BURY were left counting the cost of yet another individual blunder which sparked a late collapse in Cumbria and gave the League One promotion chasers a flattering scoreline.

Giles Coke’s excellent left-foot strike had put Bury ahead in the 23rd minute following some fine one-touch football from Lateef Elford-Alliyu and Mike Grella.

But their lead lasted only two minutes as Liam Noble found enough space to unleash a 25-yard thunderbolt which whistled into the top corner of Trevor Carson’s goal.

The Shakers then matched their ambitious Cumbrian hosts with new arrival Nathan Clarke – on loan from Huddersfield Town – forming an excellent centre-back partnership with his old Galpharm Stadium team-mate Efe Sodje.

Richie Barker’s men might even have nicked a win and looked good for at least a point until captain for the day – in the absence of the injured Steven Schumacher – Phil Picken was caught in possession near the touchline by Jordan Cook in the 77th minute.

Cook ran away from Picken to slot the ball past Carson and Barker’s fury was palpable as he immediately substituted his captain.

It was to get worse as left-back Joe Skarz was judged to have pushed Lee Miller in the penalty area, the striker converting the spot kick himself.

Miller rubbed salt into the wounds three minutes into injury time by rifling the ball home from close range to inflict a harsher defeat on the Gigg Lane men than they deserved, but Barker was in no mood for self pity.

“For nearly 80 minutes, I thought the game had 1-1 written all over it,” he said. “There was nothing in it. But an individual error has cost us the game, regardless of the other goals that followed it.

“Picks knows, he’s got enough about him to walk into the dressing room and put his hand up. But that’s no good when you come away with no points. He’s apologised because he’s man enough to do that and he accepts that he’s made a mistake, but we can’t keep making them.

“Goals change games and that second goal of Carlisle’s changed their mentality and ours.

“As a person, I am very loyal,” he said. “But maybe I have been too loyal.”

Bury’s problems were compounded late on when midfielder Peter Sweeney was given a straight red card for violent conduct following a tussle with Blues man Francois Zoko and will now miss three matches.

Sweeney might have restored Bury’s lead at 1-1 with two free kicks either side of half time, and Elford-Alliyu was unlucky to see his 68th-minute shot blocked after a Clarke long throw.

CARLISLE: Collin 6, Simek 7, Livesey 7, Murphy 6, Chantler 8, Taiwo 6 (Cook 7), Noble 7, Berrett 7, McGovern 7, Miller 7, Zoko 6.

Unused subs: Welsh, Madden, Gillespie, Michalik.

BURY: Carson 7, Picken 5 (Amoo 6), Sodje 7, Clarke 7, Skarz 6, Sweeney 6, Coke 6, Cregg 7 (Harrop 6), Elford-Alliyu 7, Grella 7, Worrall 7.

Unused subs: Hughes, Branagan, Jones.

Referee: Trevor Kettle.

Att: 4,855.