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17 November 2018 Venue Memorial Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Rovers v Scunthorpe United

16 November 2018

Rovers return to the Mem on Saturday after just under four weeks away and four away games on the spin, to host Scunthorpe United.

They also return to League One football after two cup games in a row, first the 1-1 FA Cup first round draw at Barnet before Tuesday night's 2-0 Checkatrade Trophy group stage loss at Exeter City.

The Gas were last in league action just under two weeks ago and recorded a superb 3-0 victory away to Blackpool as they put an end to their troubles on the road and in front of goal.

A win this weekend could see Darrell Clarke's men potentially rise from 20th up to 16th, leapfrogging Saturday's opponents in the process. 

Gaffer's View: Darrell Clarke looked ahead to the upcoming busy schedule, starting with Saturday's encounter at BS7.

Leads' View: Daniel Leadbitter has been frequently involved in the starting XI of late and is looking to take the confidence that has brought into this weekend's game. 

Opposition: The Iron are currently sat just one place above Rovers in the league and just one point better off. Their recent cup exploits have produced a mix bag, as they progressed to the second round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Burton Albion, however they lost out 3-2 to League Two Mansfield Town in the Checkatrade Trophy and consequently did not make it out of their group. In the league, they haven't won in six games, shipping 16 goals in the process - their last win came in a 5-3 triumph at home to Charlton Athletic back at the beginning of October.

Last Time We Met: Back in February this year, Rovers hosted the Iron here at the Mem and the shares were spoiled. Scunthorpe took the lead just past the hour mark through Duane Holmes and looked to be heading for victory, until Ellis Harrison bundled the ball home in the dying minutes to snatch a point for the Gas.

Tickets: There will be availableility  on the day however fans could experience queues - there is also free admission to members of the armed forces with a valid MOD 90 card.

Keeping Up With The Game: As usual, we will have updates throughout the game on social media. If you can't make it the Mem to the on Saturday, supporters based abroad will be able to watch the game on iFollow. For more information about iFollow - please click HERE.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Rovers 1 - 2 Scunthorpe United

17 November 2018

A disappointing afternoon for Rovers as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United at the Mem.

Inside 120 seconds, around 120 yards apart, so Rovers’ afternoon did turn.

With the game at 1-1, and the Gas doing the pressing, Stefan Payne was fouled, giving Chris Lines the chance to score from the spot. 

Lines missed, denied by a superb save by Jak Alnwick, and within moments Scunthorpe had made the profligacy pay.

Matthew Lund’s deflected winner was scruffy, in keeping with the manner of victory, but it was decisive. 

Earlier, controversy surrounded Scunthorpe’s opener, as Lee Novak eventually prodded home after most involved looked to an offside flag that never came.

Rovers equalised on the stroke of half-time with a trademark Liam Sercombe belter, but the Rover of the Year’s stunner was not enough, despite the Gas seemingly having the ascendancy before the Iron pressed and, less-than-smoothly, nicked it.

The two sides involved were separated by one point heading into the game, but their stories were far more contrasting than that one piece of nominal data.

Rovers’ poor start has been offset by an improvement in form and results of late, while Scunthorpe, play-off semi-finalists last season, were probably not wholly disappointed with their early results. However, one point from their last six games saw them plunge to 19th before heading to the Mem.

Goals, too, are a vastly differing proposition. The Pirates tend to keep a tight ship, letting in just 14 goals from 17 games, a stat they share with league leaders Portsmouth. Only Sunderland, second, could boast fewer in that column, having played a game fewer, too.

But while Pompey and Sunderland could boast 28 and 32 goals scored, Rovers had 14 in the ‘for’ column, too. Scunthorpe had been on the mark a healthy 26 times, but had shipped a remarkable 37 goals, six more than anyone else in the division.

Scunthorpe certainly made their intentions known early on, confident attacking from the start and testing Jack Bonham when the experienced Lee Novak shot on target from twenty yards, only to find the Rovers stopper equal to the task.

Rovers were soon creating chances of their own, though. Kyle Bennett was the man who finally got a shot away after a fair spell of possession, and though his on-target shot was not the most powerful ever seen, Jak Alnwick did not hold on to it, and Stefan Payne nearly profited, reaching the ball first, but seeing his shot deflected over the bar.

Rovers kept up the pressure for some time, forcing a series of corners, and from one that was unsatisfactorily cleared, it was worked back to Bennett. The Rovers winger took his time, beat a player, then curled a left-footed shot past Alnwick, but the ball frustratingly struck the crossbar.

Before the quarter-hour mark Scunthorpe went ahead, in controversial circumstances. Ryan Colclough’s cross from the left was deflected into the air and reached Novak, who looked offside, as did Matthew Lund, who accompanied him. Between them, the Iron conjured the ball into the net, with Novak getting the final touch.

Referee Lee Collins had a long chat with one of his assistants, presumably discussing the nature of the deflection, and the position of certain players at the time. Either way, the goal was given, and the Gas were behind, no matter what.

Tom Nichols had a superb chance to level the scores when he was played in following a surging run by Liam Sercombe. Alnwick, though, spread himself well at Nichols’ feet. Nichols recovered to square to Bennett, but his first-time effort went agonisingly wide.

Moments later, with roles reversed, Nichols had the chance to slip Sercombe through, and did, but the number 7’s shot was not only blocked, but deflected back off Sercombe, and out for a goal-kick. When it ain’t yer day…
Colclough had been Scunthorpe’s best player, but after a tricky run from the right flank cutting into the area, he collapsed in a heap, presumably having kicked the ground. He was replaced after several minutes of treatment to what looked like a knee injury.

Sercombe went close again after twisting and turning like a twisty-turny thing then slamming a low drive on target, but Alnwick made a very fine save, low to his right, to deny the equaliser - but Sercombe could only be denied for so long. 

A lovely Rovers move saw Stefan Payne win a header in the right channel, with Nichols reading the runes and positioning himself for the flick-on perfectly. As Sercombe charged into the area on the left flank, he was the obvious outball, but Nichols still had plenty to do.

In the end, he floated a sumptuous ball to Sercombe, who chested down to allow himself some space, then thumped home after one bounce. It was a while in coming, but Sercombe’s first goal of the season was in keeping with many of the midfielder’s previous fine strikes.

Only 70 seconds after the break Ollie Clarke tried to emulate his midfield compadre’s effort, and stung Alnwick’s palms, as the Gas looked to convert their momentum from the end of the first half.

Nichols then showed a combination of skill and persistence to get down the right flank and slalom into the box. His left-footed, powerful cross was a bit too hot for anyone following in, though.

Scunthorpe forced a corner which seem to defy time and gravity as it spent an inordinate while in the air, and would not leave the six-yard area, but eventually Rovers smuggled it away.

Most of the play tended to be done by those in blue and white, but final passes were sorely absent. In fact, from a rare foray forward, Andy Dales smashed a shot against the angle of post and bar, and Novak’s follow-up was cleared from the line by Ollie Clarke.

Rovers had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Payne’s build-up play saw him exchange passes with Lines, head into the area, and get brought down.

Chris Lines stepped up to take the spot-kick, and struck low and hard as he did successfully at Barnet seven days earlier. However, Alnwick read it, and stopped brilliantly diving away to his right.

The punishment for the miss was severe. Scunthorpe’s first attack, moments later, saw former Gas player Lund get between defenders and shoot for him. The ball took a huge deflection off of James Clarke, and looped into the net in front of the jubilant 202 away fans.

Hail Mary time. Darrell Clarke withdrew centre back Tony Craig and midfielder Ollie Clarke to throw on winger Alex Rodman and forward Alex Jakubiak. The resulting formation was not one for the coaching textbook, but a necessity in the situation.

Rodman immediately drew a foul just outside the area, wide on the left, but Lines’ free-kick was too high and drifted out of play.

Indeed, the game had drifted away.

Rovers XI: 13 Jack Bonham(gk); 2 Daniel Leadbitter, 15 James Clarke, 5 Tony Craig (33 Alex Rodman, 84), 29 Joe Martin; 23 Kyle Bennett (26 Sam Matthews, 77), 14 Chris Lines, 8 Ollie Clarke (17 Alex Jakubiak 84), 7 Liam Sercombe; 9 Stefan Payne, 10 Tom Nichols.

Subs (not used): 21 Adam Smith (gk), 6 Ed Upson, 22 Joe Partington, 27 Rollin Menayese.

Booked: J Clarke 63, Nichols 69.

Scunthorpe XI: 25 Jak Alnwick; 14 James Perch, 20 Charlie Goode, 23 Rory McArdle (capt), 3 Cameron Borthwick-Jackson; 49 Ryan Colclough (29 Kyle Wootton, 37) 7 Matthew Lund, 6 Funso Ojo, 12 Andy Dales; 17 Lee Novak; 9 Ike Ugbo (21 Cameron Burgess, 85).

Subs (not used): 27 Jonathan Flatt (gk), 8 James Horsfield, 15 Clayton Lewis, 19 Yasin Ben El-Mhani, 33 Lewis Butroid.
Booked: Borthwick-Jackson 38, Novak 60, Lund 75, Perch 86.

Referee: Lee Collins.

Attendance: 8,003 (202 away)

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Ticket News

Ticket Information: Scunthorpe United

14 November 2018

Fans are advised to purchase tickets in advance of Saturday's game against Scunthorpe United at the Mem, to avoid queues.

Saturday's fixture against Scunthorpe United has been designated as the club's annual Remembrance fixture.

To mark the occasion, military representatives will lead out the teams prior to kick-off, with a stadium observing a minute's silence ahead of the game to honour those lost in both past and present conflicts.

Any members of the armed services that have MOD 90 card will be able to claim a free ticket in any terraced section of the ground for the game. These tickets can be claimed on the day of the match from the matchday ticket office, or tickets can be collected in advance in the week leading up to the game from the Club Shop at the Memorial Stadium (open 9am-5pm throughout the week).

As part of the Season Ticket benefits package, Season Ticket holders are entitled to bring two friends to The Memorial Stadium for £10 each for Saturday's game.

Season Ticket holders can redeem this offer in the Club shop by presenting your Season Ticket card or over the phone by contacting 0117 909 6648 (Option 1).

The offer is valid until Friday,16th November at 5pm.

We are anticipating a busy afternoon at the Ticket Office and recommend purchasing ahead online; this is the easiest option.

You can also purchase tickets at the Mem from our Superstore - which is open 9am-5pm throughout the week.

If you do end up buying tickets on the day, we'd like to remind you to do this at the Ticket Office situated outside the ground between the North Terrace and West Stand.

We also advise getting to the ground early to avoid queueing for your ticket and would like to point out that we cannot accept cash on the turnstiles.

Family stand tickets are now available for purchase online, but we remind fans you must be accompanied by at least one Under-16 supporter for entry to this stand.

Online tickets for this fixture will be available until midnight on Friday, 16th October.

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