Northampton and Rovers came into this match separated only by goals scored, but a scoreless first half showed which team had the greater quality, and it wasn’t the home team.
Sporting their green and black kit, Rovers passed the ball short and long with a confidence they’ve not had for 18 months or so. What they didn’t do quite so well was to create chances; the best effort of the first period came when Adam Clayton almost scored via an inswinging corner.
Lee Tomlin had been well marked by Northampton’s Shaun McWilliams, but early in the second half the veteran found space on the edge of the home team’s box only to fire straight at goalkeeper Lee Burge. Tomlin’s next intervention, with just over 20 minutes of the match remaining, was decisive. He dragged McWilliams towards the corner flag then turned back inside and into the penalty area. The Town player bundled into Tomlin and a penalty was awarded which was coolly dispatched by George Miller.
Leading 1-0 Rovers expected an onslaught from the home side, but it never really materialised, and the best chance of the final stages fell to Miller. Finding himself one-on-one with Burge he dallied slightly too long, allowing Tyler Magloire to block his shot. Right at the end home substitute Danny Hylton, an old foe of Rovers, headed over the bar, but the visitors held on for a first away win of the season. They were excellent value for it, too.
by John Coyle