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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:22 5th July 2014

Attendance: 1,832

Rovers gained their 13 draw of the season under horrendous conditions with a 2-2 draw at Princes Park.

The visitors were twice pegged back through Ryan Hayes with Matty Taylor and Ellis Harrison twice putting the Gas in front.

Darrell Clarke made three changes to his starting 11 recalling goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall for his first start since the knee injury that he sustained at Wrexham. Daniel Leadbitter comes in at right back with Tom Lockyer moving into midfield to replace the injured Ollie Clarke and the Rovers boss also handed Jermaine Easter his first start since arriving from Millwall.

Rovers started the brighter of the two sides and almost got off to a flying start as Tom Lockyer squared the ball on the edge of the area for Lee Mansell to hit. The Rovers midfielder struck the ball from 25-yards out but couldn't test Jason Brown in the Dartford goal.

Moments later, following a collision inside the Dartford penalty area with Lee Burns, Jermaine Easter was forced to leave the field with a knee injury with the Welsh International being replaced by Angelo Balanta.

Dartford's first chance of the game came because of the poor conditions on the pitch at Princes Park as Mark McChrystal slipped in the mud and allowed Harry Crawford through onto goal but great defensive work from Tom Parkes forced the Dartford front man wide and he could only shoot into the arms of Steve Mildenhall.

Rovers took the lead just before the half hour mark as Matty Taylor latched onto a pin-point ball forward from Tom Lockyer and then calmly slotted the ball through the mud into the bottom left corner of the goal.

The home side hit back almost immediately through Ryan Hayes who seemed to score directly from a corner. Hayes swung the ball in left footed from the right hand side and Mildenhall was unable to gather the ball under heavy pressure from Elliot Bradbrook.

Dartford could and probably should have taken the lead several minutes later as this time a cross from Hayes was headed over by Darts skipper Bradbrook with the goal gaping.

Chances were few and far between in the opening exchanges in the second half and Darrell Clarke opted to freshen up his front line as Ellis Harrison replaced Nathan Blissett.

Rovers continued to press and were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Dartford penalty box. Lee Mansell stepped up but his effort went just over the crossbar.

With just over 10 minutes remaining Rovers took the lead again through an Ellis Harrison tap in.

Substitute Adam Dawson showed a fantastic burst of pace down the Rovers right and squared the ball into the Dartford six-yard box. Darts skipper Elliot Bradbrook appeared to handle the ball but as everyone else was appealing for the penalty Ellis Harrison was on hand to stab the ball home from close range.

Seconds later Dartford managed to level the game for a second time and again it was through Ryan Haynes.

Rovers conceded a free kick 25-yards out and Haynes stepped up and bent his free kick into the top left hand corner of the goal with Steve Mildenahll planted.

Both sides continued to press to try and find that all important winner with Rovers having potentially the best chance on the break. Matty Taylor and Adam Dawson linked up well but Dawson was unable to pick out a completely free Ellis Harrison on the left hand side.

Up next for Rovers is the long awaited return to the Memorial Stadium to take on Lincoln next Saturday (7th February). 

Dartford: Brown, Richards, McAuley, Bradbrook (C), Hayes, Noble, Green, Collier, Crawford (Pugh - 82), Burns, Doidge (Harris - 72).

Unused Substitutes: Cornhill, Sweeney, Ibrahim (GK)

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter (Dawson - 76), McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Lockyer, Mansell, Monkhouse, Taylor, Easter (Balanta - 8), Blissett (Harrison - 60).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), Trotman, Dawson.

    QUICK FACTS

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