A bumper crowd accompanied the visit of Sunderland for a highly anticipated game at the Keepmoat. For the first half especially, the tempo was breathless, which lead to a very end to end game.
Rovers were on top for the majority of the opening forty-five minutes, with the exception of a number of dangerous crosses from the Black Cats, most from the tricky right foot of former Rovers loanee Lynden Gooch.
The game’s turning point came at the end of the first half. First with Mallik Wilks battling to get through on goal with Sunderland keeper Jon McLaughlin who snaffled the chance, and the stopper did the same when up against Matty Blair moments later when he too found himself through on goal.
Then less than two minutes into the second half, after a Gooch curler came back off the post, Chris Maguire was there to turn home the rebound and put Sunderland ahead.
Although end to end, clear cut opportunities were few and far between, and ultimately the tale of this game was who took them when they came.
Another positive performance from the Rovers, however it has to be said Grant McCann’s side can feel somewhat fortunate they escaped the fixture largely injury free, as a lot of the Sunderland tackling left a lot to be desired to say the least.
by Adam Bates