CONNOR Ripley produced a string of fine saves to earn Bury a point and keep their unbeaten run going.

Southend had the better of things at Gigg Lane as they aimed for a fourth straight win since Chris Powell replaced former Bolton defender Phil Brown as manager.

But the Shakers were indebted to Ripley as their on-loan Middlesbrough keeper kept the visitors at bay.

That made it five games without defeat for Bury since Ryan Lowe replaced Chris Lucketti as boss, although results elsewhere saw them slip to 10 points from safety.

Lowe made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Bradford on Saturday, with Nathan Cameron, Neil Danns and Danny Mayor making way for Adam Thompson, Stephen Dawson and James Hanson.

With morale still high after Saturday’s last-gasp equaliser, the Shakers made a positive start by earning a corner, from which saw Zeli Ismail drag a tame shot into the side-netting.

Southend’s lone striker Freddie Ladapo then fired wide, while winger Michael Kightly cut in from the left and shot straight at Ripley. Bury replied with Ismail’s cross going just over the head of Hanson before Harry Bunn fired wide after his sharp turn created a shooting opportunity.

The Bury players and fans shouted for offside as Shayon Harrison played in Ladapo, but his shot was too close to Ripley.

The former Oldham loanee was at full stretch to stop Harrison’s low strike from just outside the box, though, before pouncing onto the rebound.

Ismail had a shot deflected wide but was brought off for Andrew Tutte at half time.

That seemed to pay dividends as George Miller got in behind the Southend defence and rounded Mark Oxley before chipping back towards Hanson, but his header lacked enough power to trouble the visiting keeper.

Bunn then had a shot deflected wide for a corner, and Peter Clarke had a header cleared off the line.

But the visitors got back on the front foot with Dru Yearwood’s shot from the edge of the box creeping wide as Ripley scrambled across goal.

Ripley then parried a Jason Demetriou cross towards Yearwood, who failed to head goalwards with the keeper slightly out of position.

Substitute Jermaine McGlashan also went close, while Ben Coker’s inswinging cross forced Ripley to punch clear.

A fierce strike by Harrison stung Ripley’s palms, with Yearwood blazing over from the rebound. Coker then burst into the box and tried his luck from a tight angle, only for Ripley to deny the visitors a late winner.