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Accrington Stanley 1 Rovers 0

2 October 2018

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Rovers winning run came to an abrupt end with defeat at Accrington Stanley.

Rovers manager Grant McCann made one change to his starting XI, bringing back Ben Whiteman after his one-match suspension.

The visitors staredt well with a Matty Blair effort deflected wide in the second minute, with Danny Andrew also firing over moments later after the home side could not clear the set-piece and Rovers patiently worked an opening.

Andrew had another opportunity after nine minutes with a low drilled effort which was straight into the keeper's hands after a clearance from the home side.

Accrington almost gifted John Marquis the opening goal after 16 minutes, when captain Mark Hughes tried to nod the ball back to Conor Ripley without realising the Rovers' No.9 was lurking. The keeper managed to scramble and throw himself onto the ball and survive the scare.

Marko Marosi's first save came after 18 minutes, but it was routine for the Slovakian when a corner was flicked up towards goal and he could pluck it comfortably out of the air.

Ripley had to be alert after 21 minutes, getting down quickly to block a Mallik Wilks effort after the on-loan Leeds man collected a smart pass from Matty Blair. Wilks had another chance two minutes later with a quick left-footed shot after the ball was laid into his path by James Coppinger, this time the shot ended up in the stands.

Marosi held a header from Jordan Clark on the half-hour mark, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Joe Wright after 34 minutes stopped Sam Finley breaking through on goal.

The home side's best two chances came in quick succession towards the end of the half, as Sean McConville twice rattled the woodwork.

The first was from a central free-kick, which he curled onto the outside of a post, then as Rovers struggled to get the ball clear it fell back to him on the right wing and he curled an effort which came crashing back off the bar and was eventually cleared.

There were no changes from either side at the break, with Marosi the first keeper called into action when he had to get down quickly to turn away Daniel Tan Barlaser's effort.

Stanley built on their strong finish to the opening half as the second period progressed, with Scott Brown curling an effort just wide before Niall Mason got across for a vital block from McConville's goal-bound effort.

Barlaser had a low curling effort tipped wide by Marosi, before Rovers re-asserted some control over the game.

Herbie Kane curled an effort just wide after 58 minutes after some good work from Coppinger and Blair.

Whiteman also fired over after 62 minutes, and moments later it took a good save from Ripley to deny Alfie May - who had come on for Wilks just beforehand - his first league goal of the season after his close-range header from Niall Mason's cross.

Whiteman went close after 72 minutes with a free-kick awarded just outside the area after Marquis was felled - his effort went agonisingly wide of Ripley's right-hand post.

Ali Crawford was brought on after 76 minutes, replacing Blair, and his first act was to have a shot well blocked to deny him a memorable first senior goal for the club.

Rovers were hit with a sucker punch after 86 minutes when Offrande Zanzala got away from Butler and forced the ball past Marosi.

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