The first of three seemingly must-win games for Gary McSheffrey began with an home fixture against Crawley Town, and a changed team and formation included the returns of Kieron Agard and Joseph Olowu, and Ben Close back for his first league game in over a year.
The first half started pretty slowly, until the 40th minute when the ball was played out to Luke Molyneux on the right. His whipped cross found Olowu, on his first game back from injury, to head in at the far post. Straight from the restart though Crawley won the ball back on their right and worked themselves into the box where James Tilley found space to slot home and make it 1-1 at the break.
In the second half Rovers came out a much better team. Another cross from the right was met with a far post header from Agard that struck a Crawley man’s arm, and the referee pointed to the spot; George Miller calmly slotted home the penalty. Ten minutes later it was 3-1; Agard tried a speculative volley from distance which Miller blocked, but the ball fell kindly for him to finish via the underside of the bar .
Seven minutes from time Kyle Hurst scored to make it 4-1, netting the best of the lot. Picking the ball up on halfway, he ran all the way through on goal before slotting the ball between the onrushing keeper’s legs.That’s one out of three chalked up successfully for McSheffrey, Bring on Rochdale.
Photo courtesy of Adam Bates