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Match Reports

Match Report : 01/01/2015

1 January 2015

Match Reports

Match Report : 01/01/2015

1 January 2015

Attendance: 8,044 (424)

Rovers secured a vital point at the Memorial Stadium against Torquay United less than a week after the reverse fixture.

Matty Taylor's penalty in the final 10 minutes earned a point for Darrell Clarke's men which cancelled out Duane Ofori-Acheampong's first half effort.

Darrell Clarke made two changed to the side that hammered Macclesfield on Sunday with Neal Trotman returning to partner Tom Parkes in centre defence and Ollie Clarke replacing Jake Gosling in midfield.

A bright start for the visitors saw Toby Ajala work some space on the left side inside the first three minutes, but his right-footed shot never looked like troubling Will Puddy in the Rovers goal.

And Torquay took the lead on 10 minutes when Thomas Cruise dug out a cross by the left corner, and Duane Ofori-Acheampong poked a shot low past Puddy.

Rovers responded well and Tom Parkes almost levelled five minutes later when he headed a Lee Mansell corner just wide of Jordan Seabright’s right post.

Matty Taylor almost fashioned a chance after 25 minutes when he danced his way through the Torquay defence but his shot and Nathan Blissett’s follow up were both blocked.

Moments later Blissett found himself on the end of a low Stuart Sinclair cross, but the ball was just behind the striker, whose improvised backheel flick was comfortably saved by Seabright.

Torquay looked a better side to the one that Rovers beat at Plainmoor on Boxing Day, and Jordan Chappell nearly doubled their lead just before half time when he swivelled on the edge of the box, but his shot narrowly flew over Puddy’s bar.

Rovers started the second half brightly, with Ollie Clarke stinging the palms of Seabright with a long-range effort, and Stuart Sinclair forcing the Gulls’ keeper to pull off an acrobatic save minutes later.

However, the home side found themselves increasingly frustrated with their attempts to break down the Torquay defence, with Darrell Clarke introducing Jake Gosling and Ellis Harrison.

With Rovers pushing for an equaliser, Ajala threatened to double the visitor’s lead on the counter attack when he weaved his way through the defence but shot over the bar.

But it was the Rovers fans celebrating with just under ten minutes to play when Matty Taylor put the home side level from the penalty spot following a controversial incident.

Lee Mansell’s free kick from the left appeared to have cleared everyone only for the referee to point to the spot after the linesman signalled for a penalty against Angus MacDonald for holding on Harrison, a decision that infuriated the Torquay players.

And the controversy didn’t end there, as MacDonald was booked for the challenge and seconds later shown a second yellow for dissent, forcing the visitors to play out the remaining minutes with ten men.

Rovers pushed for the winner and Harrison almost found it when his at first harmless looking shot barely rolled past Seabright’s far post.

Despite five added minutes, Torquay held on for a point that saw Rovers go nine points behind leaders Barnet, though they remain second in the Conference table ahead of Sunday’s trip to Nuneaton.

Rovers: Puddy, Leadbitter, Trotman (McChrystal -48), Parkes, Lockyer, Sinclair, Mansell (C), Clarke (Gosling - 63), Monkhouse, Taylor Blissett (Harrison - 74).

Unused Substitutes: Spiess, Goldberg.

Torquay: Seabright, Cruise, Downes, Harding, Young (C), Bowman, Ajala, Chapell (Bristoe - 71), MacDonald, Ofori-Acheampong, Berry.

Unused Substitutes: Rice, Pearce, Yeoman, Richards.

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