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05:03 26th April 2015

Attendance: 10, 563 (665)

Rovers booked their place in the Wembley Play-Off Final with a convincing 2-0 win against Forest Green Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Goals from Chris Lines and Matty Taylor secured the victory on the day as Rovers advance with a 3-0 win on aggregate.

Darrell Clarke made one change to the side that won at the New Lawn on Wednesday bringing in Nathan Blissett to replace the suspended Ellis Harrison and youngster Jamie Lucas took a spot among the substitutes.

In a lively affair at the Memorial Stadium it was the visitors who had the first effort at goal as Jon Parkin took the ball well on his chest, spun and fired a shot goalward but couldn't test Will Puddy.

Rovers took a while to click into gear and had their first effort through Jake Gosling. Following some slick passing from the Rovers midfield, Andy Monkhouse played in the Gibraltar International but he skied the shot with his weaker right foot.

However it was Darrell Clarke's men who took the lead in the 25th minute through Chris Lines.

Following more great work by Matty Taylor showing a brilliant burst of pace to get past his man squared the ball and a neat dummy from Nathan Blissett presented a golden opportunity for Chris Lines to score his first since rejoining the club on loan from Port Vale and he made no mistake thumping the ball past Arnold to send the Gasheads into raptures.

The home side could have doubled their lead less than a minute later as Jake Gosling played an inch perfect pass into Matty Taylor who was denied by a superb Steve Arnold save.

Darrell Clarke's men continued to press to get a second goal as Matty Taylor controlled a lovely cross-field ball from Lee Brown, squared the ball into the path of an arriving Jake Gosling but he hacked his shot wide of the goal.

Bristol Rovers came out for the second period with the same intensity that they had in the first and had a series of corners in the opening exchanges but never actually tested Steve Arnold in the Forest Green goal.

The visitors offered very little in the second half and on the hour mark Steve Arnold was there again to deny a solid Matty Taylor effort and keep his side in the tie.

With just over 15 minutes to go Forest Green had their first few efforts on goal from a corner but some heroic defending from the Rovers backline prevented the ball from going in the back of the net.

Nathan Blissett was proving a handful in the second half and it was his slide tackle that played through Jake Gosling into the final 10 minutes. Gosling took the ball in his stride, twisting and turning the whole way but was denied by another great Arnold save, this time with his feet.

Rovers put the tie to bed in the final five minutes as more great play down the left hand side created a simple tap in for Matty Taylor to score his 21st goal of the season.

The 3-0 win on aggregate sets up a date at Wembley on Sunday May 17th with Rovers opposition to be decided in the days later game. Keep your eyes peeled on the Official Website for ticketing information. 

Rovers: Puddy, Lockyer, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Gosling, Mansell (Clarke - 86), Lines, Monkhouse, Taylor (Balanta - 89), Blissett.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), Leadbitter, Lucas.

Forest Green: Arnold, Pipe (C), Bennett (Wedgebury - 27), Jennings, Racine, Guthrie, Frear (Norwood - 63), Sinclair, Parkin, Coles (Clough - 70), Marwood.

Unused Substitutes: Russell (GK), Kamdjo.


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