Hartlepool United have suffered two defeats in nine games; both against Bury.
After being beaten at Gigg Lane in November, Pool were outplayed and rolled over to a comprehensive home defeat yesterday.
The Shakers had only won once away from home this season, but were always in control of this one, going two goals up after just 12 minutes.
Pool went into the game on the back of two good results, displays at Chesterfield and Morecambe having brought four points and plenty of plaudits.
This result was one no one saw coming. Pool were two goals down after 12 minutes, yet they could have been in front after just two. A deep corner was met by Bradley Walker and his effort on goal was cleared from close range by Frederic Vesili.
But on five minutes Pool were trailing. Danny Mayor’s low skidding shot appeared to be covered by Scott Flinders, but the keeper could only palm it high into the net.
And it was soon a two-goal deficit. Daniel Nardiello latched on to a pass that cut through the Pool defence and, as Flinders came off his line, curled his finish into the unguarded net.
Then a free-kick from Tommy Miller, Bury’s former Sunderland and Hartlepool schemer, was kept out.
Pool almost got one back on 37 minutes, when Jack Baldwin’s close-range effort was smothered by Brian Jensen.
The visiting keeper then backpedalled to tip over a deflected James Poole effort. Pool needed a lifeline, but it wasn’t happening for them.
They had two half-chances in the opening stages of the second half. First Poole flicked a header wide and then, under pressure from a trio of defenders, he dragged a shot across goal from 20 yards.
Bury were compact and organised and almost nabbed a third on the break.
Mayor, impressive in the first half, ghosted into the area and rolled a low shot across the outside of the far post.
It was a let-off for Pool, but they didn’t escape next time.
A long free-kick was pumped into the box and defender Richard Hinds knocked in to earn Bury only their second away win of the season.
Pool boss Colin Cooper admitted: “As disappointed as I am, I have to admit that it looked like we could be playing another week and not get a goal.
“We try to do the right things, but sometimes you get a smack across the chops and it’s happened today.
“We are a young side and when you have a high like at Morecambe, you can’t allow a real dip – this sort of result.
“Bury have gone away with three goals and three points and I didn’t see it coming. I thought we would put them to the sword and we didn’t.
“After a massive high the worst you need is a levelling-off, not a dip. We have had a dip and it’s disappointing because I didn’t see it coming.’’
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders; Duckworth, Burgess, Baldwin, Austin (Holden 78); Walker, Dolan; Monkhouse (Rodney 78), Poole (Sweeney 77), Franks; James. Subs: Rafferty (gk), Collins, Walton, Hawkins.
Booked: Baldwin, Dolan, Burgess.
BURY: Jensen; Cameron, Hines, Burke; Veseili, Proctor, Miller, Sedgewick, Burke; Mayor (Walker 89); Nardiello (Jones 62), Forrester (Harrod 71). Subs: Roberts, Grimes, Holden, Charles-Cook.
Goals: Mayor 5, Nardiello 12, Hinds 70.
Booked: Cameron, Sedgewick.
Attendance: 3,529. Referee: Andy Haines (Sunderland).