Pools fell to a 1-0 defeat at Bury this afternoon as a second-half goal proved enough for the hosts to hold onto the three points in a tight game at Gigg Lane.
Pools should have taken the lead after just four minutes after Michael Woods stole possession to set up Marvin Morgan; the on-loan striker took time to pick his spot before shooting but Nick Pope blocked the effort. Morgan tried again with the rebound but again Pope came out on top to block the shot.
Scott Flinders worked his magic at the other end just minutes later, pulling off a great save at full-stretch to deny Nathan Cameron from a header at the far post
Moore’s side started the game brightly and the first half was largely open, with both teams enjoying their fair share of possession.
Bury had the more chances on goal and Flinders was called upon several times in the first half to collect efforts from distance as the hosts tried to take advantage of the strong sunshine facing the Pools goal.
On 15 minutes there was a scramble in the box which saw Flinders block again at the post before Michael Duckworth arrived to clear the ball.
Connor Smith was a real plus for Pools, showing great energy and enthusiasm in the final third and battling well against the experience of Adam El-Abd.
Jack Compton was another who looked lively this afternoon and he tested the home defence with a couple of decent crosses into the box from both wings but these were not taken advantage of in the first half.
Scott Harrison had a shot from distance which was fumbled by Pope and, as Smith ran in to challenge for the rebound he looked to be held back but the youngster was given nothing by the official and Pope collected the ball.
Bury had the first chance of the second half from a freekick awarded down the left wing; Chris Hussey’s freekick was glanced towards goal by Danny Rose but Flinders was again on hand to deny the hosts a goal.
After a scrappy start to the second half, the game opened up again, with Pools enjoying a decent spell of pressure and Bury remaining a threat going forward.
Flinders made another decent save on 63 minutes to deny Andrew Tutte who tried his luck with a rising effort from outside the area, before the hosts won a succession of corners, which were dealt with by Pools.
Pools were looking strong in defence and were able to deal with the threat from Bury and, while Moore’s side showed flashes going forward, there was not really enough to test Pope.
And then a mistake by Morgan allowed the hosts to break forward; Danny Mayor picked up the loose ball to run deep into the box to shoot on goal. Flinders got a touch to his shot but Tutte was on hand to poke home the ball to give Bury the lead on 75 minutes.
The goal was a real blow to Pools who had looked more than a match for Bury until this point.
Moore introduced three substitutes just after the goal and they opened things back up for Pools who used the remainder of the game searching for a much-needed equaliser.
But there was still nothing to really threaten Pope's goal and the hosts took the three points on another disappointing afternoon for Pools.
Full Time: Bury 1 Pools 0
Att: 3172 (300 Pools)
Booked: Austin (48)
Bury: Pope, Tutte, El-Abd, Etuhu, Adams (Jones 58), Rose (Hope 69), Mayor, Hussey, Nardiello (Sedgewick 81), Riley, Cameron.
Subs Not Used: McNulty,O’Brien, Lainton, Dudley.
Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Harrison, Mirfin, Austin, Franks (J Jones 81), Tshibola (Walker 81), Woods, Compton, Smith, Morgan (Harewood 81).
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, D Jones, Featherstone.