Saints loanees Jake Hesketh, Sofiane Boufal and Jordy Clasie enjoyed mixed results as their respective promotion, relegation and European battles picked up pace over the weekend.
Hesketh’s MK Dons suffered a damaging 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers in the race for automatic promotion, their second in a row this month.
The midfielder’s cross set up Kieran Agard to cancel out David Perkins’s opener only for Connor Jennings to head home the winner midway through the second half.
Just two points now separate Bury in second from Tranmere in fifth who climbed to within one of MK Dons following that victory at Prenton Park.
Elsewhere, goals from Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata fired Atletico Madrid back to winning ways as they secured a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Sofiane Boufal impressed for Celta and might have given the visitors an early lead, swapping passes with Maxi Gomez and seeing his curling shot expertly saved by Jan Oblak.
The Slovenian keepers’ heroics eased Atleti nerves before Griezmann smashed in a free-kick from 20 yards. Substitute Alvaro Morata made sure of the points with a quarter of an hour remaining.
The result leaves Celta sitting one point clear of the relegation zone with six games remaining.
In the Netherlands, Jordy Clasie’s Feyenoord consolidated their hold on third place – behind PSV and Ajax – with a 2-1 victory over Heracles.
Clasie showed his disappointment at being replaced by Robin van Persie 12 minutes from time as Giovanni van Bronckhorst chased a win and they were duly rewarded by Steven Berghuis’s late penalty, the former Watford striker’s second goal of the game.