Andy Morrell's second-half double ended Bury's run of three successive draws with victory over promotion rivals Chesterfield.
The 35-year-old ex-Blackpool striker enlivened a dull encounter with two headers in 15 minutes to help move the Shakers firmly into the mix for a play-off place at the very least.
The first-half at Gigg Lane was largely forgettable but for a nasty injury to Bury defender Ryan Creswell, who suffered suspected ankle ligament damage after crumpling in a heap as he nearly headed into his own net.
Bury made their possession count 11 minutes into the second half when Morrell pounced to score only his second goal of the season, beating keeper Tommy Lee to Tom Newey's deep left-wing cross.
Newey had a stinging drive well saved by Lee moments later, but the Shakers had the game wrapped up after 71 minutes as Morrell pounced after a scramble to head in a corner, although Efe Sodje also tried to claim it.
Wade Small then tapped in a consolation for the visitors with a minute of normal time left.
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