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Rovers 0 Sheffield United 2

27 July 2018

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Another inspired goalkeeping performance in pre-season denied Rovers, as an inspired Simon Moore kept them out against Sheffield United.

The game began brightly for Rovers, with their opening chance coming inside the first 20 seconds of the game when James Coppinger broke down through the middle only to see Blades stopper Simon Moore equal to his effort.
 
John Marquis was next to try his luck from distance, looking to catch Moore off-guard, buts his strike was low and comfortable for the visitors.
 
The Blades did create chances of their own, with Leon Clarke and Kieron Freeman combining for the latter to strike on goal, but the full-back could only strike the crossbar from six yards out - with the offside flag against Clarke sparing his blushes.
 
A minute later two superb stops by Rovers keeper Marko Marosi keptthe Blades at bay, f palming away Daniel Lafferty’s ambitious effort before tipping former Rovers man Mark Duffy’s curler over the bar when the shot looked destined for the far corner.
 
Rovers went at it again not long after, with Coppinger and new man Ali Crawford linking up, but the Scot was unable to keep his strike from the edge of the box down.
 
Blades keeper Moore was in inspired form throughout the opening half, with a succession of fine saves preventing Rovers from opening the scoring.
 
Mallik Wilks’ turn in the box saw him open space six yards out, only to see Moore get down low to turn the ball round a post for a corner.
 
From the resulting set-piece, Andy Butler’s header across goal was met by Wilks once more, but Moore leapt from out of nowhere to palm the ball away from danger.
 
Butler himself was thwarted by Moore from yet another Rovers corner, with the defender seeing two headers stopped by the Blades man, before Marquis’ rebound was also claimed by Moore.

Rovers made nine changes at the break. Substitute keeper Ian Lawlor had to be alert 10 minutes after the restart with Clarke through on goal, but the Irish stopper was quick to prevent the visitors from opening the scoring.
 
Blades sub David McGoldrick would then be left to rue two great chances to open the scoring, firing well over after a scramble in the area then striking a post after Billy Sharp’s pullback.

Tom Anderson was the next to go close to getting the game’s opening goal, as he headed just wide of the near post following good work down the right-hand side by a trialist.
 
Two minutes later, the deadlock was broken, as McGoldrick wtapped into an empty net following an excellent cross by fellow sub Rhys Norrington-Davies.
 
The Blades doubled their lead five minutes later, with former Rovers favourite Sharp being released down the middle by McGoldrick, and he fired high past Lawlor into the far corner to extend the visitors’ advantage and all but put the game out of sight with just over 10 minutes left to play.


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