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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Burton Albion 1

7 November 2023

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Burton Albion 1

7 November 2023

Determined Rovers secured a well-deserved 2-1 win over Burton Albion to secure a place in the knockout stages of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Goals from Mo Faal and Kyle Hurst saw Rovers open up a commanding lead before a stunning volley from substitute Bez Lubala gave the visitors a lifeline in the later stages.

But Rovers were excellent out of possession, just as they had been all evening, to hold onto the advantage and collect the win which made sure of their progression in the competition.

Defeat elsewhere in the group for Mansfield Town against Everton U21 ensured a three point advantage for Rovers over the Stags and Burton, who face each other later in the month.

It was a well-earned victory for Rovers on the night, despite the visitors enjoying the greater share of possession. A strong and disciplined press ensured Sky Bet League One side Burton could not convert that into real threat in front of goal.

Grant McCann made four changes from the side that started against Accrington Stanley in the Emirates FA Cup four days earlier. Hurst was handed his first start of the season while Richard Wood and James Maxwell returned along with Jack Goodman. Ian Lawlor had been named in the starting line-up but was injured in the warm up and replaced by Louis Jones.

Following a scrappy start to the game, Burton had the first opportunity when Rekeem Harper smashed over the bar from the edge of the box.

Rovers saw little of the ball in opposition territory but made their first chance count. George Broadbent robbed the ball from Burton skipper Tom Hamer and slid a pass forward to send Faal racing clear, with the striker producing a slick finish to place the ball under keeper Jamal Blackman.

Cole Stockton showed flashed of threat for Burton, firing well wide after a couple of smart turns midway through the half.

While the Brewers were patient in their play, Rovers looked to move the ball at pace and Luke Molyneux flashed a right-footed effort across goal after a surging run towards the byline on the half hour.

Goodman looked to have been presented with a golden opportunity after rounding Blackman but hit the sidenetting from a tight angle as he looked to thread a shot through the recovering Burton defence.

After the break, Hurst darted forward to the corner of the box with a trademark run but was denied with a superb save from Blackman as he drilled a shot towards the top corner.

Joseph Olowu headed agonisingly wide after racing to meet a cross from substitute Zain Westbrooke.

Rovers would make their good start to the second half count on 56 minutes. Molyneux got around the back of the Burton defence and squared the ball into the box. While it was blocked, it fell to Hurst who rifled a low effort home.

Rovers continued to push and Molyneux released Tom Nixon who thrashed a shot over the bar.

Burton boss Dino Maamria rang the changes and it had a positive impact on his side. Lubala was a lively presence and curled wide with his first sight of goal.

But the Brewers largely struggled to progress into the final third as Rovers continued to cut off supply lines.

The visitors did pull a goal back five minutes from time when Lubala lashed a volley home from 20 yards.

But Burton could not capitalise and Rovers secured the victory.

Rovers: Jones, Olowu, Wood (Anderson 46), Senior, Molyneux, Broadbent, Bailey, Maxwell (Nixon 46), Hurst (Biggins 72), Goodman (Westbrooke 46), Faal. Subs not used: Bottomley, Sotona, Roberts.

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