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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:20 1st July 2015

Attendance: 3,788 (190)

Bristol Rovers secured three vital points at Victoria Park with a dominant 0-3 win over Hartlepool United.

Matty Taylor opened the scoring in the first half with a close range header before second half goals from Billy Bodin and Jermaine Easter wrapped up all three points.

Darrell Clarke made five changes to the side that lost against Portsmouth at the weekend bringing in Mark McChrystal, Lee Mansell, Jake Gosling, Billy Bodin and Matty Taylor into the starting 11 and switching formation to a 4-4-2.

Billy Bodin took the game by the scruff of the neck from the start wriggling his way past defender after defender before finding space in the penalty area where he dragged his left footed effort wide of Adam Bartlett's left hand post.

Bodin continued to have success on the Rovers right when he was fouled by Jake Carroll earning a free kick. Jake Gosling whipped the ball high into the penalty area where Pools keeper Adam Bartlett spilled the ball only for his defender to hack the ball clear for a Rovers corner where Bartlett atoned for his earlier mistake.

Rovers dominated the opening 20 minutes but failed to capitalise on a few opportunities as strikes from Lee Brown, Stuart Sinclair and Jermaine Easter failed to test a seemingly nervy Bartlett.

Hartlepool's first effort of the game came just before the half hour mark as Brad Walkers direct free kick from 30-yards forced a great save from Lee Nicholls palming the ball behind for a corner which Rovers dealt with easily.

Darrell Clarke's men took the lead just after the half hour mark as Jermaine Easter and Matty Taylor both had efforts saved by Adam Bartlett before a save fell to Taylor who headed in from close range.  

Rovers could have doubled their lead moments later, this time Taylor turned provider slipping in Jake Gosling on the left hand side of the area. The Gibraltar International took the ball around Bartlett before firing across goal seeing his effort hit the inside of the post.

The Gas continued to press for a second goal as a Rovers corner was cleared to Lee Brown on the edge of the area who hooked the ball back into the Hartlepool area towards Lee Mansell who headed the ball narrowly wide from a tight angle.

Hartlepool came out in the second half and looked brighter than in the first but never really tested Lee Nicholls. The home side saw a long-range effort from Brad Walker go well wide before Scott Fenwick fail to connect with his head when unmarked in the area.

However, it was Rovers who extended their lead just past the hour mark as Mark McChrystal picked out Billy Bodin on the edge of the penalty area who took a superb touch to stop the ball dead before calmly dispatching the ball past Adam Bartlett.

Ronnie Moore tried to change things around in the second half bringing on Kudus Oyenuga and ex-Grimsby Town man Carl Magnay but even with the fresh legs they failed to cause the Rovers rearguard any trouble.

Rovers were cruising in the second half and Jermaine Easter increased his goal tally for the season to three as he latched onto a poor back pass from Kudus Oyenuga before easily slotting past a hapless Bartlett.

The home side had chances for a consolation goal as Oyenuga chested the ball down to Scott Fenwick who snatched at the opportunity and dragged his effort wide from seven yards.

Up next for Rovers is another long away trip to face Morecambe before the Gas entertain Wycombe Wanderers twice in a week at the Memorial Stadium.

Hartlepool: Bartlett, Halliday, Harrison, Boyce, Carroll, Bates (Magnay - 72), Featherstone, Walker (Oyenuga - 63), Fenwick, Paynter, Oates.

Unused Substitutes: Denton (GK), Nearney, Jones, Hawkins, Smith.

Rovers: Nicholls; J. Clarke, Lockyer, McChrystal (C) (Parkes - 82), Brown; Bodin (O. Clarke - 84), Mansell, Sinclair, Gosling; Taylor, Easter (Harrison - 78).

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), Lines, Montano, Lucas.

    QUICK FACTS

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