Rovers ran out comfortable 6-0 winners against Wakefield AFC in their third pre-season friendly of the campaign.
A goal apiece for two trialists in the first half set the tone and a Ben Close goal just after half-time was followed quickly by a second for one of the trialists to put the game beyond doubt. Ed Williams made it five after his introduction late on and Ben Blythe showed real class to drive out of defence with less than two minutes left to play and pick out a trialist who made it six and wrapped up a good evening's work for Richie Wellens' men.
Rovers boasted plenty of early possession, but Wakefield had the first opening chance of note when a burst of pace from right-back Mason Rubie got the home side on the front foot releasing Bruno Bagi. His effort needed saving at the near post before Jake Morrison headed over the bar.
Rovers registered the first shot on target just two minutes later through Trialist One’s effort from distance, but it was a straightforward stop for George Bason in the Wakefield goal.
After the early scare, Rovers began to stamp their mark and were passing the ball with ease but without creating a plethora of chances.
On the quarter of an hour mark, the breakthrough came. A one-two between a bright looking Liam Ravenhill and Ben Close opened up space for the latter to fire an effort on target. The shot was blocked into the path of Trialist One, who had the whole goal to aim for, and finished neatly.
That seemed to set the tone with Rovers going close again in quick succession with Tom Anderson’s header from a corner kick getting cleared off the line, with new signing Tiago Cukur attempting an overhead kick with the follow up which went narrowly wide.
This sparked a series of half-chances for the Turkish youth international, heading just wide from a Ravenhill cross and then toeing another chance into Bason’s arms.
Rovers doubled their advantage shortly before the break. A forward run from Lirak Hasani – in his right-back role – was picked out by Ravenhill and Hasani floated an excellent ball into the path of Trialist Two. A bit of trickery from the winger drew defenders and allowed him to pass to the other trialist who was unmarked and able to tap into an empty net.
Wellens opted for a couple of changes at the break including the introduction of Ben Bottomley in goal while two trialist replaced Hasani and AJ Greaves.
Rovers started the second half with real intent and Anderson had tested the keeper with his from a corner with just two minutes played. It took just five minutes for Rovers to register a third.
Close showed real composure to take the ball around the keeper and slot it home after some quick build up by Rovers in the box left him one-on-one.
It was barely another five minutes before Rovers had the ball in the back of the net again, this time a Close pass found Rowe whose cutback was nudged home by Trialist Two from close range.
Rowe was soon in the action again when a wonderful ball by a trialist picked him out beautifully – he could have perhaps gone for goal but chose to cut it out for another trialist whose stinging effort hit the crossbar.
That was to be Rowe’s last action of the game as he was replaced by Ben Blythe. And soon after the hour mark wholesale changes came for both teams which led to the introduction of Academy product Bobby Faulkner to slot alongside Blythe at centre back and some more minutes for Ed Williams.
Williams made his moment count when he curled the ball beautifully beyond the substitute goalkeeper in the Wakefield goal. The game was finished off in the 88th minute when Blythe's surging run foward saw him pick out a trialist in the box with a ball leaving him with just the keeper to beat - which he did to make it six.