Bristol Rovers and Crawley Town both find themselves in the draw for the third round of the FA Cup after an exciting 0-0 draw at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
It was a real end to end game between the two sides, with Rovers clearly matching their League One opponents.
Rovers played some great football in both halves, and with good chances coming from Ollie Norburn and Eliot Richards in the second period.
John Ward made one enforced change to the side that beat Wimbledon 3-0 last weekend.
Will Packwood was not eligible to play for Rovers in the FA Cup, so Ollie Clarke came into the side, with Tom Lockyer moving to centre back.
Alefe Santos recovered from injury to take a place on the bench.
There was some good passages of play from Rovers in the first half, but they did not do much to trouble Paul Jones in the Crawley goal.
The first half chance of the game came when the Red’s Nicky Adams fired across the face of goal, but his shot went wide of the upright without bothering Steve Mildenhall.
At the other end a flicked header from Matt Harrold was easily saved by the visiting keeper.
A good overlapping run and cross from Brown down the left eventually fell to Ollie Clarke on the edge of the area, but his shot went wide of the target.
The first real chance of the game fell to the visitors. The ball in from Nicky Adams found the head of Gary Alexander, but Mildenahall was alert and got down well to put the ball out for a corner.
Adams and Alexander were combining well for Crawley, and Tom Lockyer did well to clear a header from Alexander and deny Billy Clarke a shooting opportunity.
A good delivery into the box created a half chance for Rovers, but the ball bounced badly for Harrold who could not connect.
Rovers’ best chance of the first half came from a long range effort from Norburn. The powerful shot richocheted off Paul Jones, but unfortunately no Rovers player was close enough to capitalise on the loose ball.
Eliot Richards then tried his luck from a tight angle at the back post but could not connect.
Crawley then had a chance to go in front, but were thwarted thanks to a great reaction save from Mildenhall, who was able to push away Mark Connolly’s fierce close range shot at his near post.
Rovers started the second half well and had a couple of early chances to raise the mood in the Memorial Stadium.
Michael Smith found himself through on goal, but his shot was easily gathered by the keeper.
Then there was a neat one-two between Clarkson and Norburn, but Norburn’s shot flew over the cross bar.
There was a chance for Crawley on the counter-attack, but the ball fell to Emile Sinclair who was offside.
The game seemed to come to life just after the hour mark, with good chances at both ends.
Norburn had a fantastic chance to put Rovers in front, his powerful shot from 25 yards out had the keeper beaten but hit the underside of the bar.
Mildenhall then kept Rovers in the game, palming away Dannie Bulman’s volley, Alexander had a chance from the rebound, but his effort went over the bar from close range.
The Rovers keeper was called into action again minutes later, but he got down and smothered a Crawley effort.
John Ward made his first change of the game with just over 20 minutes to go, with Alefe Santos coming on to replace David Clarkson, who had had an industrious game.
Richards had a fantastic effort from 30 yards out, his right footed shot was destined for the top corner, but the Crawley keeper did well to push it round the post.
Richards was then brought down for a free kick on the left hand side of the penalty area, but Parkes headed over the bar as the minutes ticked away.
Rovers were denied a last minute winner when Kyle McFadzean cleared off the line.
Rovers and Crawley will be ball 48 in tomorrow’s FA Cup draw.
Team: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Tom Lockyer, Lee Brown, David Clarkson (Alefe Santos), Ollie Norburn, Eliot Richards, Ollie Clarke, Mitch Harding, Matt Harrold
Substitutes: Ellis Harrison, Conor Gough, Jake Green, Josh Southway, Pat Keary, Jamie Lucas
Crawley Town: Paul Jones, Mark Connollym, Kyle McFadzean, Joe Walsh, Mat Sadleer, Nicky Adams, Dannie Bulman, Andy Drury, Billy Clarke, Emile Sinclair (Jamie Proctor), Gary Alexander
Substitutes: Jonathan Maddison, James Hurst, Sergio Torres, Jonte Smith.