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07:19 5th July 2014

Attendance: 6,012 (148)

Rovers grabbed an injury time winner to beat league leaders Barnet at the Memorial Stadium.

Angelo Balanta’s injury time winner secured all three points for Rovers after Luisma Villa’s 30-yard free kick cancelled out Matty Taylor’s opener.

Darrell Clarke opted to stick with the same starting 11 that began the game at Chester with the only change to the squad seeing Neal Trotman replace Jake Gosling among the substitutes.

Rovers came out with all guns blazing and opening the scoring within the opening five minutes.

Lee Mansell’s ball over the top split the Barnet defence as Matty Taylor left Bondz N’Gala for dead and advanced through on goal.

Taylor was forced wide to the right hand side of the goal following heavy pressure from David Stephens but managed to fire the ball past Raphael Spiegel at his near post.

Moments later, Stuart Sinclair could have doubled Rovers lead as Nathan Blissett’s pass to the edge of the area fell to Sinclair’s feet but couldn’t find the target with his shot.

New signing Nathan Blissett almost doubled Rovers lead at the half hour mark as his acrobatic overhead kick was cleared off the line by Sam Togwell much to the protest of the Rovers faithful behind the goal.

Lyle Della-Verde was causing Barnet lots of trouble down the Rovers right, so much so that Bees manager Martin Allen decided to make a change and brought on Muro Vilhete for Elliott Johnson.

It was Della-Verde’s run that set up another chance for Matty Taylor to double his goal tally for the game as he cut inside the Barnet box and squared the ball to Taylor who couldn’t get his shot off quick enough.

Rovers were punished 7 minutes before half time as Spanish midfielder Luisma Villa’s 30-yard free kick left Steve Mildenhall with no chance of saving it to draw the game level.

The second half was slow to start but it was Barnet who had the first real chance.

Former Rovers loanee John Akinde judged the flight of the ball better than the Rovers back line and looked to be clean through onto goal and was tackled fantastically by skipper Mark McChrystal.

Rovers had to wait until the 70th minute for their first chance of the second half as substitute Angelo Balanta headed wide from Lee Brown’s cross from the left hand side.

The home side pushed for the decisive goal and the best chance fell to Lee Mansell.

Angelo Balanta and Tom Lockyer linked up well down the Rovers right before the young Welshman picked out Ellis Harrison in the Bees area. Harrison played the ball back to Mansell but his shot was well over the crossbar.

Rovers piled on the pressure in the closing stages and it was Balanta who turned the ball past Spiegel from a Lyle Della-Verde corner to secure all the points for the boys in the blue and white.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Welling on Saturday 29th November.

Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Della-Verde, Sinclair, Mansell. Monkhouse (Harrison – 70), Blissett (Balanta 67), Taylor (Goldberg – 80).

Unused Substitutes: Trotman, Clarke.

Barnet: Spiegel, Yiadom, Johnson (Vilhete – 27), N’Gala, Stephens, Weston,  Akinde, MacDonald (C), Cook (Gambin – 86), Togwell, Villa (Mensah – 61).

Unused Substitutes: Saville, Hunt.


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