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Club News

MK Dons 1 Rovers 2

14 April 2018

John Marquis fired Rovers to victory at MK Dons with two second-half goals.

Rovers had fallen behind to Ike Ugbo’s opener after 19 minutes, but came back to claim all three points.

Boss Darren Ferguson made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing Jordan Houghton and Alex Kiwomya in. Ben Whiteman and Alfie Bestin dropped to the bench.

Tommy Rowe had Rovers’ first chance after six minutes, but the home side had created the best chances by the time they went ahead.

Peter Pawlett had been their main threat in the opening stages, with a shot blocked by Joe Wright and an effort palmed away by Marko Marosi in quick succession.

The lead was deserved by the home side, but an enforced change after 25 minutes when Matty Blair had to go off after suffering the effects of a knock to the head helped turn the tide.

Beestin came off the bench in his place, and he proved instrumental in helping keep Rovers up the field.

Kiwomya drifted an effort just wide of the far post, while at the other end Joe Wright had to be alert to clear Ugbo’s shot off the line.

Rovers enjoyed much more of the ball as the half drew to a close, with Marquis squeezed out when about to unleash a shot and Mathieu Baudry firing high and wide when a mis-clearance saw the ball fall to him in the area.

Luke McCullough was shown the yellow card in the closing stages of the half after stopping a run from Chuks Aneke.

Rovers will have felt they could have been level at the break, with Rowe glancing a header just wide from a corner and Beestin lifting an effort just over the bar.

There was another change for Rovers at the break, with Ben Whiteman coming on for McCullough.

Ferguson’s half-time team-talk had focused on putting on a performance deserving of the fantastic backing shown by the fans, and within three minutes of the restart they were celebrating the equaliser.

It came after a move down the right. Kiwomya’s initial effort was saved by Sietsma in the Dons goal, but the ball fell for Marquis to prod home.

The match was now a really open end-to-end affair, with Marosi forced into a low save from Aneke to keep Rovers level moments after the goal.

And, at the other end, Beestin again went close with an effort which went just over the bar.

Marquis and Whiteman both tried efforts from distance for the home side, who also had Mason to thank for a last-ditch block on Ugbe when he looked certain to score.

That set the foundations for Rovers to build on when James Coppinger led a counter down the left after 64 minutes. He did not panic and kept the ball, turning away from several challenges as a pass was not on.

When there was space to play in a team-mate, with Rowe making a run into the box, he found him expertly. The Rovers’ No.10 made for the byline and pulled the ball across the area - it ran to Marquis, who took a touch and drilled it low into a corner.

Coppinger was instrumental in a move which almost brought Rovers’ third after a well-worked free-kick from the edge of the area.

No one from the home side picked up Whiteman, who was lurking just outside the area, so it was no surprise when Coppinger rolled the ball into his path for a shot - which, luckily for the home side, was blocked away.

Rovers were forced into their third change of the game - and their second due to injury - after 74 minutes when Wright went off with an ankle injury. Andy Butler came on in his place.

The final stages were frantic as the home side knew their Sky Bet League One status was precarious - but Pawlett headed over and Marcus Tavernier fired wide as Rovers saw out the six minutes of time added on.


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