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ROVERS GET ALL THREE POINTS IN FANTASTIC GAME AT NORTHAMPTON TOWN

1 October 2016

Northampton Town 2-3 Bristol Rovers

Attendance: 6,642 (997)

Rovers secured a vital three points with a fantastic 2-3 win at Northampton Town.

Charlie Colkett's last gasp winner wrapped up the three points after with Rory Gaffney and Peter Hartley scoring Rovers other two goals.

Darrell Clarke made five changes to the side that lost to Sheffield United on Tuesday night handing Connor Roberts his debut for the club coming in at right back. Chelsea loanee Charlie Colkett was handed his first start for the club as well as recalling Peter Hartley, Stuart Sinclair and Rory Gaffney to the starting 11.

Rovers started the game brightly as Connor Roberts found some space on the right hand side and was able to pick out Ellis Harrison inside the penalty area. The Wales Under-21 International controlled the ball well into the air and connected well with an overhead kick but it went straight into the arms of Adam Smith.

From the resulting kick from Smith's hands, Alex Revell found himself in far too much space where he was able to compose himself well before lofting the ball over the head of a rushing Kelle Roos to give the Cobbler's a ninth minute lead.

The game slowed down a lot after the home side took the lead with neither side really testing either goalkeeper.

Paul Anderson looked bright for the home side skipping around Ollie Clarke before Kelle Roos came off his line well to win the ball whilst at the other end of the field Charlie Colkett played a superb ball into Rory Gaffney but Gabriel Zakuani recovered well to clear the danger.

On the stroke of half time, the home supporters thought that Sam Hoskins had doubled their lead after latching onto Brendan Moloney's low cross but his effort went narrowly wide and into the side netting.

Darrell Clarke's side looked a lot more confident in possession inside the second half as Ellis Harrison worked well on the Rovers right hand side before squaring the ball into the penalty area. Northampton were able to clear the initial danger but only into the path of Lee Brown but the full backs shot was blocked well by Zander Diamond. 

Rovers continued to look bright, this time counter attacking well through Chris Lines. Lines powered through the middle of the pitch well before finding Charlie Colkett free on the Rovers left but the Chelsea loanee was unable to pick out Ellis Harrison in the area.

With 10 minutes gone in the second half, Darrell Clarke made a double substitution bringing on Byron Moore and Billy Bodin replacing Ollie Clarke and Stuart Sinclair, shifting shape to a 4-4-2 formation as Rovers pushed for an equaliser.

Minutes later, Rovers were level.

Rovers pressed well winning the ball in midfield before finding Rory Gaffney on the Rovers left hand side. The Irishman worked himself into the penalty area well taking the ball around Brendan Moloney before shooting goalwards. His shot seemed to cannon off of Zander Diamond and past Adam Smith to give Rovers a deserved goal.

The change in shape and personnel seemed to pay off for Rovers as substitute Matty Taylor was fouled on the edge of the penalty area giving Rovers a free kick. Charlie Colkett took the free kick direct which hit the wall and went behind for a Rovers corner.

Charlie Colkett took the corner to the far post where Peter Hartley jumped highest above his man to power home his third goal of the season giving Rovers the lead for the first time in the game.

The game really opened up after Rovers second and less than five minutes later, the Cobblers hit back through front man Alex Revell.

Substitute Kenji Gorre powered through the middle of the field before finding Revell who calmly stroked the ball past Kelle Roos and just beyond Peter Hartley who was the covering defender.

Both sides then went in search of their third goals with Rory Gaffney looking like he had fired Rovers ahead again only to see Adam Smith pull out the save of the match, clawing the Irishman's powerful shot off the line.

Minutes later, it the Rovers keeper was called into action as Kenji Gorre cut inside off the left flank before firing a curled effort goalwards but Kelle Roos was equal to it palming the ball behind at full stretch.

With the game about to tick into injury time, referee Graham Horwood came across to have a word with Darrell Clarke, as he turned around, he seemingly pulled his calf and asked for a substitution.

The games fourth official Joe Clarke took to the field to replace the injured referee and seconds later showed Gabriel Zakuani his second yellow card for a foul on Matty Taylor on the edge of the penalty area.

Rovers continued to press for that all important third goal as from the resulting free kick Charlie Colkett curled a left footed effort towards the top corner of the goal only to see Adam Smith get a vital hand to it.

Darrell Clarke's side never know when to quit and from a corner, the ball got cleared to Matty Taylor on the Rovers left hand side, the clubs top goal scorer fired a flat cross into the penalty area where it was flicked onto the far post where Charlie Colkett composed himself superbly before firing the ball through the legs of Smith to give Rovers the lead just into injury time.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Yeovil Town to the Memorial Stadium in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening.

Northampton: Smith, Moloney, Buchanan (C), Anderson (Gorre - 65), Diamond, Zakuani, Revell, Hoskins (McCourt - 84), Beautyman (Richards - 64), O'Toole, Taylor.

Unused Substitutes: Cornell (GK), Sonupe, Nyatanga, Hooper.

Rovers: Roos; Roberts, Lockyer (C), Hartley, Brown; O. Clarke (Moore - 55), Lines, Sinclair (Bodin - 55), Colkett; Harrison (Taylor - 66), Gaffney.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), J. Clarke, Clarke-Salter, James.

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