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REPORT | Rovers 1 Peterborough United 4

9 May 2021

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James Coppinger retires from professional football, ending his 17-year playing career at Rovers with defeat against Peterborough United.

The Rovers number 26 took the captains armband for his final game and was given a guard of honour by the opposition team.  

Despite already being promoted, Peterborough put on a professional performance and made their presence known throughout the game.  

They stormed into a 2-0 lead within eight minutes when Mo Eisa opened scoring with a great effort from distance before ex-Rovers man Niall Mason headed home from a corner routine.  

Tyreece John-Jules almost got Rovers back into the game after some link-up play between him and AJ Greaves finished with the Arsenal loanee forcing a good save out of Christy Pym.  

Within 15 minutes Peterborough had their third when Idris Kanu watched one of his efforts come off the underside of the bar to beat Jones.  

This was followed by a lengthy break in play after a coming-together between Joe Wright and Ricky-Jade Jones who both required treatment for their injuries. The Peterborough player was okay to continue but Wright’s afternoon was cut short and he was replaced by Brad Halliday.  

A golden opportunity came for Rovers to get themselves back into the game when a misplaced back-pass by Posh fell to the feet of Reece James whose effort was denied by the advancing Pym. James would later find himself having another chance but Pym was determined not to concede.  

Jade-Jones got his first professional league goal for the visitors after a Peterborough move cut Rovers open allowing the youngster to slot past Jones for their fourth of the afternoon.  

Half-time was welcomed from the Rovers camp, allowing them to regroup for the final 45 minutes of the season.  

Butler made two changes at the break withdrawing himself and Greaves with Josh Sims and Ben Blythe coming on in their place – Blythe made his senior debut, becoming 262nd player to play alongside Coppinger.  

Those changes, accompanied by a team talk, seem to have worked with Rovers coming out with more flare and urgency.  

Rovers won a free kick in a dangerous position and as you would have guessed, Coppinger stepped up to take. He was unfortunate to watch his effort bounce off the woodwork.  

The woodwork then denied Rovers again on the 58th minute with Josh Sims hitting it from an acute angle. 

Coppinger came close to grabbing one back for Rovers, after his headed effort flew over the bar.  

On the 70th minute Rovers made their third substitution with Omar Bogle being replaced by Madger Gomes.  

Ten minutes later would follow a more emotional substitution with James Coppinger exiting the Keepmoat Stadium pitch for the final time to be replaced by Ed Williams. 

Rovers pulled one back with a quick breakaway rallied by Tom Anderson and finished with John-Jules earning a consolation. 

The referees whistle then sounded calling an end to what has been a hectic, emotional and rollercoaster of a season. Not only did it signify the end of a season, but it brought to the end an illustrious playing career for one of the greatest footballers to play in red and white. Thank you Copps. 


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