ROVERS’ exit from the Checkatrade Trophy was confirmed with Bury’s win over Stoke City Under-21s.

Only a draw between the sides this evening, and a victory for the Potters on penalties, would have seen Rovers progress in to the knockout stages.

However, despite Stoke including first-teamers Bruno Martins-Indi, Ibrahim Afellay, Charlie Adam and Saido Berahino, Glyn Hodges’ side were well beaten at Gigg Lane.

Bury, who Rovers face next in League One, were 3-0 up inside 20 minutes courtesy of goals from Nicky Ajose, Greg Leigh and Callum Reilly, with Afellay grabbing a consolation in the closing stages.

That meant the Shakers leapfrogged Rovers to join group winners Rochdale in the first knockout phase, the draw for which is made on Friday.

Rovers’ exit was all but confirmed on Tuesday evening where despite a Joe Nuttall goal, Rochdale grabbed an equaliser in the second half through Jordan Slew and then won the penalty shoot-out 5-3.

Things had started well for Rovers in the competition, Nuttall grabbing a debut goal at senior to give Tony Mowbray’s side a 1-0 win over Stoke Under-21s in August, but a 1-0 reverse to Bury last month proved decisive.

On exiting the competition, boss Tony Mowbray told the club website: “In the context, of course, you want to win every game, but I would have to say the Bury game was really disappointing.

“I thought the Stoke game was ok, we played some nice stuff against Stoke and Joe came off the bench and scored the winner that night.

“Against Rochdale there was lots of good stuff, but we didn't qualify out of this group because of the Bury game.”