BURY manager Ryan Lowe is adamant his side can be challenging late in the season after a ruthless 4-0 hammering of Stevenage.

Jay O’Shea scored twice while Danny Mayor and Eoghan O’Connell also netted for the home side – all after a goalless first half.

Kurtis Guthrie’s 41st-minute red card undoubtedly turned the tide as the visitors folded – but Lowe could take nothing away from a clinical edge which has seen his side lose just one in their last nine League Two games.

"It might not look like it now, but we knew this would be a tough game against Stevenage,” said Lowe.

"We knew we'd find it tough to break them down, and that's how it panned out.

"Dino Maamria has got them resilient, they're well-organised and they get in your faces.

"The sending-off helped us, though, undoubtedly. In the second half you saw that ruthlessness from us again.

"We knew that was coming. I even said that to the lads at half time.

"We've got lots of players who are capable of creating chances, and it's nice to see lots of different lads chipping in with the goals.

"Overall I'm happy of course, I'm pleased – that's three more good points as we look to achieve something this season.

"We've been clinical and I can't be any happier. We've got a good squad here this season, and good strength in depth”

It was Maamria's Stevenage who created the first opening, when experienced wide man Jamal Campbell-Ryce flung in a dangerous cross from the left. Alex Revell met it well but headed narrowly wide.

The Shakers responded and came mighty close in the 19th minute, Nicky Maynard expertly played in strike partner Byron Moore, only to be denied by a point-blank stop from Stevenage keeper Seny Dieng.

The visitors were then reduced to 10 men in the 40th minute when Guthrie saw red following a lunge on Bury defender Adam Thompson.

The Shakers made a quick start to the second period, with Mayor and Adams both testing Dieng in the opening minutes.

Finally, Stevenage's resistance was broken in the 63rd minute. Mayor touched the ball to O'Shea, and he fired clinically past Dieng from 20 yards.

Mayor soon made it 2-0, smashing into the roof of the net from 15 yards after sub Dominic Telford's initial shot was blocked.

O'Shea made it 3-0 in the 78th minute, curling home a perfectly-executed free kick from just outside the box.

And sub O'Connell crashed home a fourth from 25 yards as Bury were rampant late on..

"We've had to be patient, but we're definitely doing the right things,” Lowe added.

"The second-half performance proved that we are a good team. We're showing signs that we can be challenging later in the season.

"Eoghan has worked so hard, both on and off the pitch, so I'm delighted for him.

"We sometimes need to taper down his training and his injuries do have to be carefully managed, but there's no doubt he's a special player.

"He's scored a worldie. I think everyone is pleased for him to be honest."

Bury (3-5-2): Murphy 7; Stokes 6, Thompson 8, Aimson 7; N Adams 8 (Cooney

85, 6), Mayor 8, O'Shea 7, Styles 7 (O'Connell 75, 7), McFadzean 6; Moore 7 (Telford 66, 6), Maynard 7.

Subs not used: Hudson, Miller, Dagnall, Barjonas.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Dieng; Henry (Reid 79), Cuthbert, Wilkinson, Hunt; Ball

(Ferry 61), Timlin, Byrom, Campbell-Ryce (Seddon 50); Revell, Guthrie.

Subs not used: Farman, Sonupe, Makuma, Nugent.

Referee: Tom Nield.

Attendance: 3,385.