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A great experience - Dunn

9 November 2016

David Dunn was pleased with Rovers’ performance in the final Checkatrade Trophy group game against Oldham Athletic.

Rovers were the better side in the first half and deservedly led at the interval thanks to Anthony Stokes’ fine strike.

Oldham came out fighting after the break, with substitute Freddie Ladapo levelling the scores, before Liam Feeney restored Rovers’ advantage in sensational style.

The lead didn't last long however, as Oldham skipper Brian Wilson turned in the equaliser, before the visitors went on to win the post-match penalty shoot-out.

“It was pleasing to get a result,” said assistant coach Dunn. “I thought first half we were very good. We passed it really well and had some good chances.  

“We knew their manager would get into them at half-time and second half they would come out and it was a little bit of a different game. Unfortunately when you play against men, League One opposition, you know it’s going to be tough. 

“We recovered pretty well and when we went 2-1 up, I thought that was the time to go and capitalise a little bit more, but unfortunately we didn’t.”

The revamped competition, which has seen 16 Category One Academy teams come up against League One and League Two clubs for the first time, has drawn criticism from certain quarters, but Dunn believes it has been a valuable experience for his young players.

“The competition has been a great experience for our young players, playing against first team opposition and being in a real game, and let’s be honest, that’s what it’s about,” he added.

“It’s given them a good bit of experience that they’ll need if they’re going to go on and play in league football.  

“I’m obviously going to be for the competition because it certainly helps our lads develop as players. I know it’s come under a little bit of criticism, however I think for us as a club it’s been a decent competition.

“Over the three games, I feel that our lads have coped with it pretty well. I would say our best football was probably against Fleetwood in the first game – I thought we passed it really well. And then against Carlisle, an unbeaten team on a really good run, I felt we matched them in most departments there. And then if you look tonight against Oldham, first half we were very good, played some really good stuff, we scored two really good goals and were pleased we got the draw.”

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