After 90 minutes I was expecting to write about a disappointing homecoming, missed chances and League Two’s physicality. I was also going to say that the season had a long way to go, and Rovers are still a work in progress.
The home side trailed to Donovan Wilson’s 16th minute goal and had been second-best to an industrious and organised Sutton United side. Indeed, Rovers goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell had been the star performer, keeping the opposition to one goal. Rovers, meanwhile, had played some neat football without ever adding a killer punch.
Then, two minutes into stoppage time, it happened. Tommy Rowe, man-marked all afternoon to within an inch of his life, found a bit of space. His cross was headed home from close range by George Miller, his first senior goal in the hoops.
A draw would have been a decent result for Rovers, but two minutes later there was further drama. Adam Clayton’s pass found the run of Miller who drew the goalkeeper out of position before passing to Kieran Agard, who shot into an empty goal to make it 2-1. The final whistle soon followed, and Rovers ended the afternoon on a very respectable four points from two games.
Gary McSheffrey deserves credit for this victory. Sending on Agard for the misfiring Josh Andrews changed the flow of the game, while young substitutes Tavonga Kuleya and Bobby Faulkner both got enthusiastically involved. Nevertheless, the season has a long way to go.
by John Coyle