DISAPPOINTMENT hit a new low for Bury head coach Chris Brass as he watched his side pass up a glorious chance to move out of the relegation zone on Saturday.

The loss to fellow strugglers Shrewsbury means Bury sit 22nd in the League One table – five points behind the Shrews and two points from safety.

After a tightly-contested first half, Tyler Roberts and Freddie Ladapo fired Shrewsbury into a commanding lead in the second period.

Three minutes from time substitute Jacob Mellis pulled a goal back but it proved only a consolation.

Bury looked only a shadow of their recently improved selves at Greenhous Meadow, but it was once again individual mistakes from his players that left Brass seething at the full-time whistle.

“I’m disappointed,” Brass said. “It’s probably the most disappointed I have been.

“We left it too late to have a go.

“We knew the conditions (would be tricky); but we knew that and still went into half time at 0-0.

“The pitch wasn’t playing fantastic so you have got to have that desire and fight and a little bit of football nous about you that you need (when you are battling against relegation).

“You have got to stay on your feet and react to things.

“(We didn’t do that and) they’re costly, costly errors.

“That’s what’s cost us today.

“You need to show that heart and desire to win games of football and it was lacking until the end in my opinion.

“I don’t accept that.

“They were poor goals, I am disappointed in the goals.

“I can accept (defeat) when it comes from a fantastic phase of play or a moment of magic, but I just think they were two poor goals.”

Brass brought in 10 new faces in January, and with five departing that increased the size of his squad to 33 players.

After the poor showing against the Shrews, the Bury boss claims nobody is guaranteed to keep their place in the starting line-up from now on, a threat that he would not have been able to back up in the past.

Brass added: “You earn the right to keep your shirt – nobody can expect it after that today.

“You quickly dust yourselves down but that’s why you’ve brought in a level of competition.

“If you don’t step up to the mark, you’ve got to work on it.”

One of the players signed in the winter window was former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant and he was handed his full debut in the defeat.

However, the 34-year-old struggled to stamp his authority on the game before being replaced by George Miller in the 66th minute.

“He didn’t really get into the game as much as what he can do,” Brass said of Pennant’s first start.

“We thought the second half would open up and we would see more of him but unfortunately conceding a goal so soon after half time kills any kind of momentum you’re going to gain.

“It’s a frustrating afternoon for him but one that he’s got to take on the chin as well.”

The main problem for the Shakers is their porous defence, which has kept only one clean sheet in the past 32 games.

Only Championship side Rotherham have conceded more goals in the Football League this season.

Brass says he will be putting his side through more defensive work this week before the home double-header against Swindon on Saturday and MK Dons on Tuesday.

“We have got to keep the ball out of the net.

“That’s what has frustrated me, and that’s what we’ll be working on this week,” Brass said.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult task right the way across.

“You’ve got to make sure that you come into the next few games, certainly home games, and quickly grab points.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourselves, it’s done.

“It was a big, big game at Shrewsbury in terms of the points (at stake down at the bottom) but there are going to be more huge games between now and the end of the season.

“The result at Shrewsbury has just made life that little bit harder for us.”

Match ratings

Bury (4-4-2): Lainton 5; Moore 4, Kay 5, C Burgess 6, Leigh 5; Hope 5 (Mackreth 58, 6), Brown 5, Etuhu 4 (Mellis 71, 6), Pennant 4 (G Miller 66, 6); Pope 6, Vaughan 5.

Not used: Murphy, Barnett, Deslandes, S Burgess.

Shrewsbury (4-4-2): Leutwiler; Riley, Sadler, Nsiala, Brown; Whalley, Ogogo, Deegan, Rodman (Humphrys 65); Roberts (Morris 83), Payne (Ladapo 12).

Not used: Halstead, Dodds, Yates, El-Abd.

Referee: Darren England (Barnsley).

Att: 5,368 (448 visiting).