Bury's bad run continued after a dismal day down on the Devon coast, which saw them suffer a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a recently revived Plymouth Argyle.
There were a few new faces in Chris Lucketti's side, with new signings Connor Ripley, Peter Clarke, and James Hanson, all coming straight into the fold. Zeli Ismail was also added straight into the starting line-up after returning from his loan spell at Walsall.
There were seven changes in total to Chris Lucketti's side with Connor Ripley, Peter Clarke, Nathan Cameron, Stephen Dawson, Zeli Ismail, James Hanson and Danny Mayor coming in for Leo Fasan, Eoghan O'Connell, Tom Aldred, Phil Edwards, Josh Laurent, Callum Reilly and Michael Smith.
Argyle Manager Derek Adams had gone into the game with the same starting eleven that had beaten Walsall 1-0 at Home Park on New Year's Day.
The Shakers were looking to collect their first points of 2018, after they had been dealt a devastating blow away at Scunthorpe United on Monday, with Charlie Goode grabbing a goal in the 86th minute of the game after the Shakers had put in a hard-fought performance.
The first chance of the game fell to the home side. Some hard work from Ryan Taylor saw the ball fall to Graham Carey who dinked a cross into the Bury box, finding the head of Gary Sawyer with Antoni Sarcevic managing to get on the end of it with a brave header, but it was well deflected over the bar by Peter Clarke.
Another good move by the Pilgrims saw Antoni Sarcevic come close to finding the back of the net with a good effort from a tight angle inside the box, but his shot was just over.
Bury's first chance came in the 10th minute when James Hanson was nearly on the end of a great cross by Craig Jones, but it was behind for a corner. The corner was whipped in by Zeli Ismail and was only half-cleared by the Plymouth defence, which saw the ball fall back to Ismail. Ismail played a short ball to Mayor, who whipped the ball into the box, it was headed away by the defence and collected by Jones who struck the ball on the rebound, only to be denied by the bar.
Derek Adams' side had started well, as had the Shakers, but it was Plymouth whose efforts were rewarded. David Fox's free-kick into a lovely space inside the box was seized upon by Toumani Diagouraga with a diving header into the bottom corner.
Chris Lucketti was forced to make a substitution just before the half-hour mark, bringing on Ryan Lowe for Zeli Ismail. Harry Bunn was away on the left, and he played a great ball across – Ismail slid in to try and get a foot on it but clattered into the post. After inspection, Physios Paul Smith and Tom Walsh signaled for a stretcher and to the bench for a change, putting an end to Ismail's afternoon.
It was a good sign for Bury when Ismail appeared shortly after being stretchered off, from under the stand onto the perimeter of the pitch and walked gingerly back to the changing room.
Things soon got worse for the Shakers when referee Trevor Kettle awarded Plymouth a penalty when Ruben Lameiras went down inside the box. After a lot of debate from the Bury players the penalty stood and Graham Carey stepped up to the challenge. He struck the ball with power, but Ripley read it well and made a good save down to his left, but the midfielder was there to slot in the rebound to double the Pilgrim's lead.
HT: Plymouth Argyle 2 – 0 Bury
It just wasn't Bury's day. Injury once again forced Chris Lucketti into a substitution after Craig Jones came off clutching his hamstring, with Phil Edwards coming on in his place.
Somehow, things managed to get worse for Bury when on the hour mark Ryan Lowe was shown a straight red card for following in on 'keeper Matthews when chasing the ball down, which Trevor Kettle deemed as intentional.
Plymouth managed to exploit the additional space with Sarcevic firing a good effort from around 30 yards out, that had Ripley scrambling to his left, but the ball drifted wide.
James Hanson won a long ball in the air and managed to get it through to Danny Mayor, who released Greg Leigh on the overlap. Leigh played a good ball into the box, and it was almost turned in by an Argyle defender, but much to their relief it went wide.
The Pilgrims came close again in the 74th minute but Connor Ripley responded incredibly well with two athletic saves. Argyle broke forward down the right and played the ball into the box, with it falling to Lameiras who forced a great save from Ripley seeing the ball land at the feet of Gary Sawyer who struck the ball on the follow-up, but again Ripley was quick to react with another fine save.
Minutes later, Ripley was called into action again and reacted with another brilliant save to keep out Diagouraga's header which looked destined for goal.
The final blow for the Shakers came in the 79th minute. Plymouth had been pushing for a third goal and it came when Sarcevic drove home from 10 yards following two chances in quick succession that were blocked by the Bury defence.
FT: Plymouth Argyle 3 – 0 Bury
Plymouth Argyle: Remi Matthews; Oscar Threlkeld (Gary Miller 88), Ryan Edwards, Sonny Bradley, Gary Sawyer (capt); Antoni Sarcevic, David Fox (Jake Jervis 88), Toumani Diagouraga; Graham Carey, Ryan Taylor, Ruben Lameiras (Gregg Wylde 88).
Substitutes (not used): Yann Songo'o, Lionel Ainsworth, Joel Grant, Michael Cooper (GK).
Booked: Diagouraga 18, Fox 56.
Bury: Connor Ripley; Craig Jones (Phil Edwards 59), Nathan Cameron, Peter Clarke, Greg Leigh; Zeli Ismail (Ryan Lowe 30), Stephen Dawson (capt), Neil Danns, Danny Mayor; Harry Bunn, James Hanson.
Substitutes (not used): Eoghan O’Connell, Callum Reilly, Josh Laurent, Michael Smith, Leo Fasan.
Sent off: Lowe 60.
Booked: Danns 61.
Attendance: 9,139 (146 away).