Rovers picked up their fourth consecutive league win in a row with a well-fought 1-0 victory over Scunthorpe United.
Marcus Antonsson’s second half strike was enough to separate the two sides at Glanford Park on Tuesday evening.
The Swede connected with Elliott Bennett’s pin-point cross to place the ball past Matt Gilks in the Scunthorpe goal.
There was several chances for either side, and the game could have easily ended differently if it wasn’t for both goalkeepers.
In a cagey first half, summer signing Lee Novak had his, and Scunthorpe’s, best effort from a header. A ball in from the left flank was met by the former Charlton man, but his header was straight at David Raya. At the other end, Rekeem Harper – making his Rovers debut after joining on deadline day from West Brom – should’ve connected with a header which, if on target, would’ve gave Rovers the lead.
As the half time whistle went, taking into account Rovers’ first half performance, I was just happy we hadn’t conceded. You could tell the game needed someone like Dack or Chapman.
The Blues came out for the second half having made one change, with Rekeem Harper making way for Bradley Dack. The attacking midfielder helped to bring the game to life with his non stop work on and off the ball, showing trickery to get down the left side.
Rovers finally broke the deadlock when Bennett’s perfect cross fell to the unmarked Antonsson at the back post, who placed the ball past Gilks in front of the incredible Rovers support. The Swede’s goal prompted the Rovers faithful to go into absolute raptures, and the celebration showed the passion and how much the players wanted the goal.
The on-loan striker was soon replaced by Danny Graham, who was ready to come on before Antonsson scored for Rovers.
The Blue and Whites should have had a penalty, as Graham’s header across the box was blocked by a Scunthorpe hand, but the referee waved away the claims. Derrick Williams then saved Rovers, after he cleared Bishop’s header off the line.
Mowbray’s men should’ve made it two as Dack’s ball was met by Graham, and his shot was blocked by Gilks.
In the closing stages, Rovers faced a bombardment from Scunthorpe. Summer signing Ojo hit a fizzing shot from the edge of the box, and Raya did brilliantly to tip the swerving ball over the bar.
Graham and Chapman held the ball in the corner towards the end of injury time, which was vital in running down the clock for Rovers, who held on for their fourth consecutive league win – for the first time since 2007 under Mark Hughes.
Although Scunthorpe had the edge in the first half, Rovers held on well and perfectly executed the tactics to pick up the three points.
I think a special mention has to go to the Rovers fans. They were vocal throughout, travelled in great numbers and really backed their team from the first to the last minute.
The Blue and White army have had a combined away following of over 6,000 fans in the 3 away wins over Bradford, Rochdale and Scunthorpe – which is absolutely brilliant.
Rovers now face AFC Wimbledon at home on Saturday, before the Blue and Whites travel to Shrewsbury who are unbeaten so far in the league, winning 6 and drawing 1. The Blue and Whites will need to remain focused and not get over confident, but as we’ve showed, we’ve got quality in our squad.
If Rovers beat AFC Wimbledon, it’ll be the first time Rovers have won 5 league games in a row since October/November 2000, the year the Blue and Whites went up to the Premier League.
This feeling of winning, especially away, is a great feeling – long may it continue!
Come on you Blues!
Our talking points from the game will be released later today, so keep an eye out for that!