The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Richard Latham

DAR­RELL CLARKE is “des­per­ate” to sign Rovers’ two-goal hero Rory Gaffney on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

But the man­ager ad­mit­ted af­ter a con­vinc­ing win over Lu­ton that his loan re­cruit’s sec­ond dou­ble in as many games had not im­proved the chances of Cam­bridge United let­ting him go.

Clarke said: “The goal­posts have moved from a week ago when it looked as though we had reached agree­ment ver­bally over keep­ing Rory. That is Cam­bridge’s pre­rog­a­tive and I have no com­plaints.

“As things stand, Rory is now their player again and talks will con­tinue over the week­end and maybe into next week. We are des­per­ate to keep him and he is des­per­ate to sign for us, but we will just have to wait and see.

“But I won’t al­low one player to be seen as more im­por­tant than the rest. It was a strong team per­for­mance with good in­di­vid­ual dis­plays all over the pitch. It has been a very good hol­i­day pe­riod for us, but this game can kick you in the teeth when you least ex­pect it. We won’t be get­ting car­ried away.”

Gaffney broke the dead­lock on the hour, ri­fling the ball into the roof of the net af­ter Tom Lock­yer’s header from a Lee Mansell cor­ner was cleared off the line.

The striker wrapped up the points 12 min­utes later when run­ning onto a Lee Brown pass. Goal­keeper Mark Tyler should have done bet­ter when fail­ing to hold his first shot and Gaffney made no mis­take with the re­bound.

Lu­ton came clos­est to a goal on 57 min­utes when Ryan Hall fired nar­rowly wide of the near post from Craig Mack­ail-Smith’s pass. But it was a rare ef­fort from a Hat­ters side who com­peted strongly with­out putting to­gether many pen­e­trat­ing moves.

Tyler made the best save of the half, tip­ping over a Lee Mansell shot on 40 min­utes af­ter a good move in­volv­ing Tay­lor and Gaffney.

There wasn’t a lot be­tween the teams un­til Gaffney opened the scor­ing and Lu­ton care­taker-boss Andy Aw­ford was left to rue some poor de­fend­ing.

He said: “I’m dis­ap­pointed with the goals we con­ceded be­cause they came from ba­sic mis­takes. That was what dis­ap­pointed me most.

“We might have tested their keeper more, but if you give away poor goals you are not go­ing to win foot­ball matches.

“I told the play­ers af­ter­wards that the club who win League Two this sea­son will be the one which makes the least mis­takes.

“There is now a two-week break from fix­tures for us, which would ap­pear an ideal time to bring a new man­ager in. I have made it clear that I have not ap­plied, but the board know where I am if they want to talk.

“If a new man­ager is brought in I will hap­pily go back to my role with the acad­emy. I want to be a first-team man­ager again one day, but whether it is sooner or later we will have to wait and see.”


HIGH FIVE: Rory Gaffney cel­e­brates with Tom Lock­yer af­ter scor­ing Rovers’ first goal THREAT: Ol­lie Clarke takes a shot at goal for Rovers

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