RYAN Lowe apologised to Bury fans after what he described as a “shocking” performance in Tuesday night's derby against Rochdale.

The Shakers stumbled a step closer to relegation from League One while their dismal record against their local rivals continued.

Dale are also fighting to avoid the drop and claimed a 30th-minute opener through Ryan Delaney before Ian Henderson doubled their lead on 43 minutes.

Bury were booed off at half-time, with chants of "what a load of rubbish" coming from the main stand.

And Neil Danns' second-half penalty miss summed it up for the Shakers, who have now failed to win in their last 10 league games against Dale.

More importantly, a fifth straight defeat means they are 12 points from safety with just six games left.

There were also chants of "you're only here for the money" late on and some fans threw their season tickets onto the pitch while one was quickly escorted from the pitch after attempting a sit-in protest.

Lowe said: “That performance was miles off. I've stood here and backed the players but I ain't backing them on that performance.

“The performance was shocking, the effort was shocking, the passing was shocking. There was no fight, no passion, no spirit – nothing. I'm not surprised the fans booed them off and sang "what a waste of money", because it was.

“I've got to apologise to the fans because they didn't deserve that. Yes, we're in a bad position, but I asked the players to give the fans a performance because it's a derby, but that did not epitomise one of my teams.”

Lowe made four changes to the side which lost 2-1 at Bristol Rovers on Good Friday, with Joe Skarz, Adam Thompson, Andrew Tutte and Danny Mayor coming in.

But Dale made the livelier start and Henderson spurned a great early chance, taking a touch from Brad Inman's cut-back before volleying wide from just six yards.

Mayor was Bury's biggest threat in the first half and his through ball for George Miller was slightly overhit before Mayor dragged a 20-yard effort straight at Josh Lillis.

Thompson then did well to block a Henderson shot but Dale took the lead from a corner moments later. Inman's delivery landed right on the head of Delaney eight yards out and it looked as though the Dale defender's feet barely left the ground as he steered the ball inside Connor Ripley's near post.

Bury replied with Mayor curling a hopeful effort way off target before Miller found Mayor in the left side of the box and the winger cut inside before firing straight at Lillis.

But Dale went straight up the other end to double their lead as Calvin Andrew found Henderson in the left side of the box and the striker hit a fine volley inside the far post from a tight angle.

Lowe made a double substitution at the break but moments after the restart Ripley was at full stretch to tip over a Henderson header, while Delaney headed over from another Dale corner.

Bury improved slightly and Zeli Ismail's cut-back struck Jim McNulty's arm. Ismail tried to get the ball off Danns, the designated penalty taker, and although Danns took the spot-kick, the row seemed to unsettle the veteran midfielder as he dragged it almost a yard wide.

Lillis then made a superb save to deny half-time substitute Harry Bunn and Dale almost made the victory more emphatic as sub Stephen Humphrys and Oliver Rathbone went close late on.

“I'm not taking responsibility for that performance,” Lowe added.

“We told them all about Rochdale but they didn't do their jobs. It says something when our best two players are 17/18-year-olds (Ryan Cooney and Callum Styles).

“I'm wound up, I'm frustrated and I'm angry. Had we scored the penalty it might have been different but I still wouldn't have been happy with that performance.”