Having A Gas
March 17, 2016
Bristol Rovers supporters may well recall the chant of the Rams fans when the Duke was on fire.
“You Only Have One Song”.
Back in January 2002 Nathan Ellington scored his memorable FA Cup hat-trick for Bristol Rovers.
Ellington Rips Rams Apart was one of the headlines the following day.
It is this match that HAVING A GAS focuses upon on Thursday 17th March 2016.
Derby County 1 v 3 Bristol Rovers
Derby County were unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by a Nathan Ellington-inspired Bristol Rovers.
Ellington’s hat-trick capped a stunning display as the Third Division side, currently in 87th place out of 92 league clubs, deservedly upstaged their Premiership opponents.
Fabrizio Ravanelli managed a late strike for Derby, but it provided no consolation for the shell-shocked home fans.
Guile, spirit, and clinical finishing booked Rovers’ place in the next round while Derby’s limp performance offered little resistance.
Rovers were on the way as early as the 14th minute when Ellington out-paced the Derby defence to latch on to goalkeeper Scott Howie’s huge clearance.
Producing a mighty leap, the striker then looped his header over the advancing Mart Poom into an empty net.
Poor handling from Poom almost presented Ellington with another chance.
Left scrambling after dropping a cross, the Estonian narrowly managed to smother the ball at the forward’s feet.
Rovers’ game plan was clear from the start – saturate the midfield, deny Derby space and time on the ball and break quickly on the counter-attack.
Tactically, the visitors were playing a perfect match, as Derby demonstrated a lack of creativity and cohesion.
Ravanelli looked laboured and was the subject of abuse from the home fans clearly upset at the Italian’s ouput, which amounted to a hat-trick of wasted free-kicks in the first half.
Displaying far more enthusiasm, but equally ineffective, Benito Carbone was creating little from plentiful possession.
By contrast, Ellington continued his majestic display and the Derby defence struggled to cope with his movement and tenacity.
Indeed, it was his determination that led to his and Rovers’ second goal.
After beating Youl Mawene and Francois Grenet, Ellington hit a low shot that took a deflection and squeezed past Poom.
Stunned into action after the break, Derby showed a greater appetite for the match and pushed forward in numbers.
Boosted by a couple of close efforts just before the interval, the Rams began to look more threatening.
But they remained frail at the back and still looked susceptible to a swift counter-attack.
Inevitably, when Derby were exposed for a third time, it was Ellington who was on hand to add further embarrassment.
A fine strike from the edge of the area sealed Derby’s fate and completed Ellington’s hat-trick.
Ravanelli made the scoreline a little more respectable for Derby late on.
But Derby were fortunate not to concede a fourth when Mark Walters drilled a low shot against the post.
It would not have flattered Rovers had it gone in.
The visitors can take some time to celebrate a famous victory – but struggling Derby are now left to concentrate on a desperate battle against relegation.
Derby: Poom, Grenet, Mawene (Morris 52), Carbonari, Higginbotham, Zavagno, Bolder, Carbone, Boertien, Christie, Ravanelli.
Subs not used: Grant, Elliott, Burton, Murray.
Goals: Ravanelli 88.
Bristol Rovers: Howie, Wilson, Foran, Smith, Challis, Gall (Walters 71), Hogg, Plummer, Hillier, Ellington, Ommel.
Subs not used: Clarke, Jones, Cameron, Bubb.
Booked: Challis, Ommel, Plummer.
Goals: Ellington 14, 40, 62.
Referee: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).