‘We look really good,’ said one of the lads behind me with a notable tone of pleasant surprise as half-time approached. He wasn’t wrong. From the off Rovers took the game to Wanderers, dominating possession and pitch; indeed all they lacked was a decent cross and a goal – the two not mutually exclusive.
Wycombe, by comparison, offered a team made up of henchman from a 1980s action film (the massive one, the gobby little one, the one with the slicked-back ponytail, the one with the dreadlocks, the one with tattoos; all were here) and two tactics. 1. Waste time. 2. Get the ball into Adebayo Akinfenwa’s gravitational pull, and hope it remains in orbit until support arrives. In the first half they brought two comfortable saves from Marko Marosi; in the second they brought bugger all.
All Rovers needed to do was score; no mean feat last season, but mercifully something that’s coming easier in this one. Ten minutes after the restart Mallik Wilks fired past Ryan Allsop – a replica of his goal at Southend – and from then it was a case of how many more.
On 78 minutes it was 2-0; James Coppinger finding Tommy Rowe who slid the ball through for the improbably far forward Joe Wright to tuck away his first ever goal. And two minutes later it was 3-0; Matty Blair bursting down the right and slipping in John Marquis to roll the ball home at the second attempt. Job very much, and very pleasantly, done.
by Glen Wilson