Rovers ease to 2-0 victory in Holland
July 26, 2018
Clarke opened the scoring late in the first half with a close-range finish, whilst Bennett rounded off the scoring late in the second half with a composed finish inside the box.
Manager Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that played at Forest Green Rovers last Saturday, with Daniel Leadbitter, Luke Russe, Mo Baghdadi and Sam Slocombe dropping out of the starting XI to accommodate Adam Smith, Tom Lockyer, Liam Sercombe and Ed Upson.
The first significant chance of the game fell to FC Eindhoven five minutes in, with Karim Essikal testing Slocombe down to his left with a decent curling effort from 25 yards; Jay Idzes picked up the scraps and almost found an unmarked teammate in the six-yard box.
Shortly after Rovers had a great opportunity themselves, with Alex Rodman sliding Bennett in down the right with a useful ball before getting himself into the box but couldn’t quite get his toe to the ball in what surely would’ve been a goal otherwise.
Bernard Mensah was leading the line and on the half-hour mark was inches away from getting through on goal, being slipped in behind with a cute pass but sadly the linesman raised his flag; it looked tight.
However minutes later Rovers did manage to take the lead, with Bennett directing a superb header goalwards off Upson’s deep cross but he was denied by a strong save but O.Clarke was on hand to tap home the rebound.
After the goal Rovers continued to look assured in possession, with the goalscorer spraying a nice ball out left to Bernard Mensah, the forward drove towards the box and had good options in Sercombe and Bennett but his cross was blocked.
At the break, Darrell Clarke made five changes, introducing Smith, Tony Craig, Leadbitter, Sam Matthews and Tom Nichols in place of Slocombe, Tom Broadbent, Alex Rodman, Sercombe and Tom Nichols.
The first 20 minutes of the second half contained a limited amount of action, with Rovers having to deal with a number of crosses into their box; more often than not Lockyer was there to head away.
James Clarke was also displaying some strong defending, particularly with an assertive block on Elton Kabangu who had done well to dribble into the box from the left and get a shot away.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Luke Russe came on for Michael Kelly.
Matthews had looked bright since his arrival to the game, particularly when he picked up the ball and drove beyond the midfield and towards the defence, being brought down to stop his raid on the Dutch side’s backline.
With little less than five minutes left on the clock, Rovers had their second when Bennett ghosted into the box and past the defence down the right unnoticed, set himself and rolled the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the net to round off the game.
Rovers XI: Sam Slocombe (GK) (Adam Smith, 45), James Clarke, Tom Lockyer (c), Tom Broadbent (Tony Craig, 45), Michael Kelly (Luke Russe, 71), Alex Rodman (Daniel Leadbitter, 45), Ollie Clarke, Liam Sercombe (Sam Matthews, 45), Ed Upson, Kyle Bennett, Bernard Mensah (Tom Nichols, 45).
Unused Subs: Alfie Kilgour.