Among Rovers fans I’d spoken to there was a clear consensus on where the team’s strengths and weaknesses lie going into this season. Good going forward, but with a defence that could lapse into a Laurel & Hardy sketch at any given moment.
It’s a recipe that promises goals, all of the goals… so I suppose anyone who’s ever followed football should’ve known to put their house on a goalless opening game.
Though the nets may not have rippled from anything other than the August winds, Rovers made a fair fist of making it happen, and were unlucky not have taken more than a point.
Matty Blair was denied twice when slipped through on goal in the first half; by a goal-line clearance a couple of minutes in, and then later by an impressive bit of goalkeeping by Tomáš Holý.
At the other end Ian Lawlor was less busy, but still produced the save of the game; clawing away a close-range Gabriel Zakuani header from a corner.
In the second half, the Czech custodian would continue to keep Rovers at bay; blocking an Andy Butler header, and standing up long enough to block from John Marquis as the striker fought his way through a crowd in the area before poking a ball at goal.
Only Ben Whiteman was able to find a way past Holý with a couple of exocets from range, but he saw his efforts head toward the South Stand via the crossbar and an impressive defensive header respectively.
by Glen Wilson