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ROVERS LOSE TO WEST BROM

31 July 2015

Bristol Rovers 0-4 West Brom

Attendance: 4,068 (308)

Bristol Rovers finished their pre-season campaign with a 0-4 loss to Premier League West Bromwich Albion at the Memorial Stadium.

Goals from Craig Gardner, Victor Anichebe as well as a brace from new signing Rickie Lambert was enough to put Tony Pulis' men out of sight.

Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that lost to Cheltenham Town less than a week ago, recalling Daniel Leadbitter, Stuart Sinclair, Billy Bodin and Matty Taylor to the starting 11 for the clubs final pre-season fixture ahead of the 2015/16 League Two campaign.

However it was the Premier League side who had the first chance as Saido Berahino curled a left footed effort past Steve Mildenhall's right hand post.

Less than 10 minutes later, the recalled Matty Taylor should have given Rovers the lead. Following heavy pressure, Ellis Harrison stripped the ball from James Chester before squaring the ball to Taylor just outside of the six-yard area but Taylor scuffed his shot wide of the goal.

It was if it was written that on his return to the Memorial Stadium, Rickie Lambert found the back of the net on the 23rd minute.

The former Rovers man tried his luck from distance, his shot cannoned off of Tom Parkes and into the opposite side of the goal past a grounded Steve Mildenhall to put the Baggies into the lead.

Darrell Clarke's men tried to fight back and were denied an equalising goal on the half hour mark by a good save from Boaz Myhill.

Tom Lockyer showed a clean set of heels to James Chester and fired the ball into Matty Taylor. Taylor took the ball well on the turn and lashed a shot goalwards only to see Myhill make a strong stop to his left.

West Brom doubled their lead moments later as Craig Gardner read the bounce of the ball better than Tom Lockyer to race through onto goal and calmly finish past Mildenhall.

As soon as the second half started, Lambert scored his second of the night after a neat passing move before James McClean squared the ball allowing Lambert to casually stroke the ball home. 

In the second period a whole host of changes really disrupted the flow of the game with the loudest noise of the night coming when Rickie Lambert was replaced by Brown Ideye on the 57th minute.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Victor Anichebe put West Brom out of sight as he hammered home a superb volley on his left foot.

Darrell Clarke's men struggled to impose themselves on the game against Premier League opposition in what was a good test before the start of the season.

Up next for Rovers is the start of the SkyBet League Two season as they entertain Northampton Town on Saturday 8th August.

Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, J. Clarke, Parkes, Lockyer, Gosling (O. Clarke - 62), Sinclair, Lines, Bodin (Montano - 45), Taylor, Harrison (Easter - 28).

Unused Substitutes: Lucas, Blissett, Greenslade, Preston (GK)

West Brom: Myhill, Chester (Sessegnon - 64), Dawson, Olsson, Brunt (Leko - 81), Gardner (Mcmanaman - 57), McClean (O'Neil - 64), Yacob (Fitzwater - 72), Morrison (Fletcher - 64), Berahino (Anichebe - 57), Lambert (Idye - 57).

Unused Substitutes: Ross (GK).

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