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Charlton Athletic 2 Rovers 3 (4-4 AGG, 4-3 penalties)

17 May 2019

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Rovers bowed out of the play-offs in cruel fashion after following victory at The Valley with a penalty shootout defeat.

Grant McCann made one change, with captain Tommy Rowe coming back into the starting line-up.
Rovers’ task was made harder after two minutes, when Krystian Bielik headed home a free-kick from Josh Cullen.
But Rowe drew Rovers level on the night with a stunning drive from outside the area, and the visitors were back where they had started the match - chasing a single-goal deficit.
And the visitors nearly drew level in the tie moments later when Dillon Phillips got down quickly to deny John Marquis’ shot from just inside the area.
The match was end to end, with Marko Marosi having to be alert after 24 minutes to turn away a Patrick Bauer header following a corner and James Coppinger sending a volley wide for the visits..
Rovers had grown into the game and enjoyed a good spell of pressure as the game progressed. Ben Whiteman sent a low effort just wide after 28 minutes after collecting a pass from Rowe, after some neat passing following Mallik WIlks intercepting a clearance.
Coppinger again tried his luck from outside the area with a low effort which was ultimately straight into the arms of Phillips, with Bielik booked  Bielik after stopping Kane’s attempted break by pulling him down.
Danny Andrew headed wide from a Wilks cross in the closing stages, with Cullen also seeing a shot blocked.
Lee Bowyer made a change at the interval, bringing on Darren Pratley for Albie Morgan.
Both sides were again positive in their approach to trying to win the game, with Downing booked early after the restart for a foul on Joe Aribo.
Rovers’ first chance of the second period came after 53 minutes when Herbie Kane drove from midfield and allowed time to cross for Rowe, who could not direct his header towards danger.
Kane again found himself in space after 58 minutes, turning outside the area for a shot but not able to direct it close enough to Phillips.
The game was really stretched at this point, with Josh Parker trying a rasping effort from distance which Marko Marosi needed two attempts to hold onto and Whiteman booked after a late tackle on Cullen.
Andrew had to be alert to block Aribo’s cross after 61 minutes, with Parker waiting to turn to ball home.
Andrew was causing problems at the other end of the pitch shortly afterward, with a  free-kick cleared by the wall after 69 minutes.
The ball was played back into the area, with Phillips having to be alert to punch the ball off the line.
The game was stretched throughout the second period, with Parker sending an effort just wide for the home side after a cross rom Taylor.
Ali Crawford was introduced with just over 10 minutes to go, replacing Kane, as McCann looked for the spark of magic that would turn the game in his side’s favour.
Alfie May also came off the bench, replacing Blair, as time began to run out for Rovers.
The goal which took the tie to extra time came with three minutes to go, with Butler heading home from a Andrew corner.
Marosi was the first keeper called into action in extra-time, blocking at his near post, as the tie showed no sign of letting up.
Rovers went ahead in the tie for the first time nine minutes into extra-time, with Marquis heading home from Wilks’ cross.
The lead did not last long, though, with Pratley forcing the ball home almost immediately afterwards.
The end-to-end nature of the game continued, with a long ball into the area finding Wilks who just could not force the ball home.
The first chance of the second period fell to Rovers, but Marquis pulled his effort and it was never going to trouble Phillips.
Both teams had given everything at this point, with Marquis through ball just ahead of May in the final stages and Rowe having an effort blocked as neither side could find a breakthrough.
The lottery of penalties came next, with Marosi pulling off a save but Marquis and Rowe seeing their efforts stopped.
Sadlier for Copps
Marquis headed home
Butler booking dissent 70.
66 - co
60 Whiteman booked
61 key Andrew clearance from 
Downing picked up an early booking after a foul on Aribo,.
biggest since 2012
48 FK
Downing foul 
Downing block on Cullen as half draws to a close
John Marquis close to giving Rovers the lead moments later when 
save from ahead 24
Andy Butler block first minute
2 Cullen FK from left, headed home by  Krystien Bielkik

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