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ROVERS BEAT CARDIFF IN EFL CUP FIRST ROUND

11 August 2016

Bristol Rovers 1-0 Cardiff City

Attendance: 4,851 (971)

Rovers advanced into the Second Round of the EFL Cup after a 1-0 Extra Time win against Cardiff City.

Chris Lines 116th minute wonder strike was enough to see Rovers book their spot in the Second Round to face Premier League Chelsea at Stamf

Darrell Clarke made one change to the side that lost at Scunthorpe United on Saturday as Wales Under-21 International Ellis Harrison came into the starting 11 replacing Rory Gaffney who dropped to the substitutes bench.

Both sides started the game slowly with the only effort inside the opening 10 minutes being a very tame effort from range from Cardiff midfielder Aron Gunnarsson.

As time ticked on, Rovers grew into the game getting larger spells of possession which ultimately created their first shot on target as Chris Lines managed to get a shot off under pressure but Simon Moore was equal to it.

Rovers started looking more and more dangerous the longer the game went on. Initially Ollie Clarke was unable to apply a diving header to fire home from a Lee Brown corner before Stuart Sinclair was unable to apply the finishing touch inside the six-yard box following a neat header from Matty Taylor.

The Championship side offered very little in the first 45 minutes with their only real effort on goal coming from a Joe Ralls free kick. The Cardiff man was 35-yards out but his curled free kick hit the side netting first with Steve Mildenhall covering well.

Cardiff came out in the second half and looked a completely different side. Initially Kenneth Zohore was able to pick out Craig Noone in the penalty area but Peter Hartley was able to come across and block his shot before Joe Ralls fired a long range shot well over the bar.

At the other end of the field, Rovers were playing on the counter attack. Chris Lines was able to find Ellis Harrison in space on the right hand side and the Welshman's cross looked destined for Matty Taylor but Bruno Manga swung a leg at it and cleared the danger.

With just over an hour gone Darrell Clarke's side started turning the screw. Ellis Harrison was powerful in the air all evening and on this occasion was able find Matty Taylor but his shot on the turn was blocked well by Sean Morrison.

As extra time was looming, the Rovers boss made a double substitution as Billy Bodin and Rory Gaffney came on to replace Stuart Sinclair and Ellis Harrison but kept the 3-5-2 shape with Billy Bodin occupying a space in midfield along side Chris Lines and Ollie Clarke.

Rovers ventured into Extra Time and basically as soon as the extra 30 minutes had started, Darrell Clarke made his final substitution of the evening as Cristian Montano came on to replace Daniel Leadbitter with Rovers changing shape to a more traditional 4-4-2.

Both sides exchanged blows in the opening 15 minutes of extra time, Rory Gaffney and Matty Taylor fired shots just wide of Simon Moore's goal where as at the other end of the pitch Anthony Pilkington stung the palms of Steve Mildenhall with his long range effort.

With penalties looking almost certain, Chris Lines produced a moment of brilliance. The Bristol boy received the ball 35-yards out before unleashing an unstoppable strike that curled into the top corner of the net beyond a helpless Simon Moore.

Moments later Rovers hearts were in the their mouths as second half substitute Frederic Gounongbe found himself in acres of space inside the penalty area but his strike hit the inside of the post and into the arms of Steve Mildenhall.

Tonight's win means that Darrell Clarke's men will travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Premier League Chelsea in Round Two.

Rovers: Mildenhall; Leadbitter (Montano - 94), Lockyer (C), J. Clarke, Hartley, Brown; O. Clarke, Lines, Sinclair (Bodin - 78); Taylor, Harrison (Gaffney - 78).

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), McChrystal, Easter, James.

Cardiff: Moore; Morrison, Manga, Richards, Ralls, Noone (Gounongbe - 74), John, Connolly (Kennedy - 86), Gunnarsson, O'Keefe, Zohore (Plikington - 63).

Unused Substitutes: Wilson (GK), Peltier, Whittingham, Ajayi

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