Fair draw earns a point
Rovers went into this match looking to extend their recent undefeated run and on the back of a season's best performance at Berkhamsted. No surprises that Manager Tony Fontanelle named an unchanged line-up for this home game. United were into their stride a lot sharper than Rovers and both the talented Tre Mitford and winger Max Hercules were looking sharp and had Gary Malone in the Rovers goal on his toes straightaway although early efforts from both sailed both over and wide of his goal. The game settled to a midfield tussle with Rovers, in complete contrast to their previous match, too inclined to force the ball forward in the air and this was making for a comfortable afternoon for the United defence. Rovers wide-man Jimmy Hartley burst into action after 36 minutes but a pinpoint cross was wasted when Drew Philips shot way over when it looked likely he would score and then Hartley himself shot wildly over from a good position. Rovers should have taken the lead in added time though as Charlie Clayton ran down a loose ball which United keeper Ashley Jenkins made a hash of collecting but, with the goal gaping, inexplicably shot wide and the sides went in level at half-time.
Into the second half and United's Mitford continued to look dangerous but credit to both Rovers central defenders Paul Andrews and Dan Olineran, he was being marshalled for the main part, away from the Rovers penalty area but still got in two good efforts on goal in quick succession after 52 and 53 minutes. United's Greg Williams shot straight at Malone after 57 minutes and Mitford again after 60 minutes had a shot that went wide. Rovers were on the back foot but, as often happens when teams don't take their chances, the opposition strike and Rovers landed a sucker punch after 63 minutes when Clayton created space for Hartley who fizzed an unsavable shot across United keeperJenkins and into the top corner to put Rovers in front. Rovers full back Robbie Goodman almost doubled their lead after 76 minutes with a lob that had Jenkins scrambling to tip over his bar. With just 11 minutes remaining however United responded with an equaliser when some rather sack defending on the Rovers right allowed in a cross which was met on the volley by United's Harry Jones and levelled the match. Both sides had opportunities before the end to snatch all three points but some good goalkeeping at both ends and wayward finishing meant a share of the spoils and probably a fair result over the piece.
Rovers travel to meet Cambridge City this Saturday 12th January.