Rovers are enjoying the heady heights yet again at the top of the League One table after the draw against Portsmouth last weekend.
There’s little respite from the tough battles ahead as we make the relatively short journey along the M180 to Scunthorpe this weekend.
Against the Iron, Rovers have a good record both at home and on the road, but it’s particularly impressive that we have taken victory as many times as Scunthorpe have against us. Games between Rovers and Scunthorpe United seem to attract incident and goals. One of those incident packed matches at the home of the Iron was played out in January 2006.
Going into the game Rovers were keen to arrest a run of successive away defeats and arguably the pressure may have been off the visitors to Glanford Park. It was a typically rowdy atmosphere that greeted the teams at kickoff and the home side with their front two of Billy Sharp and Andy Keogh were keen to take advantage but Sharp could only lash wide when put through on the angle of the box.
Rovers loanee Ross McCormack almost found Michael McIndoe with a delightful cross but Iron ‘keeper Tommy Evans snatched the ball from the onrushing Rovers wideman. The home side pressed for the opening goal with Chris Taylor and Peter Beagrie working hard on the flanks with the latter crossing for Keogh who headed wide of the mark. Iron continued to be in the ascendancy and ex Rover Steve Foster nodded wide before Ian Baraclough rattled a shot the wrong side of the upright just before the break.
As the second half began the home side picked up where they left off and opened the scoring as Jim Goodwin headed home Beagrie’s centre. Rather then urge the home side on, it kick-started Rovers into life as they were to get themselves back into the game some 15 minutes later. Alan Blayney launched a long free kick forward from deep inside his own half and McIndoe was there, stealing in behind the defence to prod home. Paul Green forced Evans into a smart diving save shortly after the goal and it seemed the game had been turned on it’s head.
88 minutes had been played according to the scoreboard as Rovers poured forward looking for the winner and they were to get it in some style. After an initial attack had been half cleared the ball fell to Graeme Lee who fired in a wonderful effort from all of 30 yards into the top corner, a goal fitting enough to win any game at any level.
The home side were clearly rattled and after a crunching challenge from James Coppinger on Baraclough a scuffle ensued which saw Steve Torpey and Coppinger in a heated exchange and both players were dismissed for their part in the incident. As the whistle went moments later, all the talk was the winning goal, what a truly memorable winner.