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Match Reports

Match Report : 22/08/2015

22 August 2015

Attendance: 7,107 (199)    

Rovers made it three wins in a week as they beat fellow promotion side Barnet 3-1 at the Memorial Stadium.

Lee Brown opened the scoring in the first half before Jermaine Easter doubled the lead in the second half. Curtis Weston pulled a goal back for the Bee's before Matty Taylor secured the three points for the boys in blue and white.

Darrell Clarke named an unchanged starting 11 following the win against Luton Town on Tuesday night however, Lee Mansell was part of the matchday squad for the first time this season.

Rovers started the game at a frantic pace and Daniel Leadbitter's ball into Ellis Harrison whose shot was turned behind for a corner.

Chris Lines was able to pick out Lee Brown on the edge of the area who took a calm touch before firing past Graham Stack from range to put the home side a goal to the good.

Barnet came back into the game strongly and a few minutes later Luke Gambin's cross was fumbled by Aaron Chapman but the loan keeper was able to gather the ball at the feet of Bee's striker Aaron McLean.

With just under 15 minutes played another Gambin delivery caused Rovers some more problems, this time his corner was headed wide by John Akinde in what was a real let off for the home side.

The home side continued to press but in the middle of a flowing counter attack Daniel Leadbitter pulled up clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Jake Gosling.

Rovers continued to play with the 3-5-2 shape with Jake Gosling operating as a right wingback.

Leadbitter's injury didn't seem to disrupt the flow of the Rovers attack as minutes later Tom Lockyer headed narrowly over from a succession of Chris Lines corners.

Barnet struggled for spells with the ball but just before half time Aaron Chapman saved well down low to his left to deny Akinde to keep Rovers 1-0 up going into half time.

Darrell Clarke's men started the second half as they did in the first.

Chris Lines' corner was aimed deep at Lee Brown who this time took the ball on his chest before firing into the arms of Graham Stack.

Rovers continued to press as efforts from Chris Lines and Ollie Clarke were blocked on the edge of the area before Stuart Sinclair had the ball in the back of the net only to see his effort ruled out for offside by referee Ross Joyce.

The home side continued to look for that vital second goal as Matty Taylor replaced Ellis Harrison on the hour mark and was almost presented with a chance seconds after coming on as Graham Stack fumbled Ollie Clarke's long range effort but the Bee's keeper recovered before Taylor could apply the finishing touch.

Barnet tried to get the ball moving in the second half following three changes by Martin Allen but their most dangerous chance came from a long throw into the penalty area which fell to Bira Dembele who couldn't sort out his feet quick enough and scuffed his shot wide. 

Minutes later Rovers doubled their advantage as Matty Taylor's shot in the box was blocked by Sam Muggleton before falling perfectly for Jermaine Easter to open his account for the season.

Barnet pulled a goal back with just under five minutes to go as skipper Curtis Weston put the ball in the back of the net to a stunned silence at the Mem but it was less than a minute later when the party atmosphere was restored as Chris Lines powered through the middle of the pitch and found Matty Taylor in the penalty area. Taylor took a touch in the area and calmly slotted the ball past Stack to restore Rovers two goal lead.

Although Darrell Clarke's men had the points wrapped up they continued to attack as efforts from substitute Billy Bodin and skipper Chris Lines both missed the target before referee Ross Joyce called time on the game.

Up next for Rovers is the trip to table topping Leyton Orient next Saturday (29th August) before entertaining Oxford United in front of the Sky TV cameras at the Mem on Sunday 6th September.

Rovers: Chapman; Leadbitter (Gosling - 32), J. Clarke, Lockyer, Parkes, Brown; Sinclair, O. Clarke, Lines (C); Harrison (Taylor - 60), Easter.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), Mansell, Montano, Monakana, Bodin.

Barnet: Stack, Hoyte (Muggleton - 75), Johnson, Dembele, N'Gala, Weston (C), Akinde, Vilhete (Batt - 60), Gambin, Sogwell, McLean (Gash - 45).

Unused Substitutes: Stephens (GK), Nelson, Tomlinson, Champion.

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