Rovers reporter Rich Sharpe hands out his player ratings from the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

Christian Walton 6

Couldn’t get across quickly enough to keep out Lolley’s low drive from 25 yards. Made two routine saves from Grabban, and one from Carvalho. Distributed the ball well.

Elliott Bennett 7

Much of the play came down the Rovers left in the first half but he became much more involved after the break where he stung the palms of Samba late on. Standout moment was a terrific last-ditch challenge on Adomah at 1-1.

Darragh Lenihan 6

Booked in the first half for a strong challenge that caught Ribeiro on the follow through. Confident in bringing the ball out from the back, and largely distributed it well. One poor clearing header in the second half gave Grabban a shot at goal.

Derrick Williams 7

Got his head to several set pieces, with one second half header testing Samba who juggled on the line. Shackled Grabban well and hardly gave the experienced frontman a sniff.

Greg Cunninhgam 7

Delivered some good crosses in from the left, not least an intelligent one for Dack to fire wide from in the first half. Linked up well with Armstrong, often getting beyond the winger. Didn’t give Lolley much room to work with down the flank.

Lewis Travis 7

Locked in a good battle with Sow which he came out on top of across the 90 minutes. Passing, and influence, grew in the game as he finished game still full of running.

Stewart Downing 8 (MAN OF THE MATCH)

Had more touches (110) of the ball than anyone on the field and was both a creative and industrial force for Rovers in a new-look central midfield role. What he tried didn’t always come off, but looked to play forward at every opportunity. Stopped several counter-attacks with good covering work. Went close with a right foot shot that was deflected late on. Mixed success with his corners.  

Sam Gallagher 5

No shortage of willing, but a few rampaging first half runs apart, had little effect on the game. Failed to anticipate an Armstrong cross in the first half that could have given him a tap-in.

Bradley Dack 6

An uncharacteristic miss-control was the start of a frustrating night for Dack who was closely shackled by Ben Watson. Escaped his attentions twice in the first half, shooting wide on both occasions from the edge of the box. Played an excellent ball in behind for Armstrong’s goal.

Adam Armstrong 8

Started on the left where Rovers looked to isolate him against Cash. Troubled him at times, including a shot saved by Samba in the eighth minute. Broke in behind when switched to the right to collect Dack’s pass and squeezed an effort in at the near post for his second of the season. Rovers’ most attacking threat.

Danny Graham 5

His night in front of goal summed up by slipping when receiving a first half Downing free kick. Rovers struggled to get him involved, a header over from a Cunningham cross proved to be a rare sight of goal on just his third league start.


Joe Rothwell (for Gallagher, 59) 6

A change the home fans called for, and he went close to a late winner as Samba tipped round his curling shot. Snatched at another effort from an Armstrong cross. Has to be pushing hard for a start.

Lewis Holtby (for Dack, 81) 6

Was quick to get in to the game, playing in a more favoured central role, and showed good energy, and quality from set plays. A good option off the bench, but must be in contention for a start.

Dominic Samuel (for Graham, 81) 5

Almost scored with his first touch, as his shot was blocked by Worrall. Gave Rovers an injection of pace at the top end of the pitch. Couldn’t direct a Bennett cross goalwards.

Subs: Jayson Leutwiler, Tosin Adarabioyo, Corry Evans, Bradley Johnson