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Match Reports

Match Report : 21/11/2015

21 November 2015

Match Reports

Match Report : 21/11/2015

21 November 2015

Attendance: 2,612 (836)

Rovers suffered only their second away defeat of the campaign losing 2-1 at Crawley Town.

Rhys Murphy put the hosts two goals to the good in two first half minutes before Matty Taylor pulled a goal back from the penalty spot deep into the second half.

Darrell Clarke named an unchanged side for the game with Crawley Town following last weekend's win over Carlisle as Wales Under-21 Internationals Ellis Harrison and Tom Lockyer take their place among the substitutes.

The home side started positively using ex-Rovers man Matt Harrold as the main focal point for their attacks and it was Harrold who had the best chance in the opening five minutes as Jimmy Smith's cross from deep was met by Harrold who headed over the crossbar.

However it was the home side that went a goal to the good moments later as the ball fell to Rhys Murphy in the penalty area and the Reds man made no mistake poking the ball past Lee Nicholls.

Less that 60 seconds after the restart Murphy hit the back of the net again, this time from long range catching out Nicholls to give Rovers a mountain to climb if they were to get anything out of the game.

Rovers could have pulled a goal back with just under 20 minutes on the clock as Billy Bodin's corner from the right hand side flashed across the six-yard box where Tom Parkes directed the ball goalwards only to see his effort cleared off the line by Mitch Hancox.

Darrell Clarke's men tried hard to battle back into the game repeatedly putting dangerous balls into the penalty area and had shots through Billy Bodin, Chris Lines and Matty Taylor all blocked before a Billy Bodin corner was blocked on the line by Darryl Flahavan before Sonny Bradley hacked the ball to safety.

The Rovers boss opted to freshen things up for the second half replacing Mark McChrystal and Cristian Montano with Tom Lockyer and Ellis Harrison as his side tried to battle back from the two goal deficit.

Lockyer and Harrison's introduction seemingly saw Rovers switch their shape to a 3-5-2 in the second half and substitute Harrison had a good chance to pull a goal back minutes after coming on as he met Lee Brown's cross and directed it goalwards only to see Darryl Flahavan get down low to prevent the goal.

Billy Bodin's trickery was an issue for Crawley all day and just past the hour mark he cut inside from the Rovers right, found space to take a shot which struck the base of the post before luckily falling into the arms of a relieved Darryl Flahavan.

Crawley seemed happy to let Rovers attack them in the second half but Rovers failed to get a clean shot off as shots from Ellis Harrison, Matty Taylor and Jermaine Easter were all blocked in the penalty area.

Rovers continued to push in the closing stages but Crawley's back line was proving heroic as Billy Bodin slipped in Jermaine Easter in the penalty. Easter played the unselfish pass across the six-yard area where initially Matty Taylor and then Ellis Harrison saw their efforts blocked.

Darrell Clarke's side were handed a lifeline with just over two minutes of normal time remaining as Billy Bodin was bundled to the ground in the penalty area giving referee Trevor Kettle no option but to point to the spot. Matty Taylor stepped up confidently and sent Flahavan the wrong way and pulling a goal back for Rovers.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of Stevenage to the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night before Darrell Clarke's men face the short trip south to take on Exeter City.

Crawley: Flahavan; Walton, Bradley (C), Edwards (Ashton - 90), Smith, Young, Harrold (Rooney - 71), Deacon, Hancox, Yorwerth, Murphy (Barnard - 85).

Unused Substitutes: Preston (GK), Scales, Fenelon, Jenkins.

Rovers: Nicholls; J. Clarke (Gosling - 76), McChrystal (C) (Lockyer - 46), Parkes, Brown; Bodin, Sinclair, Lines, Montano (Harrison - 46); Taylor, Easter.

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

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