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ROVERS BEAT MORECAMBE TO GIVE NEW OWNERS WINNING START

20 February 2016

Bristol Rovers 2-1 Morecambe

Attendance: 7,400 (92)

Rovers came from behind to beat Morecambe 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium.

Goals from Rory Gaffney and Billy Bodin gave Rovers all three points after Jamie Devitt gave the Shrimps the lead from the penalty spot in the first half.

Darrell Clarke made three changes to the side that lost at Portsmouth last weekend as James Clarke, Chris Lines and Matty Taylor coming into the side replacing Lee Mansell, Billy Bodin and Jermaine Easter who dropped to the substitutes bench.

Neither side threatened as the opening 10 minutes coasted by at the Memorial Stadium until Morecambe were handed a corner. Jamie Devitt floated the ball into the penalty where Tom Parkes was judged to have handed the ball by referee Darren England.

Deveitt stepped up to take the spot kick and even though Steve Mildenhall guess the right direction, the Rovers shot stopped couldn't get a hand to the powerful strike.

In what was a very stop start first half with several fouls and free kicks Darrell Clarke deemed it necessary to change personnel and formation as James Clarke made way to Billy Bodin as Rovers changed to a 4-4-2 formation.

Rovers huffed and puffed to get back into the game but nothing really clicked across the whole pitch. A rare effort for the home side as Billy Bodin lashed a shot over from range which was met by a sarcastic cheer from the Rovers faithful.

Half time came and went as the new club President Wael al Qadi and his family were introduced to the supporters at the Memorial Stadium for the first time to a spine tingling rendition of Goodnight Irene but it was back to matters on the pitch in the second half.

Darrell Clarke's side looked much more threatening in the second period but it was the Shrimps who could have doubled their lead.

First a long range effort from Kevin Ellison stung the palms of Steve Mildenhall before Paul Mullin saw his shot go wide of the goal when in a good position on the edge of the penalty area.

With just over 20 minutes of the game remaining, Rovers seemed to click into life.

Following a poor clearance from the Morecambe back line the ball fell to the feet of Rory Gaffney who made no mistake thundering in his first goal since joining the club permanently from Cambridge United.

As soon as the ball hit the back of the net, Rovers looked the more likely side to leave the game with three points. The home side continued to press and go up a gear as Liam Lawrence and then Daniel Leadbitter saw their shots go over the top of Barry Roche's goal.

Rovers continued to attack whilst being roared on the the Memorial Stadium faithful as Liam Lawrence looked to have been fouled inside the penalty area only for Darren England to wave away his protests and allowed play to continue. The ball was instantly worked back out to Lee Brown on the left hand side who crossed the ball first time to the far post where Billy Bodin was on hand to tap in from close range.

Moments later Morecambe's misery was compiled more as Andy Fleming was shown a straight red card for what looked like an elbow on Stuart Sinclair.

Morecambe had spells of possession after going behind but never really threatened the Rovers goal even when goalkeeper Barry Roche came up for a corner looking to score his second goal of the season.

Rovers managed to hold onto the lead and give the clubs new owners their first win.
 
Up next for Rovers is the trip to Adams Park to take on Wycombe Wanderers before entertaining Hartlepool United at the Mem on Tuesday 1st March.

Rovers: Mildenhall; Leadbitter, J. Clarke (Bodin - 31), Lockyer (C), Parkes, Brown; Lines (O. Clarke - 89), Lawrence, Sinclair; Taylor (Easter - 78), Gaffney.

Unused Substitutes: Puddy (GK), McChrystal, Montano, Fallon. 

Morecambe: Roche, Barkhuizen, Dugdale (Kenyon - 35), Edwards, Parrish, Beeley (C); Devitt (Wildig - 75), Goodall, Fleming; Ellison, Mullin (Wilson - 64).

Unused Substitutes: O'Hara (GK), Bondswell, Hedley.

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