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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:24 5th July 2014

Attendance: 2,248 (668)

Ellis Harrison rescues a draw as Rovers come from 2-0 down against Halifax Town.

Lois Maynard and Marc Roberts put Town two goals to the good in the first half but second half efforts from Lee Brown and then Ellis Harrison rescued a point for Darrell Clarke's men.

The Rovers boss made two changes to the side following last weeks loss bringing in Ollie Clarke for his first start since his return from injury and Chris Lines came into the starting line-up since rejoining the club on loan on Monday.

Rovers started brightly and a superb flowing move created their first chance. Chris Lines picked up the ball in the middle of the park and picked out Matty Taylor with an inch perfect pass. Taylor advanced on the Halifax goal and squared the ball to Lee Mansell. Mansell took a touch in the penalty area and played the ball into the path of Ollie Clarke who stung the palms of Matt Glennon with his left footed strike.

The home sides first opportunity in a tightly contested opening 20 minutes fell to Scott McManus. The left back picked up the ball and ran powerfully through the centre of the field playing a neat one two with Matty Pearson before firing his shot wide of Mildenhall's goal from 25-yards.

Moments later it was Halifax who took the lead from Lois Maynard's close range header. Adam Smith charged down the Shayman's right hand side and swung a cross to the far post where Maynard applied a calm finish to beat an outstretched Mildenhall.

After falling behind Darrell Clarke's men pressed high on Halifax and following a lovely flowing move involving Ollie Clarke, Chris Lines and then Lee Brown, Monkhouse put the ball over the crossbar from close range.

However it was Town who doubled their lead less than five minutes before half time. Tom Parkes was judged to have fouled Adam Smith and referee Darren England awarded a Shayman free kick. Paul Marshall took the free kick and floated the ball to the far post where an arriving Marc Roberts side-footed the ball past a stranded Mildenhall.

Rovers started the second half brighter than the way they finished the first as Lee Brown picked out Matty Taylor at the near post. Taylor took the ball down fantastically but was then ushered out of play well by Graham Hutchinson.

Moments later Town had a great chance to make it 3-0 as James Bolton was allowed to travel the length of the pitch before lashing the ball across the Rovers six-yard area but luckily for Rovers no-one was there to apply the finish.

This prompted Darrell to change his personnel and formation bringing on Ellis Harrison for Ollie Clarke and it was Ellis that almost had an instant impact.

Lee Mansell managed to pick out the young Welshman on the edge of the Halifax area and a tidy turn outfoxed Marc Roberts but Harrison's left footed effort couldn't beat Glennon.

Harrison seemed to give Rovers a much needed boost and it was his play down the right hand side that crafted Rovers their best chance of the game. Harrison found himself in acres of space on the Rovers right and drilled the ball low into the penalty area but Matty Taylor hit the ball over from close range.

It was all Harrison since his arrival into the game and the young Welshman crafted another opportunity for Matty Taylor, this time from the left hand side but Matty Taylor headed the ball wide of Matt Glennon's goal.

As Rovers went in search, Halifax were happy to hit them on the counter attack and Matty Pearson stung the gloves of Steve Mildenhall just past the hour mark.

A large portion of the second half was played in the middle of the park but it was another Rovers Substitute Jermaine Easter that earned Rovers a corner. Chris Lines' corner was cleared but only to the edge of the penalty area where an arriving Lee Brown thundered his effort low and past Matt Glennon to bring Rovers within one.

Rovers went in search of an equaliser at it came with only a few minutes of play remaining.

Chris Lines picked up the ball in the middle of the field, played an inch perfect pass over the top of the Halifax back line to Ellis Harrison, who took a neat touch to get the ball onto his right foot and then fired the ball past Glennon.

Darrell Clarke's men continued to press for the winner but were unable to break down a very resilient Town defence in the final stages.
 
Up next for Rovers is a return to the Memorial Stadium as they entertain Aldershot Town under the lights on Friday night (20th March).

Halifax: Glennon, Bolton, Hutchinson, Roberts, McManus, Smith (Hillhouse - 61), Pearson, Maynard, Marshall, Jackson (Boden - 84), Peniket.

Unused Substitutes: Senior (GK), Williams, Roberts.

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, Lockyer (Easter - 64), McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Clarke (Harrison - 52), Mansell, Lines, Monkhouse, Taylor (Balanta - 75).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), Dawson.

    QUICK FACTS

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