New season but same defensive struggled as they conceded two poor goals in a home defeat to Championship new-boys Charlton Athletic.

Lyle Taylor turned in from close range to hand the Addicks all three points, having led at half-time courtesy of a Ben Purrington strike.

Rovers had levelled 10 minutes in to the second half and had looked the more likely to score the game’s third goal, before switching off from a right-wing corner allowed Taylor to pounce.

It means Rovers’ winless run on the opening day will stretch to double figures.

Four new signings were included in the Rovers starting line-up, with Tosin Adarabioyo the only new recruit not involved.

There was no shortage of possession for Rovers, though in their 5-3-1-1 formation, Charlton were proving a tough nut to crack.

Bradley Dack’s every move was being tracked by Darren Pratley, though the Rovers attacker did pounce on a loose ball in the 10th minute which gave him a first sight of goal of the afternoon, but his effort was well wide.

The pattern continued of Rovers controlling the ball but failing to test Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal.

Stewart Downing, operating from the right, should have at the very least tested the Charlton stopper however, in the 24th minute. Sam Gallagher was given chance to stretch his legs down the right and his low cross looked to have ran perfectly for the winger, but he couldn’t adjust his feet to turn goalwards.

While Rovers’ failed to muster a shot on target from their six efforts at goal, Charlton had to wait until the 35th minute for their first shot on goal.

It came after Charlie Mulgrew misjudged a ball forward, with Lyle Taylor’s effort saved by Christian Walton on his first outing.

Then two minutes before the break, Charlton launched a counter-attack through Purrington after he intercepted an Elliott Bennett pass. And he would be the man unmarked at the far post to meet a Jonny Williams cross from two yards and turn in to the roof of the net as Rovers struggled to recover.

With Rovers rattled, Walton was called in to action once more before the break, diving away to his right to save from Taylor.

Rovers emerged from the break unchanged, though Downing and Adam Armstrong switched flanks in a search of more joy.

Balls were starting to come in to the Charlton box with more regularity, though the hosts were defending their box stoutly.

The equaliser arrived 10 minutes after the re-start, though not without a huge slice of luck. Downing’s corner was met by Johnson, with Anfernee Dijksteel well placed to clear off the line, only to see his header ricochet off ‘keeper Phillips and in.

There was more impetus about Rovers, and with the crowd’s backing, they pushed for a second goal as Dack drew a save out of Phillips from 20 yards.

Taylor may have been something of a lone frontman for the visitors, but was still providing a threat, as shown when getting free from Lenihan to collect a long ball forward, but with no support, shot over from 20 yards.

With the crowd on the back, buoyed by the equaliser, Rovers began to get in to the ascendancy. Balls continued to whizz along the Charlton box, before Amari’i Bell drove forward from 30 yards to rifle a shot just over.

Rovers made a double switch, sending on Danny Graham and Joe Rothwell with just under a quarter of the game to go.

Huge appeals greeted a hand making contact from a Rovers corner shortly afterwards, but referee Andy Woolmer adjudged it to have to have been Lenihan’s, rather than that of a defender, with a free kick given.

Despite their pressure, Rovers were behind again with 14 minutes to go. An inswinging corner was headed goalwards by Pearce and Taylor got the touch necessary to turn it behind Walton.

Charlton now had even more to protect as Rovers became increasingly frustrated as the minutes ticked by. And the game should have been put to bed three minutes from time when Bennett gifted the ball to Charlton, with Walton having to make a smart save with his feet to deny Forster-Caskey.

The sight of six added minutes gave some hope to  the crowd, but in truth, Rovers hadn’t shown any signs of life after falling behind for a second time and didn’t trouble Phillips in the Charlton goal.


Rovers: Walton, Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew, Bell, Travis (Buckley, 80), Johnson, Armstrong (Graham, 69), Dack, Downing (Rothwell), 69), Gallagher

Subs: Leutwiler, Nyambe, Evans, Brereton

Charlton: Phillips, Dijksteel, Pearce, Sarr (Gallagher, 66), Purrington, Williams (Morgan, 79), Lapslie (Oshilaja, 90) Lockyer, Pratley, Forster-Caskey, Taylor

Subs: Amos, Bonne, Solly, Wiredu