23.11.22 Match Report - Colchester v Rovers

Rovers leave it late in Essex.

A last gasp Harvey Saunders winner against Colchester ensured Rovers' progression to the next round of the Papa Johns Trophy.

Joey Barton rang the changes for tonight's Papa John's Trophy tie in Essex. In came Jaakkola, Clarke, McCormick, Gibbons, Loft and Marquis, whilst Colchester made one change from their weekend win over Doncaster, with O'Hara starting in goal.


The first chance of the tie fell to Rovers. John Marquis had the opportunity to open the scoring from point-blank range but a good save from Kieran O'Hara denied the Rovers no.9.


Antony Evans then went close with an effort from around 30 yards out. Again Rovers were denied by O'Hara who was able to palm the ball acrobatically behind for a corner kick to Rovers which failed to materialise into anything.

James Gibbons headed the ball behind for a Colchester corner. From it, Tovide pulled away from his marker and powered a free header from five yards out but somehow missed the target.

Rovers came out for the second-half with Josh Coburn having replaced Ryan Loft.

The breakthrough finally came ten minutes into the second-half. An Antony Evans free-kick was sent towards Bobby Thomas at the back post who directed his header towards goal, where James Connolly was on hand to turn the ball home from about one yard out to open the scoring for the Gas.


A change in between the sticks was forced on Rovers after Anssi Jaakkola was forced off through injury. James Belshaw replacing the Finnish international for the remainder of the tie in Colchester.

The hosts drew level with left then ten minutes left to play. Colchester caught Rovers on the counter-attack and Freddie Sears was played in on goal and saw his shot deflected past Belshaw off Connolly and into the net.

With the minutes ebbing away it looked like the tie was heading to a penalty shoot-out. That was before Harvey Saunders bundled the ball into the net following a mistake from O'Hara to send the Gas into the next round of the Papa Johns Trophy.


Next up for Rovers is the Emirates FA Cup Second Round tie against Boreham Wood on Sunday 27th November at The Mem (2pm KO).

COLCHESTER: O'Hara, Chambers, Smith, Hannant, Judge, Ashley, Newby, Tchamadeu, Kazeem, Tovide, Nouble. 

Substitutes: Collins, Sears, Chilvers, Eastman, Chesters, Longstaff, Huws.

BRISTOL ROVERS: Jaakkola, Gibbons, Clarke, Thomas, Connolly, Finley (c), Evans, McCormick, Loft, Marquis, Collins.

Substitutes: Belshaw, Kilgour, Westbrooke, Rossiter, Saunders, Hoole, Coburn.

Referee: T Kirk

Attendance: 669 (50 away)

Read Time: 2 mins