RYAN Lowe promised there was more to come from his Bury players after they slipped to the bottom of League One following Saturday's 1-1 draw at relegation rivals Gillingham.

Victory would have seen the Shakers leapfrog their hosts and an impressive first-half performance was capped by a 39th-minute strike by recalled midfielder Neil Danns – his first Bury goal in a year.

But just as it looked like the visitors would give caretaker boss Lowe a welcome three points in his first league game in charge, Josh Parker levelled with a free header on 85 minutes.

But while a draw meant Bury fell to the foot of the table, it ended a run of four straight league defeats and the encouraging performance followed a midweek win at home to Stoke Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Lowe said: “I was gutted to be hanging on, but it’s a good point in the end.

“I’d have had a hat-trick if I was playing! But that’s what we want, that’s how we’re going. We want to play attacking football and we’ll continue to do that.

“We’ve been working with the players now for 10 days, nearly two weeks, and you can see it paying off.

“There’s still more to come. We needed to put the ball in the net a couple more times, but that will come.

“I’m just happy the lads are showing what they can do, they’ve taken on board everything that we’ve asked and as you’ve seen there, it’s now showing on the pitch.”

Lowe made three changes from midweek, with Phil Edwards, Jay O’Shea and Michael Smith coming back in, but Edwards was beaten in an early tackle with former Bury loanee Sean Clare, who then burst down the right and fired just wide of the far post.

The Shakers began to have the greater possession just before the half-hour mark, though, with Greg Leigh playing a one-two with O’Shea before crossing for Nicky Ajose to volley wide.

Ajose also got in the way of a goal-bound shot by strike partner Smith. But Smith then played the ball back to Eoghan O’Connell, whose sharp ball down the right channel was perfect for Danns to latch on to and fire into the far corner.

Smith went close again before the break, although Parker fired over from a Gillingham corner as the hosts piled the pressure on in the second half.

Parker also headed straight at Bury keeper Leo Fasan while Mark Byrne dragged a shot wide.

The Shakers replied with substitute Andrew Tutte curling a 25-yard shot against the post while a thrilling finish continued with Ajose’s shot being tipped over by Tomas Holy.

And that proved a crucial save as moments later Parker peeled off his man to head home from Lee Martin’s corner and make it 14 away games in the league without a win for Bury.

Lowe added: “Neil Danns has been different class, he’s come in and his attitude has been second to none.

"He’s got a new lease of life and if he keeps putting in performances like that he’ll be on the team sheet.

“But until we get a winning formula then there’s always going to be places up for grabs.”

Match ratings

Bury (3-4-1-2): Fasan 7; O’Connell 8, Aldred 8, Edwards 8; Williams 7, Danns 7 (Tutte 7, 67), Ince 7, Leigh 7; O’Shea 8 (Reilly 87); Ajose 7, Smith 7. Not used: Humphrey, Maguire, Sang, Whitmore, Maloney.

Gillingham (4-2-3-1): Holy; Clare, Ehmer, Ogilvie, O’Neill; Byrne, Hessenthaler; List (Wilkinson 46), Parker, Martin; Eaves. Not used: Chapman, Cundle, Oldaker, Simpson, Wagstaff, Nelson.

Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).

Attendance: 4,364 (141 away).