Bury 3 Bristol Rovers 0
The Shakers sealed a valuable three points on their way to securing their League One status next season with a 3-0 win over play-off chasers Bristol Rovers.
Bristol Rovers were reduced to ten men following two yellow cards for Stuart Sinclair on the verge of half time.
Once again, James Vaughan was at the centre of attention again with a penalty goal on the 50th minute, an assist for Greg Leigh 14 minutes later and George Miller completed the scoreline.
Bury boss Lee Clark made two changes to the starting eleven after Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Oldham: Jacob Mellis missed out due to injury, and Ryan Lowe dropped to the bench to make way for Andrew Tutte and Tom Pope.
The visitors came the closest to finding the opening goal on seven minutes after some neat footwork by Stuart Sinclair on the left flank, but his shot was deflected and dipped inches over the crossbar.
A late challenge from Andrew Tutte on Rovers striker Luke James persuaded referee Ben Toner to award a free kick in a dangerous area, before showing Tutte a yellow card after just 13 minutes.
On 20 minutes, Vaughan hassled the visitor’s defence to the extent he disposed James Clarke before dribbling into the penalty area and across the back line, until a last ditch tackle denied the striker a shot-off on target.
Vaughan continued to cause the opposition plenty of problems after he timed his run to perfection and was played through on goal, however, Rovers captain Tom Lockyer rushed back in time to deny Vaughan at the vital moment.
Leon Barnett pulled off a fantastic sliding tackle on the 28th minute to prevent Byron Moore a shot on target, a block worthy of an applaud from the home supporters.
Ten minutes later, Stuart Sinclair received a second yellow card for a blatant dive inside the away side’s final third of the pitch, whilst under the careful watch of Callum Styles.
A half time substitution for the Shakers allowed a more attacking style as George Miller replaced Tutte to take advantage of the extra man.
Three minutes into the second half Greg Leigh forced a penalty kick with a darting run down the left wing before he was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Lee Mansell. Vaughan stepped up to the penalty, and smashed the ball down the middle of the goal to take the Shakers into the lead.
Vaughan was in the thick of the action again on the 64th minute, as his bicycle kick towards the back post found the unmarked Leigh to head in his first goal for the Shakers.
Bury substitute George Miller extended the lead even further ten minutes later after he was played through on goal, before shifting the ball onto his right foot and past one defender, then he picked out the top right corner of Joe Lumley’s goal to make it 3-0.
The away side may have admitted defeat but they went in search for a consolation goal as Luke James aimed for goal from distance, but he was denied by the confident hands of Joe Murphy.
Lee Clark’s side will be hoping to add another three points on Saturday when they visit Millwall.
Bury starting line-up: Murphy, Moore, C. Burgess, Kay, Barnett, Leigh, Caddis, Styles (Bryan 55), Tutte (G. Miller 45), Pope, Vaughan (Pennant 82)
Unused subs: Lainton, S. Burgess, Hope, Lowe
Bristol Rovers starting line-up: Lumley, Clarke (Clarke-Salter 44), Lockyer, Sweeney, Brown (Montano 69), Sinclair, Lines, Mansell, Bodin (Gaffney 45), Moore, James
Unused subs: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, Harris, Burn
Attendance: 2,535 (including 346 travelling supporters)