Sutton United 1-2 Bristol RoversAttendance: 658
Rovers recorded a second consecutive pre- season victory, beating Sutton United 2-1 thanks to a first half goal from skipper for the day Chris Lines and Ryan Broom’s goal ten minutes from time.
The home side scored what proved to be a consolation goal on 83 minutes when Jamie Collins saw his penalty saved by Kieran Preston but followed up to score from the rebound.
The game was the first on the home club’s new 3G pitch and both sides took a while to get used to the surface. Goalscoring opportunities were few and far between in what was a competitive match and a good workout for Darrell Clarke’s side.
Clarke made two changes to the side he announced in the week and Jennison Myrie-Williams came in for Jake Gosling who played at Salisbury yesterday, while Kieran Preston was in goal in place of Ian McLoughlin who has a slight groin strain.
Rovers were quick out of the blocks and Matty Taylor broke down the right early on but his over hit his cross and the ball drifted behind for a goal kick.
At the other end Stuart Fleetwood did exactly the same, but Ellis Harrison then went close for Rovers when he latched on to a long clearance and tried to lob the ball over goalkeeper Ross Worner. However he succeeded only in hitting the ball into the grateful keeper’s arms.
At the other end Preston came out of his area to clear and the ball reached Shaun Cooper. The Sutton player tried an ambitious first time shot before Preston could get back between the posts but, thankfully, his effort cleared the crossbar.
Rovers, who had impressed in the opening exchanges, took the lead after 15 minutes. Ellis Harrison was brought down on the edge of the area, to the left of goal, and Chris Lines stepped up to curl one of his trademark free kicks into the top corner of the net.
The home side should have equalised with 24 minutes on the clock when Fleetwood glanced a header on to the unmarked Craig McAllister but the striker’s spectacular attempt at an overhead kick backfired and ball drifted harmlessly towards Preston.
After a lull in proceedings Sutton again went close when Glen Southam found himself in space some 20 yards from goal. However his rasping drive was comfortably dealt with by Preston.
There was another half chance for McAllister five minutes before half time but his first touch was poor and Preston was able to gather safely.
Ryan Broom replaced Taylor at the break and Rovers went close to scoring soon after the restart. However Harrison just failed to get a touch to a Lines free kick.
Harrison limped off shortly afterwards to be replaced by Jay Malpas, and Rovers again went close to increasing their lead. On this occasion Tom Parkes headed just over from a Lines corner.
Jennison Myrie-Williams floated a free kick over the bar and a long range effort from Toby Ajala met the same fate.
The second goal for Rovers arrived with ten minutes of the game remaining when Broom latched on to a ball from Jay Malpas and calmly slotted the ball past substitute keeper Wayne Shaw.
Leadbitter was then penalised for handball in his own area and although Preston saved the spot kick taken by Jamie Collins, he couldn’t hold on to the ball and the Sutton player scored from the rebound.
That completed the scoring for the afternoon and Rovers comfortably saw out the remainder of the game
Sutton United: Ross Worner, Kevin Amankwah, Dan Wishart, Dean Beckwith, Shaun Cooper, Jamie Collins, Micky Spillane, Glen Southam, Craig McAllister, Stuart Fleetwood, Tom Bolarinwa
Substitutes: Dan Spence (on at half time) Wayne Shaw (on after 73 minutes), Craig Dundas, Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick (on at half time), Simon Downer (on after 60 minutes), Dan Fitchett (on at half time), Emil Salama (on after 63 minutes), Hamish Galbraith (on after 70 minutes), Tommy Wright (on at half time), Scott Munro
Bristol Rovers: Kieran Preston, Daniel Leadbitter, James Clarke (Alfie Kilgour, 66), Tom Parkes, Lee Brown, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines (Dominic Thomas, , Ollie Clarke, Toby Ajala, Ellis Harrison (Jay Malpas, 51), Matty Taylor (Ryan Broom, 46)
Substitutes: Dominic Thomas