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REPORT | Rovers 2 Stockport County 1

16 August 2022

Club News

REPORT | Rovers 2 Stockport County 1

16 August 2022

Kieran Agard delivered another late, late show to help Rovers take all three points against stubborn Stockport County.

Having scored in stoppage time to beat Sutton United and provided the assist for Ro-Shaun Williams’ last-gasp equaliser at AFC Wimbledon, the striker delivered the goods again with the winner against County.

It appeared as though Rovers would have to settle for a point as Stockport proved a hard nut to crack, despite playing with ten men for almost 70 minutes following the dismissal of Macauley Southam-Hales.

George Miller put Rovers ahead on 37 minutes but they were punished for a slow start to the second half when County substitute Ryan Rydel netted inside the first minute after the break.

Rovers dominated possession throughout the second period but were frustrated at every turn, with Stockport keeper Vitezslav Jaros enjoying an excellent personal performance.

But Agard struck two minutes into stoppage time to secure the win.

Gary McSheffrey named an unchanged starting XI for the rain-soaked fixture, though Luke Molyneux was a notable addition to the bench after his recovery from a knee injury.

Stockport forward Paddy Madden tried to catch Jonathan Mitchell off guard with an audacious shot from 50 yards but his effort bounced wide.

The visitors had the better of the play in the early moments, making progress down the flanks but balls into the box were consistently cut out by Mitchell.

Rovers began to make headway of their own, producing some slick passing play through midfield and always against a strong press from Stockport.

The first big chance for Rovers saw Lee Tomlin loft a wonderful ball over the top, looking for the run in-behind of Kyle Knoyle, whose first touch took play too close to keeper Vitezslav Jaros.

Rovers gained an advantage on 21 minutes when Stockport’s Southam-Hales was shown a red card for an apparent elbow to Tommy Rowe off the ball.

Rowe drilled in a cross five minutes later that Miller could not turn on target as Rovers began to dominate possession.

And they took the lead on 35 minutes. Maxwell was picked out in acres of space on the left and he drilled a low ball into the box where Miller controlled and picked his spot in the far corner beyond Jaros.

The lead was almost doubled on the stroke of half time when Tomlin curled a shot that bounced off the post, while Knoyle saw his follow-up strike saved by the legs of Jaros.

The visitors equalised inside the first minute of the second half. Myles Hippolyte was sent scampering into space on the left and pushed the ball inside for Rydel, who poked through the legs of Mitchell.

Rovers dominated possession following the leveller, with the visitors happy to sit in and search for opportunities on the counter.

Rowe tested the alertness of Jaros when fed into the box by Tomlin, drawing a smart save at the near post from the Stockport keeper.

Tomlin was a major creative force for Rovers, and he struck the woodwork for the second time in the game when lashing a 25 yard strike off the crossbar.

And he produced a fine through ball for Kyle Hurst, who saw his shot beaten away by the busy Jaros.

Molyneux was introduced for his Rovers debut just after the hour mark.

Biggins smashed a shot on goal from 35 yards that Jaros struggled to keep out, but the Stockport keeper did well to recover to block Miller’s follow-up.

Rowe sent a header straight at Jaros as he met a Clayton corner in the middle of the goal.

And Biggins headed wide after racing to meet a chip over the top from Clayton.

It was Biggins’ last act and his replacement Agard was quickly in the action. The striker touched a deep ball from Rowe back across goal but just out of reach of Miller.

There was still time for more drama and Agard took centre stage.

He ran onto a sublime through ball from Tomlin and slotted through the legs of Jaros, with the ball taking an age to cross the line.

Rovers: Mitchell, Knoyle, Williams, Anderson, Maxwell (Molyneux 61), Hurst (Andrews 90+5), Clayton, Biggins (Agard 66), Rowe, Tomlin, Miller. Subs not used: Jones, Long, Faulkner, Kuleya.

Stockport: Jaros, Brown, Lewis, Johnson, Southam-Hales, Camps (Newby 65), Croasdale, Sarcevic (Rydel 27), Hippolyte (Crankshaw 65), Madden (Evans 76), Wootton (Horsfall 46). Subs not used: Hinchliffe, Quigley.

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