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Match Reports

Report: Bury 0 Rovers 3

Rothwell, Brereton and Armstro do the damage for Rovers who really put on a show against The Shakers at Gigg Lane

24 July 2019

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Joe Rothwell, Ben Brereton and Adam Armstrong produced the goods as Rovers earned a comfortable win against League One newcomers Bury at Gigg Lane.

Rothwell's sublime hit got the ball rolling for Tony Mowbray's men on a summer evening in Greater Manchester before Brereton finished off a splendid flowing move by nodding in an expert Joe Rankin-Costello cross soon after.

Armstrong finished things off by tucking home with a minute remaining, and in truth it could have been more for the visitors, who looked a class above a Shakers side that included former Ewood man Chris Taylor in their squad on trial.

A youthful backline saw the boss hand starting berths to Rankin-Costello, Joe Grayson and Sam Hart, whilst Ryan Nyambe slotted in as the right-sided centre back.

Experienced trio Elliott Bennett, Darragh Lenihan and Corry Evans all missed out after picking up slight knocks in training earlier in the week and didn't made the short trip south.

Sam Gallagher started up front and with it made his first appearance after signing on a permanent deal from Southampton in the summer.

Fellow new boy Christian Walton, a former Bury loanee, watched on at Gigg Lane, but wasn't involved having only appeared in one training session with Rovers after arriving from Brighton & Hove Albion a day earlier.

It was the hosts who had the first effort of the encounter, but Harry Bunn's strike from range was easy for Jayson Leutwiler to hold.

At the other end, a quick corner routine saw a neat one-two between Rothwell and John Buckley end with the former sending a left-footed drive past the post in a lively opening in Greater Manchester.

Rovers were bossing the play and got the goal their play deserved through an emphatic strike from the impressive Rothwell, who appeared to be revelling his more central role.

Picking up the ball 25-yards out after good work from Ben Brereton, 24-year-old Rothwell unleashed a curling effort that flew past home goalkeeper Ben Garrett and into the top right-hand corner of the net.

That advantage was doubled 10 minutes later and it came through a terrific flowing team move.

Rothwell found Gallagher charging down the right side, and after the forward picked out the over-lapping Rankin-Costello, the youngster's exquisite cross was powerfully planted into the net by the head of Brereton.

The only blot on Rovers' first half will have been an injury picked up by Hart just moments before the break, with Amari'i Bell coming on at left back to replace the ex-Liverpool man.

A plethora of alerations at the interval saw the likes of Charlie Mulgrew, Bradley Dack and Danny Graham enter the action as Mowbray changed things up.

Rovers' dominance continued into the second half, albeit it took a little while for the new-look side to find their groove after the break.

After the hour, only Rankin-Costello and Rothwell remained from the XI that began the game as Mowbray played all his remaining cards on the hour mark.

One of those replacements in Armstrong had his turn in trying to get his name on the scoresheet, but after cutting in from the right, his whipped effort was held well down low by Garrett.

Later on, an excellent pickout from Stewart Downing found Dack, who stung the palms of Garrett with a long range strike from the edge of the box as Rovers looked to increase their advantage.

And almost with the last kick of the game, increase the advantage they did. Dack's pinpoint pass found Armstrong rampaging in behind and the forward made no mistake with a simple finish beyond Garrett.

The latest win continues Rovers' unbeaten pre-season, and it's something they'll look to continue when Mowbray's men take on Blackpool on Saturday, kick-off 3pm at Bloomfield Road.

Bury: Garrett, Mugabi, Booth, Miller, Brown, Kay, Cooper, Gravenberch, Archer, Bunn, Dagnall.

Substitutes: Mundele, Lacey, Forbes, Rooney, Taylor, Roberts, Motley-Henry.

Rovers: Leutwiler (Fisher, 61), Rankin-Costello, Nyambe (Magloire, 61), Grayson (Mulgrew, 46), Hart (Bell, 45), Smallwood (c) (Travis, 61), Buckley (Dack, 46), Johnson (Downing, 46), Brereton (Armstrong, 61), Rothwell, Gallagher (Graham, 46).

Unused substitutes: None.

Goal: Rothwell, 26, Brereton, 37, Armstrong, 90.

Attendance: 1,351 (622 away)

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