Rovers 0-1 Accrington
Rovers were left to rue missed chances this evening after Accrington Stanley scored in added time to take all three points at the Memorial Stadium.
The home side dominated for most of the game, and put the Accrington goal mouth under plenty of pressure, but they could not find the back of the net and the visitor’s took advantage at the last minute to win 1-0.
Manager John Ward made one change to the side that beat Newport 3-1 on Saturday.
Matt Harrold returned to the starting line up to replace Chris Beardsley. Eliot Richards recovered from a slight hamstring niggle to stay in the team.
It was an impressive first half display from Rovers, with a goal the only thing missing from the performance.
The first effort of the game fell to Matt Harrold after some good build up play from Kaid Mohamed and Eliot Richards.
Mohamed played the ball back to Richards, whose ball into the box found Harrold, but the striker’s header went just wide of the right hand post.
Harrold was proving to be a nuisance in the box, and a great cross from Lee Brown offered him another chance to open the scoring, but his header went wide.
Rovers then had a great effort on the break when Mohamed used his pace and made a run from deep within his own half. His run resulted in a couple of efforts on goal for Rovers, the best being another header from Harrold.
Accrington then had their first half chance of the game when George Bowerman hit a low shot straight at Steve Mildenhall.
Rovers were putting some great balls into the box, and then a speculative shot from Ollie Clarke went harmlessly wide.
A good ball in from Accrington put Rovers under some pressure, but Peter Murphy headed high and wide.
Mohamed then beat his man on the edge of the box and let fly with a left-footed shot that forced the keeper to palm the ball around the post.
Rovers were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Odejayi fouled Matt Harrold. The resulting kick from Richards went straight into the wall.
Rovers kept searching for the opening goal as the first half ticked away, and Harrold with his back to goal found Mohamed who charged into the box but sliced his shot wide.
Richards then cut in from the left and fired off a shot which flew over the bar.
The first effort of the second half again fell to Mohamed after he was played in by Tom Lockyer, but his shot from a tight angle hit the post.
Rovers then had a real chance to take the lead after Mohamed picked up the ball down the left. He used his pace to beat a number of Accrington players, and played the ball across the face of goal, but Richards could not quite get to the far post to poke it home.
The chances for Rovers kept coming. Clarke played the ball into Richards, who turned on the edge of the area and left his man for dead, but his right-footed effort flew just over the bar.
With 15 minutes to go the manager made a double substitution, bringing Ellis Harrison and Chris Beardsley on for Richards and Harrold.
Harrison very nearly had an instant impact after he beat his man, but his ball from a tight angle flew across the face of goal and there was no one there to meet it.
Smith then forced a routine save from the Accrington keeper.
At the other end Laurence Wilson sliced a shot from the edge of the area which went high and wide.
Captain Tom Parkes had a speculative effort from 30 yards, but despite catching it well the ball kept rising and flew over the bar.
Brown made a good run down the left and beat his man with ease, but his left-footed shot flew over the bar.
With time ticking down the ball fell kindly to Mohamed, but again his shot went wide, and Beardsley then used the back of his head to put the ball into the path of Mohamed, who couldn’t quite get enough on it.
In added time a fierce shot from Clarke hit Parkes inside the box and went wide for a goalkick.
But it was heartbreak for Rovers when Murphy volleyed home the winner in the final seconds of added time.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Eliot Richards (Ellis Harrison), Tom Lockyer, Ollie Clarke, John-Joe O’Toole, Matt Harrold (Chris Beardsley), Kaid Mohamed.
Substitutes: Pat Keary, David Clarkson, Ollie Norburn, Ellis Harrison, Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Chris Beardsley
Accrington Stanley: Marcus Battinelli, Nicky Hunt, Dean Winnard, Tom Aldred, Laurence Wilson, Kai Naismith (Lee Molyneux), Luke Joyce, Peter Murphy, Piero Mingoia, George Bowerman (Danny Webber), Kayoed Odejayi
Substitutes: Michael Liddle, Will Hatfield, James Gray, Josh Windass, Rob Atkinson.