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Club News


26 September 2015

Club News


26 September 2015

Bristol Rovers 1-2 Portsmouth

Attendance: 8,555 (1,188)

Portsmouth moved to the top of League Two after a 1-2 win against Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Jayden Stockley's second half goal secured all three points for Pompey after Jermaine Easter canceled out Gareth Evans opener.

Darrell Clarke made two changes to the side that snatched a point at Home Park last weekend recalling wing back Daniel Leadbitter who has recovered from his hamstring injury suffered at the Mem against Barnet and last weekend's goal scorer Ellis Harrison started at the expense of Matty Taylor who dropped to the substitutes bench.

Rovers started brightly in the game applying heavy pressure to the Pompey backline before Chris Lines latched onto a slip in the centre circle from Adam Barton and powered through onto goal before electing to pass rather than shoot but his pass to Easter was just behind the former Welsh International.

The game seemed to spark into life with 15 minutes gone as Ellis Harrison blasted a volley over the bar at one end before Lee Nicholls denied Gareth Evanswith a good save at the other moments later.

Pompey should have taken the lead with almost 20 minutes played as Kyle Bennett was able to pick out Conor Chaplin at the far post who just had to nod the ball past Nicholls to give his side the lead but missed the goal all together when it seemed easier to score.

The visitors kept on coming and have a series of chances to test Nicholls the best of which came from an Enda Stevens cross which was met by the head of Jayden Stockley who headed narrowly over.

Just before the half hour mark Portsmouth took the lead. Another ball into the penalty area from Kyle Bennett caused trouble for the Rovers defence and Gareth Evans arrived to glace a header past Nicholls.

Rovers tried to hit back instantly as a series of efforts were blocked by a combination of the Pompey back line and Aaron McCarey. First the keeper held onto a dangerous Lee Brown cross before a succession of shots were blocked by Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke before McCarey denied Jermaine Easter with the best chance of the lot.

Portsmouth could have doubled their lead on the stroke of half time as they formed a fantastic counter attack from a Rovers free kick as Conor Chaplin raced clear of the Rovers back line before clipping a ball into the penalty area which Gareth Evans fired into the arms of Nicholls.

Following a double substitution at half time as well as a change of shape, Rovers started the second half a lot better than they ended the first.

Both Billy Bodin and Jake Gosling came on as half time substitutions replace James and Ollie Clarke respectively and the change in shape seemed to suit Rovers.

With less than five minutes of the second half played Daniel Leadbitter's cross from the right hand side was met by Jermaine Easter whose shot cannoned off the underside of the crossbar, hit Aaron McCarey and trickled into the back of the net.

Just before the hour mark Rovers could have taken the lead for the first time in the game as Jermaine Easter's deflected shot crashed against the post after a defensive mix-up between the Pompey defenders.

Conor Chaplin's pace was causing Tom Parkes issues in the second half and the Pompey front man had his penalty claim turned down by referee Jeremy Simpson after a collision with Tom Parkes that resulted in Chaplin receiving a yellow card for diving.

However, Portsmouth took the lead again with just over 20 minutes of play remaining at the Memorial Stadium as a fantastic passage of play from Portsmouth created space on the right hand side as Ben Davies' cross was met by Jayden Stockley who got to the ball just before Nicholls to give Pompey the lead for the second time in the game.

Darrell Clarke's men tried to pull things level as a succession of balls into the Portsmouth penalty area were headed clear by a combination of Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke.

The result sent Portsmouth to the top of the SkyBet League Two table where as Rovers currently sit in 17th place.

Up next for Rovers is two long away trips in the space of seven days as they travel to Hartlepool United on Tuesday night (29th September) before making another long trip north to take on Morecambe on Saturday (3rd October).

Rovers: Nicholls; Leadbitter, J. Clarke (Gosling - 45), Lockyer, Parkes, Brown; Sinclair, Lines (C), O. Clarke (Bodin - 45); Easter (Taylor - 72), Harrison.

Unused Substitutes: Mildenhall (GK), McChrystal, Mansell, Montano.

Portsmouth: McCarey; Davies (c), Clarke, Burgess, Stevens; Hollands, Barton; Evans, Chaplin (Roberts - 66), Bennett (Naismith - 74); Stockley (Tubbs - 79).

Unused Substitutes: Bass (GK), Webster, May.

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