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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Crewe Alexandra 2

24 October 2020

Crewe Alexandra inflicted Rovers’ first home defeat of the season after the visitors ran out 2-1 winners at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Moore made one change to the starting XI that thrashed Ipswich 4-1 midweek with Reece James coming in for Cameron John.

Early pressure from Rovers saw them win a corner within 15 seconds but they failed to make their early set piece routine count. 

Most of Crewe’s attacks came from their left flank, with their left back Harry Pickering being the architect.  

The first big chance for the visitors finished with a long-distance drive on goal from Ryan Wintle. His effort was straight at Rovers goalkeeper Joe Bursik who comfortably dealt with the shot.   

That attack spelt an early end to the game for Jon Taylor who picked up an injury while defending. He was replaced by Jason Lokilo who made his first Rovers appearance since the 4-1 victory over Bristol Rovers a month ago.  

Another attack from Crewe finished with Tom Anderson making a sensational goal line block after the shot of Tom Lowrey had already beaten Bursik.  

Then came a succession of threatening set pieces in Rovers’ favour with two corners being snuffed out by David Artell’s side. A free kick quickly followed for Rovers – around 25 yards out of goal – which Ben Whiteman curled past the top left corner of Will Jaaskelainen’s goal. 

Beaming with confidence after bagging his first goal of the season on Tuesday night – Fejiri Okenabirhie held the ball up before twisting past his man to fire wide of goal from the far-right corner of the box.  

Crewe took the lead on the 26th minute, cutting through the Rovers midfield, finishing with Charlie Kirk assertively sliding past Bursik.  

Along came an instant response from Rovers with Sims curling past Jaaskelainen after a superb pass from Madger Gomes. That marked the Southampton loanees first goal for the club. 

The Spanish midfielder Gomes was after more than an assist in the game with his snapshot on goal stopped by the Crewe keeper.  

At the break the score stood at 1-1 with both sides putting in an excellent performance.  

Rovers had the first attempt of the second period when Okenabirhie showed his strength at turning past defenders again – the 24-year-olds resulting shot was weak after a misjudged hit.  

As the half progressed, Rovers went up through the gears with a pass from Whiteman allowed James to have a stab on goal. Unfortunately for the Rovers full back the acute angle it made it an easy save for Jaaskelainen.  

More frustration came Okenabirhie’s way as he was left scratching his head as to how another one of his efforts was narrowly off target.   

On the hour mark Rovers won a corner which resulted in two attempts on goal with Matt Smith hitting on the half volley before it fell to Anderson on the 18-yard line who struck wide and low of the left post.  

Crewe – who had been on the back foot for the first 25 minutes of the second period – retook the lead through a Pickering free-kick after the left-back curled the ball into Bursik’s top right corner.  

It was almost another swift response from Moore’s side as a low ball was swept into the box and was nearly tapped in by Okenabirhie.  

The final attempt of the game came Rovers’ way with Jaaskelainen pulling off an outstanding save after Joe Wright’s close-range header was denied and ensured Crewe held on to all three points.  

In the end it was a harsh defeat for Rovers but they have the chance to quickly turn it around as they head on the road to Plymouth Argyle for their next fixture on October Tuesday 27, followed by hosting rivals Lincoln City the following Saturday. 


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