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07:23 5th July 2014

Attendance: 6,765 (162)

Bristol Rovers 17th clean sheet of the season ensured all three points against Altrincham and move closer to the top of the table.

Tom Parkes emphatic header just before half time was enough to secure the victory going into Tuesday's game with Braintree Town.

Darrell Clarke named the same starting 11 for the third game in a row following positive results against Lincoln City and Grimsby Town. There was one change to the match-day squad as Will Puddy took a spot on the substitutes bench at the expense of Neal Trotman.

Rovers started the game brightly as Leicester City loanee Adam Dawson showed a pair of quick feet to beat his man on the edge of the area and then played in Daniel Leadbitter. Leadbitter raced into the penalty area and put a cross in but Stuart Coburn was able to gather easily in the Altrincham goal.

Strike pairing Matty Taylor and Nathan Blissett linked up well as Taylor slipped Blissett in but the big mans tame shot was easy for Coburn to gather.

The home side, back in the blue and white quarters continued to press and following a mix up in the Altrincham penalty area earned themselves a corner. Adam Dawson's corner was cleared but only as far as Lee Brown who struck an inch-perfect cross field ball to pick out Mark McChrystal who forced a fantastic save from the Robins keeper.

On the half hour mark Taylor and Blissett linked up well again with Taylor flicking on a long ball into the chest of Blissett. The big man took the ball under his spell and laid the ball back for an arriving Andy Monkhouse but Monkhouse couldn't find the target with his thunderous strike.

Minutes later Alty had a rare chance as Kyle Perry showed some superb trickery to go past two Rovers players 25-yards out but dragged his shot well wide of Steve Mildenhall's goal.

Rovers took the lead just before referee Brett Huxtable could blow his whistle from the head of Tom Parkes.

Further good work from Adam Dawson earned Rovers a corner which was taken deep by the Leicester City man and there was Tom Parkes to head home emphatically from inside the six-yard area.  

Darrell Clarke made one change at half time bringing on Ellis Harrison to replace Matty Taylor and it was Harrison who had Rovers first chance of the second half.

Following great break down play from the Rovers back line they released Harrison down the Rovers right. The Welshman cut inside on his favored right foot and curled his shot around Gianluca Havern but his shot clipped the base of the post and went behind for an Altrincham goal kick.

Chances were rare in the second half and just before the hour mark Adam Dawson tried his luck from 35-yards but even though Stuart Coburn spilled the ball he was able to gather at the second time of asking.

Neither side really created any clear opportunities in second period and it took until 80 minutes for Altrincham to have their first real attack.

Lee Mansell was judged to have fouled Damian Reeves on the edge of the area and a well worked free kick routine crafted the Robins a good chance but Jake Moult fired his effort high and wide of the goal.

Minutes later Rovers broke and substitute pair Ellis Harrison and Aneglo Balanta linked up well but Balanta's shot was gathered well by Coburn.

With less than five minutes of normal time remaining Altrincham had the ball in the back of the net off of a well worked corner but top goal scorer Damian Reeves was flagged offside to the relief of the whole stadium.

Alty threw everything they could at Rovers in the closing stages but Rovers held out for their 17th clean sheet of the season.

The men in blue and white are next in action on Tuesday (24th February) night as they entertain Braintree Town at the Memorial Stadium

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Dawson (Gosling - 65), Lockyer, Mansell, Monkhouse, Taylor (Harrison - 45), Blissitt (Balanta - 79).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), Wakefield.

Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore (C), Havern, Marshall, Griffin, Lawrie, Richman, Moult, Clee, Perry (Sinnott - 67), Reeves.

Unused Substitutes: Parton (GK), Leather, Williams, Cavanagh.


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