Rovers 0 Burton 0 (5-3 on pens): Dickov’s penalty kings

Rovers players applaud the fans after their penalties win. Photo: Howard Roe
Rovers players applaud the fans after their penalties win. Photo: Howard Roe
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Rovers are emerging as penalty kings after another shootout success to see off Burton Albion in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Substitute keeper Marko Marosi saved Tom Naylor’s penalty in the shootout while each Rovers kick taker scored to see them triumph on penalties for the second time this term.

It had been a rather dour affair at the Keepmoat in which the visitors probably had the better of the game.

And Rovers will be delighted they advanced with little cost to the greater goal this season.

Given the threadbare condition of Rovers squad after a particularly intense opening month of the season, fielding the strongest possible side in this competition was never likely to be Paul Dickov’s priority.

Paul McKay was handed his senior debut while Liam Mandeville made his first start, forming a five man posse of Academy graduates along with Mitchell Lund, Harry Middleton and Billy Whitehouse.

McKay looked confident and assured alongside Andy Butler in the heart of defence, bringing a welcome burst of pace to the back line. Mandeville was a lively presence playing off Curtis Main, though he drifted out of the game as time wore on.

It was also promising to see Paul Keegan make his first start in six months, though he only featured in the first half.

For long periods the two sides cancelled each other out, delivering little in the way of entertainment.

Burton forced a string of corners in the first five minutes without truly testing Thorsten Stuckmann.

Rovers were the first to go close with McKay almost marking his debut with a goal on 21 minutes, striking first time from the edge of the box only to see the ball deflect over off Damien McCrory’s head.

Burton broke from the subsequent corner and former Rovers winger Mark Duffy drew a solid save from Stuckmann.

The German keeper’s reactions were tested to a much greater extent as he hooked Matty Palmer’s deflected header off the line.

Rovers grew into the game and Main looked to catch Remi Matthews off-guard with a low drive on the angle but the Burton keeper saved well at his near post.

Rovers were handed a big - and rather bizarre - let off late in the half. Lucas Akins raced clear from 40 yards after what appeared to be a wayward backpass from a Rovers player. The assistant did not flag for offside but referee Ross Joyce mistakenly did.

Dickov made a double change at half time, switching keepers with Marko Marosi on for Stuckmann while Richard Chaplow replaced Keegan.

Burton enjoyed the better of the second half on possession and chances.

They were almost gifted the lead when Akins latched onto a horror backpass from Chaplow but lashed into the sidenetting.

And just after the hour, Akins missed a glorious chance for Burton. Substitute Jerome Binnom-Williams played a ball into the box with Akins in acres of space but he sliced wide.

Marosi produced a pair of fine saves to keep Rovers in it. First he palmed away a point-blank header from Tom Flanagan who probably should have done better.

And then he reacted well to keep out a near post drive from Akins.

Penalties seemed an inevitablity heading into the final quarter hour and for the third time in this young campaign, Rovers went beyond the 90 minutes in a cup clash.

Andy Williams, Main, Middleton, Chaplow and Cameron Stewart all netted from the spot to send Rovers through.

Rovers: Stuckmann (Marosi 46), Lund, Butler, P McKay, Evina, Whitehouse, Middleton, Keegan (Chaplow 46), Stewart, Mandeville (Williams 72), Main. Subs not used: MacKenzie, Coppinger.

Burton: Matthews, Naylor, O’Connor, Flanagan, McCrory, Weir, Butcher (Reilly 51), Atkins, Palmer, Duffy (Binnom-Williams 60), Joachim. Subs not used: McLaughlin, Thiele, Austin.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Cleveland)

Attendance: 2,596 (167)