Rovers lose after extra time at the Mem
Bristol Rovers 1
Crewe Alexandra 2
Saunders (80 & 100)
After dominating the first half of this third round FA Youth Cup tie and taking a 1-0 lead into the half time interval, Rovers allowed Crewe back into the game in the second half.
The visitors equalised ten minutes from time to take the tie into extra time and scored what proved to be the winning goal ten minutes into the first period of extra time.
Laurent Davis-Wilson scored Rovers goal, while Casllum Saunders scored both Crewe goals.
Rovers went close in the opening minute and Aaron Ward-Baptiste’s fierce drive from the edge of the area was blocked at the expense of a corner.
With Rovers having the better of the opening exchanges, Dan Haile got forward and saw his header from another corner saved by Robbie Johnson.
Shortly afterwards Johnson had to be alert to get down to keep our an angled drive from Jamie Lucas.
The first save Rovers goalkeeper Kieran Preston had to make came on 22 minutes when he comfortably gathered a low drive from George Coope.
Rovers were soon on the attack again and Haile and Chad Douglas exchanged passes down the right before Haile hit a curling shot just wide of the target.
Jay Malpas was next to try his luck, but his long range effort on the half hour mark was high and wide of the target.
A flowing move on 37 minutes almost led to the opening goal for Rovers. Lucas picked up a long clearance from Preston and scampered down the right before crossing to the back post where Aaron Ward-Baptiste hit a first time volley just wide of the upright.
Rovers took a well deserved lead on 41 minutes from another Lucas cross into the box. The ball was cleared as far as Laurent Davis-Wilson, who drove a low shot into the net from eight yards.
Fraser Murdoch did hit a shot over the Rovers crossbar shortly afterwards but in all honesty Crewe were fortunate to be only one goal behind at the half time whistle.
Rovers began the second half where they had left off in the first and Danny Greenslade fired a shot over the bar shortly after the restart.
Gradually, the visitors clawed their way back into the game and they almost scored on the hour mark when Trey Anderson’s clearance was charged down by Callum Saunders and the ball flew over the crossbar.
Saunders then hit a shot wide when well placed as his side fought to get back on level terms.
At the other end Douglas fired into the side netting and a header from Lucas landed on the roof of the net.
With 15 minutes left there was another let off for Rovers when a Saunders effort came back into play off the crossbar with Preston beaten.
Rovers did concede on 80 minutes, though, when a ball in from the left found Saunders unmarked four yards from goal and he had the simple task of knocking the ball into the net.
There were no further goals and the game went into extra time.
Preston made a fine save from substitute Anore Brolin five minutes into the first period but could do nothing to prevent Saunders scoring again five minutes later when he arrived at the back post to touch the ball
over the line from an exquisite through ball.
Hard as they tried, Rovers were unable to get back on level terms and bowed out of the competition after an entertaining and hard fought encounter.
Rovers: Kieran Preston, Harrison Trueman (Aaron Bryan, 83), Louis Ezwele, Trey Anderson, Danny Greenslade, Jay Malpas, Chad Douglas (Donovan Wilson,77), Dan Haile, Jamie Lucas, Laurent Davis-Wilson, Aaron Ward-Baptiste (Olly Mehew, 103),
Substitutes: Mitch Walsh, Marcus Beauchamp
Crewe Alexandra: Robbie Johnson, James Baille, Joe Kearns, James Jones, Louis Jiohnson, Perry NG, Chris Speed, Ryan Allcock, Callum Saunders, Fraser Murdoch, George Coop.
Substitutes: Dominic Smith, Liam Matthews, Joe Howell, Anore Brolin, Liam O’Neill
Referee: Yianni Savvas