RYAN Lowe was proud of ‘emotionally drained’ Bury for conquering the club’s off-field turmoil, keeping hold of an automatic promotion place by beating Northampton 3-1.

Despite wages remaining unpaid and High Court battles rumbling on into next month, the Shakers found the strength to come from behind and secure a potentially precious victory.

After Andy Williams gave the Cobblers the lead, goals from Chris Stokes, Danny Mayor and Nicky Maynard left Lowe eulogising of his side’s spirit.

“I must admit after 25 or 30 minutes, I was thinking to myself ‘what am I doing here today?’

“Nothing seemed to be going right for us, but fair play to the players, they got back into it brilliantly.

“I love it here, and I know very well the players do too.

“Some of them are quite emotionally drained, given some of the circumstances they’re playing under, but credit to them all for showing fight, passion, and sheer will power.

“There are tough circumstances going on here, but we are rallying through and we’re all in this together right now.

“There’s passion, commitment and desire out there for us all to see, so we just have to take that into the final two games now.

“There are two really big games left for us now, and we know it won’t it won’t be plain sailing.

“All my players have shown great character this season and they’ve shown they can all handle the pressure on any given day.”

The Shakers looked distinctly nervy in the opening three minutes, when the Cobblers went close to an opening goal in stunning fashion.

Shay Facey headed a cross from ex-Bury boy David Buchanan inches over the top, then Joe Murphy made a smart low stop to keep out Buchanan’s pile-driver.

The last of a staggering six opportunities the visitors created in only the opening 10 minutes saw Williams’ header narrowly clear the crossbar.

The hosts were back in contention by the midway point in the first half but they fell behind to a sloppy goal, Sam Foley finding an unmarked Williams to nod home from six yards.

Lowe’s men rallied to level six minutes before the break as Stokes darted in to side-foot home Nicky Adams’ precise cross.

There was a rather pedestrian feel to the start of the second period and the first clear-cut chance went Northampton’s way as Foley headed over the top from five yards.

The Shakers responded swiftly, however, as Telford tested Cobblers keeper David Cornell with a fierce 20-yard drive.

Mayor got Gigg Lane on its feet in the 65th minute, keeping hold of the ball under pressure and curling home a beauty from 15 yards to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

The stadium was now well and truly alive again, though the home faithful had to survive a mighty scare late on when Williams fluffed a one-on-one opportunity.

Maynard slid in Adams’ cross deep in added time as the Shakers wrapped up a terrific victory.