Bristol Rovers 0-1 Swindon TownTuesday 13th October 2015
Rovers slipped to defeat in their first game in the Final Third Development Cup, played at the training ground today.
The all important goal was scored by Jordan Stewart just after the half hour mark and although they battled hard in an entertaining and competitive match, Rovers were unable to get back on level terms.
The visitors began playing at a high tempo and Kieran Preston saved from Jeremy Balmy and the same player then hit a low shot wide of the upright.
Jay Malpas went close to giving Rovers the lead on 14 minutes, but his 20 yard effort hit the crossbar while another effort from the midfielder moments later drifted just wide.
Ellis Iandolo hit a ferocious shot just wide, while Stewart hit a shot straight at Preston as the visitors took the game to their hosts.
Stewart scored with a neat backflick at the near post when he was first to react to a ball in from the left and although Tom Fry was just wide with a shot late in the half, Rovers fortunate to be only a goal behind at the break as Preston saved a shot from Iandolo, with his legs, in the final minute.
The second half proved to be a more even affair, though chances for Rovers were few and far between. Nathan Blissett hooked a shot wide of the mark five minutes after the restart, while Preston saved well from Henrik Ojama shortly afterwards.
Ryan Broom hit a shot over the bar and saw another effort saved by Tyrell Belford and after Preston had scrambled a close range effort off his line Danny Greenslade fired a free kick over the bar from a late free kick.
In their final attack of the game Rovers went close to an equaliser but Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was unable to get any power on a header which was comfortably saved by Belford.
After the game assistant manager Marcus Stewart said; “It was a different type of game to any of our recent reserve team games.
“Swindon like to pass the ball and I thought we competed quite well and didn’t become impatient in trying to win the ball back when they were in possession.
“We did get in behind their defence a few times but we didn’t get the right balls into their box to seriously trouble them. Not only that we didn’t make the right runs into their box, which was probably the most disappointing thing for me.
“Swindon did field quite an experienced team and I thought we deserved to score at least one goal given the number of times we broke their back line
“Overall I think we lacked the killer cross and the determination to get across people in the box, which is why we didn’t score.
“However it was a step up for the first and second year scholars included in our lineup and the experience will stand them in good stead. I do watch as many of our U-18 home games as possible and it was good to see them play at the next level up.
Rovers: Kieran Preston, Tyler Lyttle, Alfie Kilgour, Bradley Confrey (Connor Jones, 81), Danny Greenslade, Ryan Broom, Jay Malpas, George Corp (Luke Russe, 46), Tom Fry (Tyrone Tucker-Dixon, 70), Blake Davies, Nathan Blissett
Substitutes: Sam Iles, Kieran Hodges
Swindon Town: Tyrell Belford, Lee Marshall, Will Randall, Momar Bangour (Tom Smith, 65), Ryan Wood, Tom Holland, Jeremy Balmy, Ellis Iandolo (Jordan Young, 71), Jordan Stewart, Yelko Pino, Henrik Ojamaa
Substitutes: Connor Johns, Jake Evans, Nathan Marks