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Match Reports

REPORT | Swindon Town 1 Rovers 2

16 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Swindon Town 1 Rovers 2

16 March 2024

Rovers held on with a steely second half showing to beat Swindon Town and collect back-to-back wins in Sky Bet League Two.

Maxime Biamou netted his first goal for the club before Hakeeb Adelakun continued his excellent run in Rovers colours with a fifth goal in ten appearances to double the advantage in what was another comfortable showing in the first half.

But Paul Glatzel headed Swindon back into the game seconds after the break, leaving Rovers required to defend with great resolve for the remainder of the game in order to secure the victory.

With Joe Ironside, Matthew Craig and James Maxwell all missing out through injury, Grant McCann made three changes as Biamou came in for his first start in almost three years in competitive football while Jack Senior and George Broadbent were also restored to the XI.

Rovers got off to the ideal start when Biamou marked the occasion with a goal on ten minutes. Broadbent headed the ball forward into his path, with the French striker producing a delicious finish to power high into the net from 15 yards.

Swindon should have equalised on 18 minutes when the dangerous Udoka Godwin-Malife sent a perfectly-weighted cross into the centre which Aaron Drinan could only stab over the bar from eight yards.

The hosts enjoyed plenty of the ball but struggled to make in-roads against a Rovers side that worked tremendously hard off the ball.

And McCann’s side packed danger of their own. Broadbent slid an excellent ball down the left for Adelakun, who cut inside only to lash his shot high and wide from the corner of the box.

Drinan again had a golden opportunity for Swindon when he raced onto a loose ball in the box only to be denied by a fine save from Thimothée Lo-Tutala.

Rovers doubled the advantage on 27 minutes. Biamou sent the ball into Harrison Biggins who squared for Adelakun to take a touch and place his shot into the far bottom corner.

The remainder of the half continued in similar fashion with Rovers comfortably soaking up pressure from the hosts, who looked threatening in wide areas but struggled to make it count in front of goal.

The complexion of the game changed just a minute into the second half. Conor McCarthy delivered an excellent cross from deep which Glatzel ran onto and powered a header into the top corner.

With a change of shape at the break and an increasing number of attacking players sent onto the pitch as the half wore on, the momentum was firmly with Swindon.

But Rovers met the pressure with bodies-on-the-line defending, throwing themselves in front of crosses to deny the hosts clear sight of goal.

Owen Bailey denied Drinan with such a block and when a chance did present itself to Swindon, Lo-Tutala clawed away a header from substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy on the line.

Rovers almost had comfort heading into the final 20 minutes when Biamou sent the ball in to give Luke Molyneux clear sight of goal only for him to fire wide.

Joseph Olowu produced a vital interception to prevent veteran striker Charlie Austin getting clear sight of goal ten yards out while Lo-Tutala touched away a corner with Hepburn-Murphy ready to pounce at the back post.

Swindon continued to push deep into stoppage time but Rovers stood up magnificently to see out the win.

Rovers: Lo-Tutala, Sterry, Anderson, Wood, Senior, Bailey, Broadbent (Olowu 76), Molyneux (Hurst 69), Biggins (Rowe 59), Adelakun, Biamou (Waters 69). Subs not used: Jones, McGrath, Nixon.

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