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18:33 28th April 2012


Bristol Rovers sent the Gas crowd home happy from the final home game of the season by beating Accrington Stanley 5-1 this afternoon.

It means the Gasheads have seen 12 goals at the Memorial Stadium in the last two matches.

Matt Harrold opened the scoring for Rovers with a bullet header, before doubling the score from the penalty spot.

Andy Dorman then made it three with a fantastic volley.

Accrington then pulled one back when Rovers switched off just before half time, but substitute Matt Lund added two more to Rovers' tally in the second half.

It was an excellent team performance, with all the players working hard for each other. There was some great finishing from all three goal scorers, but Dorman probably just shaded goal of the day.

Mark McGhee made two changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Port Vale in the week.

Aaron Downes came into the side to replace Tom Parkes who is suspended after picking up a straight red card at Vale Park.

Danny Woodards failed a late fitness test with a sore hamstring, so that gave Michael Smith the opportunity to make the starting line up.

Andy Dorman had the first chance of the game for Rovers, his shot from outside the box flew across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.

Jamie Devitt had the first attempt on goal for the visitors, but Scott Bevan punched clear, and at the other end Eliot Richards had a shot from distance blocked by Peter Murphy.

But it took just 10 minutes for Rovers to open the lead through Matt Harrold.

A good cross from Mustapha Carayol was met by a leaping Harrold, who headed the ball past Ian Dunbavin and into the goal.

Mark McGhee had said before the game that his team's aim was to help Harrold reach 20 goals for the season, and number 18 came from the spot on 22 minutes.

Carayol was fouled by Peter Murphy on the right hand side of the box, and referee Robert Lewis pointed to the spot.

Harrold stepped up to convert his second penalty in as many home games - slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

The dangerous Carayol was putting some fantastic crosses in the box, and Richards got his head on one only for it to be saved by the Accrington keeper.

Padraig Amond had a shot blocked for Accrington, but the visitors soon found themselves 3-0 down.

Harrold turned provider for the third, crossing the ball in from the right to Dorman, who ran onto the ball and volleyed home from 20 yards out.

Matt Gill came close to scoring his first goal for the club just after the half hour mark, but his right footed shot was tipped over the bar by Dunbavin.

Another cross from Carayol almost made it four for Rovers, but Cian Bolger's header came off the bar, and Richards' follow up shot went wide.

Rovers then switched off for the final ten minutes of the first half, and allowed Accrington to pull a goal back.

Accrington were awarded a corner, and Kevin McIntyre's set piece found its way into the back of the net.

Carayol had a couple of shots from distance in the lead up to the break, before Aaron Downes was called into action to clear off the line at the other end.

Accrington had a couple of half chances early in the second half, before Mark McGhee made a couple of changes, bringing Lee Brown on for Gary Sawyer and a few minutes later Matt Lund came on to replace Jim Paterson.

Bevan was then called on to tip the ball over the bar after a shot from Amond.

Rovers extended their lead just before the hour mark through substitute Lund. Carayol racked up another assist crossing the ball into the midfielder who smashed the ball home.

Richards had a shot from 18 yards out blocked, before the manager made his last change of the game, replacing the Welshman with Wayne Brown.

Devitt then had a shot for the visitors, but his strike from 18 yards flew over the cross bar, helped on its way by the playing surface.

Lund then made it five for Rovers with ten minutes to go. The lively youngster got on the end of a cross from Wayne Brown and fired home a powerful shot from 18 yards out.

It was a great end to the home season, which has seen Bristol Rovers unbeaten at the Memorial Stadium under Mark McGhee

Team: Scott Bevan, Michael Smith, Cian Bolger, Aaron Downes, Gary Sawyer (Lee Brown), Mustapha Carayol, Matt Gill, Andy Dorman, Jim Paterson (Matt Lund), Matt Harrold, Eliot Richards (Wayne Brown)

Substitutes: Chris Zebroski, Craig Stanley .

Accrington: Ian Dunbavin, Michael Liddle, Toto Nsiala, Peter Murphy, Charlie Bennett (Marcus Carver), Jamie Devitt (Ryan Hopper), Luke Joyce, Kevin McIntyre, Craig Lindfield, Michan Evans (Bryan Hughes), Padraig Amond.

Substitutes: Lee Nicholls, Liam Willis

Referee: Mr R Lewis

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.