sport

Shakers soar into top half

Tom Soares climbed off the bench to give Bury a 2-1 home win against Bristol Rovers and ease their relegation fears.

Hallam Hope gave them a dream start by firing in a third-minute opener, only for Rovers to equalise on the stroke of half-time as Ollie Clarke's shot deflected in off team-mate Kaid Mohamed.

But with his very first touch, Soares headed home in the 80th minute to send the Shakers into the top half of League Two and leave the Pirates in 20th place.

Bury took the lead with a goal from nothing. There seemed little on when the ball looped to Hope just inside the right corner of the box.

But the Everton loanee brought it down on his thigh before smashing a half-volley inside the far post for his second goal in two Bury games.

Pablo Mills then saw a header saved while Andrew Tutte and Danny Nardiello also went close for Bury.

Jim McNulty's error gifted Rovers a chance but Brian Jensen denied John-Joe O'Toole to spare the defender's blushes.

But moments later Mohamed's deflection left Jensen stranded and the veteran keeper had to pull off a superb save to keep out Matt Harrold's header.

Rovers remained on top after the break, with Michael Smith and Harrold spurning decent openings.

Bury replied with Nardiello twice going close before Soares claimed the winner, heading home at the near post from Chris Hussey's left-wing corner.