IT’S no longer grim up north for Newport County AFC then.

County have had a dreadful time in the north of England since promotion to the Football League.

Not since a 1-0 triumph at Grimsby Town in the 2013 Conference play-off semi-final have Justin Edinburgh’s men made the long trip south with a win to celebrate but they will hope that is dead and buried now.

This terrific win at Bury, who had won seven successive home games in League Two, will have made the Exiles’ rivals sit up and take notice.

And, while Edinburgh is right to play down talk of a play-off push this early in the season, it was evidence that his team is growing in confidence and refusing to be bullied on their travels.

Only three weeks ago they let slip a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at Hartlepool United following captain Andy Sandell’s red card.

Since then a spirited showing in defeat at Luton Town in the FA Cup was followed by a stirring comeback from 2-0 down at home to Exeter City last week.

And the performance at Gigg Lane was right out of the ‘How to win away from home in League Two’ textbook.

Hat-trick hero Aaron O’Connor got all the plaudits and rightly so but this was a consummate team display.

County got the perfect start when Lee Minshull’s robust challenge went unpunished and Yan Klukowski cleverly clipped the ball through for O’Connor to coolly slide it past Scott Loach in the Bury goal after only three minutes.

That got the home crowd on edge straight away and their frustration with their team and the referee quickly transferred to the Shakers’ shaky defence.

There were a few raised eyebrows in the press box and amongst the 160 travelling fans when the team news was announced an hour before kick-off.

Edinburgh had surprisingly opted to recall Sandell following his suspension and back injury in place of fans-favourite Ryan Jackson.

That meant Curtis Obeng, who has had his loan move from Swansea City extended by a further month, shifting to right wing-back.

It’s fair to say that neither have hit top form of late for different reasons but both contributed to the win and justified their selection.

Edinburgh also left his midfield unchanged with Mark Byrne and Adam Chapman on the bench.

But Minshull, Klukowski and Max Porter rewarded Edinburgh’s faith in them with a battling display.

In tandem with the wing-backs and strikers O’Connor and Chris Zebroski they pressed Bury high up the pitch, forcing the hosts into errors and wayward balls forward.

And at the back Flitcroft’s side were their own worst enemy as they gifted O’Connor his second three minutes before the break.

Loach and centre-back Nathan Cameron were too busy trying to prevent a corner to notice the County striker lurking in the box and the keeper duly presented him the ball, which was then gratefully buried in the bottom corner.

Bury could only get better after the break and they did put the Exiles under intense pressure, leading to Danny Rose’s low drive under Day’s dive on 61 minutes.

It set up a very nervy final third but the visiting defence and Day passed a real tough test of their character in a bear pit of an atmosphere.

The crucial 60 seconds came in stoppage time as Day, who will be sorely missed over the next six weeks and maybe more, saved brilliantly from Daniel Nardiello’s free-kick.

The corner was cleared and O’Connor raced towards goal like a greyhound after a rabbit, fought off the defender, rounded Loach and fired home from an acute angle to the intense relief of everyone in an amber shirt.

Next week’s mammoth trip to Carlisle United will be another test of that new-found resolve but the County boys are starting to believe.

Bury: Loach; White (Thompson, 87), Cameron, McNulty, Hussey; Adams, Soares, Etuhu, Mayor; Rose, Lowe (Nardiello, 57)

Subs not used: Lainton, Tutte, Sedgwick, O’Brien, Duffus

County: Day; Obeng (Jackson, 76), Yakubu, Jones, Hughes, Sandell; Porter, Minshull (Byrne, 71), Klukowski; O’Connor, Zebroski

Subs not used: Pidgeley, Feely, Chapman, Jeffers, Pigott

Booked: Jones, Zebroski

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 3,166 (160 County)