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02 September 2023 Venue The Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 0 Swindon Town 0

2 September 2023

Rovers produced a superb effort to battle out a goalless draw with Swindon Town despite being reduced to ten men.

Tommy Rowe’s sending off just before half time threatened to tip the balance in a game in which Rovers had looked the more dangerous.

But tremendous battling spirit in the second half, coming with threat of their own, saw Rovers claim a point, which was the least they deserved.

Grant McCann made one change from the side that started midweek against Everton with skipper Richard Wood returning to the XI. Harrison Biggins and Tom Anderson were back among the substitutes after shaking off their respective injuries.

The early moments were an attritional affair with neither side able to find the spark of magic to unlock a route into the final third.

But Rovers began to enjoy the better of the attacking play as they produced some excellent swift passing football to begin to find openings.

George Broadbent fired the first effort of the afternoon, drawing a simple save from Swindon keeper Murphy Mahoney with a bouncing effort from 25 yards.

Rovers swept forward, with Joe Ironside sliding a ball through for Zain Westbrooke, who could not squeeze his shot beyond Mahoney from the edge of the box.

Jack Senior almost found Ironside with a superb cross from deep, but Mahoney swept up after the striker’s first touch.

Swindon grew into the game as the half hour mark approached. Jake Young sent a shot looping off the outstretched leg of Jack Senior, leaving Ian Lawlor with a nervy moment as the ball threatened to loop over his head.

The first real effort from the visitors saw Charlie Austin head narrowly wide from a zipped Tariq Uwakwe cross.

Tommy Rowe went close as he latched onto a loose ball inside the box and smashed a shot millimetres over the bar.

Swindon had a great opportunity as half time approached when Udoka Godwin-Malife met Dan Kemp’s cross and headed on goal but Lawlor was well behind it.

On the stroke of half time, Rovers were dealt a blow when Rowe was dismissed for a challenge on George McEachran.

McCann reshuffled his depleted pack at the break by sending on Biggins and Harrison.

Swindon looked the more threatening in the early stage of the second half and it took a vital challenge from Luke Molyneux to prevent Young from firing home from the edge of the box.

Lawlor produced an excellent save to keep out a fierce drive from Charlie Austin.

But Rovers soon gave as good as they got, despite the numbers disadvantage. Biggins saw a free kick deflect just wide while Ironside produced a brilliant turn and a powerful shot, drawing a good save from Mahoney.

Westbrooke fired wide from the edge of the box as Rovers continued to push.

The pressure from Swindon increased once more as the minutes ticked by but Rovers held firm with nerveless defending to secure the point.

Rovers: Lawlor, Bailey, Wood, Senior, Molyneux, Westbrooke, Broadbent, Rowe, Maxwell (Biggins 46), Faal (Anderson 46), Ironside. Subs not used: Jones, Olowu, Sotona, Roberts, Goodman.

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