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Grimsby Town 1 Rovers 1

29 August 2017

Andy Williams scored his first goal of the season then Marko Marosi made three penalty saves as Rovers earned two points in their Checkatrade Trophy game at Grimsby Town.

Darren Ferguson made a raft of changes, with only Andy Butler and Joe Wright remaining in the starting XI from Saturday’s Sky Bet League One game at AFC Wimbledon.

The opening stages were quiet and even as both sides tested each other out. The Mariners won a couple of corners with some success down the right wing, with Andy Butler twice the man getting highest to nod away deliveries.

Rovers enjoyed some good possession down the right wing themselves, with Craig Alcock spending plenty of time getting forward from his full-back spot. One lofted cross was picked out by Ben Killip with Andy Williams lurking, while another lofted ball into the area was knocked down by Williams - only for Alfie Beestin to be squeezed out by two home defenders after collecting the ball.

Williams was unlucky just after the 20 minute mark when he collected a long ball and turned his man, only for the onrushing Fillip to collect.

And Harry Clifton brought the first real save out of Marko Marosi after 21 minutes, with Harry Clifton’s powerful shot straight at the visiting keeper.

Rovers enjoyed plenty of possession and only a vital block from Ben Davies stopped Williams testing Killip with a powerful effort.

But the home side went ahead just before the half hour mark. Dialling Jaiyesimi ran down the left and got a strong low shot away. Marosi got a hand to it to keep the shot out, but Harry Cardwell was on hand to bundle the ball home.

There was a quiet spell before Williams drew Rovers level after 39 minutes. He smashed the ball home via the underside of the crossbar after good work from Rodney Kongolo and Liam Mandeville.

Rovers made two changes at the break, with Niall Mason and Will Longbottom coming off the bench in the place of Joe Wright and Butler.

It took Rovers 10 minutes to fashion their first real chance when Rodney Kongolo tried an effort from distance. It pinball around the area a little bit before Luke Summerfield hooked the ball away.

The next chance came just three minutes later, with Alfie Beestin chipping a ball in for Mandeville - but the forward could not get enough power on his diving header to beat Killip.

The home side fashioned some chances of their own as the game passed the hour mark. Jaiyesimi fired wide after a free-kick fell to him, while a low effort from Clifton fizzed all the way across the goalie when any touch would surely have turned it in for a goal.

Kongolo threatened with 20 minutes to go when he won the ball just outside the area. The Dutch midfielder, on loan from Manchester City, strode forward with purpose but his effort went just over the bar.

The game became stretched in the closing stages, with Issam Ben Khemis causing problems and only a last-ditch tackle nicking the ball off the feet of Mandeville when poised to shoot.

The home side were a danger, too, with Kelly’s cross just ahead of substitute JJ Hooper. Kelly also fired a low shot straight at Marosi, which the Rovers man needed two attempts to hold.

Rovers were given a great chance to nick the win when a home defender headed the ball against his team-mate, with the ball falling to Williams. The Rovers man was brought down just outside the area, but Mandeville’s free-kick was blasted into the wall.

Marosi kept Rovers in it with a great late stop, getting down well to block an effort from substitute Tom Bolarinwa.

The Mariners had the last opportunity of normal time with a Ben Davies free-kick about 25 yards out. He blasted it over, ensuring we would have a penalty shootout for a bonus point.

Williams and Mandeville missed penalties in the shootout, but three stops from Marosi ensured Rovers gained the extra bonus point.


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