By Connor Ryan
Rovers dominated proceedings at The Reigart Stadium to ensure they progressed into the third round of the SPFL Trust Trophy – as they thrashed St Mirren B 6-0. Kyle Doherty was the star man as he scored 4 goals and picked up the man of the match award, while the other goals were scored by Kieran Dolan and an own goal from St Mirren B defender Daniel McManus.
Rovers began their goal spree early on at the second minute with Declan McManus’s own goal coming from a poor back pass that led to him dinking the ball over his own keeper Grant Thackery who could only watch the ball go over his head.
Rovers would then go onto control the game throughout the first half with some good high pressure on the St Mirren defence allowing Rovers to create many chances as Callum Wilson, Kyle Doherty and Max Wright were all able to threaten Thackery. Aron Lynas was also proving to be dangerous for the colts side as he managed to put in many pinpoint crosses for the Rovers attack.
Rovers would be able to double their advantage in the 22nd minute as some brilliant hold up play by Max Wright allowed him to find Kyle Doherty on the edge of the area who drilled a low shot into the bottom left corner leaving Thackery helpless between the sticks.
St Mirren eventually started to get at the Rovers defence after going 2-0 down with Cammy Binnie being forced into action by palming away a shot which was the result of a free-kick just outside the box, however, this would be the last St Mirrenwould really threaten for the duration of the first half.
Following this, Scott Roberts blazed a shot over the bar from a good position in the box while Ewan Thomson for St Mirren Colts picked up a yellow card for simulation outside the Rovers area just under half an hour into the game.
Aaron Lynas would then be called into action at the back as he pulled off a superb challenge in the box to deny St Mirren a goal-scoring opportunity after some lovely one touch football almost seen them through on goal.
Just before half-time, Rovers were awarded a penalty which was calmly dispatched by Kyle Doherty who grabbed his second of the game and Rovers third which gave them a comfortable lead going into the break.
Rovers continued were they left off in the second half by applying the same brilliant intensity and pressure upon the young colts side, with Rovers attack managing to carve out more chances in the early stages of the second half. Doherty was very unlucky not to secure his hat trick in the 55th minute by seeing his strike smash the post and then his rebound fly over the bar.
Doherty wouldn’t have to wait long to secure his hat trick as Callum Wilson played a cross into Max Wright who miss kicked the ball into Doherty’s path, leading to another composed finish by Doherty beyond the diving Thackery giving Rovers a 4-0 lead.
Scott Roberts and Lewis Wilson would then combine their link-up play in the 64th minute down the left hand side allowing the latter to get a shot away which was well saved by Thackery. However, Doherty was again on hand to smash in the rebound securing his fourth goal of the game and put Rovers 5-0 up. The goal did deflect in off one of the St Mirren Colts defenders however Doherty will definitely be claiming it as his fourth strike of the game.
Substitutions for Rovers included Max Wright and Callum Wilson coming off for Kieran Dolan and Charlie Reilly in the 65th minute.
Coming into the 70th minute St Mirren would see their first serious chance of the second half as Aidan Gilmartin missed a big chance in front of Rovers goal, however they wouldn’t threaten much more as the majority of play was kept in the B sides box.
Rovers would then make more substitutions in the 80th minute with Kyle Doherty and Aldin El Zubaidi being replaced by Jamie Mcvey and Adam Fernie. Mcvey almost had an instant impact by appearing to be in on goal but the Colts defence managed to scramble the ball out for a Rovers corner.
In the closing stages of the game, Thackery was called into action on numerous occasions by Mcvey and Roberts however Thackery wasn’t able to stop Kieran Dolan who managed to turn 2 defenders in the box with some superb hold-up play while being held back and poke the ball beyond the Colts keeper to give Rovers their 6th goal of the day.
The match ended just after Dolan’s goal which sends Rovers through to the third round to face Cove Rangers.