Luke Kimberley provides his verdict on Rovers’ dramatic victory over Luton Town.
“No, I will not let you in” seemed the theme for both teams in this game until the “huff and puff” pressure from Rovers finally paid after 84 minutes, when quick thinking from Lewis Holtby allowed Armstrong to add to his already impressive tally for the season.
Consistency proved to be an important factor for Rovers as Tony Mowbray picked an unchanged back five for the third of three successive games and Rovers made it two from two for clean sheets.
Jarrad Branthwaite appears to be an excellent addition and was named MOTM today by the sponsors, as he continued to build a sound partnership with Darragh Lenihan. There was an injury worry for the former in the first half, fortunately shaken off ahead of the second forty-five.
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The unchanged backline looked rarely threatened throughout, aside from a late effort from Luton to draw level requiring heroics from Barry Douglas, who had another fine display after finding form in recent games.
There appeared to be 39 reasons to be excited on the hour mark as Dolan entered the fold, one of a quadruple substitution from the home side. Dolan injected a much-needed energy in a game filled with desperation and frustration up to that point.
A game of few chances, after indecision and a lack of cutting edge in the final third, was decided by one of only two shots on target, in the end. A huge goal for Armstrong today, having epitomised the desperation and frustration felt by all – a goal that should prove to ease any desperation in games to come.
Mowbray seems to have finally settled on an XI and squad depth is finally there to benefit from, after an inauspicious run of injuries and lack of player availability in the first half of this season. Two of the substitutions being heavily involved in the goal proving just that.
Unbeaten in the league in 2021, three wins from four, conceding only one goal and finally proving hard to beat: reason to be optimistic.