Rovers welcomed Championship pace setters Ipswich Town to the Keepmoat Stadium for a League Cup tie that presented the opportunity to test themselves against loftier opposition.
Lead by Barnsley-born former Republic of Ireland international Mick McCarthy the Tractor Boys included several first team players in a strong starting eleven.
The first real chance of the game came after 14 minutes when Brett Pitman fired wide when trough one on one. Rovers grew into the tie an took the lead on 22 minutes when Town failed to clear a free kick properly and Cedric Evina crossed for Andy Williams to nod in at the back post – the Black Bank rejoicing in the fact they had actually witnessed a goal. Ipswich responded before half time, hitting the bar with an effort which they failed turn in at the second attempt.
Half time saw Rob Jones replaced and Rovers simultaneously seemed to lose all composure without their experienced leader. The inevitable equaliser came on 57 minutes when Ipswich countered and Pittman turned home from close range. Town then began to dominate with Rovers unable to retain any possession but valiantly hung on to take the tie to extra time.
From then on it was a horror show for Rovers with Ipswich turning home a further three goals in extra time through David McGoldrick, James Alabi and Ryan Fraser – their superior quality showing – leaving Rovers fans wondering what might have been, as their opponents duly drew Manchester United in the next round.
by Liam Maye