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Bristol Rovers 1 Harriers 1

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Date: 15-11-14gif Venue: Memorial Stadiumgif att: 5848gif away fans: 287
Harriers up the Gas to grab a draw

gif Report by Phil Lench
The Harriers came away from Bristol Rovers evening with a hard won draw following a lead given to us by Nathan Blissett mid way through the second half.  Sadly for the shivering Harriers fans on a cold and misty day the Rovers substitute Matty Taylor scored a late equaliser to give Rovers a share of the spoils.

It was a decent result for two hard working sides that played hard but fairly.  For the fans it was good to see two sides going out to win the game.

We started the game with two changes from the team that lost at home to Aldershot on Wednesday evening.  One was enforced with Jamie Grimes replacing the suspended Jared Hodgkiss at right back while Aman Verma came in for Ahmed Obeng who dropped to the bench.  On that bench was Tyrone Williams following his return from Romulus.  Warming up before the game with Danny Lewis was the former Wrexham keeper Joslain Mayebi who has just signed with the club on non contract terms.

The game itself was a scrappy affair from our point of view for the first ten minutes with our midfield struggling to keep hold of the ball on a perfect pitch.  As early as the third minute the home fans were calling for a penalty when the ball struck Josh Gowlings hand but the referee saw sense and turned down the fans appeals.  It didn't stop them calling for blood every time a Rovers player went down though.

Rovers had a couple of chances in the first half but they were few and far between for both sides.  Della-Verde came close for the home side with his shot that was tipped over the bar by Danny Lewis and then the Harriers keeper kept out an effort by Mark McChrystal at the far post.

Following that early possession by the hosts the game began to turn in Harriers favour as we began to take control of the midfield.  It still took almost until the end of the first period for the Harriers to get a clear chance of a goal when Nathan Blissett forced the Gas keeper, Steve Mildenhall, into a good save.  Bliss turned provider seconds before the half time whistle blew when he crossed the ball to the feet of Marvin Johnson who's shot beat the keeper but was headed off the line by Tom Lockyer.
  HT: 0 - 0
Rovers made two changes at the start of the second half, taking off Dave Martin and Jamie White for Ollie Clarke and Matty Taylor.

The Harriers fans would have been expecting us to crack on in this half following the positive end to the first but the changes made by the Rovers manager Steve Clarke seemed to have worked an struggled to make any impression on the game once more although we came within a whisker of opening the scoring, again through Blissett, when he headed the ball over from Johnsons cross.

That was the trigger for us to up the pressure and the benefits were reaped when a corner was taken by Craig Reid and headed home by Blissett.  We had our tails up now and forced another five corners following the goal but this time failed to take advantage of them.

Our last real chance came when a Kevin Nicholson free kick almost fooled Mildenhall but he got down well to save at the far post.

With the Rovers fans roaring their side on it was only a matter of time before the equaliser came.  The warning signs came when Matty Taylor hit the crossbar fired and hit the crossbar and then Lee Mansell fired one a bit higher over.  They finally got the goal their possession deserved a minute later.

Della-Verde managed to get to the bye line and, with the Harriers defenders backing off, he crossed the ball hard and low for Taylor to creep in behind Lewis and slide the ball home.

They should have won the game a minute from time when a Mansell free kick caught Lewis by surprise but he managed to get a fist to it and punch it away.

It was a good point picked up by the Harriers at a game and ground where we didn't really expect much from.  The way we responded to that shocking defeat to Aldershot was commendable and now that the air has been cleared surrounding the way the club is being run (Thursday evenings fans forum) it was good to see the players themselves working hard to get the fans on their side too.
  FT: 1 - 1

 Goal for Bristol Rovers: Taylor 83
 Goal for Harriers: Blissett 67


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Bristol Rovers  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Mildenhall     Lewis  
Della Verde     Grimes  
Brown     Nicholson  
Lockyer     Robinson  
McChrystal     Gowling  
Parkes     Dunkley  
Mansell     Byrne  
Sinclair     Johnson  
Brunt gif     Blissett gif  
Martin gif     Reid gif  
White gif     Verma  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Puddy     Green  
Taylor gif gif - 46     Obeng  
Harrison gif - 61     Gittings  
Clarke gif - 46     Williams  
Balanta     Hales gif - 88  

REFEREE:
Mr B Huxtable
Devon




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