ROVERS’ January summer signings, their big match players and those returning from injury were always going to be key to their promotion pursuit.

And that’s what came to their aid as they moved top of League One against Bury in a performance which was sluggish for long spells.

But Bradley Dack and Danny Graham linked up to good effect for the first goal while three substitutes added a different dimension to the side as Lehihan’s cross was eventually flicked home by Adam Armstrong for his fourth in three games to kill the game off.

The 2-0 win, which included a first clean sheet since Boxing Day, moved Rovers top of the pile for the first time this season with 13 games to play.

Tony Mowbray opted to go with the three at the back system in which Rovers had finished the previous two matches. That saw a first start since the opening day for Darragh Lenihan, plus recalls for Amari’i Bell, Corry Evans and Graham.

Rovers enjoyed almost exclusive use of the ball early on, faced with breaking down two Bury banks of four.

Graham drew a save from Connor Ripley in the 10th minute, denied by the legs of the ‘keeper as he held off the attentions of Phil Edwards.

But that proved to be as good as it got for Rovers in a sluggish opening 45 minutes.

A lack of tempo and hopeful long balls forward provided few other clear-cut openings.

Without a clean sheet since Boxing Day, Rovers were also nervy in defence.

A poor Elliott Bennett throw sold Charlie Mulgrew short, but fortunately David Raya was well placed to deal with George Miller’s long range effort.

It was all a little pedestrian from Rovers who needed to lift the tempo if they were to threaten an opener. As the frustration crept in among the home ranks, Bury sensed their opportunity.

First Danny Mayor drifted beyond Corry Evans too easily and teed up Harry Bunn who dragged an effort widely. The forward tried again moments later, this time finding the target, but Raya was on hand to gather.

On the half hour mark a ball over the top did eventually find its target. Bradley Dack found Bennett whose first touch took him goalwards, with his shot deflected on to the roof of the net by Peter Clarke.

But that failed to signal any real momentum lift, first Adam Armstrong and then Corry Evans failing to hit the target with efforts from the edge of the area.

And complacency continued at the back. Richie Smallwood robbed off possession before Josh Laurent was able to dance beyond three tackles and rifle an effort narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Performance levels may not have improved at the start of the second period, but Rovers were to get their noses in front five minutes after the re-start. Graham was to make it nine goals in his last 10 Ewood outings as he met a Dack delicious cross to head home.It was a moment of quality from Dack in a game which had lacked those stand-out moments.

Bury were far from out of it though, a 50 yard Bunn break ending with him curling wide when Miller was free to his right. A double change saw Rovers revert to their more regular 4-2-3-1 formation as Jack Payne and Marcus Antonsson were introduced. And within two minutes the lead was doubled. Lenihan whipped in a cross which was deflected goalwards, and after Nathan Cameron dallied, Armstrong was there to sweep in his fourth goal in three games.

The changes had re-energised Rovers who were pressing much higher up the pitch. Payne had added some artistry, Antonsson industry as Dack began to take charge.

Bury gambled with their three substitutes, one of those James Hanson seeing an effort saved by Raya with 10 minutes to go.Miller wasted a good opportunity in injury time, moments after Ripley had made a fine save to deny Payne.

But there was no stopping Rovers moving top of the pile where they will hope to remain come May.