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Club News

Rovers 3 Blackpool 3

19 August 2017

Rovers started the game brightly, taking control of the game’s early stages, with Tommy Rowe and John Marquis both causing the Seasiders immediate problems.

Neat work between the pair saw Marquis edge his way into the penalty area, earning Rovers an early corner from which Rowe then spectacularly fired wide.

Danny Andrew had Rovers next chance, receiving a ball across from James Coppinger and drilling wide from 20 yards out.

The visitors’ first chance came 20 minutes in, a break from a Rovers corner saw Mark Cullen go through, but the striker pulled up and was subsequently taken off and replaced by Callum Cooke.

Liam Mandeville next went closest for Rovers, heading a ball in from Coppinger just wide as the home side looked to step up a gear as the first half wore on, before Coppinger himself glanced a header wide from a Ben Whiteman cross moments later.

It was two pieces of brilliance from both sides though that sparked the game in to life as the half neared its’ end.

Great play from Coppinger saw him free up space for Rowe, 20 yards out from goal, and his powerful effort struck the crossbar, and bounced back into the goal via the back of the diving Ryan Allsop in the Blackpool goal and handed the home side the lead.

The visitors’ next chance saw them come closest to taking the lead.

A free-kick from Blackpool captain, Jimmy Ryan, was clipped into the box and was met by Clark Robertson, who’s towering header was just wide of Ian Lawlor’s near post.

From the next attack, the sides were level and it was yet another special strike that got the visitors back on terms.

Rovers switched off and gave more time and space than Sean Longstaff could have wished for, and he struck into Lawlor’s top corner from 25 yards out to make it 1-1.

It would be Rovers who would head in to half-time the happier of the two sides however, retaking the lead in first-half injury time.

A free-kick down the left from Andrew was cleared but immediately brought down by Matty Blair, who released Rowe down the left.

Rowe’s centre was met by Andy Butler, who’s initial header was blocked by Colin Daniel on the line, but his second was met by Marquis, who’sbicycle kick six yards out from goal sent Rovers into the break in the lead.

After the drama towards the end of the first half, the second period started much slower, with neither side able to create a clear-cut chance, but again it was Rovers who had much of the early possession.

The first chance of the second half came from the visitors, against the run of play, but it was one they took very well indeed.

The ball broke down the right for Oliver Turton, who cut inside and curled beautifully from 25 yards out into the far top corner and sent the sides level once more.

This goal lifted the visitors, who were now looking to take the lead for the first time in the game. Whiteman was caught in possession on half-way and the ball was carried forward well by substitute Viv Solomon-Otabor.

He released Kyle Vassell through one-on-one with Lawlor, but he couldn’t keep his composure and chipped over the Rovers’ goal.

The game did start to liven up again after this and in similar fashion to the games’ opening goals, Rovers went ahead and were immediately pegged back.

Rodney Kongolo sent Blair down the right, and his ball in was deflected by Robertson and fell at the feet of Alfie May who volleyed home for his third goal in three games.

Rovers’ lead didn’t last long however, and a minute later, another lapse in the home sides’ concentration cost them.

Straight from the kick-off once more, Cooke and Vassell broke free, and it was Vassell who pulled the ball back for Cooke to slot home and equalise once more for the Seasiders.

Rovers immediately came forward looking to get in front for a fourth time, with Marquis and Whiteman both having attempts blocked by a desperate Blackpool defence who were now looking to cling on for a point.

May, looking to build on his earlier goal, broke forward in injury time, but his shot was saved by Allsop and cleared by the Seasiders’ defence once more.

The home side pressed once more but to no avail and were left to settle for a point after what had been an end-to-end encounter, with both sides having enough chances to win it.

Rovers now host Championship side Hull City on Tuesday night in the second round of the Carabao Cup, and they will look to build on what has been an unbeaten start to the season with a cup run.

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