Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Match Report : 17/01/2016

17 January 2016

Attendance: 9,492 (2,359)

Rovers snatched all three points against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.

Ellis Harrison's 88th minute penalty secured all the points for Rovers after Matty Taylor cancelled out Kemar Roofe's second half opener.

Darrell Clarke made two changes to the side that lost at Barnet last weekend handing Rory Gaffney his first start since signing permanently for the club in the week as well as Chris Lines who came in at the expense of Ollie Clarke.

It was all Oxford in the opening 10 minutes but the home side failed to test Steve Mildenhall in the Rovers goal. Initially Kemar Roofe's cross was over the top of everyone in the penalty area before Alex Macdonald's pass to Roofe was overhit out for a goal kick.

Rovers grew into the game and after some superb closing down were presented with two opportunities from corners. The first of which was headed into the hands of Sam Slocombe by Tom Lockyer before Matty Taylor flicked the ball on at the near post before Tom Parkes put the ball over the crossbar.

Both sides were playing the ball well along the floor without really looking dangerous in the first half as John Lundstram and Chris Lines both had efforts from distance fail to hit the target before a Matty Taylor header was hacked clear by the Oxford rearguard.

It wasn't long into the second half before the home side took the lead. Following a corner the ball was cleared to John Lunstram who shot from the edge of the area before falling to Kemar Roofe in the penalty area and the U's top goal scorer stabbed the ball past Mildenhall.

However it didn't take long for Rovers to pull level, a brilliant counter attacking move was worked out to Daniel Leadbitter on the right hand side before delivering a fantastic pacey ball into the penalty area where Matty Taylor was on hand to head the ball past Sam Slocombe.

The game opened up significantly after Taylor's equaliser with both sides creating chances. First Alex Macdonald curled an effort just wide of the post before Rory Gaffney dragged a good opportunity wide of Slocombe's left hand post.

Rovers were presented with a fantastic opportunity with just under 20 minutes remaining as Rory Gaffney dispossessed U's skipper Jake Wright before advancing onto goal. Rovers latest addition opted for the unselfish approach and picked out Matty Taylor who failed to hit the target with only the keeper to beat.

Both managers tried to change things with just over 10 minutes to go as Jermaine Easter came on replacing Matty Taylor for Rovers as well as Oxford making a double substitution of their own bringing on forwards Pat Hoben and Danny Hylton.

Oxford looked dangerous attacking towards the home fans as John Lundstram tried his luck again from range with this shot looking destined for the top corner only to see his effort clawed away from goal with an unbelievable reaction save from Steve Mildenhall.

At the other end of the field Rovers were handed a golden opportunity to secure all three points as Jermaine Easter was fouled by Sam Slocombe in the penalty area with referee Nicholas Kinseley pointing to the spot. Having only been on the field for a matter of minutes, Ellis Harrison stepped up and lashed the penalty into the back of the net.

Up next for Rovers is the visit of table topping Plymouth Argyle to the Memorial Stadium before Darrell Clarke's men travel to Accrington Stanley.

Oxford: Slocombe, Baldock, Skarz, Roofe, Mullins, Wright (C), Sercombe, MacDonald (Hylton - 78), Lundstram, Taylor (O'Dowda - 33), Maguire (Hoben - 78).

Unused Substitutes: Büchel(GK), Ruffels, Dunkley, Evans.

Rovers: Mildenhall; Leadbitter, J. Clarke, Lockyer, Parkes, Brown, Mansell (C) (O. Clarke - 68), Lines, Sinclair; Taylor (Easter - 76), Gaffney (Harrison - 85).

Unused Substitutes: Preston (GK), McChrystal, Montano, Bodin.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account