HARTLEPOOL United are now eight points from safety after suffering their 20th league defeat of the season, losing 1-0 at Bury.
A close range finish from Andrew Tutte in the 75th minute proved enough to seal victory for the home side at Gigg Lane after Marvin Morgan gave the ball away on the half-way line.
Pools were well in the game for long periods but that error from Morgan proved decisive as Pools remain stranded at the foot of Sky Bet League Two.
Before kick-off Pools confirmed in-form striker Scott Fenwick is facing four weeks out with his ankle injury.
But in a further blow, Matthew Bates’s dead leg will keep him out for a minimum of six weeks.
Fenwick had been struggling with an ankle problem since the away game at Tranmere Rovers and, after undergoing an MRI scan, the striker has been advised to let the injury settle.
He was in the stands at Gigg Lane wearing a ‘moon boot’ to give some added protection to his right ankle while he rests for a minimum of four weeks.
Meanwhile, Bates has seen a consultant following the dead leg sustained at Portsmouth and tests showed a very deep bleed in his left leg.
Moore made one change to the team beaten 3-1 at Stevenage, with 18-year-old Connor Smith in to make his full debut in place of the dropped Marlon Harewood up front.
And it was Smith’s strike partner Marvin Morgan that had the first real chance of the match.
Played in by Michael Woods, his low shot inside the area was blocked by Nick Pope before he snatched at the follow-up with three minutes on the clock.
Two minutes later and Scott Flinders made a wonderful low save to his left to palm Nathan Cameron’s powerful header away from danger.
Bright sunshine welcomed both sides onto the pitch before kick-off but the weather deteriorated with first rain and then sleet sweeping into Gigg Lane.
On the pitch and it was Bury that was causing the most problems, Flinders saved well at his near post from Danny Mayor’s low shot following a mazy dribble in the 17th minute.
Moments later ex-Pools loanee Danny Nardiello forced Flinders into another stop from distance.
Flinders, wearing a cap after bright sunshine again broke out, made a superb double stop in the 32nd minute.
Nicky Adams was played in on the edge of the area but the Pools stopper was equal to it, spreading himself well to save the initial shot before punching the rebound clear.
Having survived the opening half hour, Pools then upped the ante with Pope clearly struggling in the wet conditions.
Clear chances were scarce but Scott Harrison did force him into a low stop in the 37th minute, Smith appearing to be blocked off in the area as he followed the ball in.
Referee Christopher Sarginson wasn’t interested though and waved play on.
Half-Time: Bury 0 Pools 0
Austin was booked within three minutes of the re-start for a heavy challenge on Adams, the ref deeming it no more than a yellow.
Gary Flitcroft’s side had a strong penalty shout in the 54th minute, Harrison appeared to clip Danny Rose as he burst into the area.
But Sarginson deemed it a dive and booked Rose to the dismay of the home fans.
Flinders was again called into action in the 63rd minute, Andrew Tutte chancing his arm from distance but Flinders was equal to his curling shot towards the top right-hand corner.
Pools, supported by a 300-strong away following, were battling hard and were more than a match for their hosts, who were aiming to push into the play-off spots.
Clear chances were hard to come by though, with Morgan and Smith having little to work with in the final third or doing enough to work the defence.
The breakthrough came in the 75th minute, TUTTE prodding home from close range to give Bury the lead after Morgan had woefully given the ball away on the half-way line.
Mayor was able to break forward and breezed through the away defence before the ball broke to Tutte who tapped it in.
Moore made a triple sub with 10 minutes left to play, Morgan, Tshibola and Franks all hooked, Marlon Harewood, Jordan Jones and Brad Walker on in their place.
It didn’t have the desired affect though as Bury pressed forward in search of a second, Tutte shooting wide from distance as the clock ticked down.
Full-Time: Bury 1 Pools 0
Bury (4-4-2): Pope, Riley, Tutte, El-Abd, Cameron (C), Etuhu, Adams (Jones, 59) Rose (Hope, 69), Mayor, Hussey, Nardiello (Sedgwick, 80).
Subs Not Used: McNulty, O’Brien, Lainton, Dudley.
Scorer: Tutte (75)
Booking: Rose (54)
Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Duckworth, Harrison, Mirfin, Austin, Franks (J Jones, 80), Compton, Woods, Tshibola (Walker, 80), Smith, Morgan (Harewood, 80).
Subs Not Used: Maxted, Richards, D Jones, Featherstone.
Booking: Austin (48)
Referee: Christopher Sarginson (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 3,172 (Pools 300)