Accrington Stanley suffered a third straight defeat as Nathan Cameron’s goal ensured Bury took all three points from the Store First Stadium with a 1-0 win.
Stanley boss John Coleman made three changes from the 2-1 defeat at AFC Wimbledon with Seamus Conneely, Adam Buxton and Piero Mingoia replacing Tom Aldred, Michael Liddle and Anthony Barry.
Aldred dropping out of the squad ended his run of consecutive starts at 92, dating back to March 2013, when the defender made his debut for the club.
Meanwhile, there were home debuts for Conneely in the centre of defence and Arsenal loanee Matt Macey in goal.
The Reds made a bright start to the game with former Shaker Andrew Procter seemingly everywhere in an all-action performance, having the first shot of the night blocked by a defender on the edge of the area.
Kal Naismith fired a free-kick into the wall and Chris Hussey was forced to clear a dangerous Buxton cross with Mingoia waiting to pounce on a mistake by the Bury full-back.
Shay McCartan flicked a header wide before the Shakers threatened for the first time as Hallam Hope scuffed a shot into Macey’s gloves from Danny Mayor’s knockdown.
Mayor hit two shots wide from distance and shortly afterwards the visitors gave Stanley a massive let-off when their captain, Nathan Cameron, met Andrew Tutte’s corner with a powerful header six yards out but, despite being unmarked, the defender put his effort over Macey’s goal.
There was another fortunate escape for the Reds before the half was out when Tutte was found in acres of space eight yards out by Daniel Nardiello but he sidefooted over Clayton End with the goal at his mercy.
Bury manager David Flitcroft shuffled his pack at half-time and brought Joe Riley on for Kelvin Etuhu but it was Stanley who dominated the opening proceedings of the second half with Naismith’s inswinging free-kick evading everyone but creeping around the post rather than into the bottom corner.
Mingoia then worked some space and angled a shot across the face of goal which narrowly evaded the stretching and onrushing Naismith by a matter of centimetres.
In a rare Bury break, Hope cut in from the right hand side and got a shot away which was easily gathered by Macey between the sticks.
Back came Stanley with Procter finding Mingoia, who hit a low left-footed shot forcing Nick Pope into his first real save of the evening, diving low to his left to palm the ball away to safety.
Luke Joyce hit a low free-kick which caused a melee in the area, culminating in McCartan getting in a shot on the turn which brought a splendid save from Pope, who saw the ball late through a crowd of bodies but still managed to get a firm hand on the ball.
Rob Atkinson cleared a cross from Craig Jones from under his own crossbar before Conneely found himself in the right position to send a goalbound effort from Bury substitute Nicky Adams away from danger.
Bury put together an incisive move with Mayor’s pass finding Chris Hussey, who fizzed a cross into the Stanley penalty area but the onrushing Adams could only make contact with the post rather than the ball.
A misplaced pass from Cameron gave Mingoia a chance to run at goal but the midfielder shot over the bar from 18 yards under pressure from a couple of defenders.
Joyce took aim from range and let fly with a ripsnorting effort that whistled past Pope’s post and into the side-netting, fooling some Stanley fans into thinking that the captain had opened the scoring.
However, it would be the visitors who struck the first telling blow of the evening through their captain. A free-kick from Hussey was blocked but the full-back’s second cross was perfect for Cameron, who powered his header down past Macey and into the back of the net.
Bury goalkeeper Pope almost scored from his own penalty area with a monstrous kick that forced Macey to tip the ball over the bar.
One final chance to equalise fell to the Reds as a cross found Stanley substitute Josh Windass at the far post but the ball hit the midfielder’s standing leg and Coleman’s men were left with nothing to show for their efforts, which deserved more on the night.
Stanley: Macey; Buxton (Liddle 74), Atkinson, Winnard, Conneely; Joyce, Procter; McCartan, Naismith (Windass 66), Mingoia; Maguire (Carver 87).
Subs not used: Dawber, Hunt, Barry, Gray.
Attendance: 2,067 (902 away)