ROVERS reporter Rich Sharpe picks out three talking points from the Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Bury.


While the Checkatrade Trophy is well down Rovers’ priority list this season, the game should have been seen by those selected as the perfect chance to stake their claim for more involvement at first-team level.

But there won’t be a queue at Tony Mowbray’s office door today as the senior players underperformed on what was a difficult night for Rovers.

Danny Graham got through an hour without a real clear sight of goal, and while Ben Gladwin lasted the full 90 minutes, he was guilty of taking far too many touches and casually losing the ball far too often.

Rekeem Harper looked to be trying too hard to impress, taking unnecessary risks in possession, and similar could be said of Harry Chapman, though he at least tried to make something happen in the final third.

Peter Whittingham wasn’t able to stamp his authority on the game in the central areas, and while Craig Conway was a willing runner, he too couldn’t provide any real spark in the attacking areas.


Tony Mowbray handed starts once again to Academy graduates Andrew Fisher and Lewis Travis, while Matty Platt came in for his full debut.

By the final whistle, they had been joined by Joe Rankin-Costello and Stefan Mols, both making their debuts, and Joe Nuttall. With Ryan Nyambe also part of a young backline, it meant Rovers finished the game with six Academy graduates on the pitch.

To their credit, despite tiring in the final quarter as Bury began to take charge, Fisher and Platt were among Rovers’ better performances as the back five dealt with an experienced Bury frontline.

They will look to continue their development in the impressive Under-23s side in the coming weeks and wait for the opportunity in this competition at Rochdale next month.


We might be needing the abacus when it comes to the final group game at Spotland next month.

Despite the defeat, Rovers go in to the final round of group fixtures in second place, one point behind leaders Rochdale and above Bury on goal difference.

Stoke City Under-21s, courtesy of a penalty shoot-out win over Rochdale, kept their hopes of qualifying alive by taking two points from their trip to Spotland.

It means all four sides in the group can still take any of the two qualifying spots available in Group C.  And the complexities of the format means that Rochdale could be eliminated without losing a game, while the Potters could qualify without winning one.