IN THIS hard-fought encounter over decent opponents Sturminster Newton in this Dorset Junior Cup, the scoreline flattered the home side in the end.
Both teams were fielding unusual sides due to Dorset cup eligibility, with the home side able to draft in a Western League goalkeeper.
After a fairly even back and forth first 35 minutes, in which the Rovers’ keeper Robbie Fowler made several superb saves, the Rovers took the lead as Cody Bowditch whipped in an cross from the left and Josh Daines got in front of his man to poke in from close range.
The Rovers’ back line defended resolutely against a pacey attack, and the attacking players paid back that hard work with a second on 55 minutes when Bowditch raced on to a through ball before smashing home.
The tireless work rate across the whole Rovers side was rewarded with a third goal on 70 minutes, after brilliant work from Harvey Brimicombe set Bowditch through on goal, and Jack Handy was in the right place to slot home.
After several contentious decisions for both sides, the home side were awarded a soft penalty for handball with 10 minutes to play. Fowler saved the first attempts, but the rebound was finished. And with six minutes left to play, the home side grabbed a second after a scramble from a corner. But the Rovers held on for an excellent 3-2 win.
Top performers for the Rovers were keeper Robbie Fowler, Ryan Norman at right back, and forward Harvey Brimicombe, though the entire side “were brilliant on the day”, according to manager Rob Larcombe.
The Rovers now head off to face Redlands in Dorset Junior Cup next Saturday (December 19th) with a place in the quarter finals at stake.