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12:38 17th July 2013

Rovers got back to winning ways in style this afternoon, beating AFC Wimbledon 3-0 at the Memorial Stadium.

The Pirates were very solid at the back, keeping a clean sheet, and took their chances at the other end in a good team performance.

David Clarkson opened the scoring for Rovers, before Tom Parkes doubled the lead on the half hour mark.

Matt Harrold rounded things off from the penalty spot just before the final whistle.

Manager John  Ward stuck with the team that drew at Cheltenham on Tuesday night.

However, Rovers were able to field a full bench this weekend, with Ollie Clarke and Jamie Lucas available.

It was a tentative opening period, and the first half chance for Rovers came from a long range shot from Ollie Norburn, whose first time volley flew wide of the post.

Wimbledon then had a short spell of pressure, and after Rovers’ failed to clear their lines, Kaid Mohamed had a shot from the penalty spot which was easily saved by Steve Mildenhall.

An effort from Lee Brown went wide of the post, after some good play between Richards and Norburn.

At the other end, Wimbledon’s Michael Smith was through on goal, but Tom Parkes got back to make an excellent sliding clearance in the box, and Mildenhall picked up the loose ball.

Lockyer then had a shot from 25 yards, which was spilled by the keeper, but Matt Harrold could not get there in time to follow up.

Rovers opened the scoring thanks to a great shot from David Clarkson, who rifled home a powerful shot from 20 yards out.

Then, as the home side gained in confidence, Eliot Richards was denied a goal thanks to a great reflex save from the Wimbledon keeper.

Mitch Harding put the ball into the box, and Richards tried to lift the ball over the keeper, but Ross Worner managed to get something on it.

On the half hour mark Tom Parkes made it 2-0 with a bullet header. Lee Brown delivered a great ball into the box, and Parkes rose higher than everyone to nod home.

Towards the end of the half Wimbledon had a chance to get one back; the free kick was delivered into the box and captain Alan Bennett nodded the ball across the face of goal and past the far post.

The first chance of the second half came after a good delivery into the box from Michael Smith, the ball was cleared as far as Harding on the edge of the area, but his header went over the bar.

Then the net bulged and excited the home crowd, but unfortunately the snap shot from Richards inside the area was rifled into the side netting.

At the other end a shot from George Porter flew narrowly over the bar after a scramble in the Rovers’ penalty area.

Rovers continued to look lively, and Richards picked up the ball after a lay off from Clarkson, and on the edge of the area he let fly with a fierce drive which went wide of the upright.

Wimbledon were then reduced to ten men with ten minutes to go, after Sammy Moore was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

Rovers made the result safe with three minutes to go, when Harrison won a penalty after being brought down in the box.

Matt Harrold stepped up to the spot and slotted the ball home.

Team: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Will Packwood, Lee Brown, David Clarkson, Ollie Norburn (Ollie Clarke), Eliot Richards (Ellis Harrison), Tom Lockyer, Mitch Harding, Matt Harrold

Substitutes: Ellis Harrison, Conor Gough, Jake Green, Josh Southway, Pat Keary, Jamie Lucas, Ollie Clarke.

AFC Wimbledon: Ross Worner, Barry Fuller, Alan Bennett, Andy Frampton, Callum Kennedy (Kevin Sainte-Luce), George Potter (Jack Midson), Harry Pell, Sammy Moore, Peter Sweeney (Luke Moore), Kaid Mohamed, Michael Smith.

Substitutes: Seb Brown, Jim Fenlon, Charlie Sheringham, Rhys Weston.


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