Burton Albion 1
A first half David Clarkson gave Rovers the advantage at Burton this afternoon, and they should have added further goals to go with their dominance of the opening 45 minutes.
However the home side equalised five minutes into the second half and the game became rather a scrappy affair after that, though there were many positives to be taken from the performance.
Mark McGhee made one change to his starting lineup, recalling Joe Anyinsah in place of the injured Derek Riordan.
Clarkson played in central midfield and Tom Eaves and Eliot Richards were the strike partnership.
After a fairly sedate opening to the game Rovers created the first opportunity, but a sixth minute effort from Richards was wide of the upright.
With Rovers controlling the game, a delightful move involving Clarkson, Eaves, Richards and Broghammer only broke down with a desperate clearance by the home defence.
Their first goal attempt arrived on 14 minutes when Zander Diamond headed wide from a free kick into the box.
Billy Kee forced Neil Etheridge into a routine save as the half hour mark approached BUT Rovers, who had enjoyed a great deal of possession, took the lead shortly afterwards.
Jim Paterson’s ball to the back post was aimed at Eaves and although the striker went up with three defenders, he couldn’t manage a touch. However the defensive clearance reached Clarkson on the edge of the area and with time to pick his spot, he hit a first time volley into the corner of the net to register his third goal of the season.
The home side took a while to recover from the shock of conceding, though they did create a few half chances in the final five minutes of the half.
Justin Richards shot just wide following a quickly taken free kick, Kee saw a shot saved by Etheridge and Jacques Maghoma fired just wide of the target.
Rovers could have extended their lead in their first attack after the break, but were foiled by a Tomlinson’s excellent double save.
The keeper kept out a stinging drive from Oliver Norburn but he could only parry it as far as Fabian Broghammer. The German midfielder’s volley seemed destined for the back of the net but Tomlinson again came to his side’s rescue and beat his effort away to safety.
The home side equalised on 50 minutes, when Billy Kee got in front of the Rovers defenders and glanced a header past Neil Etheridge following a free kick out on the right.
It was a disappointing goal to concede, as the free kick was needlessly conceded and Kee, one of the smaller players on the pitch, was allowed to nip in to score while Rovers seemed, momentarily, to switch off.
The game rather petered out after that and there were few chances for either side, though Kee hit a long range effort over the bar and Tom Parkes also fired over at the other end.
Both managers went for the win as the clock ran down, McGhee sending on Virgo to play up front and Burton boss Gary Rowett making a double substitution to try to increase his side’s fire power.
While there were few anxious moments at both ends, neither side could break the deadlock.
Rovers: Neil Etheridge, Matt Lund, Garry Kenneth, Tom Parkes, Jim Paterson (Lee Brown, 56), Joe Anyinsah (Adam Virgo, 84), Oliver Norburn, David Clarkson, Fabian Broghammer (Wayne Brown, 69), Tom Eaves, Eliot Richards
Substitutes: Michael Smith, Ellis Harrison, Ross Staley, Sam Walker
Yellow Cards: Richards, Kenneth
Burton Albion: Stuart Tomlinson, Anthony Connor, Zander Diamond, Rob Kiernan, Damien McCrory, Cleveland Taylor, Jack Dyer, Lee Bell, Jacques Maghoma, Billy Kee (Adi Yussuf, 86), Justin Richards (Matt Paterson, 86)
Substitutes: Ross Atkins, Andy Corbett, Aaron Webster, Nathan Stanton, Luke Rooney
Yellow Cards: Bell, Kee, Dyer
Referee: J Simpson