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ROVERS SHARE THE POINTS WITH ROCHDALE

10 September 2016

Bristol Rovers 2-2 Rochdale

Attendance: 8,057 (137)

Rovers twice came back from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Rochdale at the Memorial Stadium.

Matty Taylor struck twice to cancel out Callum Camps and Ian Henderson's goals for the visitors.

Darrell Clarke named a strong attacking side to take on the leagues bottom side as Hiram Boateng was handed his Bristol Rovers debut. Chelsea loanee Charlie Colkett began life at Bristol Rovers on the bench with the side skippered by Tom Lockyer who has returned from International duty with the Wales Under-21's.

Rovers started very well, passing the ball around superbly with loan signing Hiram Boateng at the heart of it all. It was the Crystal Palace loanee's run that carved Rovers first chance as the ball found it's way to Matty Taylor who dragged his effort wide of the goal.

Rochdale looked fragile in the early going but came close to opening the scoring through Peter Vincenti. Joe Bunny found himself in space on the right hand side before being able to pick out Vincenti at the far post. The Dale man headed the ball downwards but into the side netting of the goal.

For all of Rovers early pressure, it was the visitors who took the lead capitalising on some poor defending from Darrell Clarke's side.

Matty Taylor lost the ball inside the Rovers half to Dale skipper Ian Henderson who drove inside the penalty area before picking out Callum Camps who showed good composure rounding Kelle Roos before slotting into an empty net.

Rovers didn't take long to hit back through last season's top goal scorer Matty Taylor.

Following a Chris Lines corner, Peter Hartley jumped highest at the far post directing the ball back into the danger area where Matty Taylor was on hand to stab the ball past Josh Lillis.

However, the leagues bottom side restored their one goal advantage seconds later through skipper Ian Henderson. Peter Vincenti's diagonal ball found Joe Bunney in the penalty area and his cross-come-shot found it's way to Ian Henderson at the far post who nudged the ball past Kelle Roos amid calls of offside from the Rovers faithful.

Both sides continued to press for more goals in what was a every open first half with Rochdale coming closest as Callum Camps latched onto a square ball into the penalty area but dragged his shot wide before being flagged offside.

Rovers looked much more solid in the second half as Hiram Boateng's powerful run into the penalty area earned Rovers an early corner.

From the resulting corner Rovers pulled level through Matty Taylor. Peter Hartley won the initial header, floating the ball into the path of Taylor who pulled out a fantastic acrobatic finish to score his second goal of the game.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Rochdale were reduced to ten men.

Second half substitute Ellis Harrison was causing the Dale defence all sorts of trouble with his height and power and Ross Joyce reached into his pocket and produced a second yellow for Niall Canavan for holding the young Welshman.

With ten minutes of the game remaining, one loan signing replaced another loan signing as Charlie Colekett replaced Hiram Boateng as Darrell Clarke looked to finish the game with all three points.

Rovers looked like they could have taken the lead for the first time as the clock struck 90 minutes as Chris Lines' floated free kick found James Clarke at the far post but Josh Lillis reacted well to deny the Rovers man his first professional goal.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Walsall to the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening before Darrell Clarke's men travel north to take on Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Rovers: Roos; J. Clarke, Lockyer (C), Hartley, Brown; Boateng (Colkett - 80), Lines, Sinclair, Easter (James - 83); Bodin (Harrison - 55), Taylor.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), Leadbitter, O. Clarke, Gaffney.

Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, Tanser (McNulty - 46) , Canavan, McGahey, Vincenti (Andrew - 67), Lund, Camps (Keane - 76), Allen, Bunney, Henderson (C).

Unused Substitutes: Logan (GK), McNulty, McDermott, Davies, Odelusi,

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