Rovers picked up their first points of the League 1 campaign with a strong win away at promotion hopefuls Bradford City.
Dominic Samuel’s third goal in as many games gave Rovers and the 1,965 travelling Blue and White army a win to head back to Lancashire with.
Rovers controlled the game throughout and the summer signing, from Reading for around £500,000, netted his third goal for Rovers just after half-time.
The 1,965 travelling army were vocal throughout the game, and their efforts were rewarded with three points. This meant Bradford, who hadn’t been beaten in 31 home league games, lost their unbeaten league run at Valley Parade which stretched back as far as March 2016.
The Lancashire outfit were in control during the game, with standout performances from Bradley Dack and Richie Smallwood.
From last week’s 3-1 defeat to Yorkshire side Doncaster Rovers, Mowbray made three changes. Nyambe – who was injured – Whittingham and Graham were taken out the starting squad, and in came Samuel, Dack and Conway – the latter returning from injury which has prevented him playing for Rovers so far this season.
Rovers started well, with a chance in just 40 seconds, when Samuel’s blocked shot fell to Corry Evans – but the Northern Irish defensive midfielder placed the ball just wide. Rovers were then denied a stonewall penalty by referee Peter Bankes, when Bradley Dack was forced to the floor – but referee turned down the call.
There was chances for both teams in the first half, but the real chance came in the second half. In the 47th minute, Rovers got their reward. Bennett set the ball back to the returning Conway, and the Scot perfectly weighted the ball into Samuel. The summer signing got away from his man and found the back of the net.
Rovers’ fans became worried on the hour mark, as lively Dack limped off, with Ben Gladwin replacing him. The ex-QPR man was instantly involved, when he had a header comfortably saved by Colin Doyle in the Bantams net.
Bradford experienced their best part of the game between the 70th and 80th minute, when Nicky Law curled the ball straight at Raya, and Jones fired wide.
Marcus Antonsson came on for Rovers with just over 10 minutes to go, and was key to Rovers’ plan to run down the clock towards the end.
Raya collected the ball from a free kick, and launched the ball up and the full time whistle went. Rovers fans cheered in delight whilst the team formed a huddle on the centre line, showing solidarity and togetherness.
The feeling was amazing, and something I’ve missed for a while. Rovers now need to push on and make this game count, as this result is a massive boost for Mowbray’s men.
Rovers now face those who shall not be named at home in the Carabao Cup 2nd round on Wednesday evening before facing MK Dons at home 3 days later.
Come on you Blues!
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