Salisbury 0-3 Bristol RoversBristol Rovers recorded a comfortable victory against Salisbury FC yesterday, thanks to goals from Ellis Harrison, Ollie Clarke and Billy Bodin.
Darrell Clarke’s side were in control of proceedings almost all the way through and always looked as though they could step up a gear and goallkeeper Will Puddy was seldom troubled.
A cagey opening to the game saw very few chances created by either side, though Salisbury did force an early corner before Ellis Harrison was denied a shooting opportunity by home skipper Elliot Wheeler.
Both sides were playing at a high tempo and Ryan Broom, who scored twice in last night’s 5-3 win at Mangotsfield, looked lively again today.
He went close on 12 minutes when his improvised effort with the outside of his right foot just cleared the bar.
Following a good spell of play Rovers took an 18th minute lead when Ellis Harrison converted a penalty, awarded after Billy Bodin had been upended by Ashton Lee.
Shortly afterwards Broom’s ferocious drive was blocked denied by the legs of goalkeeper Charlie Searle.
Following an early substitution by the home side, that saw Joe Sanger replace Daniel Ano, Brandon Mundy fired a shot high and wide of the target, while at the other end Searle comfortably saved a Jake
Gosling shot from the edge of the area.
Another Gosling effort, this time a free kick, was also saved by the keeper just after the half hour mark and Ollie Clarke tried one of his trademark long range efforts which flew well wide of the target.
Clarke wasn’t to be denied, though, as he was on hand to finish of a superb move on 38 minutes. The home side lost possession on then halfway line and Gosling picked up the ball and found Billy Bodin with an incisive pass. He, in turn, found Clarke and he comfortably beat Searle from 12 yards.
Searle then did well to deny Bodin a goal as he ran on to a superb ball from Clarke as Rovers ended the half in the ascendancy.
Both sides made three substitutions at the start of the second half. For Rovers, Alfie Kilgour, Hammed Lawal and Jay Malpas replacing Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Brown and Stuart Sinclair respectively.
Gosling created an early opportunity for Bodin but the striker’s delicate chip over the keeper just cleared the bar.
Salisbury applied some good pressure after Broom had twice gone close for Rovers, but the closest they came to opening their account came when a shot from Danny Young was blocked by a packed Rovers defence.
Rovers went further ahead on 66 minutes when Ellis Harrison weaved his way past two home defenders and cut the ball back to the unmarked Bodin who slotted the ball past Searle from six yards out.
Will Puddy was then called into action, saving well from a long range Justin Bennett effort.
Bodin tried a long range effort as the game drew to a close which was comfortably saved by substitute keeper Nathan Ball.
That was the last of the meaningful action, though, and Rovers comfortably preserved their lead in the final minutes.
Salisbury: Charlie Searle (Nathan Ball, 76), George Coulson (Josh Warren, 46), Ashton Leigh (Ed Perrett, 46) (Adam Flint, 61), Tom Whelan, Steve Walker (Seb Dawes, 46), Elliot Wheeler, Daniel Ano (Joe Sanger, 25), Lewis Benson, Justin Bennett, Brandon Mundy (Charlie Blake, 82), Danny Young (Mo Ahmed, 66)
Substitutes: Joe Sanger, Sam Roberts
Rovers: Will Puddy Daniel Leadbitter (Alfie Kilgour, 46) (Hammed Lawal, 46), Tom Lockyer, Chad Field, Lee Brown, Stuart Sinclair (Jay Malpas, 46), Ollie Clarke (Jamie Lucas, 60), Jake Gosling, Billy Bodin, Ellis Harrison, Ryan Broom