The road to Wigan appeared daunting. Especially after back to back defeats to Rotherham; ordinarily you can ignore the B-team cheapened Papa John’s Trophy… but not when you’ve been tonked 6-0 by that lot down the road.
Throw in a novice centre-half on debut, and Wigan’s frankly Championship quality attack and this game had long-forgotten comfortable home win written all over it.
This was my first time watching Rovers in the flesh this season, and therefore my first time ever watching ten of the starting 11. If it’s hard for a bunch of strangers to play together, it’s even harder to get behind them emphatically before you’ve learned their foibles and or their football.
Luckily it was the one player I was familiar with who opened the scoring; Tommy Rowe first to react to Joe Dodoo’s overhead hook. The surprise joy was very soon quashed by an unsurprising equaliser; Will Keane heading in before we’d finished singing “We’ve scored a goal”.
Keane would strike again early in the second-half, putting the home side in front from what appeared, but crucially wasn’t, an offside position. But for the hands and reactions of Pontus Dahlberg the hosts could’ve added more, whilst Rovers showed all the urgency of a coach party on a toilet stop as they failed to find a way back into the game.
by Glen Wilson