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Club News

Rovers 0 Oxford 1

21 April 2018

Rovers suffered their first defeat in seven games, as they lost 1-0 at the hands of Oxford United in Sky Bet League One.

James Henry’s second half header was the difference between the two sides in what was an end-to-end encounter at the Keepmoat Stadium.

After a slow start to the game, it was the visitors who had the game’s opening chance inside 15 minutes.

Todd Kane’s hard work down the right-hand side saw him play a dangerous ball in to the awaiting Jon Obika.

Obika saw his strike blocked on the line by Mathieu Baudry, with the ball falling to the feet of Wes Thomas, but the U’s striker could only scuff the ball wide.

Rovers first chance would come not long after, as Alfie May beat the offside trap, bearing down on goal one-on-one with U’s keeper, Simon Eastwood.

May looked to strike the ball under the former Portsmouth keeper, but the stopper was equal to his effort and the ball went behind for a corner, which Eastwood would claim comfortably.

Joe Rothwell and Alex Mowatt combined down the left-hand side next for the visitors, with Mowatt looking to curl into the far corner, however the man on-loan from Barnsley was unable to keep his shot down.

John Marquis would then have a great chance to hand Rovers the lead just before the half-hour mark, as Luke McCullough laid the ball off for the forward.

Marquis however could only fire straight at Eastwood who caught the ball easily, giving the U’s defence a real let off.

Rothwell was next to go close for the visitors, as he cut inside on to his left foot, looking to curl into the far corner, but Marko Marosi was equal to it and got down well to collect.

Rovers started brightly after the interval, with Marquis having the half’s opening chance.

After winning a free-kick on the right-hand side of the penalty area, the striker glanced his header just wide from Mason’s set piece, sounding a real warning to the U’s defence.

Marquis would have the ball in the net on the hour, as he slotted home from Ben Whiteman’s through ball, however the striker was in an offside position.

A minute later would come Rovers best chance of the game so far, as good work by Marquis and Rodney Kongolo saw the ball end up at the feet of Matty Blair.

Blair took his time with his shot, and Eastwood got across to save superbly and keep the scores level, however two minutes later, this would be a miss that Rovers would be left to rue.

From the next attack, Ryan Ledson broke down the left-hand side and swung the ball in for the un-marked substitute Henry with the winger heading past Marosi to hand the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Rovers tried desperately to get back into the game and Marquis was at the centre of Rovers’ next big chance.

Blair’s charge down the left saw him able to feed the ball across for Marquis, with Eastwood spectacularly denying the striker his 16th goal of the season.

For all their efforts however, Rovers just could not find the equalising goal, and the U’s saw the game out to claim all three points at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers return to action on Tuesday night, as they look to get back to winning ways against Blackburn Rovers.

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