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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:17 5th July 2014

Attendance: 5,112 (79)

Rovers extended their unbeaten run to eight games after beating Dartford 1-0 at the Memorial Stadium.


A Matty Taylor first half penalty proved to be the deciding goal as Rovers moved up to fourth in the Vanarama Conference table.

Darrell Clarke made two changes to the team that drew at the Mem on Saturday recalling suspended pair Steve Mildenhall and Ollie Clarke.

Will Puddy takes a place on the substitutes bench and Jake Gosling has left to join up with the Gibraltar squad ahead of the European Qualifiers next week.

Rovers started the brighter of the sides displaying some slick passing moves in the opening exchanges.

Matty Taylor managed to wriggle through the Darts defence but keeper Jason Brown was equal to his curled left footed effort.

The lively Stuart Sinclair was lively for Rovers linking up with Matty Taylor down the Rovers right but it was that final ball into the box that was lacking again for the men in blue and white.

Dartford could and probably should have taken the lead just after the 15-minute mark.

Steve Mildenhall was forced into a superb save in the Rovers penalty box but the ball fell to the feet of Harry Crawford who could only shoot over.

The home side constantly looked a threat from set pieces with both centre backs Neal Trotman and Tom Parkes heading over from Lee Mansell and Dave Martin respectively.

Dartford came to the Mem with a great physical presence committing fouls on Adam Cunnington and Stuart Sinclair and it was that physical energy that was their downfall.

Adam Cunnington picked the ball up in the Darts area and had his shirt pulled by Rory McAuley and referee Andy Hopkins had no choice to point to the spot.

Matty Taylor stepped up to take the penalty and drove his spot kick low and to the goalkeeper’s left hand side. Jason Brown got a hand on the shot but the ball still found the back of the net.

Elliot Bradbrook had a rare effort just before the end of the first half as the Darts skipper squirmed through the Rovers back line only to fire a tame left footed shot straight into the hands of Steve Mildenhall.

Rovers started the second half brightly and it was Matty Taylor that won the gas a corner inside 60 seconds.

Dave Martin swung in a ball from the right hand side straight onto the head of Adam Cunnington who couldn’t find the target for his fourth goal of the season.

Dartford continued their physical presence in the second half and displayed great pace to earn themselves a corner on the counter attack.

Substitute Ryan Hayes came on to take the corner and picked out Luke Daley in the area who’s header came crashing back off of the underside of the crossbar before Rovers could clear the danger.

Matty Taylor was a constant thorn in the side of the Darts backline, after nutmegging Tom Bender on the edge of the area no one was there to get on the end of his cut back across the six-yard area.

Rovers pushed hard for that all-important second goal, Matty Taylor saw his shot from the right of the penalty box fly over and Jason Brown denied Ollie Clarke from distance.

The boys in blue and white sustained heavy pressure in the dying minutes of the game but appeared to learn from their mistakes against Dover and closed to game out to win 1-0.

Up next for Rovers is a trip to the Electrical Services Stadium to take on Aldershot before they return to the Memorial Stadium to take on Forest Green Rovers in a West Country derby. 

Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, Trotman, Parkes, Brown, Sinclair, Clarke, Mansell (C), Martin (Monkhouse – 65), Cunnington, Taylor (Harrison – 74).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy, McChrystal, White.

Dartford: Brown, Bender, Green (Hayes – 53), McAuley, E. Bradbrook (C), Cornhill, Daley, Harris, Mitchel-King, Crawford, T. Bradbrook (Pugh – 76).

Unused Substitutes: Ibrahim, Adams, Vint.

    QUICK FACTS

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