Friendlies 2017-18

Jan 1, 1970 | News, Uncategorized

Friendlies 2017/18

By Keith Brookman

08/07/2017 Yate Town (A) 0-0 Attendance 910, Referee unknown

08/07/2017 Melksham Town (A) 6-1 Attendance unknown, Referee Andrew Evans

11/07/2017 Weston super Mare (A) 3-0 Referee Kevin Johnson

12/07/2017 Mangotsfield United (A) 2-1 Attendance 1,050, Referee Graham Pearce

15/07/2017 Salisbury (A) 2-0 Attendance 570, Referee Matthew Rushton

15/07/2017 Gloucester City (A) 1-1 Attendance 570, Referee Andy Sheppard

18/07/2017 Hull City (in Portugal) 1-2 Attendance and referee unknown

18/07/2017 Taunton Town (A) 2-2 Referee James Jarad

20/07/2017 Swindon Town (in Portugal) 0-0 Behind Closed Doors, no official referee

22/07/2017 Forest Green Rovers (A) 0-2 Attendance 1,586, Referee Sam Allison

25/07/2017 Yeovil Town (A) 3-1 Attendance 1,351, Referee Kevin Johnson

26/07/17 Bath City (A) 0-1 Referee Mr R Hulme

26/07/2017 West Bromwich Albion (H) 2-1 Attendance 3,364, Referee Lee Probert

31/07/2017 Corinthian Casuals (A) 1-3 Referee Charles Breakspear

Every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this article is correct. Not all lineups are included, so if you are able to assist with filling in any gaps, or know of games not shown, please do get in touch.

Pre-season began with two fixtures on July 8th, one against Melksham Town at their Oaklands Stadiium and one against Yate Town at Lodge Road.

A comprehensive 6-1 victory was achieved at Melksham, thanks to a Rory Gaffney hat trick and further goals from Ellis Harrison , Billy Bodin and Liam Sercombe, while Lee Davidson replied for the home side.

There were no goals at Yate where a crowd of 910 saw a goalless affair played out by the home side and a young Rovers XI.

At the Oakfields Stadium, home of Melksham, Harrison opened the scoring after only six minutes when he capitalized on a dreadful mistake by keeper Rob Brown, whose failure to clear a back pass allowed the striker to roll the ball into an empty net.

Bodin doubled the lead with five minutes of the half remaining when he collected a short free kick from Ryan Broom and rifled a left foot shot past Brown and high into the roof of the net.

Melksham halved the deficit after 62 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Luke Russe was adjudged to have fouled Gary Higdon and Davidson sent keeper Sam Slocombe the wrong way with the resulting spot kick.

Rovers restored their two goal advantage on 74 minutes when Gaffney’s angled drive beat Brown at his near post. Serombe added goal number four with five minutes remaining when he shot past Brown after being played in by Gaffney.

A minute later Gaffney scored his second of the afternoon when he took a pass from Sercombe and beat Brown with a low shot. The striker completed his hat trick when he hit a low shot, from the right, past the keeper and into the net.

Triallists Lewis Hall and Brandon Fox were both given game time in this match. Hall was an Australian who had never played in the UK while Fox was a former Leicester City player who had been in their side that reached the semi finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2014/15.

Tom Broadbent and Michael Kelly were also on trial at the time. Central defender Broadbent had previously served in the Army and also played non league football for Hayes & Yeading the previous season.

Kelly was another former Leicester City player and both he and Broadbent went on to earn themselves contracts with Rovers.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Brown, Lewis Hall, Johnny Burn, Tom Broadbent, Stuart Sinclair, Ollie Clarke, Ellis Harrison, Billy Bodin, Ryan Broom.

Substitutes (all introduced on 46 minutes): Luke Russe, Michael Kelly, Liam Sercombe, Chris Lines, Brandon Fox, Byron Moore, Rory Gaffney

Melksham Town: Rob Brown, Luke Ballinger, Lee Davidson, Jake Hiscocks, Alex Grimshaw, Jake Stradling, Mike Perrott, Ben Pring, Dan Demkiv, Ben Thompson.

Substitutes (all used): Gary Higdon, Dan Kovacs, Sayeed Ibrahim, Olly Webb, Sean benison, Nathan Rose, George Bendall, Jake Sainsbury, Zak Hillier, Lewis Porter.

Over at Yate, Chris Hargreaves named nine triallists in his starting XI and one of them, Mo Baghdadi, came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when his powerful drive struck the underside of the bar.

Hargreaves made a raft of changes in the second half, all to no avail as neither side could make the all important breakthrough.

Bristol Rovers: Alexis Junior, Harry Goode, Mo Baghdadi, Kane Fitzgerald, Rollin Menayese, Ben Morgan, Brandon Scott, Cameron Hargreaves, Cameron Ebbutt, Lewis Ellington, James Carvell.

Substitutes (all used): Thom Jonkerman, James Spruce, Ghassan Hassan, Connor Jones, Casey Reid, Carlo Santano, Sam Phillips, Toby Rennie, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, Ryan Penny, Liam Edwards

Yate Town: Harvey Rivers, Mayson Evans, Mike Baker, Brad Abraham, Trey Anderson, Charlie Hitching, Jack Camm, Eugene Keary, Ben Brooks, Luke Bryan, Tom Fry.

Substitutes (all used): Mitch Tippens, Joe Swift, Brad Norris, Tyrone Fudkai, Dan Lammiman, George Box, Jack Ball, Ciaran Greening, Kyle Thomas.

Anderson, Camm and Lammiman had all been on Rovers books though had never made a first team appearance.

Three days later Rovers took on Weston super Mare at the Woodspring Stadium and ran out 3-0 winners with Gaffney, Harrison and Broom on target for Darrell Clarke’s side.

Gaffney opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he took a pass from Bodin before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Luke Purnell.

Harrison struck 20 minutes into the second half when he headed past Purnell and the striker then provided the chance for Broom to backheel the ball into the net with 75 minutes on the clock.

Former Rovers defender Danny Greenslade was included in the Weston starting XI.

Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter (Johnny Burn, 46), James Clarke, Tom Broadbent (Luke Russe, 60), Lee Brown (Rollin Menayese, 55), Ollie Clarke (Michael Kelly, 55), Stuart Sinclair (Cameron

Hargreaves, 55), Liam Sercombe (Lewis Hall, 46), Byron Moore (Ryan Broom, 46), Billy Bodin (Brandon Fox, 55), Rory Gaffney (Ellis Harrison, 46).

Weston super Mare: Luke Purnell, Jason Pope, Danny Greenslade, Jacob Cane, Jamie Laird, Jake Lee, Jarred Welch, Jake Mawford, Jake Reid, Dale Grubb, Gethyn Hill.

Weston substitutes and/or substitutions not known.

One day later, on July 12th, Rovers made the short journey to Cossham Street where they were 2-1 winners against Mangotsfield United.

A crowd of 1,050 saw Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Lewis Ellington score for Rovers and George Lloyd for the home side.

A young Rovers side, made up of Academy players and triallists scored twice in quick succession. Leigh-Gilchrist lashed a shot past Max Varnem Smith in the 23rd minute after being played in by Sam Phillips and shortly afterwards Ellington scored following a cross from Kelly.

The home side replied with half an hour on the clock when Lloyd scored from close range following Jamie Fisher’s cross.

Former Rovers keeper Steve Phillips started the game for Mangotsfield.

Bristol Rovers: Max Varnum-Smith, Harry Goode, Rollin Menayese, Ben Morgan, Michael Kelly, Sam Phillips, Connor Jones, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, James Carvel, Cameron Ebbutt, Lewis Ellington.

Substitutes (all used): Luke O’Reilly, Toby Rennie, Alex Stephenson, Tom Rose, Brandon Scott, Luke Russe, Cameron Hargreaves, Dylan Corkery, Dylan McGlade

Mangotsfield United: Steve Phillips (Ben Chick, 76), Tom Warren, Ed Weeks, Kyle Knott (Tom Hoskins, 59), Josh Jones, Greg Andrews (Connolly Jarrett, 46), James Fisher, Jake Elliott, Liam Monelle, George Lloyd, Sam Jenkins (Darren Edwards, 69).

Substitutes (not used): Darrell Sinclair, Mamadou Bodji

Rovers took sides to meet Salisbury and Gloucester City on July 15th and while goals from triallist Cameron Ebbutt and Gaffney saw them win 2-0 against Salisbury they were held to a 1-1 draw by Gloucester where Harrison scored a late equaliser after former Rovers player Eliot Richards had put the home side ahead.

Darrell Clarke was in charge of the side that faced his former club, Salisbury, and saw Ebbutt score after only four minutes when he headed past keeper Nathan Ball from a Lee Brown cross.

Gaffney doubled the lead, and sealed the win, on 62 minutes when he latched on to Daniel Leadbitter’s through ball and rounded Ball before knocking the ball into the net for his fifth pre-season goal.

Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter, Lee Brown (Ghassan Hassan), Tom Lockyer, Rollin Menayese (Ben Morgan, 72), Lewis Hall (Connor Jones, 56), Stuart Sinclair, Ollie Clarke, Rory Gaffney, Billy Bodin, Cameron Ebbutt (Lewis Ellington, 46).

Substitute: Liam Armstrong

Salisbury FC: Nathan Ball, George Colson (Flavio Tavares, 63), Brandon Mundy, Tom Whelan (Kane O’Keefe, 67), Elliot Wheeler (Adam Flint, 67), Jake Wannell, Lewis Benson (Claudio Herbert, 63), Sam Roberts, Marvin Brooks (Lawrence Larbi, 69), Mark Francis (Kailan Gould, 60), Danny Young (Stuart Green, 11).

Substitute: Vance Bola

Marcus Stewart was in charge of the side that travelled to face Gloucester City at Thornhill Park and he included recent signing Marc Bola in his starting lineup.

Eliot Richards opened the scoring for the home side with ten minutes on the clock when he comfortably beat Sam Slocombe after reaching a long ball out of defence.

It wasn’t until the final minute of the game that Rovers were able to get back on level terms when Ellis Harrison was played in by triallist Dylan McGlade and fired a shot past goalkeeper Harris.

As well as goalscorer Richards, another former Rovers player, Darren Mullings, was included in the Gloucester side.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, James Clarke, Johnny Burn, Marc Bola (Luke Russe, 46), Tom Broadbent, Chris Lines (Dylan McGlade, 60), Cameron Hargreaves (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, 60), Liam Sercombe, Ryan Broom, Ellis Harrison, Byron Moore.

Substitute: Toby Rennie

Gloucester City: Alex Harris, Thomas, Hall, Parselle, Avery, Darren Mullings, Karnell Williams, Eliot Richards, Zak Kotwica, Parker, Chambers.

Substitutes (all used): Mbunga, Tunnicliff, Hamilton, Webb, King, Moore, Forsyth, Kelly, Morford

Christian names of most of the Gloucester players unknown.

Following those games Rovers headed off to a training camp in Portugal where they took on Hull City, in Albufeira, on July 18th.

Gaffney was again on target for Rovers, but Hull scored through Abel Hernandez and Jarrod Bowen.

After a goalless first half, and a number of half time substitutions, Gaffney intercepted a poor back pass and took the ball round keeper Allen McGregor and rolled the ball into an empty net.

The Tigers equalised after 67 minutes when Abel Hernandez broke down the left before firing a low shot past Sam Slocombe. The winning goal arrived three minutes from time when Bowen curled a shot past the Rovers keeper.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent, Marc Bola, Stuart Sinclair, Liam Sercombe, Ollie Clarke, Ellis Harrison, Billy Bodin, Byron Moore.

Half time substitutes: Ryan Broom, Rory Gaffney, Tom Nichols, Chris Lines, James Clarke, Johnny Burn, Rollin Menayese while Luke Russe and Cameron Hargreaves were sent on in the 60th minute.

Hull City: Allen McGregor, Abel Hernandez, Grosiski, Clucas, Evandron (Weir, 12), Jarrod Bowen, Michael Dawson, Hendriksen, Matt Clark, Aina, Lenahan.

Substitutes: McLaughlin, Olley, Luer, Daniel Batty, Clackstone

Hull substitutions and most Christian names unknown

That same evening, back in England, a young Rovers side drew 2-2 at Taunton and the sides lined up as follows.

Bristol Rovers: Liam Armstrong, Ryan King-Elliott, Lewis Ison, Conor Jones, Ben Morgan, Kyle McDowell, Kane Fitzgerald, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, Samuel Ford (Jordan Garden (46), Cameron Ebbutt, Lewis Ellington.

Substitutes used: Sam Blake, Dylan McGlade, Joran Garden, Toby Renniw, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis, Richard Ainscough, Carlos Sotaro, Lucas Boateng.

Substitute: Ghassan Hassan.

Taunton Town: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell, Ryan Brett, Aaran Pugh, Matt Villis, Ben Palmer, Ben Adelsbury, Shane White, Matt Wright, Lewis Powell, Ollis Chamberlain.

Substitutes (All Used): Lee Afful, Ross Staley, Joe Charles, Kailan Gould, Chris McGrath.

Mitchell, Powell and Staley had all, at one time or another, been on Rovers books.

Back in Portugal, Rovers played a behind closed doors friendly against Swindon Town on 20th July in a game consisting of three thirty minute periods which, believe it or not, ended goalless.

Bristol Rovers (first and second periods): Adam Smith, James Clarke, Johnny Burn, Rollin Menayese, Marc Bola, Ryan Broom, Chris Lines, Liam Sercombe, Luke Russe, Ellis Harrison (Rory Gaffney), Tom Nichols.

Third period: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter (Luke Russe), Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent, Lee Brown, Stuart Sinclair, Ollie Clarke, Cameron Hargreaves, Billy Bodin, Rory Gaffney, Byron Moore.

Swindon Town: Lineup not known.

A delayed flight back from Portugal saw Rovers arrive back in Bristol in the early hours of Saturday morning, July 22nd; hardly the ideal preparation for an away game against Forest Green that afternoon!

It came as no surprise, therefore, that they were beaten 2-0 by the league newcomers who scored through Liam Noble and Shamir Mullings.

The opening goal arrived on 15 minutes when Noble drilled a free kick past Smith from some 20 yards out and Mullings struck a second for the home side on 67 minutes when he headed home from a Charlie Cooper cross.

Former Rovers loanee Luke James started for Forest Green and former Rovers youngster Ollie Mehew was a second half substitute.

Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith (Sam Slocombe, 46), James Clarke, Lee Brown (Marc Bola, 46), Tom Lockyer (Rollin Menayese, 63), Johnny Burn (Tom Broadbent, 46), Chris Lines (Luke Russe 63), Liam Sercombe (Cameron Hargreaves, 63), Ollie Clarke (Rory Gaffney, 46), Tom Nichols, Billy Bodin (Ryan Broom, 63), Byron Moore.

Forest Green Rovers: Bradley Collins, Dale Bennett (Shamir Mullings, 65), Scott Laird (Callum Evans, 65), Lee Collins (Keanu Marsh-Brown, 76), Manny Monthe (Alex Hallett, 82), Liam Noble (Dan Wishart, 65), Christian Doidge (Jordan Simpson, 65), Reece Brown (Omar Bugiel, 65), Charlie Cooper, Jack Fitzwalter, Luke James (Ollie Mehew, 71).

Rovers returned to winning ways on July 25th when they travelled down to Huish Park where they were

3-1 winners against Yeovil Town thanks to two Billy Bodin goals and another strike from Byron Moore while Nathan Smith scored for the Glovers.

Bodin’s first goal arrived just before half time when he collected a low free kick taken by Lines and comfortably beat home custodian Jonathan Maddison.

His, and Rovers’, second arrived early in the second half when he picked up on a scuffed Harrison shot before firing past Maddison.

Smith pulled a goal back for the home side moments later after he was first to react to a James Baily cross and beat namesake in the Rovers goal.

Moore scored the best goal of the evening when he ran at the Yeovil defence with the ball before lobbing the ball over Maddison who had rushed off his line in an attempt to avert the danger.

Former Rovers youngster Alefe Santos was named on the Yeovil bench.

Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter (Luke Russe, 24), Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent, Chris Lines, Liam Sercombe (Connor Jones, 74), Ollie Clarke, Ellis Harrison, Billy Bodin (Lewis Ellington, 70), Byron Moore (Rollin Menayese, 74).

Substitute: Thom Jonkerman

Yeovil Town: Jonathan Maddison, Daniel Alfel, Thomas James, James Bailey, Omar Sowunmi, Nathan Smith, Otis Khan, Connor Smith, Olufela Olomola, Rhys Browne, Francois Zoko.

Substitutes: Artur Krysiak, Joseph Tomlinson, Keston Davies, Jake Gray, Alefe Santos, Samyan Ismail plus four triallists

Yeovil substitutions unknown

Twenty four hours later, at Twerton Park, Rovers went down 1-0 to Bath City where Ryan Case scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half.

Players in the Bath squad who had been on Rovers books, either in the Academy, first team or on trial, were George Rigg, Jamie Lucas, Toby Ajala and Naby Diallo.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Joe Partington, Marc Bola, Cameron Hargreaves, James Clarke, Johnny Burn, Dylan McGlade, Connor Jones, Tom Nichols, Rory Gaffney, Ryan Broom.

Substitutes (whether used or not unknown): Lewis Ellington, Michael Kelly, Dominic Thomas, Rollin Menayese, Thom Jonkerman

Bath City: Oliver Davis, Miles Welch-Hayes, Dan Ball, Darren Jones, Ryan Case, George Rigg, Toby Ajala, Billy Murphy, Jamie Lucas, Nat Jarvis, Andrew Starker.

Substitutes (whether used or not unknown: Marvin Morgan, Nick McCootie, Jack Batten, Will Christopher, Luke Southwood, Naby Diallo

West Bromwich Albion were the visitors to the Memorial Stadium on July 29th for Peter Aitken’s Testimonial match and a crowd of 3,364 saw Rovers win 2-1.

On target for Rovers were Ellis Harrison and Tom Nichols, while Tony Pulis saw his Albion side score through Craig Dawson.

Rovers were ahead after just four minutes when Harrison contested a bouncing ball inside the box with central defender Ahmed Hegazi, whose attempted clearance cannoned off the striker’s legs and rebounded into the net giving goalkeeper Ben Foster no chance of saving.

Nichols added the second goal with just four minutes remaining when he latched on to Rory Gaffney’s through ball and beat Foster with a left foot shot from just inside the area.

Dawson’s consolation arrived in the 90th minute when he headed home from a corner taken by Nacer Chadli.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe (Adam Smith, 46), Joe Partington (Rollin Menayese, 55), Lee Brown (Marc Bola, 46), Tom Lockyer (James Clarke, 46), Tom Broadbent, Chris Lines, Stuart Sinclair, Liam Sercombe (Ryan Broom, 46), Ollie Clarke, Ellis Harrison (Rory Gaffney, 46), Billy Bodin (Tom Nichols, 46).

West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Craig Dawson, Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazi, Chris Brunt (Allan Nyom, 44), Jake Livermore (Jonathan Leko, 48), Sam Field, James McClean (Hal Robson-Kanu, 48), Nacer Chadli, Jay Rodriguez (Claudio Yacob, 48), Salomon Rondon.

Substitute: Alex Palmer

The final warm up game was on July 31st when a Rovers XI travelled to take on Corinthian Casuals and were beaten 3-1.

Josh Uzen’s hat trick for the hosts included two penalties, while Rovers’ consolation came from Kenan Dunwald-Turan.

Uzen’s first goal was scored after 10 minutes when he dispatched a 20 yard free kick which nesteled in the top corner of the net, evading the dive of goalkeeper Thom Jonkerman.

The home side doubled their lead with just seven minutes of the first half remaining when Rollin Menayese was penalised for a challenge inside the area, and Uzen blasted the resulting spot kick past Thom Jonkerman and into the bottom corner of the net.

When Ben Morgan was punished by the referee for a challenge inside the Rovers penalty box. Uzen again stepped up and chose the same spot for his second penalty as he did for his first, giving Jonkerman no chance of saving.

Rovers did pull a goal back in the closing stages through triallist Kenan Dunwald-Turan who muscled his way into the area and scored with a close range shot.

Bristol Rovers: Thom Jonkerman, Luke Russe, Ben Morgan, Rollin Menayese, Michael Kelly, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, 46), Cameron Hargreaves, Connor Jones, Cameron Ebbutt (James Spruce, 62), Bradley Hird (Lewis Ellington 46), Brandon Scott (Kenan Dunwald-Turan).

Substitutes: Harry Warwick, Ghassan Hassan,