BURY boss Ryan Lowe reminded Caolan Lavery patience is a virtue after the forward came off the bench to help the Shakers return to winning ways against Tranmere on Saturday.

Lavery’s late strike proved all the more crucial after Rovers reduced the deficit moments later, with the 26-year-old now having bagged three goals off the bench in his last two outings.

That still may not be enough to Lavery to break into Lowe’s starting XI but the Bury manager wants all of his troops primed to make an impact during the festive period.

“I had a chat with Caolan during the week and I’ve explained one or two things to him,” said Lowe.

“In Byron (Moore) and Nicky (Maynard), we’ve got two strikers who have been in great form for a while, so some players have to be patient.

“There’s Chris Dagnall in there as well, and he’s fighting for a starting place.

“It’s great there’s competition for places, and I’ll need that at this stage of the season with plenty of games and points to play for in the next few weeks.”

A hard-fought three points was just the tonic following Bury’s 4-2 derby defeat to Oldham last time out.

Lowe added: “Well, a win is a win and so, I’m delighted.

“My players have got the lot. There’s resilience, spirit, fight and passion, and I can’t ask for any more than that.

“There’s some real good characters in the squad this season, and to be honest, all of the lads have been a pleasure to work with.

“That’s a great situation to be in for a manager like me.”

There was an encouraging start from the Shakers, who threatened in only the second minute when midfielder Jay O’Shea saw a cracking left-footed drive blocked by Rovers skipper Stephen McNulty.

Lowe’s men were undoubtedly on top early on and Chris Stokes almost struck as he awkwardly flicked a Nicky Adams corner narrowly wide.

As the midway point of the first period approached, Rovers finally tried their luck, though from some distance as Jay Harris’ 30-yard strike fizzed a couple of feet wide.

Back came the Shakers, with Nicky Maynard forcing Scott Davies into a fine diving save but immediately after that, James Norwood somehow scooped over the top for Rovers as he met a measured Jake Caprice cross.

Norwood was guilty again minutes later as he nodded wide from close range as he darted in to meet a smart cross from strike partner Paul Mullin.

At the start of the second period, the Shakers saw skipper Neil Danns thwarted by a super stop from Davies at his near post.

Maynard finally broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, nodding home from Adams’ precise free kick.

There was an almighty scare for Bury in the 64th minute as Norwood – again – missed a sitter, this time firing over from five yards.

However, the Shakers all-but wrapped up their deserved win in stoppage time when Lavery drilled home from 20 yards.

Rovers sub Ritchie Sutton headed home even deeper into added time but the Shakers hung on.

Bury (3-5-2): Murphy 7, Stokes 7, Thompson 8, Aimson 7, Adams 8, Styles 7, O’Shea 7, Danns 8, McFadzean 6 (O’Connell, 76 6), Moore 7 (Lavery, 61, 7), Maynard 8 (Telford, 85, 6)

Subs not used: Hudson, Miller, Dawson, Dagnall.

Tranmere (5-3-2): Davies 6, Caprice 7 (Smith, 79, 6), McNulty 6 (Sutton, 41 6), Monthe 7, Ellis 6, Ridehalgh 7, Jennings 8, Harris 7, McCullough 7, Mullin 5 (Stockton, 53, 6), Norwood 6.

Subs not used: George, Buxton, Gilmour, Bakayogo.

Referee: Andy Haines.

Attendance: 4,748.