harriers-online match report
Vs bristol rovers 
It's a gas, gas, gas

On the way out of the game at the end of this stunning victory a Brizzle fan said to me:
That was a load of crap that was.  Boths teams were bl**dy rubbish, the sooner they send crap like you back to non-league the better.

Sorry mate, said I.  It was just you that was crap.

Why is it that when we play really well, as we did today, and play their team off the park the other teams fan's just can't accept it and call us crap and infer that we have no right to be in the same league as them.

Lets face it, Rovers were bad today, really bad.

Did they make us look good?  No, they didn't.  We were good.  If we had been just that little bit sharper in front of goal then we would have been magnificent.

So, in front of the Rovers biggest crowd of the season, the teams kicked off.  No one told the Rovers fans' though.  You could have heard a mouse squeaking, they were so quiet.

After taking the first five minutes to settle down Rovers had a flurry of chances.  Paul Tait saw his effort go well wide and Stuart Brock was forced into his first save on 15 minutes to turn away a 15yd shot from Grazioli.

Dean Bennett After that we started to move up a gear and with Dean Bennett taking the mickey out of the Rovers defenders we knew it wouldn't take long for the goals to start coming.  We forced two early corners but both were cleared easily to safety by the Rovers defence.

Our defenders were on top form and the midfield was holding it's own.  It was just the same old story in front of goal, Bo was a yard behind the play and why, when he does get the ball, does he keep on turning his back to goal giving the Rovers defenders chance to dis-possess him.

As for poor old Drewe.  Now there's a man with very little self esteem at the moment.

No matter, after 27 minutes we took the lead.

Melligans pass into the area was for some unknown reason played back to him by Astafjevs and he was never going to turn this gift down.  His 15yd volley gave Howie no chance and a corner full of Harriers fans erupted.

We went close to extending the lead 5 minutes later but Deanos shot was just wide of the post.

It was one way traffic after that with the Harriers keeping the Rovers on the back foot with their closest effort coming from Wayne Carlisle who grazed the bar with a 20yd free-kick.

HT. 0 - 1

Rovers came out for the second half with a bit more purpose and determination but it was never going to last and with Grazioli forcing a save from Brock not much more was seen of them as a striking force until their goal.

Melligan, Bennett and Shilton were running things in midfield and we had a chance to add a second on 69 minutes when Broughton squared the ball to Melligan on the edge of the penalty area.  Unfortunately for Harriers his sliced shot was deflected wide.

Broughton, himself, had chances to score but how many times, with only one man to beat, did he stop to look for someone to pass the ball to rather than go for it himself?

On 61 minutes Tait went close for the home side when he met Robert Quinn's far post cross with a header that hit the wrong side of the net.

Rovers then made a double substitution that almost changed the game, but not quite.

They bought on Hogg and Austin for two defenders, Challis and Boxall, with the intention of taking the game to us.  Three minutes later it paid off when they pulled themselves level.

Lee Ayres A corner was taken by Astafjevs and that man Tait was there again to sneak past Lee Ayres and head the ball past Brockie.  The Rovers fans were there after all.  I thought they had all fallen asleep.

We were stunned.  It was totally against the run of play and we fans were gutted.

It only lasted a minute because, with the home fans still celebrating, we regained the lead.

Shilton crossed from the left but it took a deflection and Henriksen was there with a header from inside the 6yd box to wrap up the points.

That was it, we only had to hang on for a few more minutes and victory would be ours.  The ref added 5 minutes of extra time and it seemed like the longest 5 minutes ever.  It was made worse, when in the 5th minute Rovers gained a corner and with the Harriers fans unable to look it was cleared and the ref blew for full time.

This was a marvellous win for us, taking us up to 11th place in the table.  If only our forwards had been that little bit sharper we could have come away with a bigger winning margin.

And it only cost us 5 to get in.

Thanks Rovers

FT. 1 - 2

The Harriers-Online
Man of the Match is : 
Dean Bennett

In the first half he was taking Rovers to the cleaners.  Faded a bit in the second half when Shilton took on his role a bit more but his influence could still be seen by the gaps that were being opened up when he took his man on.

Best for them:  Paul Tait.

vote for your
man of the match now

Bristol Rovers  subs   cards      Harriers  subs   cards 
Howie     Brock  
Boxall     Hinton  
Challis   Stamps
Uddin     Ayres  
Barrett     Williams  
Carlisle     Bennett  
Quinn     Flynn  
Bryant     Melligan  
Tait     Broughton
Grazioli     Henriksen  
Astafjevs     Shilton  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Gilroy     Danby  
Richards     Joy  
Austin     Ducros  
Hogg     Foster  
McKeever     Doyle  

Mr M Ryan

links to some
bristol rovers websites:

official site
brfc return
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