Rovers avoided another slip-up against lower league opposition in Stotfold FC in this 1st Round Beds Senior Cup tie with a narrow win in this midweek match.
From the first whistle, it seemed neither side was actually ‘up’ for this one. Rovers were showing numerous changes from the team that got a point at Marlow last Saturday so any semblance in terms of continuity of selection was totally absent. Almost the entire first half consisted of ‘huffing and puffing’ from both sides with neither able to create any real pressure on the opposing side. We waited until the 32nd minute to see any goalmouth action when, from a corner on the left, David Longe-King headed straight at the Stotfold keeper when it looked easier to head either side of him and open the scoring. Stotfold should have gone ahead in the 40th minute when their centre-forward, with only Adam Harpur in the Rovers goal to beat, screwed his shot wide of the post. Stotfold paid dearly for this miss when, in the 44th minute Alex Cathline cut in from the left and unleashed an unsaveable right-foot shot high to the Stotfold keeper’s left and into the top corner 0-1 Rovers.
The second half presented us with more of the same – a midfield stalemate for the most part. The Stotfold centre-forward had a glorious opportunity to equalise in the 75th minute but headed over the Rovers crossbar. We had a rash of Rovers substitutions with Jet Esso, Charlie Payne and David Longe-King departing at various intervals throughout this second half for Tom Peverall, Salah Amoako and Billy Lannon but, with the exception of a Lannon shot in the 85th minute which the Stotfold keeper did very well to turn round for a corner, the changes did little to lift the mediocrity of this Rovers performance. Nevertheless, Rovers ran out winners by a solitary goal and into the draw for the next round.