Ismail shone in the first half, jinking down the right and cutting back for Mayor to sidefoot wide. He then did the same for Vaughan, after playing a one-two with Jacob Mellis, but his goalbound effort was blocked.

Ivan Toney replied by sending a 25-yard effort just wide, but Bury's class told after the break, with Mayor cutting in from the left before firing into the top corner from more than 20 yards.

Abu Ogogo then volleyed over for the visitors and Bury failed to heed that warning as Toney climbed above Ben Williams to head home from Shaun Whalley's cross.

Hallam Hope twice went close as Bury refused to settle for the point and, just as the game went into stoppage time, Mayor pounced from close range to claim the first brace of his senior career.

Former Shaker Andy Mangan came off the bench for Shrewsbury and almost scored with his first touch but Bury were not to be denied as they registered their first back-to-back wins of the season.

“There was a lot of passion on display,” Flitcroft added. “This group doesn't know when they're beaten.

“Danny and Zeli were unplayable at times, but to a man, the lads performed incredibly.”

Match ratings

BURY (4-4-2): Williams 6; Maher 6 (Jones 54, 6), Barnett 8, Kay 7, Leigh 7; Ismail 8 (Hope 78, 7), Soares 7, Mellis 8 (Bryan 94, 4), Mayor 9; Pope 7, Vaughan 4. Subs: Burgess, Dudley, Walker, Rachubka.

SHREWSBURY TOWN (4-4-2): Leutwiler; Riley, Grimmer, El-Abd, McGivern, Sadler (Mangan 92); Ogogo, Deegan, Doods (El Ouriachi 65); Toney, Ebanks-Blake (Whalley 56). Subs: Lancashire, Sarcevic, Waring, Halstead.

Referee: Mark Haywood (West Yorkshire) 6.