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On This Day: Rovers Secure Playoff Spot With Win at Hartlepool

5 May 2018

On this day in 2007 Bristol Rovers and Stockport County, occupying sixth and seventh place respectively in the League Two standings, both travelled to the north east hoping to clinch the final play off place.

Rovers were due to face already promoted Hartlepool, who would win the title if they won and league leaders Walsall slipped up, while Stockport were playing just down the road at Darlington.

There was also an anniversary to celebrate as Paul Trollope, who had just been named Manager of the Month for April, was celebrating his 100th game in charge of The Gas. 

Among the crowd of 7,629 at The Victoria Ground that day were 960 Rovers supporters who took over the whole of one end of the ground.

The first half didn’t really go Rovers way and they went in a goal down at the break after Joel Porter stroked a close range effort past Steve Phillips to put the home side in the ascendancy.

Down the road at Darlington, Stockport were in front and playing against ten men following a red card for one of the home players 

Rovers equalized on 53 minutes when Craig Disley was fouled in the area by Willie Boland and Richard Walker converted the resulting penalty.

With seven minutes remaining and Stockport still winning, Rovers were lying in seventh place. However, Rickie Lambert then scored the goal that sent Trollope’s side into the top six when he glanced home Ryan Green’s cross from the right.

On the final whistle Trollope, his players and quite a few of the club’s directors, celebrated with the travelling ‘Gas Army’ while another 2,000 fans back in Bristol celebrated after watching a live transmission of the game.

The result meant that Hartlepool had to settle for second place and automatic promotion, while Rovers immediately began preparing for the visit of Lincoln City in the first leg of the play off semi final the following week. 

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