Second round tie still to be decided
Crawley Town 0
Bristol Rovers 0
Match abandoned after 74 minutes
Rovers and Crawley will have to meet again to determine who goes through to the third round of the FA Cup to face Birmingham City after tonight’s second round tie was called off after 74 minutes with the score at 0-0.
There were no arguments with the decision; it was raining at the start of the game and conditions steadily worsened throughout.
Manager John Ward made two changes to his starting lineup, with Matt Harrold and Eliot Richards dropping to the bench, and Ellis Harrison and Chris Beardsley coming in.
Rovers faced a difficult first half task, playing into a strong wind and driving rain and, not surprisingly, the home side enjoyed the majority of possession.
Mark Connolly was first to try a shot on goal but his third minute 25 yard effort was wide of the target and the same player hit another effort well wide as the twenty minute mark approached.
Apart from an early Michael Smith cross that deceived home goalkeeper |Paul Jones, Rovers were finding it difficult to make any headway, though they did go close on 25 minutes when everyone left Lee Brown’s free kick which bounced just wide of the upright.
Jamie Proctor headed just wide of the mark when it seemed easier to hit the target. Another headed effort, this time from Joe Walsh, saw Steve Mildenhall dive to his right to make an excellent save.
Proctor hit a shot straight at the Rovers shot stopper and then fired wide of the target as Crawley applied pressure on Rovers back line.
Their final attempt of the half came when Mat Sadler got forward and hit a shot straight at Mildenhall.
Conditions didn’t improve during the half time break and players from both sides struggled to keep their footing.
Sadler headed over Mildenhall’s crossbar from Connolly’s cross, while a Lee Brown effort drifted wide of the upright at the other end.
John-Joe O’Toole’s 35 yard effort straight at Paul Jones was the last meaningful action of the game and referee Stuart Atwell spoke to both captains before taking the teams off the pitch with 16 minutes remaining.
Two Rovers players, Tom Lockyer and Ollie Norburn, were booked. It was Lockyer’s fifth yellow card of the season and, we believe, means he will be suspended for the game against Portsmouth on Saturday.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Tom Lockyer, Lee Brown, David Clarkson (Matt Harrold, 65), Ollie Clarke, Ollie Norburn, John-Joe O’Toole, Eliot Richards, Chris Beardsley.
Substitutes: Eliot Richards, Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Alefe Santos, Pat Keary, Josh Southway
Yellow Cards: Lockyer, Norburn
Crawley Town: Paul; Jones, Mark Connolly, Kyle McFadzean, Joe Walsh, Mat Sadler, Nicky Adams, Andy Drury, Dannie Bulman, Billy Clarke, Jamie Proctor, Emile Sinclair (Gary Alexander, 63).
Substitutes: James Hurst, Sergio Torres, Mike Jones, Jonte Smith, Johnny Maddison
Referee: Stuart Atwell