RYAN Lowe felt sloppiness at both ends of the field cost Bury the chance of taking at least a point from Monday night’s Lancashire derby at promotion hopefuls Blackburn.

The Shakers made life difficult for the high-flying Rovers in the first half, and had chances to produce an upset.

And Lowe believes his side gave the watching television viewers their money’s worth with the way his side played the game.

Some home fans booed Rovers off after the Shakers more than held their own in the first half.

Josh Laurent could have made things worse for them when he went close for Bury before the break.

And the same player had another chance shortly after the restart as Blackburn knew they were in a game.

But Bury’s chances of producing what would have been a huge confidence-boosting result were dented when Danny Graham broke the deadlock on 51 minutes, and they were killed off when Adam Armstrong doubled Blackburn’s lead on 67 minutes to end the Shakers’ five-match unbeaten run.

That was enough to send Rovers top of League One while Bury remain second-bottom, 10 points from safety with 13 games left.

Lowe said: “In a way, we knew it was going to be tough, but we’ve had 14 shots to their 10, with four on target, and when you go to a place like Blackburn, you’ve got to score when you’re on top.

“We’re happy in the way that we played some attacking football. I think Sky will appreciate what we’ve tried to do. We’ve come to Blackburn and taken the game to them, and up until they scored I thought we were the better team.

“But ultimately goals win you games and we conceded two sloppy goals.”

Although the game was broadcast live on Sky Sports, almost 1,000 Bury fans travelled for the Shakers’ first league visit to Ewood Park in 38 years.

Harry Bunn scored the only goal there in the Checkatrade Trophy in October and played just behind striker George Miller, with James Hanson, Adam Thompson and Stephen Dawson dropping to the bench.

In came Nathan Cameron, Neil Danns and Danny Mayor, with the latter slicing the game’s first shot well wide before Graham’s low shot forced Connor Ripley to save with his feet.

Bunn then dragged a 20-yard shot wide and moments later he fired straight at David Raya from a little further out.

Rovers replied with Greg Leigh failing to cut out a diagonal ball to former Bury loanee Elliott Bennett, whose shot deflected over off Peter Clarke.

Armstrong then curled a 25-yard effort wide while Darragh Lenihan knocked a corner down for Corry Evans to fire over from the edge of the box.

Laurent saw some space to burst into just before the break, only to fire wide from 20 yards, and the on-loan Wigan midfielder had a shot deflected just wide right after half time.

Mayor then got in behind the home defence but came inside on his stronger right foot and Rovers recovered to block his shot.

Bury had a warning when Derrick Williams glanced a header wide from Charlie Mulgrew’s inswinging free kick, but the Shakers failed to heed it as Blackburn opened the scoring moments later.

They let Rovers bring the ball into their half unchallenged then stood off as Bradley Dack waited for Graham’s run before chipping it into the box, where the striker got in behind Phil Edwards to head home his 13th goal of the season.

The Shakers made a positive response to falling behind, with Bunn going closest when he fired wide from 20 yards.

But Rovers sealed victory following Lenihan’s low cross. Marcus Antonsson’s shot was going wide but Cameron seemed to be caught in two minds, keeping the ball in for Armstrong to poke the ball in from close range.

The Shakers rallied briefly, with a long-range effort by Danns keeping Raya alert before Miller lashed a late effort wide, but Bury could not claim a consolation as Lowe suffered his first defeat since being put back in charge.

“We lost the game so we’re disappointed,” he said. “We’re pleased with the way we’re playing, the way we’re running and the way we want to pass forward. We’re creating chances.

“But Graham’s run in unmarked for their first goal and the second one’s a mistake by Nathan Cameron. He’s tried to shield it out but Armstrong pinched it off him.

“They were the goals we were conceding nine or 10 games ago and we don’t want that to happen again.”

Bury (4-4-1-1): Ripley 7, Edwards 6 (O’Shea 78, 5), Cameron 6, Clarke 7, Leigh 7, Ismail 6 (Hanson 68, 6), Danns 7, Laurent 7 (Tutte 78, 6), Mayor 7, Bunn 7, Miller 7.

Subs not used: Dawson, Maguire, Thompson, Murphy.

Blackburn (3-4-1-2): Raya, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Williams, Bennett, Smallwood, Evans (Payne 63), Bell (Nyambe 68), Dack, Armstrong, Graham (Antonsson 63).

Subs not used: Downing, Samuel, Tomlinson, Leutwiler.

Referee: John Busby (Oxfordshire).

Attendance: 12,038 (973 away).