Hard earned point at the Globe Arena
A second half goal from Eliot Richards gave Rovers a hard earned, and well deserved, point at the Globe Arena today.
His goal, the fifth he has scored away from home this season, cancelled out the home side’s opener, scored by Jack Redshaw.
Manager John Ward made three changes to his starting lineup at Morecambe.
Ryan Brunt (knee), Fabian Broghammer (hamstring), and David Clarkson (ankle) didn’t travel north with the squad on Friday and they all missed out, while Ollie Norburn dropped to the bench.
Tom Hitchcock, Eliot Richards and Danny Woodards were the players to come into the side.
Rovers were rocked by a goal from the home side with little over a minute on the clock.
When Tom Parkes lost possession the loose ball fell kindly to Jack Redshaw, who hit a superb shot past Steve Mildenhall from just outside the area.
A response from Rovers saw Joe Anyinsah go close with an overhead kick that was comfortably gathered by Barry Roche.
A John-Joe O’Toole free kick was well wide of the target before the home side went close to increasing their lead and again it was Redshaw causing the damage. In a run down the right he beat Lee Brown and cut inside only to see his shot cleared off the line by Parkes.
O’Toole showed some nice touches to work himself into a shooting position at the other end but his effort was blocked, while the lively Redshaw again went close when his fierce drive saw Mildenhall dive to his right to touch the shot round the post.
Parkes and Anyinsah both saw efforts blocked by home defenders and just when it seemed as though Rovers might make the breakthrough, they were almost caught on the counter attack. Kevin Ellison played in Redshaw but this time the Morecambe man fired over the bar.
Ellison hit a shot wide of the target before Eliot Richards forced Roche into a routine save with a low left foot effort.
The half ended, though, as it had begun with Redshaw on the rampage and he was denied a second goal when O’Toole blocked his on target effort.
Whereas the home side started the first half with a goal, it was Rovers who drew first blood after the break.
Within three minutes of the restart Lee Brown swung in a cross from the left and Eliot Richards rose to glance the ball into the net from six yards.
Ryan Williams almost gave the home side the lead again when he struck a powerful 35 yard shot towards goal. However Mildenhall did well to touch the ball behind for a corner.
Almost immediately Tom Hitchcock dispossessed Nick Fenton and ran through into the area where he was denied a first senior goal as he delayed taking his shot.
Parkes then saw a header blocked, before Morecambe again hit Ward’s side on the counter attack.
The ever dangerous Redshaw went close again, but Mildenhall made an unconventional save with his chest.
There was another let off for Rovers when Lewis Alessandra’s downward header came back into play off the post.
Richards might have won the game for Rovers when he won possession on the halfway line and showed the home defenders a clean pair of heels as he raced into the area, only to see Roche save his shot with his legs.
Rovers lost Seanan Clucas with a knee injury before the end of the game, though it is to be hoped it won’t keep him out of action for too long.
It was a hugely entertaining game and another point for Rovers who have yet to lose an away game since Ward was appointed.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Danny Woodards (Ollie Norburn, 76), Seanan Clucas (Ellis Harrison, 86), John-Joe O’Toole, Joe Anyinsah, Eliot Richards, Tom Hitchcock (Jim Paterson, 90)
Substitutes: Conor Gough, Clayton McDonald, Jordan Goddard, Tom Lockyer
Yellow card: O’Toole (90)
Morecambe: Barry Roche, Will Haining, Nick Fenton, Chris McCready, Andy Parrish (Robbie Threlfall, 29), Lewis Alessandra (Chris Holroyd, 80), Stewart Drummond, Gary McDonald, Ryan Williams (Andrew Fleming, 85), Kevin Ellison, Jack Redshaw
Substitutes: Joe Mwasile, James Short, Andreas Arestidou
Referee: Carl Berry
Rovers supporters: 330