Rob Jones named a strong attacking line up for his first game in charge with new signing Oscar Gobern partnering Richard Chaplow in midfield.
Both sides enjoyed early possession, before an acrobatic effort by James Coppinger was well saved by Neil Etheridge and Curtis Main couldn’t quite turn in the rebound. Depite an early chance for Jason Demetriou most chances were falling Rovers way; Main missed the left hand upright by a whisker and a vicious free-kick from Aaron Taylor-Sinclair was well saved by Etheridge to ensure the first half ended 0-0.
Rovers were attacking the end housing 500 travelling fans in the second half. Those fans had a scare on the hour mark as a slick home move led to a shot past Thorsten Stuckmann’s post. Rovers attacked following some more end to end play with Andy Williams shot tipped away from the top corner by Etheridge. In response Andy Taylor had an effort well saved by Stuckmann.
Rovers made changes, including a debut for Danny N’Guessen, but on 85 minutes, some weak defending led to Tom Bradshaw firing in the opening goal, against the run of play. Despite going behind Rovers pressed for an equaliser and Taylor-Sinclair was superbly denied by Etheridge again.
Then, in the four minutes of added time Tom Bradshaw lobbed in an underserved second goal to make it 2-0 and that’s how it ended; the scoreline not reflecting an encouraging but frustrating Rovers performance.
by Phil James