Young Rovers side draw at Mangotsfield
Mangotsfield United 1
Bristol Rovers 1
A young Bristol Rovers side drew 1-1 with Mangotsfield United at Cossham Street tonight, with Dominic Thomas on the scoresheet for Darrell Clarke’s side.
There were some encouraging performances from many of the youngsters who are already on our books, which bodes well for the future.
Fitness was never a problem for this Rovers side, who are midway through one of the toughest pre-season programmes I have seen in many years.
They showed a dogged determination to get back on level terms following Ross McNab’s early goal for the home team and kept their shape well throughout.
Clarke ran the rule over two more triallists in tonight’s game.
Names that might be unfamiliar to Gasheads are Tyler Little, a first year scholar, Louis Ezwele and Jay Malpas, who are a second year scholars, and triallists Chris Jones and Jacob Davidge.
Jones comes from The New Saints (TNS) and has previously played for Swansea, Grimsby and Cambridge and has one Welsh U-21 cap to his name, while Jacob Davidge is from Cirencester.
Little came to Rovers’ rescue as early as the seventh minute when he was on hand to clear a close range effort from Ross McNab off the line.
With 14 minutes on the clock McNab gave the home side the lead when his speculative long range effort evaded Kieran Preston’s despairing dive and nestled in the back of the net.
Rovers then fashioned two chances in as many minutes. Jones saw his long range effort comfortably gathered by Josh Dempsey before Ellis Harrison went even closer when his header came back into play off the
As the half hour mark approached Rovers again went close to scoring. The home defence failed to clear a Thomas corner from the left and the ball dropped to Mitchell who saw his close range effort
scrambled off the line by a Mangotsfield defender.
Following a good spell of pressure the equaliser that Rovers had been threatening finally arrived on 39 minutes.
Jamie Lucas received the ball with his back to goal but managed to turn and get a shot away. Goalkeeper Dempsey could only scoop it away, and up into the air, as far as Thomas who headed home from
The first chance of the second half fell to Mangotsfield substitute Ibrahima Diallo, but he dragged his shot well wide of the upright.
The home side had made substitutions at the interval and continued to ring the changes as the half progressed.
Rovers also introduced all three of their substitutes and the flow of the game was, therefore, interrupted and chances few and far between.
There was another chance for the home team just after the hour mark, but an excellent saving tackle by Pierce Mitchell denied Diallo a goal, the young defender clearing off the line.
Nine minutes from time Gary Colborne missed the chance of the game when he glanced a header wide with only Preston to beat.
Tom Parrinello fired a long range effort over the bar before the final whistle
Bristol Rovers: Kieran Preston, Tyler Little, Danny Greenslade, Louis Ezwele, Pierce Mitchell, Jay Malpas, Chris Jones (Ryan Broom, 46), Dominic Thomas, Jamie Lucas Aaron Ward-Baptiste, 65), Jacob Davidge (Harrison Trueman, 63).
Mangotsfield United: Josh Dempsey, Neil Arndale, Shaun Lamb, Alex Kite (Tom Parrinello, 42), Gary Colborne, Geraint Bater, Steve Davis (Josh Egan, 22), Ashley Williams, Darren Edwards, Ross McNab, Simon Prangley.
Substitutes: Gianni Kapiko, Ibrahima Diallo, Reeko Best, D Doyle, Lewis Shipp, Josh Southway (all of whom played, but no one on hand to identify who they replaced!)