November 2, 2014
AFC Telford United 0. v. 1. Bristol Rovers
AFC Telford United suffered an unpleasant case of deja vu as for the second time this season an Ollie Clarke goal sent them to a 1-0 defeat against Bristol Rovers.
The Bucks had been sunk by a second half Clarke effort when the sides met at the Memorial Stadium back in August.
And he popped up again soon after the interval to decide another close battle this afternoon at the New Bucks Head.
Neither team created much in a first half which was high on commitment and energy, but low on clear-cut chances.
Clarke and Lee Mansell both missed the target from inviting positions for the visitors.
And Ellis Harrison should also have done better with a tame effort after the Bucks defence allowed a goal kick to bounce on the edge of their box but failed to beat Freddy Hall.
Telford’s best chances in the first 45 came from defender Andy Parry, who headed just over from an Adam Farrell long throw and then hammered wide from 20 yards following some penalty box pinball.
Both sides were forced into reshuffles before the break after picking up injuries to Telford midfielder Kristian Platt and Rovers defender Neil Trotman respectively.
Platt was replaced by striker Tony Gray, with Farrell dropping into midfield, after apparently pulling a hamstring while Trotman was swapped for Mark McChrystal because of an ankle problem.
The injuries continued after the break as one of the linesmen had to be replaced inside six minutes having picked up a leg injury.
The latter occurred just a minute after Clarke had opened the scoring for the visitors with a smart finish from the edge of the box.
Telford were also denied a free-kick when Rovers goalkeeper Will Puddy blatantly handled a back pass.
The Bucks looked to be fading as the game entered the last but they staged a dramatic late rally which almost salvaged a point.
Andy Monkhouse was sent off for the visitors with three minutes of normal time remaining for leading with the elbow in a challenge with Ryan Higgins.
And Mark McChrystal and Matty Taylor both went into the book in quick succession for desperate tackles at the Bucks poured forward.
In stoppage time Sean Cooke drilled a free-kick just wide from 20-yards before volleying over from Farrell’s long throw with the last kick of the game, but Rovers held on.
(Adapted from the Shropshire Star with many thanks.)