Rovers picked up a narrow 1-0 win at Grimsby in their fourth pre-season friendly at Blundell Park.
The match at Morecambe was considerably energetic for a friendly, but last night’s game was the opposite. Both teams seemed tired and uninspired – with Mowbray telling the Lancashire Telegraph his team seemed “leggy”.
Rovers began with a strong team, with new signing Dominic Samuel starting on the bench. There was a few notable absences from the team – Conway, Evans and Lenihan – with the latter gaining a lot of attention due to the continued pursuit of the Irishman by Sheffield United.
Rovers saw plenty of the ball in the opening 10 minutes, with Gladwin winning a corner after 8 minutes but nothing coming from it. The Mariners’ first chance came two minutes later, when they caught Rovers off guard with a short corner, but Graham blocked and Raya collected the ball.
Liam Feeney kept making runs down the right flank, rarely with success as the first-half went along.
Raya then made a great save in what was a great performance for the Spaniard. Dembele was unmarked at the back post, who aimed to put the ball past Raya, who magnificently saved with his right shoulder.
The second half kicked off, and in the first fifteen minutes, chances went both ways. Gladwin created a good chance due to his footwork, but the chance was blocked by the Grimsby defender. Then, Grimsby’s Jones had a shot deflected for a corner.
60 minutes in, new boy Dominic Samuel came on for Ben Gladwin for his first appearance in the blue and white halves.
4 minutes later, Rovers got the goal they needed. Caddis played the ball into Dack, who used some fancy footwork to get an effort on goal. The initial shot was blocked before Graham bundled the ball towards goal – which should’ve been saved by the keeper – and the ball went into the back of the net. (The goal can be seen here.) This was Graham’s 4th goal of pre-season.
Then, in the 71st minute, Rovers nearly conceded. Berrett had a corner for Grimsby, Ward – who was playing very well – headed back towards his own goal and Caddis had to clear it off the line.
In the last fifteen minutes, it was nice to see youth being given a chance to play. Jack Doyle, Joe Rankin-Costello and Matty Platt were all given playing time.
Grimsby had a chance to equalise minutes from the end, when The Mariners’ had a corner. Berrett crossed and Collins glanced the header past Raya, but past the post.
The full-time whistle went and Rovers had won 1-0. Rovers did deserve the fixture and now head to Carlisle on Friday (28th July) before beginning their League One campaign away at Southend.
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