Sunday 8th of April Rovers played Bunbury United Premiers team away in Bunbury for the first round of the Pioneer Cup in a hard fought 0 to 4 loss. Rovers coach Troy Reid, working with a team containing a large number of very promising youngsters came into the game with an emphasis on playing cohesively as a team, working the ball patiently up the pitch and creating scoring opportunities. The plan worked well, and despite constant pressure from the united side, the Rovers fought doggedly to hold them scoreless for the first 60 minutes, as well as to create a few scoring opportunities themselves.

The defensive backline really synergised as a unit to shutdown attacks, with the experience of Troy Reid and Craig Emslie providing direction, the backline of Ashley Maloney, Nico Sannevigo and Craig Mckee did an excellent job of stopping dangerous through ball attacks and also of being first onto the crosses into the box and shutting them down.

Keeper Craig Emslie put on a great show, especially in the middle of the second half as the Rovers tired; making numerous diving fingertip saves and a few brave one on one challenges, each time denying another goal.

Striker Denzel Collins came unbelievably close to being involved in his first Rover’s goal, when a shot from Midfielder Sam Kerry took a deflection off Denzel’s boot and was heading towards the bottom corner; unfortunately, the ball had lost too much momentum and the Bunbury United keeper was able to scramble and make the save on the goal line.

After a solid performance the Rovers left the pitch tired, but excited; having been given a taste of the potential of the team and having had fun playing a great game of soccer; the Rovers may have lost the game, but have many more great games to look forward to this season!