BURY manager Ryan Lowe slammed his side’s mistakes as they slipped out of the League Two automatic promotion places following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of play-off chasers Newport County.

Mickey Demetriou’s excellent double and Jamille Matt’s low drive sealed the victory after Nicky Maynard’s early equaliser gave Bury hope.

The Shakers’ fourth defeat in five games leaves them fourth after MK Dons secured a vital 2-0 victory at Notts County.

Lowe said: “I think it was the worst we’ve played all season. Sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition, but we knew what they were going to do, and we caused our own problems.

“We’ve had some harsh words said and we don’t want to be staring in the mirror come the end of the season asking, ‘what if?’

“I’m disappointed in the football, we knew we couldn’t play as much as we would have liked on this pitch against a dogged side.

“It’s not the result we wanted but we have three more lifelines to get where we want to get to. I’m asking the lads to stand up and be counted.

“We should have dealt with their threat better. We wanted to ask more questions of them.”

Lowe’s troops knew they had to derail Newport’s late play-off charge to keep their noses in front of the chasing pack, but they got off to a nightmare start in a breathless opening 13 minutes.

Jordan Rossiter chopped Matty Dolan down 25 yards from goal to give the Exiles midfielder the perfect opportunity to send in a trademark curling delivery.

His whipped cross allowed Newport centre-back Demetriou to get the faintest of touches and take the ball past Joe Murphy, who was rooted to the spot. But the Shakers hit back less than a minute later thanks to Maynard, who latched onto Danny Mayor’s through ball before slotting the ball into the bottom corner to level it up after seven minutes.

But parity did not last for long as Demetriou won possession back in his own half and found Robbie Willmott, who launched a pin-point ball into the path of Matt to drive a low shot through the legs of Murphy.

The closest Bury came to an equaliser was when Mayor twisted and turned past Josh Sheehan before unleashing a fierce shot that rattled off the bar.

And moments later Demetriou wrapped up all three points in the 76th minute with a fierce half-volley from 12 yards out to leave Bury a point off the automatic promotion spots – but Lowe is still confident his team can bounce back.

He added: “We had a lack of quality in certain areas and individuals, but the players have been brilliant, you feel for the lads and the fans, but we still have a great chance.

“We’ve still got a massive opportunity to get promoted in these final three games, even though it isn’t in our hands now.

“It was a really tough game, we need to recover for Monday and go again.”