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REPORT | Fleetwood Town 0 Rovers 0

19 March 2022

Rovers battled out a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Fleetwood Town in Sky Bet League One.

In a game of few clear cut chances for either side, Rovers had the better of the first half with the hosts enjoying the better of the play after the break.

Boss Gary McSheffrey made four changes from the side that started the clash with Gillingham as Aidan Barlow, Matt Smith, Kieran Agard and Jordy Hiwula were all handed places.

Rovers started brightly with Barlow seeing an attempt to cut the ball back from the byline deflected onto the outside of the post.

From the subsequent corner Joseph Olowu looped a header narrowly over before Fleetwood Zak Jules sent a 25 yard strike comfortably wide at the other end.

Skipper Tommy Rowe did superbly to get ahead of his marker and meet an early cross from Barlow with a header but it was a simple save for Kieran O’Hara in goal for the hosts.

Cian Hayes fired narrowly over the bar from the edge of the area as Fleetwood looked dangerous on the counter attack.

Rovers were forced into an early change with Reo Griffiths introduced off the bench after 13 minutes to replace the injured Kieran Agard.

Fleetwood captain Harrison Biggins ensured Jonathan Mitchell was tested for the first time midway through the half when drilling a shot towards the near post that the Rovers keeper was more than equal to.

Griffiths got his first effort away as the half hour mark approached after being played in on the angle by Smith but O’Hara saved well.

Rovers began to look more threatening on the break themselves and Josh Martin was unfortunate to see a shot blocked after carrying the ball out of his own half.

Mitchell was forced to tip over a rasping drive from Hayes from a tight angle.

Some excellent one-touch play from Rovers built another rapid attack with Hiwula bringing down a raking ball from Galbraith and testing O’Hara with a powerful strike.

Ethan Galbraith went for goal with the last act of the first half but his low effort was kept out by O’Hara.

The hosts were the stronger side in the early stages of the second half but struggled to test Mitchell despite enjoying the better of the possession.

Substitute Ben Jackson - on for Martin - ensured Rovers had the first real opportunity of the half. Released from half way by Hiwula, he charged to the edge of the box and drilled a low effort which O’Hara held.

Biggins fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box after turning onto a pass, before Mitchell pushed away a bobbling effort from the lively Hayes as the game entered the final ten minutes.

Smith did well to get a shot away after turning past his man and advancing to the edge of the box with O’Hara fumbling his save out for a corner, ensuring the game finished goalless.

Fleetwood: O’Hara, Johnston, Nsiala, Johnson, Jules, Baggley (G Garner 46), Boyle (J Garner 71), Biggins, Lane, Butterworth (Camps 46), Hayes. Subs not used: Cairns, Clarke, Pilkington, Macadam.

Rovers: Mitchell, Knoyle, Williams, Olowu, Barlow, Smith, Galbraith, Rowe, Martin (Jackson 60), Hiwula (Gardner 87), Agard (Griffiths 13). Subs not used: Jones, Younger, Clayton, Dodoo.

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