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Match Reports

REPORT | Crewe Alexandra 1 Rovers 1

22 October 2022

Match Reports

REPORT | Crewe Alexandra 1 Rovers 1

22 October 2022

George Miller atoned for a penalty miss with a second half equaliser as Rovers began the Danny Schofield era with a 1-1 draw at Crewe Alexandra.

Miller saw a spot kick saved just before the break as Rovers looked to fight their way back from behind after Courtney Baker-Richardson gave the hosts the lead.

But the striker made no mistake when played in by Harrison Biggins to ensure a deserved point on the road.

In his maiden team selection since being named head coach, Schofield made one change to the line-up from the previous game at Carlisle United with James Maxwell returning to the starting XI.

After a tentative start to the game, it was the hosts who began to enjoy the better of the attacking play.

Oli Finney drew a good save from Jonathan Mitchell after driving forward from deep within the Rovers half.

Crewe took the lead on 14 minutes. Tariq Uwakwe reacted well to latch onto a deep cross and send the ball back into the middle where Baker-Richardson looped a header over Jonathan Mitchell.

Rovers struggled to find their flow in attack over the game’s first quarter with a scuffed effort from Miller the best of the early offerings.

Tom Anderson produced a timely block to prevent Baker-Richardson meeting a driven low ball across the box from Finney.

Mitchell reacted well to push the ball over the bar after Dan Ageyi’s cross drifted on goal while Joel Tabiner sent in an excellent cross which Baker-Richardson diverted narrowly wide with another headed attempt.

Rovers grew into the game as the half progressed and began linking together meaningful periods of possession with smart passing play.

Kyle Knoyle exchanged passes with Ben Close and surged into the box to meet a lofted ball only to send his effort wide.

Adam Clayton fired well wide with a shot from distance before Harrison Biggins drew the first real save from Crewe keeper Arthur Okonkwo with a powerful low drive from a Luke Molyneux cut back.

Molyneux went for goal himself after a surging run across the pitch but failed to find the target.

Rovers looked to have been handed a lifeline before the break when Baker-Richardson was penalised for a handball in the box in trying to defend a free kick.

But Miller’s penalty was well saved by Okonkwo before he sent a follow-up header high and wide.

Mitchell was called into action early in the second half when Rio Adebisi received a short corner and smashed a shot high on goal, with the Rovers keeper tipping over.

Agyei capped a smart move from the hosts by drilling low, with Mitchell going full stretch to tip the ball wide. And the Rovers keeper was alert when Joel Tabiner’s shot deflected on its way through.

Rovers let a golden opportunity go begging when Maxwell embarked on a superb run down the left and cut inside, but failed to cut back for Miller who was primed and free to strike.

It continued to be difficult for Rovers to spark into life in the final third, with a free kick from the edge of the box from Clayton as close as they got.

That was until a superbly incisive move brought the equaliser on 77 minutes.

Anderson pushed the ball into midfield for Biggins, who threaded an excellent pass through for the on-rushing Miller who calmly slotted past Okonkwo to level.

Rovers found a head of steam after the goal and were camped in the Crewe half until late in the game.

Substitute Kyle Hurst charged through the middle and shot from 20 yards but sent it straight at Okonkwo.

The final stages, including six minutes of stoppage time, played out as a nervy affair.

Anderson produced a brilliant block to prevent Baker-Richardson from turning home from close range while Mitchell held well from a piledriver from sub Lachlan Brook.

Rovers: Mitchell, Williams, Anderson, Long, Knoyle, Clayton, Close (Hurst 67), Maxwell, Biggins, Molyneux (Woltman 67), Miller (Agard 88). Subs not used: Jones, Faulkner, Seaman, Taylor.

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