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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

9 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 2 Crewe Alexandra 0

9 March 2024

Rovers roared to a comfortable 2-0 win over promotion-chasing Crewe Alexandra at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Hakeeb Adelakun scored directly from a corner to get Rovers off the mark with substitute Tommy Rowe doubling the lead just before the hour mark.

The victory - a fourth in seven - was fully deserved as Rovers built on their performance at Bradford City with some incisive attacking play and excellent work out of possession.

Both Jamie Sterry and James Maxwell were forced off through injury during the first half while Joe Ironside and Matthew Craig were withdrawn at the break in the only black marks on a good afternoon.

Grant McCann kept faith with the same side that started at Bradford four days earlier, as well as the same substitutes.

The game was bogged down in midfield in the early stages as the two sides gently probed.

Rovers produced the first effort of note when Luke Molyneux cut in from the right and fired to the near post where Crewe keeper Tom Booth saved with comfort.

Elliott Nevitt should have done better moments later at the other end when rising to meet a deep cross at the back post but turned his header off target.

Adelakun embarked on a tricky run from the left and into the box before forcing Booth to tip wide with a low drive.

And from the subsequent corner, Rovers took the lead on 16 minutes when Adelakun curled the dead ball straight in.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala made a brave save at the feet of Shilow Tracey after the wide man raced beyond the Rovers defence.

Owen Bailey popped up with a vital block from Josh Austerfield after switching to right back following the departure of Sterry midway through the half.

And Nevitt failed to trouble Lo-Tutala after beating the offside flag.

Half time saw both Maxime Biamou and Joseph Olowu introduced for Joe Ironside and Matthew Craig as McCann was forced into another shuffle of the pack.

Charlie Kirk failed to find the target after latching onto a loose ball in the box at the end of a break for the visitors.

Rovers extended the advantage on 58 minutes. Molyneux sent a chip across goal from the byline, with Olowu meeting the ball on the volley and sending it to the far post when Rowe poked home.

Rio Adebisi saw a header deflect wide as Crewe pushed but Rovers remained a threat. Zain Westbrooke pulled a shot off target from the edge of the box before Biamou flicked a header straight at Booth from a Bailey cross.

The visitors should have had a goal back 15 minutes from time when Austerfield squared to Adebisi 15 yards out but Lo-Tutala made a superb save with his feet.

Rovers continued to pose the greater threat. Biamou powered a header on goal from a free kick but could not beat Booth.

And Kyle Hurst was denied by the Crewe keeper after being played into space by Biggins.

Rovers: Lo-Tutala, Sterry (Westbrooke 33), Anderson, Wood, Maxwell (Rowe 41), Bailey, Craig (Olowu 46), Molyneux, Biggins, Adelakun (Hurst 77), Ironside (Biamou 46). Subs not used: Jones, Waters.

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