Rovers out of GFA Cup on penalties

December 23, 2017

Rollin Menayese skippered Rovers in this GFA Senior cup tie against Bristol City at GFA HQ on Friday afternoon, a game that ended all square after ninety minutes after both sides scored in the second half.

City, though, won 4-2 on penalties to progress to the next round.

Rovers should have taken the lead with only two minutes on the clock when City’s central defender Aaron Parsons’ failure to control the ball let in Rhys Kavanagh.

However, the youngster, who scored six goals on his last appearance on this pitch, was thwarted by goalkeeper Alhaji Seesay who saved well with his legs.

With Rovers enjoying a great deal of early possession, they went close again when Kenan Dunwald and Ryan Broom both tested Seesay in quick succession.

However, City looked dangerous on the counter attack and Rory Holden tested Andre Alexis with a powerful drive which the keeper did well to save at his near post.

Rovers were forced to make an early change when Rhys Kavanagh limped off on 13 minutes to be replaced by Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist.

Almost immediately City broke away when a mistake by Jordan Williams let in Antoine Semenyo who broke away and was only denied a goal by a superb save by Alexis.

Michael Kelly was booked for a late challenge on Holden in a City attack, though goalscoring opportunities were few and far between for either side.

Semenyo fired a long range effort over the bar but that was the final chance of the half as the battle for supremacy was fought in midfield, and the half ended goalless.

Rovers squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead early in the second half as Ryan Broom’s free kick found Rollin Menayese in space.

The central defender, though, with the chance of a free header, missed the ball altogether and City’s defence cleared the danger.

Leigh-Gilchrist almost broke the deadlock on 57 minutes but his rasping free kick produced an outstanding save by Seesay who turned the ball behind for a corner.

Two minutes later, at the other end, City almost took the lead and while James Morton’s effort beat Alexis, Menayese was on hand to clear off the line.

City scored on 66 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Menayese brought down Semenyo in the box and Holden confidently beat Alexis with his spot kick.

Four minutes later the impressive Seesay saved his side again when stopped a close range effort from Cameron Ebbutt.

The equaliser arrived, deservedly in the 75th minute when Leigh-Gilchrist’s ball in from the left found Menayese and his left foot shot hit the post but Kenan Dunwald was on hand to slam the ball into the net from close range.

Dunwald was denied a second goal moments later but Seesay was off his line to smother the ball at his feet and denied him a shooting opportunity.

Ben Morgan almost put Rovers ahead with five minutes remaining, but his header from Broom’s corner just cleared the bar.

Broom then had an effort cleared off the line, while at the other end an amazing block by Menayese denied Ricardo Rees a last gasp winner for City.

With the scores all level, a penalty shootout was needed to determine the winners.

Tom Richards, James Morton, Kel Akpobire and Rory Holden scored their penalties, while Andre Alexis saved from Antoine Semenyo.

Michael Kelly and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist scored their penalties for Rovers but City goalkeeper Alhaji Seesay saved from Kenan Dunwald and Cameron Ebbutt as Rory Holden sealed the winning penalty for City.

Bristol City: Alhaji Seesay, Chris Turner-Williams, Jayden Ali, James Morton, Aaron Parsons, Jack Spark (Jack Turner, 46), Kelak Akpobire, Tom Richards, Antoine Semenyo, Zac Smith (Ricardo Rees, 73), Rory Holden

Substitutes: Lochlan Robertson, Cameron Allen

Bristol Rovers: Andre Alexis, Jordan Williams, Michael Kelly, Luke Russe, Rollin Menayese, Ben Morgan, Ryan Broom, Cameron Hargreaves, Kenan Dunwald, Rhys Kavanagh (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, 13), Cameron Ebbutt

Substitutes: Thom Jonkerman, Conor Jones, Lewis Ellington, Lucas Tomlinson
Yellow Card: Kelly (24)

Bristol City 1 – Holden (pen, 66)
Bristol Rovers 1 – Dunwald (75)
Bristol City won 4-2 on penalties
Referee: Rob Cockle

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