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Match Report

 

Posted Wed 17 Jul 13 at 11:46 AM

Matt McClure’s improvised effort ultimately counted for nothing as Bristol Rovers left Adams Park with all three points. 

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes with McClure and Steven Craig replacing Reece Styche and Nick Arnold.

Dean Morgan missed out through injury, while Leon Johnson returned to the squad after missing the game at Fleetwood last Monday.

Blues created the first half chance of the game when McClure lofted the ball over the top for Craig to run onto in the sixth minute, but the Rovers defence recovered well to force the striker out of play.

However, it was the visitors who had the best early opportunity and it came three minutes later. David Clarkson intercepted play on halfway and broke forward before finding Fabian Broghammer on the left. The midfielder steadied himself before shooting from eight yards, only for Anthony Stewart to time his challenge to perfection and divert the ball away for a corner.

Rovers didn’t have to wait long to take the lead though, as Lee Brown curled a superb 20-yard free-kick over the wall and past Matt Ingram in the 10th minute, with Wanderers’ No.1 left with no chance.

Stuart Lewis did well to find the on-rushing Wood in the 18th minute and his powerful goalbound strike looked to be heading for the top corner, but was deflected over by Tom Parkes.

Chairboys kept up the pressure and the leveller came in fine style a minute later as McClure acrobatically flicked in Wood’s cross from the left. It was a fine instinctive strike from the forward for his eighth of the season.

McClure was causing the visitors all sorts of problems in the first office and he picked up Wood’s pass before turning his marker and drilling a dangerous cross into the area, which just evaded the Wanderers in the box.

Neither side created a chance of note in the following 10 minutes, but there were signs of Craig and McClure linking well, with the former holding the ball up well.

Stewart fired wide five minutes before the break after turning 30 yards out, and that was to be the final effort of the first half.

Half-time: Wanderers 1-1 Rovers

Pierre headed Wood’s corner wide two minutes after the break, and it was Rovers boss Darrell Clarke who made the first move from the touchline, introducing Steven Gillespie for Broghammer in the 52nd minute.

Wanderers were inches away from taking the lead less than 60 seconds later when McClure’s left-footed strike flew just the wrong side of the post after Scowen had burst forward and found the striker in space 10 yards out.

The game was becoming increasingly fought out in midfield until Craig headed Rowe’s cross narrowly wide in the 72nd minute.

Rovers restored their advantage in the 74th minute when McClure’s defensive header inadvertently fell into the path of an unmarked Clarkson, who made no mistake from close range.

Ainsworth made a double change seven minutes from time with Junior Morias and Styche replacing Kretzschmar and Craig.

Kaid Mohamed wasted a glorious chance to make the game safe when he broke, before opting to shoot from outside the area instead of squaring to the unmarked Chris Beardsley.

Blues piled on the pressure, but couldn’t create one final chance as Rovers held on for three precious points. 

Wanderers: Ingram, Rowe, Wood, Stewart, Pierre, Bloomfield, Lewis (c), Scowen, Kretzschmar (Morias 83), McClure, Craig (Styche 83).
Subs: Horlock, McCoy, Arnold, Johnson, Morias, Kuffour, Styche

Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, Brown, Parks, McChrystal, Broghammer (Gillespie 53), Clucas, O’Toole (Clarke 87), Mohamed, Harrold (Beardsley 70), Clarkson. 
Subs: Gough, Gillespie, Harding, Beardsley, Clarke, Santos, Keary.

Attendance: 6,752

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