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Rovers Review: September

A look back at the 2017-18 campaign, as we move on to the second month of the s

11 June 2018

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After two wins from their last two games in August, Rovers headed into September full of confidence and looking to really kickstart their campaign.

First up it was a trip to Rochdale's Spotland for the first time competitively since 2000. A well taken Richie Smallwood strike just 10 minutes into the encounter got Rovers going before loanee Marcus Antonsson doubled the tally with his first goal in our colours. Danny Graham then got himself off the mark for the season as he capitalised on a goalkeeping error to add gloss to the scoreline in Greater Manchester.

Three days later and Rovers were on the road again, this time heading east for Scunthorpe to taken on Graham Alexander's charges. A tight affair saw Rovers dig in for large parts of the game and be indebted to David Raya for some fine stops. But Antonsson made it two goals in a week as his solitary finish - a volley from a great Elliott Bennett cross - in the second half proved the difference between the two sides at Glanford Park.

A return to Ewood Park saw AFC Wimbledon make a first ever visit to our home and Rovers couldn't transfer our fine away form to our own turf as Kwesi Appiah's finish separated the two teams in East Lancashire on a bitterly disappointing afternoon.

Shrewsbury Town had a great season and a big reason for that was due to having a fantastic start to the campaign. So it was always going to be a stern test for Rovers for the trip to Shropshire on September 23rd. A goalless first half sprung into life just before the hour as Aristote Nsiala handed the hosts the lead with a close range finish. But Rovers battled back and Harry Chapman's cross found Bradley Dack, who lashed home for his first ever goal for the club with five minutes to go to earn a share of the spoils.

Back to Ewood then for a match under the lights just three days later with Rotherham United heading to East Lancashire. With both sides relegated from the division, this was going to be a good test to see how Rovers would fare against a side also new to the division. Rovers bossed a large part of the game and an Antonsson header got the ball rolling before Harry Chapman lashed home in the second half to secure a comfortable victory.

You sensed Rovers were really finding their feet by this stage. The team had risen up the table following a difficult start to life in the third tier and another home game, this time against Gillingham, gave Tony Mowbray and the team an opportunity to finish September on a real high. Bradley Dack was up against his old club, but it was another ex-Gill in Dominic Samuel, who fired home to earn the three points for Rovers in another tight affair.

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