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Bury 0 Rovers 1

28 October 2017

Ben Whiteman struck to earn Rovers three deserved points at Bury.

Whiteman struck after 77 minutes, finishing past Joe Murphy from the edge of the area after a corner was not properly cleared.

It was a victory fully deserved by the visitors, who had controlled the match - especially after Eoghan O’Connell was sent off on the stroke of half-time.

Rovers lined up with a back three and wing-backs, with John Marquis a lone forward supported by attacking midfielders James Coppinger and Tommy Rowe.

Rovers started with intent. The home side took the kick-off, but Rodney Kongolo quickly won the ball and was fouled - Coppinger’s lofted set-piece almost found the on loan Manchester City man in the area too.

Moments later and Coppinger was again in the thick of it, beating several defenders before getting a shot away which was deflected wide.

The home side were low on confidence, but showed they could not be ignored with a quick break which resulted in Jermaine Beckford flashing a first-time left-footed shot wide. Moments ;after Jay O’Shea delivered a dangerous cross, which Ian Lawlor came out to confidently collect.

The game continued to be a very open affair for the opening period, with both sides threatening.

Marquis almost got on the end of a long raking pass from Rowe after a clearance, while Joe Wright was needed to block another Beckford effort before left-back Greg Leigh curled the ball into the away fans behind the goal.

The conditions brought a calmer period as neither side really threatened until the midway period of the half, with Butler doing well to intercept a delivery from Leigh as the home side countered before Lawlor did well to palm away a strong drive from Rohan Ince after 25 minutes.

That spring the game into life for a bit, with a Jordan Houghton ball almost sending Marquis free - with the home keeper Joe Murphy racing out of his area to get to the ball just ahead of the No.9.

Beckford threatened again after 35 minutes, getting in a shot which Lawlor parried before Wright hacked it away.

Moments later, though, his game was over as he had to go off with what looked like a muscle injury - Chris Maguire on in his pace.

The home side were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time, with O’Connell shown a straight red card after taking down Marquis as he ran in on goal.

The foul was just outside the area - a few inches earlier and it would have been a penalty, but the defender would have got away with a yellow card - with Coppinger and Rowe lining up over the ball.

Coppinger dummied a shot, before Rowe drilled an effort which went just past the far post.

Neither side made any changes at the break, with Rovers first to threaten when Toffolo intercepted the ball - but Marquis’ delivery was too deep for Rowe.

Darren Ferguson made his first change on the hour mark, with Ben Whiteman was sent on in place of Craig Alcock.

The home side, who had brought on midfielder Andrew Tutte, had a little burst. Jay O’Shea’s effort was blocked before substitute Maguire’s low effort went well wide.

Andy Williams was also sent on, as Rovers went for the three points - and he was straight in the mix, as he got a shot away following a corner - only to see it deflected wide.

Whiteman saw a shot blocked after 72 minutes, following Coppinger’s pass, while Williams kept causing the home defence real problems with his work-rate.

He almost got on the end of a Konoglo pass, then scooped the ball just over from Marquis’ great pull back after 75 minutes.

The goal Rovers had threatened did come after 77 minutes. A corner was won after Andy Butler’s delightful ball for Kongolo was intercepted. From the set-piece, the ball was only half-cleared - it fell for Whiteman who drilled it past Murphy.

Rovers pushed for a second goal. Kongolo’s pass looking for Marquis was intercepted, while Rowe had an effort blocked.

Williams scooped the ball over the onrushing Murphy with five minutes to go, and was unfortunate to see it also go over the bar as well as the keeper. He also drove the ball jut over the bar after 88 minutes after Rowe’s exquisite lay-off.

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