Date:Tuesday February 13 2007
Rovers snatched a place in the Johnstones Paint Trophy Final in dramatic style last night.
With the game tied at 3-3 after the first leg it was always going to be a tight game at the Keepmoat. The Rovers squad had been hit by a flu bug, which had struck so many players Rovers asked the League to postpone the game. The League refused the request and also refused to allow Rovers to recall striker Bruce Dyer from his loan at Bradford City.
Therefore players were dragged from their sick beds to make up the team and it showed in the first half. Paul Heffernan looked out of sorts, tripping over the ball, and Brian Stock struggled for breath through most of the game. They were not the only two suffering. Yet Rovers battled on and forced all the play but could not convert the pressure in to goals. Crewe scored twice against the run of play, Rovers lost Gareth Roberts to injury and Donny looked dead and buried at half time.
Yet to write them off would have been madness, Rovers of old know how to fight back, they know how to produce moments of magic in front of the cameras and the fighting spirit, which has been lacking in a number of league games, re-appeared. When Paul Heffernan managed to find the back of the net to get Rovers back in the game, the crowd felt that this could be another great night for the club. When Jason Price was brought down in the area and Heffs despatched the penalty twice (with ref Trevor Kettle demanding it be retaken) the crowd knew it would be another great night for the club!
Then, with one minute to go on the clock the ball fell at Jason Price's feet a mere six yards from goal and he hammered it home to put Rovers ahead.
Of course Crewe may well claim that their 'third' goal was onside, but the linesmen correctly ruled it out. Rovers were by far the best team over two games and deserved to go through to the final to be held on April 1st against Bristol City or Bristol Rovers.
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|5. Sheff Utd||32||15||8||9||9||53|
|9. Port Vale||33||13||6||14||-3||45|
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