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Rovers Review: January

The end of 2017 was great, so could Rovers take that momentum into 2018?

21 July 2018

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Following a decent end to 2017, could Rovers see in the New Year by continuing their fine form? It was a trip to Rotherham United for the first game of 2018...

Things were looking good for Rovers in what was a tight game at the New York Stadium after Bradley Dack gave us the lead midway through the second half with a cool finish. But Rovers were being pushed back by the hosts, and just as it looked like Tony Mowbray's side would hold on to a priceless three points, striker David Ball bundled home in the final minute to earn a point for the Yorkshire side.

It was a disappointing ending at Rotherham, but there was a chance for Tony Mowbray's team to take their eye off the league, as Hull City came to Ewood in the FA Cup. Unfortunately, Rovers dreams of a cup run came to an end against the Tigers after Ola Aina headed home from close range to take Nigel Adkins' side through and send Rovers out. And then came the big one, and arguably the performance of the season midway through the month as high-flying Shrewsbury Town took in a trip to East Lancashire. Rovers were excellent on the day; a Charlie Mulgrew brace and a Danny Graham strike resulting in a 3-1 win, with Paul Hurst's Shrews scoring from the spot via Jon Nolan.

Things got even better for Rovers a week later as the picked up a win on the road at Fleetwood Town in front of more than 1,000 travelling Rovers fans. Bradley Dack got the ball rolling early into the game from close range, but Conor McAleny capitalised after a mix up in defence. But just when it looked like the game would end up level, Richie Smallwood crashed in a long range strike to send the away following wild and earn a crucial three points on the coast.

Rovers were back at Ewood Park seven days later and they had to come from behind at home to Northampton Town to take a point from the game against the Cobblers. John-Joe O'Toole nodded the visitors in front, but Danny Graham produced a header of his own in the second half to grab something from the game for the hosts.

Rovers ended the month three days later, and it was to prove a comfortable evening for the hosts against Walsall. Danny Graham gobbled up a first half brace against the Saddlers before Bradley Dack made sure of a 3-1 win and three more points.

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