HARTLEPOOL United are trailing Bury 2-0 at half-time in their New Year Day’s clash at Victoria Park.
The away side were two up after 12 minutes thanks to goals from Danny Mayor and Daniel Nardiello to leave Colin Cooper’s side reeling after the opening stages.
Pools struggled to get back into the game but did manage to create a couple of chances towards the end of the half but it has been a disappointing afternoon so far.
Cooper made one change for the New Year Day’s Sky Bet League Two match between Hartlepool United and Bury.
Veteran winger Andy Monkhouse came into the starting line-up in place of Nialle Rodney, who dropped to the bench.
Jack Compton again missed out with a tear to his calf, while Jordan Richards is still out after a double hernia operation.
Bury named former Pools players Tommy Miller and Daniel Nardiello in their starting 11.
Pools started the day in 13th spot in League Two, six points from the play-off positions, while Bury under new manager David Flitcroft were 20th, two points above the drop.
Cooper’s side, who started the game shooting towards the Town End, had the first attempt on goal.
Midfielder Bradley Walker, 17, saw his poked effort from three yards out cleared off the line by Frederic Veseli, following a Jonathan Franks corner.
But Bury hit back quickly to take the lead in the 5th minute.
Danny Mayor fired a speculative low right-footed shot from 25-yards out which seemed to catch Scott Flinders off guard as it bounced off his hand and into the roof of the net.
It got worse for Pools seven minutes later when Nardiello broke free to curl the ball past the advancing Flinders and into the net to give Bury a 2-0 lead.
Pools were left reeling after going two down within the opening 12 minutes.
It was almost three two minutes later but Miller’s curling free-kick from the edge of the D was punched away by Flinders. Jack Baldwin was booked for the foul that led to the free-kick.
Pools were really struggling to get into the game against an impressive Bury side who beat Cooper’s side 1-0 at Gigg Lane the last time the sides met, at the end of November.
Bury’s goalkeeper Brian Jensen was called into action in the 36th minute, denying Baldwin’s shot from near the penalty area with a flying save following a dangerous Matty Dolan corner.
Jensen then found himself back-peddling furiously towards his net to tip a deflected Poole shot from 25-yards over the bar in the 42nd minute as Pools began, finally, to build some pressure on the Bury goal.
Bury’s persistent fouler Chris Sedgwick was eventually booked minutes before the break, which saw the away side go in to the dressing rooms leading 2-0.
HALF TIME: Pools 0 Bury 2
Hartlepool United (4-4-1-1): Flinders, Austin (C), Duckworth, Baldwin, Burgess, Dolan, Walker, Franks, Monkhouse, Poole, James.
Subs Not Used: Rafferty, Collins, Holden, Sweeney, Walton, Rodney, Hawkins.
Bury (4-4-2): Jensen, Hinds, Cameron, Procter, Miller, Forrester, Sedgwick, Mayor, Nardiello, Burke, Vesli.
Subs Not Used: Roberts, Jones, Grimes, Holden, Harrad, Charles-Cook, Walker.
Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)