by Hannah Ingram at Gigg Lane
A battling win for Bury at home in midweek saw them take full advantage of their game in hand to take second spot in the league table.
They welcomed a Barnet side fresh from two consecutive wins in their fight to avoid the drop to Gigg Lane in a top versus bottom clash.
With five games of the season remaining, it was time for Ben Futcher and Steven Schumacher to step into the starting XI after Efe Sodje and Damien Mozika both picked up a red card in the previous game and were now sitting out three-game suspensions.
Substitution for Bury on 10 minutes - Kyle Bennett on for Phil Picken
Ryan Lowe tried his luck from the edge of the box on 12 minutes only to see Liam O'Brien push the ball over the bar.
Yellow card for Bury on 13 minutes - David Worrall
Steve Kabba blasted the ball from close range on 14 minutes but Bury had Ryan Lowe to thank for a goal-line clearance.
GOAL! Nicky Ajose added another to his tally with a coolly taken goal on 16 minutes; Kyle Bennett sent the ball forward looking for Ajose but Matty Parsons thought he had it covered, only for Ajose to steal the ball and finish from the right of the box.
Bury 1 Barnet 0
GOAL! Bury doubled their lead on 21 minutes with a stunning effort from Michael Jones; Ajose took the ball to the right of the box before squaring the ball to Jones on the edge of the box who finished at the far post.
Bury 2 Barnet 0
Jones and Ajose both beat the offside trap on 29 minutes to surge forward, but Jones' shot from the left of the box skimmed in front of goal and out for a goal kick.
Ajose could've chalked up his second goal of the afternoon on 31 minutes after a curling cross from Jones met his head in front of goal, but the Manchester United loanee saw his headed effort skim against the near post.
A cheeky through ball from Bennett on 39 minutes set up Ajose but he either saw it late or couldn't quite make it as the ball rolled into the hands of O'Brien.
Kabba tested Cameron Belford on 43 minutes with a strong effort from the right of the box which the Bury keeper blocked.
Two minutes of added time were indicated by the fourth official as Bury kept the ball to end the half well ahead.
Taking the lead was crucial in a match where both sides were desperate for the points, and the plan was working after the first half.
Half Time - Bury 2 Barnet 0
Half Time substitution for Barnet - Jordan Parkes on for Matty Parsons
Bennett tried a low effort on 55 minutes from just outside the box, but O'Brien got his hand to it and sent it rolling out for a corner.
Substitution for Barnet on 60 minutes - Sam Dearing on for Glen Southam
Yellow card for Barnet on 67 minutes - Jude Sterling
Substitution for Barnet on 70 minutes - Charlie Taylor on for Izale McLeod
Yellow card for Bury on 73 minutes - Ben Futcher
The second half become a case of Bury keeping the ball and defending against a Barnet side who kept bringing the ball forward.
Yellow card for Barnet on 75 minutes - Joe Devera
Substitution for Bury on 82 minutes - Andy Haworth on for Michael Jones
Mark Marshall was inches away from claiming a stunning consolation goal on 86 minutes with a long-range effort which came back out after clattering the far post.
Four minutes of additional time were indicated by the fourth official as Barnet took the ball forward again. They had tried throughout the half to break Bury down but they were staying resilient at the back knowing they had done the hard work in the first half.
Time was eventually called on a successful day at the office for Bury; they knew that anything less than a win could dent their quest for promotion but they took the pressure on the chin and scored two goals to put the game beyond doubt in the first half. Barnet had plenty of attacking energy but still looked like a team at the wrong end of the table with poor finishing meaning they gave Cameron Belford little to worry about.
Bury welcome Lincoln to Gigg Lane on Good Friday; they're not quite safe just yet and three points will help their survival hopes, but they will have to overcome a Bury side oozing with confidence.
Full Time - Bury 2 Barnet 0
Gate: 3082 (155 visitors)
Bury: Cameron Belford, Phil Picken, Joe Skarz, Tom Lees, Ben Futcher, Peter Sweeney, David Worrall, Steven Schumacher (c), Michael Jones, Ryan Lowe, Nicky Ajose,
Substitutes:Andy Haworth, Lenell John-Lewis, Kyle Bennett, Richie Branagan, Andrai Jones, Luke McCarthy, Max Harrop
Barnet: Liam O'Brien, Joe Devera (c), Glen Southam, Steve Kabba,Mark Marshall, Daniel Leech, Izale McLeod,Tommy Fraser, Matty Parsons, Mark Byrne, Jude Stirling
Substitutes: Jordan Parkes, Rossi Jarvis, Sam Dearing, Sam Cox, Clovis Kamdjo, Charlie Taylor, Tom Coulton
Referee: Mr Eddie Ilderton
Assistant (Red & Yellow Flag):Mr G P Johnson
Assistant (Yellow Flag): Mr R J Jones
Fourth Official:Mr K J Mattocks