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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

25 July 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

25 July 2023

Rovers marked their first home pre-season friendly with a win and an excellent performance against Sheffield Wednesday.

Luke Molyneux netted with a fine header midway through the second half to give Rovers a deserved win in front of home support.

It was a performance packed with real energy from Rovers as the levels of intensity were upped both on and off the ball.

They pressed and harried Wednesday really well when out of possession and looked to attack with pace and aggression with the ball at their feet as they went toe to toe with Championship opposition.

All except Jon Taylor were handed a full 90 minutes as boss Grant McCann continued to up the demands on his players ahead of the start of the new campaign. The remaining senior players in the squad had the same treatment earlier in the day as they beat Middlesbrough U21s 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors game at Cantley Park.

Rovers showed threat early on with Joe Ironside having a shot blocked after holding the ball up superbly with his back to goal.

New signing Tom Nixon came to Rovers' rescue after a clearance unfortunately struck Owen Bailey, leaving Callum Paterson one-on-one. The former Scotland international lifted the ball over Ian Lawlor but Nixon raced back to hook clear off the line.

Taylor fired wide from 20 yards and he lashed a first time effort.

And it took a brilliant save from Owls keeper Cameron Dawson to bat away a rasping drive from Tommy Rowe.

Former Rovers defender Reece James denied Rowe a clear shot on goal with a fine sliding challenge after Ironside had put the midfielder through in the box.

Paterson sent a piledriver from 20 yards wide of the top corner in the last threat of the opening half.

Intensity levels dipped in the early stages of the second half and Wednesday were the side in the ascendency in the early stages.

Will Vaulks was millimetres away from giving the visitors the lead as he latched onto a loose ball just inside the box and powered a shot just wide.

Josh Windass sent a header into the back of Jack Senior from a good position. And the full back was much more decisive as he next denied Windass, producing a brilliant sliding block to keep out a rasping first time strike.

Joseph Olowu could not make a clean connection with a header as he met a beautifully delivered free kick from Molyneux at the back post, making for a simple save for Dawson.

Rovers broke the deadlock on 72 minutes. Rowe released substitute Tyler Roberts on the left. The winger executed a brilliant step over before sending in a cross which Molyneux planted into the far corner with a header.

Olowu went close with another header from a Molyneux free kick as Rovers looked the more likely to add to the score in the later stages.

Rovers: Lawlor, Nixon, Olowu, R Wood, Senior, Broadbent, Bailey, Rowe, Molyneux, Ironside, Taylor (Roberts 61). Subs not used: Watson, Flint, Brown, H Wood.

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