BURY steamrollered 10-man Bristol Rovers to climb six points above the drop zone.

A first-half red card for Pirates midfielder Stuart Sinclair enabled the Shakers to strike three times to ensure Lee Clark’s men returned to winning ways.

James Vaughan netted his 21st goal of the season from the penalty spot before turning creator for Greg Leigh to head home a second.

Substitute George Miller put the icing on the cake late on after being found in space by Manchester City loanee Kean Bryan.

The victory moves Bury up to 18th in League One and ended Rovers’ nine-game unbeaten run.

Clark made two changes from the side which were held to a goalless draw against Oldham on Saturday. Jacob Mellis was injured and Ryan Lowe dropped to the bench so Andrew Tutte and Tom Pope were handed a starting spot.

The first half contained more cards than chances as both sides struggled to get a foothold in the game

Midfielder Tutte was the first to see yellow when he slid in late on Luke James inside 14 minutes.

Rovers midfielder Sinclair was the next to enter the referee’s notebook for simulation.

Defences dominated early on and even the in-form Vaughan could not fashion an opening.

When the forward did beat the offside trap on the 31st minute he was thwarted by a superb recovery tackle from Tom Lockyer.

Leon Barnett replicated those heroics moments later with an equally magnificent tackle to deny Byron Moore.

In the 39th minute Sinclair was shown his second yellow of the evening, again for simulation, as Rovers were reduced to 10 men.

At half time and with a man advantage Clark gambled by introducing a third striker in the form of Miller as midfielder Tutte made way.

The attacking change made an instant impact when two minutes after the restart Leigh was bundled over in the box and Bury were awarded a penalty.

Vaughan stepped up and duly dispatched the ball straight down the middle for his 11th goal in 10 games.

Bristol skipper Lockyer came a whisker away from levelling when his deflected effort hit the post before Pope made a goal-line clearance from Lee Brown’s effort.

But the Shakers pressed for more as Clark barked his side forward and they were rewarded when Leigh swooped low to head home Vaughan’s cross – his first assist of the season.

Miller added the third in the 75th minute when he latched on to Bryan’s pass and finished well before keeper Joe Murphy had to be alert to push Rory Gaffney’s effort around the post.