Bury were relegated to League Two on their own turf at the hands of their Lancashire rivals, Oldham Athletic.
A heavily depleted Bury side held their own until the final ten minutes, when the visitors took the lead through a Matt Smith close-range effort.
That solitary goal was enough to condemn Bury back to the football league’s basement, two years after they were promoted from it.
Oldham had the first clear cut effort of the half on 10 minutes, as Cristian Montano left Ethan Ebanks-Landell for dead on the left hand side before shooting straight at Cameron Belford.
Oldham yellow card on 10 minutes – Connor Brown
A heavy challenge on Andy Bishop saw Jean Yves Mvoto have a talking to from the referee but little else.
An end-to-end first period saw the Shakers claim corner after corner, but to no avail. Yves Mvoto’s luck ran out after half an hour, when he went into the referee’s book for continuous fouling.
Oldham yellow card on 30 minutes – Jean Yves Mvoto
Montano worked hard on the left on 44 minutes, taking the ball from Ebanks-Landell before sending a powerful cross into the box. Robbie Simpson was there to meet it with his head, but he sent his effort well over the bar.
Two minutes of added time were played out and the sides left the field honours even.
Half time – Bury 0 Oldham 0
Bury substitution at half time – Valery Mezague on for Ethan Ebanks-Landell
Bury yellow card on 55 minutes – Ashley Eastham
Some neat link up play from Bury saw Zac Thompson with the ball on the edge of the box on 60 minutes, but his curling effort went straight into the arms of Dean Bouzanis.
Double substitution for Oldham on 64 minutes – Kirk Millar on for Robbie Simpson, Matt Smith on for Lee Barnard
Bury substitution on 68 minutes – David Healy on for Johnson Clarke-Harris
GOAL! The visitors took the lead with just over ten minutes to play, as Matt Smith buried the ball from close range after a whipped cross from Kirk Millar on the left.
Bury 0 Oldham 1
A tough tackle on Bishop left him hobbling from the field on 87 minutes.
Bury substitution on 87 minutes – Tom Pratt on for Andy Bishop
Oldham substitution on 90 (+2) minutes – Bobby Reid on for Cristian Montano
Belford juggled with the ball on the line with three minutes to go after a looping cross from the right, but soon got the ball under control.
Five minutes of added time turned to almost seven before the referee called time on a dismal afternoon for the Shakers.
Full time – Bury 0 Oldham 1
Attendance - 4,558 (2,073 visitors)