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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Bristol Rovers 2-4 Swindon Town

Reds Advance In Checkatrade Trophy

8 November 2017

Swindon Town booked their place in the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy this evening after beating Bristol Rovers 4-2 at The Memorial Stadium.

John Goddard opened the scoring from the penalty spot and although Ryan Sweeney made it honours even, the visitors were able to take in a deserved lead at the break thanks to Paul Mullin's close-range effort.

Kellan Gordon added a third in the second-half and Kaiyne Woolery wrapped up the win after Liam Sercombe had given Rovers a glimmer of hope. 

Town decided to make several changes with Kyle Knoyle, Chris Robertson, Ellis Iandolo, John Goddard, Kellan Gordon, Kaiyne Woolery and Keshi Anderson all coming into the fold.

The Reds, lining up in a 4-3-3 formation, knew that a win would be enough to secure their place in the knockout round of the competition with Rovers in the same boat. 

It was the hosts who fashioned the first chance of the contest though as Marc Bola tested Reice Charles-Cook early on with a drive. 

Town soon went close though and they were unfortunate not to take the lead with John Goddard rattling the crossbar from 30-yards out. 

However, the attacker succeeded with his second attempt moments later as he was able to slot home from the penalty spot following a foul on Paul Mullin inside the area.

Rovers responded well though and they nearly grabbed an instant equaliser with Joe Partington bending an effort inches wide from distance. 

There was a lively tempo to proceedings and Town were doing most of the early running with Timi Elsnik blasting wide. 

But Rovers were able to restore parity just shy of the half-hour mark with Ryan Sweeney heading home at the far post from Sercombe's deep free-kick. 

Keshi Anderson could only drill wide after Mullin was denied by Adam Smith, although the offside flag was already up, while Sercombe was off-target with a free-kick at the other end as both sides continued to create chances in an end-to-end game. 

And there was to be one more goal before the break with the visitors claiming it thanks to Mullin, who was in the right place at the right time to tuck home the rebound after Kaiyne Woolery saw his drive parried by Smith.

Town opted to introduce a pair of fresh legs for the start of the second-half with Matt Preston replacing Olly Lancashire at the heart of the defence. 

Bristol Rovers had an opportunity to haul themselves level once more with 50-minutes played, but Dom Telford was only able to lash wide after Ellis Harrison's attempted shot was deflected into his path. 

Mullin was then picked out by Kellan Gordon but he could only send a header straight at Smith, before Gordon could only blaze high and wide after being set free by Anderson. 

But the winger atoned for that miss minutes later as once again he hurt the home defence with his pace, before tucking home the rebound after seeing his initial shot come back off the post. 

Town then opted to make two changes in quick succession as James Dunne and Donal McDermott replaced Elsnik and Anderson respectively. 

McDermott was soon forced off though after injuring himself in a challenge, and Rovers made their extra man count with Sercombe able to flick home from Tom Nichols' chipped cross into the box. 

Nichols then sent a drive wide as the hosts looked to draw level, but Town had the last laugh as Woolery broke from a corner inside his own half before surging towards goal and slotting home to secure Swindon's progress in the competition. 

TEAMS AND STATS: 

SCORERS - John Goddard (17), Ryan Sweeney (26), Paul Mullin (37), Kellan Gordon (58), Liam Sercombe (72), Kaiyne Woolery (88). 

BRISTOL ROVERS (4-3-3) - Smith; Partington, Sweeney, Burn (Danny Leadbitter 74), Bola; Sercombe, Lines, O Clarke; Harrison, Telford (Rory Gaffney 56), Moore (Tom Nichols 56). 

SUBS - Slocombe, Menayese, Brown, Broom.

SWINDON TOWN (4-3-3) - Charles-Cook; Knoyle, Lancashire (C) (Matt Preston 45), Robertson, Iandolo; Elsnik (James Dunne 56), Goddard, Gordon; Woolery, Anderson (Donal McDermott 62), Mullin. 

SUBS - Henry, Romanski, Linganzi, H Smith. 

Referee - Andre Marriner

Attendance - 1,657 (197 Town Fans). 


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