Eye Of The Tiger
October 22, 2014
Bristol Rovers 2. v. 1. Gloucester City on 21st October 2014 at The Mem.
A three minute White-out from Harry and Jamie White despatched Gloucester City out of the Gloucestershire FA Senior Cup at the first hurdle.
An experimental Tigers side, with manager Tim Harris looking ahead to Saturday’s crunch FA Cup tie with Forest Green, saw three debutants, most notably England Schools centre-back Josh Poole in defence.
City had taken an early lead through Matt Groves’ devilish cross drifting in at the back post.
Harry White levelled six minutes after the break with a towering header, before Jamie stooped low at the near post to bury home as the Gas held on.
Gloucester were unlucky not to force at least a penalty shootout with veteran Mark McChrystal clearing Sam Avery’s effort off the line and Jody Nkunsa pounding a header off the woodwork.
15-year-old Ellis Harrison had brought the game to life and worked Jamie Stephens well from distance early, followed by Charlie Griffin caressing wide at the other end.
City’s two ex-Pirates Groves and Griffin combined but somehow the talismanic striker lifted the ball over from close range.
With neither side looking threatening, Groves, who works for Rovers’ Community Department, fired in a cross that deceived all and nestled in the far corner.
Tim Harris’ youthful back-line crumbled after the break with Harry White knocking home from a corner and Jamie White the first to react at the near post to put the Conference Premier outfit ahead.
Tom Webb and Groves tested ex-Cheltenham stopper Will Puddy before Nkunsa unluckily saw his bullet header rebound off the crossbar and away from the melee of bodies.
George Corp forced an athletic save from Stephens with a delicious chip and McChrystal saved a penalty shootout with an excellent block from Avery late to secure a quarter-final berth against Cinderford Town.
Bristol Rovers: W. Puddy, T. Lyttle, T. Fry, D. Greenslade, M. McChrystal, J. Malpas, A. Ward-Baptiste (G. Corp 60), D. Thomas, E. Harrison (H. White 46), J. White, R. Broom (L. Ellington 46)
Subs not used: A. Kilgour, K. Preston
Goals: H. White 51, J. White 54
Gloucester City: J. Stephens, S. Avery, B. Jones (C. Gregan 25), M. Green, J. Poole, A. Connolly (J. Nkunsa 65), C. Jones, T. Webb, C. Griffin (A. Mann 65), J. Parker, M. Groves
Subs not used: M. Richards, H. Rivers
Goals: Groves 40
(Adapted from the Gloucester City FC Official Site with thanks. Deliberate? error not altered.)