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BILLY BODIN FIRES ROVERS TO VICTORY OVER SWINDON

28 January 2017

Bristol Rovers 1-0 Swindon Town

Attendance: 10,557 (1,189 away)

A fine first-half strike from Billy Bodin earns Rovers victory over Swindon Town at the Mem.

Heading into the encounter, Darrell Clarke named two changes to the side that started last Saturday's fixture at Walsall. Ellis Harrison and Ryan Sweeney both came into the starting XI, with Rory Gaffney and James Clarke dropping to the bench. The changes meant that Sweeney paired captain Lockyer in the heart of the Rovers defence, with Ellis Harrison linking up with Matty Taylor up front.

The visitors made just the one change to their line-up for the game, James Brophy replaced by Yaser Kasim, who dropped to the bench. Swindon's new signing Dion Conroy started the game on the bench, with former Rovers loanee Charlie Colkett named in the starting XI.

Rovers registered the first chance on goal from a Matty Taylor free-kick, which was bent low around the wall from twenty-yards out and wasn't held by Swindon 'keeper Lawrence Vigouroux, with the ball almost dropping to Ellis Harrison who would have had the simplest of tap-ins from close range, but Vigouroux was able to gather the loose ball ahead of the striker.

The chances kept coming for Rovers, with Lee Brown directing a high ball into the box that dropped into the path of Billy Bodin who touched the ball home from close range but was denied by a fine reaction save from Vigouroux. Rovers didn't have to wait long for another opportunity to come their way, with midfielder Ollie Clarke sending a low-driven shot towards goal from outside the box that was touched around the post by the outstretched Vigouroux.

Following numerous chances inside the opening twenty minutes, debutant Ryan Sweeney had an opportunity to break the deadlock, with the defender connecting well with a powerful header that was deflected away from goal on the line by Ben Gladwin.

After creating numerous chances and limiting Swindon to any attacking advances during the first half, Rovers opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Billy Bodin produced a sweetly struck left-footed shot that clipped both posts before nestling into the net.

Swindon manufactured a chance on goal when an inswinging cross from the right found Luke Norris inside the area, but off-balance the forward could only cushion his header over the crossbar.

In the closing minutes of the first half, Rovers came close to doubling their goal tally when a cross from Lee Brown found Ellis Harrison, with the striker able to lift the ball towards goal but his shot was cleared off the line by a rushed clearance by Raphael Rossi-Branco.

Rovers continued to build attacking momentum after the break, with Stuart Sinclair charging down a flat clearance by Lawrence Vigouroux, with the midfielder composing himself to square a pass into the path of Ellis Harrison, but the striker's first time effort flew past the post.

On the hour mark Rovers made a double change, replacing goalscorer Billy Bodin and Ellis Harrison with Byron Moore and Rory Gaffney. Minutes after their introduction the substitutes combined when Byron Moore cushioned a deep cross into the area back across goal to Gaffney, but the striker couldn't dig the ball out of his feet to apply the finish in front of goal.

Ollie Clarke, who had created a number of chances during the first half, timed a challenge on Ben Gladwin to perfection, with the midfielder winning possession and charging towards goal, but his eventual shot was held by Vigouroux. Moments later the midfielder picked up a loose ball and was able to cut inside from the left before clearing a path to get a shot away, but his powerful effort clattered straight off the crossbar.

Inside the closing stages, Ben Gladwin had a long-range effort deflected narrowly past the post by Ryan Sweeney, which was followed by an opportunity for substitute Jordan Stewart to convert a pass across the face of goal, but the striker lost his footing and wasn't able to connect with his shot.

Rovers saw out the remaining minutes of the game to record their fifth home win on the bounce, ahead of next Saturday's trip to Rochdale in SkyBet League One.

Rovers: Joe Lumley; Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Lockyer (C), Ryan Sweeney, Lee Brown; Ollie Clarke, Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair, Billy Bodin (63' Byron Moore), Ellis Harrison (63' Rory Gaffney), Matty Taylor (79' Luke James). 

Subs: Will Puddy (GK), James Clarke, Joe Partington, Cristian Montano.

Swindon: Lawrence Vigouroux (G), Nathan Thompson (C), Ben Gladwin, James Brophy, John Goddard, Islam Feruz (69' Jordan Stewart), Charlie Colkett, Fankaty Dabo, Lloyd Jones (88' Dion Conroy), Raphael Rossi-Branco, Luke Norris (45' Jermaine Hylton).

Subs: Will Henry (G), Anton Rodgers, Yaser Kasim, Sean Murray, Dion Conroy

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