BURY claimed their first away win in seven months in what manager Lee Clark described as a terrific performance against Blackburn Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night.

Harry Bunn’s strike 11 minutes from time, latching on to the rebound from his own header, was the only goal of the game, enough to settle the first competitive encounter between the two clubs in 37 years.

“I thought the lads were terrific,” said Clark. “Some of the football we played – the work ethic, our discipline without the ball – was fantastic.

“The only thing I was saying at half time was could we take the opportunity to shoot a little bit more? I think we were looking for the perfect goal at times and the perfect final pass, but that doesn’t always arise.

“If you take a chance you might get a little deflection.

“I thought we fully deserved the result and I thought the performance was excellent.”

Bunn scored his first goal since joining the Shakers from Huddersfield for an undisclosed fee in the summer.

And boss Clark is calling for the 24-year-old to be more selfish in order to add more goals to his game.

“It will be a huge lift for Harry,” said Clark. “He is a great boy.

“When I named the team I had a private one-to-one with him and I just wanted him to go and play for himself.

“I think he is such a team player, he concentrates a little bit too much on trying to help other people in the team to the detriment of himself.

“I said go and play up front with Michael Smith and takes some risks. He has shown some flashes of the ability that he has got. He is going to be a huge player for the club. It was a massive signing for us to get Harry over the line.

“Like any player he has lost a little bit of confidence, but that will be a huge lift for him.

“We think the world of him here. He is a dream to manage, very low maintenance.”

Clark was able to give important game time to players who are starting to return from injury, such as defender Eoghan O’Connell, who made his debut for the club and was mightily impressive in the heart of defence.

He won nearly every tackle and header against Rovers’ experienced frontman Danny Graham, including a magnificent goal-saving tackle midway through the first half.

The ex-Celtic centre-back has now fully recovered from a knee injury, as has Andrew Tutte, whose late introduction from the bench brought the biggest cheer of the night from the travelling Bury supporters.

“The good thing for me is that I’m starting to get important players back,” Clark said. “Andrew Tutte is a big plus for us.

“Eoghan O’Connell was outstanding, he looked a class act.

“I thought Jordan Williams grew into the game and was excellent, making those marauding runs forward.

“I think the lads have settled into the new system we’ve deployed in the last week, they look like they’re enjoying it and I think some of the football was really pleasing.”

Greg Leigh put in another impressive display on the opposite flank to Williams, and Clark believes he is destined for bigger and better things.

“When I left Greg out of the Fleetwood game I spoke to him about the decision and said ‘take a step and and have a breather. Have a look from the touchline and you’ll come back and rediscover yourself’,” said the Bury boss.

“I think that has certainly happened.

“Since he has come back he has been very consistent, he has been outstanding. He was my most consistent player in the 14 games last year and I think he has got all the tools to be a Premier League footballer.”

Match ratings

Bury (5-3-2): Fasan 7; Williams 7 (Humphrey 79, 6), Edwards 7, O’Connell 8 (Shotton 69, 6), Skarz 7, Leigh 8; Reilly 6 (Tutte 81, 6), Ince 7, Maguire 7; Smith 7, Bunn 7. Not used: Maloney, Dai, Ajose, Beckford.

Blackburn (4-2-3-1): Fisher; Travis, Nyambe, Platt, Hart; Harper, Whittingham; Chapman (Rankin-Costello 56), Gladwin, Conway (Mols 63); Graham (Nuttall 56). Not used: Raya, Thomson, Mansell, Hardcastle.

Referee: Scott Oldham (Lancashire)

Attendance: 2,025 (no visiting attendance given).