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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Stockport County 5

27 January 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Stockport County 5

27 January 2024

Rovers fell to a heavy defeat to Sky Bet League Two leaders Stockport County at the Eco-Power Stadium.

First half goals from Paddy Madden and Connor Evans sandwiched an unfortunate Owen Bailey own goal to leave Rovers with plenty to do after the break.

Madden extended the lead mere seconds after the restart and Tanto Olaofe pushed Stockport even further ahead before substitute Harrison Biggins found a consolation effort midway through the half.

The visitors controlled proceedings for the majority with Rovers struggling to make an impression on the game on a thoroughly disappointing afternoon.

Grant McCann made two changes from the previous league outing against Newport County as Joseph Olowu and Kyle Hurst came into the XI. New signing Hakeeb Adelakun was named among the substitutes.

The visitors started strongly and it needed a strong save from Louis Jones to keep out Connor Evans after a driving run forward. Tom Nixon intervened to turn a Nick Powell over the bar moments later.

And Stockport took the lead on five minutes when Madden rose to head home a Macauley Southam-Hales corner from close range.

Bailey headed narrowly wide from a Ben Close free kick as Rovers found some respite from the early onslaught.

But Stockport doubled their advantage on ten minutes when Evans stabbed the ball across goal and Bailey inadvertently headed into his own net.

Hurst hooked wide from the middle of the box as he met a Tommy Rowe cross with the first time effort. Rovers enjoyed a brighter period but Stockport were largely in control of possession.

And they extended their lead on 33 minutes when Evans headed in from a Ethan Bristow corner.

Jones got down well to push away a free kick from Odin Bailey at his near post before a superb block by Olowu kept out a Madden drive.

Jones again came to Rovers’ rescue with a smart save with his feet from Bailey before Powell curled a shot onto the post from the corner of the box.

McCann made four substitutions at half time, including a debut for Adelakun as part of a change of the entire front line.

But within seconds of the restart, Stockport moved further ahead as Southam-Hales found space on the right to deliver a cross which Madden headed home from close range.

Olaofe stooped to head in a cross from Evans to the near post as the visitors found a fifth on 55 minutes.

Stockport were very comfortable in their lead and allowed Rovers to have more of the ball.

Biggins pulled a goal back on 65 minutes when he turned in from close range at the second attempt after meeting Close’s in-swinging cross.

The remainder of the game was largely a non-event as Stockport saw out the win in comfort.

Rovers: Jones, Nixon, Olowu, McGrath, Rowe (Maxwell 73), Close, Bailey, Craig (Biggins 46), Molyneux (Carty 46), Ironside (Waters 46), Hurst (Adelakun 46). Subs not used: Bottomley, Wood.

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