MOMENTS of genuine calm were few and far between at Gigg Lane last night but Zach Clough produced two of them to end 87 years of hurt for Wanderers.

Having won both penalties – both hotly contested from a Bury point of view – the 21-year-old proved to be the coolest customer on a frantic night to end one of the Whites’ longest-running hoodoos.

Phil Parkinson’s side are back in the top two and have now won five straight games without conceding a goal. Once again their performance relied more on exertion than excellence but when a moment of quality was needed, the little striker was never far away.

Wanderers don’t want for local rivals. In the Premier League days they tussled with the Manchester giants, and they kept tabs on Blackburn and Wigan even after their downfall began. In League One the Whites had a couple of appetisers against Rochdale and Oldham – but this was the main course.

How you miss an atmosphere as rich as it was at Gigg Lane, the rivalry seeping out of every stand. But of course you need the football to go with it, and after Parkinson admitted his side had under-estimated a couple of local opponents this season, they most certainly were not going to make the same mistake again.

Sammy Ameobi wasted no time laying siege to the Shakers goal, showing incredibly quick feet to dance past three challenges only to blast his shot straight at Ben Williams, who was covering his near post.

As with most derbies, the football was frantic. Wanderers failed to settle in possession for the whole first half, not that they really needed to string many passes together when they proved so effective on the break.

The opening goal, bizarrely came from a decent save by Mark Howard. Antony Kay had got up on Jacob Mellis’ corner but the Wanderers keeper wasted no time admiring his handiwork and bowled an inch-perfect throw for Clough who surged into the penalty box before tumbling under pressure from his former team-mate Niall Maher.

From the vantage point of referee Geoff Eltringham – some 25 yards behind the play – it looked like a clear trip and once he had caught up, he pointed to the spot.

TV replays showed there was some contact, whether it was enough to send the striker to ground was a moot point once the Whites' number 10 grabbed the ball and despatched it past Ben Williams for his second goal of the campaign.

Clough could have had a second almost immediately, this time capitalising on a poor back-pass from Leon Barnett and racing around Williams who had ventured well out of his penalty area, only to find Maher back on the line to block his shot.

Bury recovered their poise and were playing decent football up to a point. That point being the impressive defensive screen of Jay Spearing and Derik Osede – in for the injured Tom Thorpe.

The only foot Derik put wrong in the first half was a silly trip on Danny Mayor right on the edge of the box which presented the home side with an excellent opportunity before the break. The less said about Neil Danns’ effort, the better, but we saw better in his Wanderers days.

Ameobi exploded out of the traps once again after the restart, surging past Greg Leigh and driving a shot which was pushed aside by the sprawling Williams.

But, again, Bury were asking questions of a defence which had kept four consecutive clean sheets in its previous four games. And once again, David Wheater, Mark Beevers, Lawrie Wilson and Andy Taylor were coming up with answers.

David Flitcroft may just have been fancying his chances of Bury getting back into the game as his influential winger Danny Mayor started to see more of the ball when disaster struck yet again on a Bolton break.

Clough, again raiding into the left channel, was swatted by an ungainly push from Barnett, leaving him sprawling on the floor. If referee Eltringham’s first-half award had been marginal, this was as clear-cut as it gets.

The little striker picked himself up, dusted himself off and rolled a penalty down the middle with all the swagger of a veteran.

Suddenly he was on a hat-trick. This was John McGinlay territory.

And he might have claimed the match ball had it not been for some inspired goalkeeping from Williams.

Parkinson’s decision to bring Clough off with 13 minutes to go was understandable, if a little disappointing. But a penny for the young man’s thoughts as his replacement Jamie Proctor missed a gilt-edged opportunity just a few minutes later after some fine work from Josh Vela.

Wanderers played the last 10 minutes like an exhibition game as Flitcroft expended all his options from the bench to try and salvage something. After six straight defeats, questions are now being asked of his job security at Gigg Lane.

More than 3,000 travelling fans drowned out the grumbles of those who lingered behind. “Up the Football League We Go,” they chanted. On this evidence, it will be hard to stop them.