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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
07:21 1st July 2015

Attendance: 4,197 (847)

Matty Taylor's 98th minute winner secured a late win for Rovers at Mansfield Town.

Jermaine Easter opened the scoring on 16 minutes before being shown a straight red card just before half time. Ryan Tafazolli pulled a goal back for the Stags with a powerful volley from the edge of the area before superb move by Rovers was capped off with Taylor heading past Brian Jensen.

Darrell Clarke made three changes to the side that won against Wycombe Wanderers in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in the sides last outing. Tom Lockyer was recalled to the starting 11 following his stint with the Wales Under-21's replacing club skipper Mark McChrystal. James Clarke and Lee Mansell also came back into the line-up at the expense of Cristian Montano andthe injured Billy Bodin.

Mansfield started on the front foot and had a good chance inside the opening 60 seconds as Stags top goalscorer Matt Green volleyed over following a Jack Thomas through ball.

Both sides exchanged spells of possession before Rovers took the lead through Jermaine Easter on the 16th minute.

Matty Taylor found space on the Rovers right before delivering a pin-point cross into the penalty area which was excellently cushioned by Daniel Leadbitter into the path of Jermaine Easter who made now mistake lashing the ball past Jensen in the Mansfield goal.

The home side tried to instantly hit back hitting several balls into the Rovers penalty area but the Rovers rear guard and Lee Nicholls in goal cleared all of the danger.

However, their persistence almost paid off as Nicky Hunt hit a low cross into the six-yard area which struck Tom Lockyer before Lee Nicholls produced a great reaction save to keep the ball out.

In what was a fiery game tempters started to flair just before half time as Jermaine Easter was shown a straight red card for allegedly headbutting an opposition player. Easter played a nice one-two with Chris Lines before advancing into the penalty area where he hit the ground.

Referee Mark Haywood looked set to brandish a yellow card for a dive before a scuffle with Jamie McGuire Easter was shown a straight red card.

Darrell Clarke made two changes at the start of the second half bringing on Ollie Clarke and Ellis Harrison on for Daniel Leadbitter and Chris Lines with the side reverting to a back four.

Challenges began flying in from both sides before the referee evened numbers up by sending off Krystian Pearce following an off the ball incident with Tom Lockyer.

This red card sparked what was almost a mass brawl which resulted in both Nicky Hunt and Ellis Harrison receiving yellow cards.

Chances were few and far between in the second half before Nathan Thomas stinging the palms of Lee Nicholls from outside the area.

The Stags were looking for a way back into the match when they were dealt a blow of being reduced to nine men as Nicky Hunt was shown his second yellow card after a late challenge on Stuart Sinclair.

Rovers thought they had extended their lead moments later as Ellis Harrison's driven cross from the left hand side was tapped in at the far post by Matty Taylor but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Moments later Mansfield were level thanks to a moment of individual brilliance from Ryan Tafazolli. Rovers were unable to deal with a deep cross from the left before Tafazolli took the ball on his chest before firing a thunderbolt past an outstretched Lee Nicholls.

Darrell Clarke's men tried to hammer home their numerical advantage and almost did as Ellis Harrison found space in the penalty area before unleashing a powerful right-footed drive goalward that came crashing back off the crossbar with Jensen beaten.

Following an injury to Jensen deep into the second half, eight minutes of injury time were added to the game and a superb direct passing move from Rovers was enough to snatch all three points.

Ollie Clarke picked up the ball in his own half before firing a long diagonal ball towards James Clarke on the right hand side of the area. The Rovers right back connected with the ball first time hitting it across the goal towards Matty Taylor at the far post to nod the ball past a stranded Jensen.   

Up next for Rovers is two home games in a week as Darrell Clarke's men entertain Notts. County at the Mem Tuesday night before the visit of Newport County on Saturday.

Mansfield Town: Jensen; Benning, Pearce, Tafazolli, Hunt; McGuire (Clements - 55), Chapman, J. Thomas (Yussuf - 51); Lambe (N. Thomas - 55), Westcarr, M. Green.

Unused Substitutes: Shearer (GK), Rose, Collins, Blair.

Bristol Rovers: Nicholls; Leadbitter (O. Clarke - 46), J. Clarke, Lockyer, Parkes, Brown; Sinclair, Mansell (Gosling - 84), Lines (Harrison - 46); Taylor, Easter.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), McChrystal, Montano, Blissett.

    QUICK FACTS

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