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ROVERS FACE FA CUP REPLAY AFTER DRAWING AT CRAWLEY

5 November 2016

Bristol Rovers 1 - 1 Crawley Town

Attendance: 2,281 (518 away)

Rovers Emirates FA Cup tie against Crawley Town will be decided by a replay at the Mem after the sides drew 1-1 at Checkatrade Stadium.

Lee Brown's stunning first-half strike was canceled out by close range Billy Clifford effort just before the half-time break.

Rovers made five changes from the side that defeated Fleetwood Town for the tie against Crawley Town, with Peter Hartley, Conor Roberts, Ollie Clarke, Hiram Boateng and Jermaine Easter all included in the starting eleven for the visit to the Checkatrade Stadium.

On the bench, there was a call-up for academy 'keeper Kieron Hodges, who experienced his first taste of being involved with the senior squad.

In the opening exchanges of the tie it was a Rovers that caused the home side problems at the back, as a driven delivery from a corner by Hiram Boateng was headed behind at the far-post by Alex Davey, who was under pressure from Connor Roberts. 

Rovers took the lead after Crawley's Alex Davey conceded a free-kick thirty-five yards out from goal for a late challenge on Ellis Harrison. From the resulting set-piece, the ball was touched into the path of Lee Brown by Hiram Boateng and Brown unleashed a sweetly struck left-footed effort that rocketed into the bottom corner of the goal and out of reach of the diving Glenn Morris. 

There were worrying signs for Rovers when Matty Taylor went down injured after colliding with Peter Hartley inside the Crawley area, but after receiving treatment on the pitch the forward was able to continue.

Crawley pulled back level when a Lewis Young pass into the Rovers box managed to find the unmarked Billy Clifford, after a neat dummy by James Collins and Clifford was able to keep his composure to calmly slot a finish past Kelle Roos from close-range.

Straight after the goal, the home side hit Rovers on the break, with Andre Blackman advancing to the edge of the area before digging out a shot that was deflected behind by the Rovers defence. That effort was quickly followed by a header by Alex Davey, which was blocked just in front of Kelle Roos, after the defender had done well to rise to meet a cross from the right.

Rovers headed into the break level, but Kelle Roos was called into action just prior to halftime when a driven long-range effort by James Collins required the Rovers' 'keeper to push the shot wide, after the effort bounced awkwardly just in front of him.

After the break, Rovers had an early chance of on goal when Ellis Harrison received the ball on the edge of the area and directed a side-footed effort that curled narrowly past the right-hand post, with 'keeper Glenn Morris rooted to the spot.

The hosts had chances of their own, with a dangerous delivery by James Collins finding Bobson Bawling at the far-post, but diving to met the pass Bawling could only direct his header wide of goal. 

Goalscorer Billy Clifford continued to cause a threat and after a period of patient build-up inside the Rovers half, a well-timed turn by Clifford inside the opened up an opportunity to shoot on goal, but his effort flashed high and wide of goal.

That effort sparked the home side into life and when substitute Byron Moore was robbed in possession, Andre Blackman was able to take advantage by racing down the left-wing and directing a low-cross into the area that was poked towards goal by James Collins, with Kelle Roos producing a fine reaction to tip the effort wide.

The home side were reduced to ten-men when Andre Blackman was shown a second yellow card for dissent, with just over twenty minutes remaining in the tie. 

Rovers had a late chance to secure the win when a tempting cross from the left by Cristian Montano was glanced towards goal by the head of Luke James, but the Crawley 'keeper was equal to the effort.

The two sides will face each other in a replay at the Mem to decide who goes through to the second round, with both teams sharing ball number 32 in Monday's second round draw.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to Fratton Park to face Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening.



Rovers: Kelle Roos (g), Conor Roberts, Tom Lockyer (c), Peter Hartley, Lee Brown, Ollie Clarke, Stuart Sinclair (59' Byron Moore), Hiram Boateng, Ellis Harrison, Matty Taylor (59' Cristian Montano), Jermaine Easter (72' Luke James).

Subs: Kieron Hodges (g), Daniel Leadbitter, Mark McChrystal, Rory Gaffney.

Crawley Town: Gleen Morris (G), Lewis Young, Alex Davey, Mark Connolly, Enzio Boldewijn (45' Adi Yussef), Jimmy Smith (C), Andre Blackman, Bobson Bawling (85' Aryan Tajbakhsh), Billy Clifford, James Collins (87' Matt Harold), Kaby Djalo.

Subs: Yusuf Mersin (G), Chris Arthur, Jason Banton, Danny Pappoe.

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