BURY boss Ryan Lowe kept his feet firmly on the ground after Bury claimed the scalp of promotion rivals Exeter to move to within two points of League Two leaders Lincoln.

Nicky Maynard’s 15th goal of the season earned the Shakers a narrow 1-0 win in Devon, seeing them take advantage of both Mansfield’s loss at Notts County and Lincoln’s draw with Stevenage.

But Lowe refused to get carried away – although he was buoyed by the support his team received from the travelling Bury faithful that had made a lengthy pilgrimage south.

“It is just another game and we move on,” said the Shakers manager, whose team remain unbeaten in all competitions in 2019.

“We know the games are coming thick and fast and we know each game is important. We are looking up and not down.

“The fans have spent a lot of money coming down here and it doesn’t go unnoticed, and the lads know.

“We stay out there and give them a clap because without them sometimes, it is not possible.

“They do drive us over the line. The drum was going a lot and that is what we need from now until the end of the season.”

Six wins and three draws in an impressive sequence has seen Bury steadily climb the table and Scott Wharton will have breathed a huge sigh of relief following Maynard’s clincher after the defender spurned a glorious first-half header.

The game exploded into life in the fifth minute when Exeter winger Randell Williams flew to the floor, claiming he had been touched by Wharton.

But referee Ollie Yates was not fooled by the theatrics and it was a touch surprising to see the official fail to reach for a yellow card for simulation.

Maynard wasted a glorious chance to fire the Shakers into a 21st-minute lead.

A rapid breakaway ended with Callum McFadzean fizzing over a low cross and Maynard blazing the ball over the crossbar from close range.

Only a brilliant sliding block by Exeter defender Dara O’Shea stopped his namesake Jay O’Shea from adding to his 15-goal tally as the Shakers midfielder wriggled his way into the penalty area.

Bury keeper Joe Murphy made a stunning save to deny Ryan Bowman in the 34th minute.

Lee Holmes carved out the opening, crossing for Bowman to get in a powerful header that was clawed away by the Bury keeper.

The visitors survived a scare in the 41st minute when Williams drilled over a cross and Will Aimson watched his clearance flash inches past his own post.

Yet the visitors created the best chance of the half on the stroke of the interval.

Adams delivered a deep free kick to the far post, where Wharton could only plant a free header wide when he really should have scored.

Bury’s winner came courtesy of Nicky Adams’ burst into the box and Maynard was in the right place at the right time to apply the decisive touch.

Byron Moore squandered an opportunity to seal the win when he lashed a shot straight at Christy Pym after racing clear of the Exeter defence.

Exeter 0

Bury 1

Maynard 66

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, O’Shea, Moxey, Woodman (D Wilson 81), Collins, Taylor, Law, Williams, Holmes (K Wilson 73), Bowman

Subs not used: Hamon, Martin, Jay, Brown, Dean

Bury: Murphy 7, Aimson 6, Thompson 7, Wharton 6 (Stokes 46 6), Adams 7, McFadzean 7, Mayor 7, Rossiter 8 (O’Connell 83 5), O’Shea 7, Moore 7, Maynard 7 (Telford 74 6)

Subs not used: Moloney, Cooney, Danns, Lavery

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 4,607