When Brian Flynn takes his squad to Crewe this weekend they will be met with a scene of celebration following the Alex’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win last Sunday.
But Rovers are in no mood to join in the celebrations and look to move a step closer to a party of their own as victory at Gresty Road would secure at least a playoff berth as the season nears its conclusion.
The last league meeting between the sides in Crewe was one to remember for the visitors who romped to victory and brought some early Christmas cheer back to South Yorkshire, it was the start of a six game unbeaten run which took Rovers into 2008 on a high, leaving us in the hunt for promotion to the Championship.
Crewe, arguably, went into the game with one eye on victory after Rovers slipped to defeat against Yeovil before the trip over the Pennines. But they were to be bitten by the wounded animal as Sean O Driscoll’s men bounced back in some style. It was all Rovers from the offing with a display of fine passing and movement that almost brought the breakthrough after just 15 minutes but Adam Lockwood’s flicked header cannoned back off the bar with Ben Williams in the Alex goal left helpless.
James Hayter was guilty of missing the target five minutes or so later and despite the dominance of Rovers, the home side would have been thankful to still be on level terms at this point. James Coppinger had a shot blocked but it fell to Hayter who prodded the ball through to Jason Price and the big striker smashed the ball home with the Alex defence looking for an offside flag.
As the second half began there was no let off for the home side as Price doubled Rovers lead following a sublime defence splitting ball from Coppinger with just five minutes on the clock. Price was guilty of missing the chance to net a hattrick moments later as he read a poor backpass towards Williams but he couldn’t hit the net.
Crewe finally mustered a half decent chance when skipper Neil Cox, had a chance cleared off the line but the home supporters dreams of a revival were dashed somewhat when Gary Roberts was dismissed for a poorly timed two footed lunge on Coppinger. That tackle gave referee David Foster no choice but to show a red card to the midfielder.
It got worse for Crewe with moments of the game to go as the visiting Rovers fans were treated to a show of predatory excellence from Paul Green who smashed home the third goal after picking up the ball following a defensive mistake. Lewis Guy rubbed salt in the wounds of the home side as he neatly rounded off the scoring cutting in from the left.