LEON Clarke returned from injury with a bang as his solo strike at home to Doncaster secured Bury their first win in seven matches.

John O'Sullian missed a glorious opportunity in the first half before supplying Leon Clarke for the winner midway through the second period.

The visitors lacked quality in the final third and although they had more possession, they failed to create any clear-cut opportunities and remain in a relegation dogfight.

David Flitcroft tinkered with the formation once again plumping for a 4-3-3 that saw Leon Clarke return from injury to partner Dan Gardner and Tom Pope up front.

Doncaster controlled possession in the first period and asked all the questions early on as Bury keeper Chris Neal was forced to tip Gary McSheffrey's looping overhead-kick over the crossbar.

But enjoying the majority of the ball the visitors failed to create any clear-cut chances and it was Bury that should have taken the lead in the 13th minute.

John O'Sullivan raced through on goal following a long ball over the top but goalkeeper Remi Matthews stood his ground to save.

With the Shakers struggling to get their foot on the ball Flitcroft changed the shape to 4-4-2 in a bid to get Leon Clarke more central.

It took a magnificent reaction save from the face of Matthews to deny Soares in the 31st minute as the Bury skipper lashed a close-range volley straight at the goalkeeper after Pope nodded down Chris Hussey's corner.

But on the stroke of half time Mitchell Lund gave the hosts a scare when he lashed shot across goal and wide.

Kelvin Etuhu was introduced at half time following a two-month lay off through injury.

And as the two sides cancelled each other out at the beginning of the second period Hussey made a horror backpass to play through Andy Williams on goal but he lifted his shot way over the bar.

On the hour mark O'Sullivan was denied by a flying save from Stuckmann as Leon Clarke held off four players to tee up the winger on the edge of the area.

Bury cranked up the gears late on as Cian Bolger headed a Hussey corner narrowly past the post.

And the hosts took the lead in the 78th minute as O'Sullivan burst down the right and delivered a pin-point cross for the unmarked Leon Clarke to volley home from 12 yards.

It should have been two five minutes from time when Stuckmann missed his kick and gifted the ball to Lowe inside the six-yard box.

The forward cut it back to his partner Leon Clarke but Harry Middleton blocked the shot on the line before clearing Danny Mayor's follow up.

Neal had to keep his concentration until the very end and made a game-winning save to deny Tommy Rowe two minutes into added time.

The three points moved the Shakers up one place to 15th in the League One table.