TWO moments of real quality put paid to Hartlepool on Saturday and left Bury manager David Flitcroft purring at the potential in his new-look strike force.
Ryan Lowe set up Danny Nardiello’s 18th-minute opener with a sublime cross, planting the ball on to the head of his strike partner at the far post with a flick of the outside of his boot.
New signing Danny Rose then showed real composure to double Bury’s advantage on 73 minutes – scoring just six minutes after coming off the bench on his second debut for the club.
The 20-year-old Barnsley forward raced clear from the halfway line after robbing Pools captain Matthew Bates of the ball then had the presence of mind to take it around keeper Scott Flinders, not once but twice, before slotting home.
“The greatest players play at a certain level of intensity. You look at Wayne Rooney – he plays at an incredible intensity but then on the big moments there is a calmness, that’s what the top players do,” said Flitcroft.
“It’s like the calmness Lowey showed (on his pass for the first goal). It’s like time stood still before the pass. He just weighed it up, measured it then felt the ball in.
“It’s an exquisite pass, it’s a Premier League pass. The two strikers know what each other want and he’s put it on an absolute plate for Nards to score a wonderful header.
“Danny was just the same. He knew what he wanted to do, but just assessed the situation before he pulled the trigger. Danny’s goal was excellent and it was a top class performance from us.”
There was more than one dream debut for Bury fans to savour at Victoria Park as Kelvin Etuhu went about his business in the midfield holding role with a calm authority that set the tone for an assured start.
Nardiello and revitalised central defender Nathan Cameron had already gone close with headers before Bury took the lead, and Hartlepool’s Stuart Parnaby mustered the only shot on target for the hosts in the opening half.
Stand-in stopper Rob Lainton palmed that to the feet of Marlon Harewood but the Pools striker blazed over his follow-up effort.
Lowe showed another moment of class to stroke a 25-yard shot against the angle of post and crossbar in the second period before Bury understandably began to tire, following their extra time cup defeat at Bolton in midweek.
Luke James threatened to get in behind the defence on a handful of occasions before Jonathan Franks looked to have levelled with a looping header, only for Marlon Harewood to chest it over the line from an offside position and the goal was disallowed.
The introduction of fresh legs gave Bury renewed impetus and after Rose showed his clinical eye for goal to double their lead, Bury comfortably saw out the game to claim a first win of the season.
“I’m delighted with the first three points, but the clean sheet has really impressed me because Hartlepool committed men forward in numbers at times and we have had to dig in and dig deep,” added Flitcroft.
BURY: Lainton 8; Cameron 8, Mills 8, McNulty 8; Soares 8, Etuhu 9 (Sedgwick 7 70), Tutte 8, Hussey 7; Adams 8 (Mayor 58); Nardiello 7, Lowe 8 (Rose 8 67).
Not used: Jalal, Thompson, Widdowson, Poole.
HARTLEPOOL UNITED: Flinders, Duckworth, Bates, Austin, Holden, Parnaby, Miller, Walker, Franks, James, Harewood.
Not used: Dixon, Collins, Woods, Brobbel, Hawkins, Richards, Smith.
Goals: Hartlepool United 0 Bury 2 (Nardiello 18, Rose 73) Yellow cards: Bury – Hussey 45+1, McNulty 51, Etuhu 54.
Referee: Gary Sutton.
Attendance: 3,246 (244 visiting).
Star man: Kelvin Etuhu – Danny Rose made all of the headlines with his goal-scoring return to Bury, but it was another debutant who made them tick at Hartlepool. Etuhu missed the first two games of the Shakers’ campaign with flu and cramped up in the second half, but made his mark before being substituted. He excelled as a screen for the back three and was quietly effective on the ball, launching a number of breaks with a selection of short, simple passes.