Rovers came from behind to beat Lincoln City in the latest group stage match of the Papa John’s Trophy.
Gary McSheffrey made nine changes from the side that lost to Swindon Town at the weekend with Ben Close, Joseph Olowu and Aidan Barlow starting after recovering from injury. Close was brought off at the start of the second-half, with Kyle Hurst coming on in his place.
The game got off to a steady start, with the Sky Bet League One side seeing most of the ball, as expected. But Rovers’ defence worked hard to keep them quiet and took their opportunities on the counter.
As the half drew on there lacked any entertainment or thrilling chances.
One of Rovers’ biggest chances came from a crunching tackle from Liam Ravenhill who won back the ball in a lucrative position just outside the box. He put a through-ball into the feet of Kieran Agard, but the strikers effort was blocked by the Lincoln defender. But there was little else Rovers offered going forward.
The defence could take a lot of credit for their efforts in the first-half by keeping Tom Hopper quiet and smothering any snapshots the Imps got on goal.
Come half-time, it remained 0-0 with neither goalkeeper really tested.
Within four minutes of the restart, McSheffrey’s side found themselves a goal down as Charles Vernam slotted past Louis Jones.
Rovers almost immediately responded with a great move involving Luke Molynuex, James Maxwell and Hurst. The move finished with the latters shot being deflected out for a corner.
Hurst continued to make himself a thorne in Lincoln’s side with piercing runs down their left flank.
Changes for Rovers followed within a 10-minute period of eachother as Barlow, Olowu and Ravenhill were withdrawn in place of Bobby Faulkner and George Miller.
The substitutes seemed to breathe fresh life into the game for Rovers as they dominated the game for the final 20-minutes which saw Rovers equalise.
Rovers equalised on the 72nd minute after Luke Molyneux’s free-kick into the box was headed out to Hurst who thumped the ball past Jordan Wright.
On the 84th minute Rovers went ahead with Adam Long tapping in off the line following a corner that caused a scramble in the box.
Minutes after Luke Molynuex should have finished the game off but instead scooped the ball over Wright’s goal.
The strong finish to the final 20 minutes was enough to see McSheffrey’s side take three points from our Lincolnshire neighbours.