Friendly Fixtures 2018/19

07/07/18 – Cheddar – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

10/07/18 – Street – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

14/07/18 – Yate Town – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

14/07/18 – Melksham Town – Attendance 1,008, Referee unknown First

17/07/18 – Weston super Mare – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

17/07/18 – Yeovil Town – Attendance & Referee unknown First

21/07/18 – Forest Green Rovers – Attendance1,235, Referee Sam Allison First

21/07/17 – Bath City – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

24/07/18 – Corinthian Casuals – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

25/07/18 – FC Eindhoven – Attendance & Referee unknown First

28/07/18 – Exeter City – Attendance 1,796, Referee Simon Hooper First

28/07/18 – AFC Totton – Attendance & Referee

unknown D/S

03/08/18 – Salisbury – Attendance & Referee unknown D/S

D/S = Development Squad

First = First Team

I’ve listed details of all 13 pre-season games I could find for the summer of 2018, though it should be noted that many of them were classed as Development Squad games. Still, they may be useful, for record purposes, in future

The first game took place at Cheddar on 7th July, when Chris Hargreaves’ Development squad ran out 2-0 winners when both goals were scored by triallists.

Fielding a side containing mix of triallists and reserve team players, Hargreaves saw his charges dominate the opening 45 minutes in terms of possession, though they were unable to find the back of the net.

Theo Widdrington went closest to breaking the deadlock, forcing Cheddar’s goalkeeper into making a fine save from his low shot.

The opening goal arrived just three minutes into the second half when one of the half time substitutes, a triallist,, sprung the home side’s offside trap and touched the ball past the home goalkeeper.

Other chances followed; the best falling to Josh Bailey who saw a shot deflected off the line by a home defender and another of the triallists hit the post from a speculative lob.

With three minutes remaining yet another triallist scored the second goal of the evening when he fired home from the edge of the area.

Bristol Rovers: Alexis-Andre Jnr (Liam Armstrong, 46), Josh Bailey, Ben Morgan, Alfie Clarke, Triallist, 46), Triallist, Connor Jones (Cameron Hargreaves, 46), Theo Widdrington (Luke Russe, 42), Triallist, Cameron Ebbutt (James Spruce, 46), Triallist, Triallist.

Cheddar: Unable to find a lineup for Cheddar and no names mentioned in the match report.

(Theo Widdrington in action at Cheddar)

Another Development Squad match took place on 10th July when a game down at Street ended in a 1-1 draw and once again Rovers’ goal was scored by a triallist.

The game was played at a high tempo and Street fashioned the game’s first goalscoring opportunity after only four minutes when a deep corner to the far post was stabbed just wide of the upright.

Ben Morgan and the triallist goalkeeper came to the rescue when they combined to clear a dangerous free kick into the box, while a James Spruce effort at the other end was comfortably saved by the home keeper.

The home custodian was tested again 10 minutes into the second half when he was called on to make a smart save from one of Rovers’ triallists.

After Rovers had made their final substitution of the game, sending on Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist in place of Luke Russe, the triallist keeper made an outstanding save to deny the home side the opener.

However a minute later, in the 75th minute, Street did go ahead when Butcher hit a shot that hit the post before entering the net with the keeper well beaten.

Rovers, though, conjured up an equaliser three minutes from time when two of the triallists combined before sending a cross into the box where another triallist finished with a shot into the far corner of the net.

Bristol Rovers: Triallist, Triallist, Josh Bailey, Ben Morgan, Alfie Clarke, Luke Russe (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, 74), Cameron Hargreaves, Mo Baghdadi (Connor Jones, 60), Triallist (Triallist, 60), James Spruce (Triallist, 60), Triallist (Triallist, 46).

Street: The only Street player mentioned in the match report was their goalscorer, Butcher (Christian name unknown).

(Cam Hargreaves in action at Street)

There was a double header on 14th July when a Development Squad side travelled to Lodge Road, Yate, while a First Team squad took on Melksham Town.

At Yate, Chris Hargreaves’ side ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from a triallist and another from Zain Walker. Both goals arrived after Josh Ford had opened the scoring for the home side.

After a fairly even first half in which neither side were able to make the breakthrough, Rovers found themselves behind two minutes into the second half when Ford headed past goalkeeper Liam Armstrong following a free kick.

The equaliser arrived on 65 minutes when the triallist who had replaced Theo Widdrington a minute earlier, rifled a stunning shot into the top right hand corner of the net giving the goalkeeper no chance of saving.

Walker scored the all important winner for Rovers in the 70th minute when he raced through on goal before knocking the ball past the goalkeeper, who had left his line in an attempt to avert the danger, and into the net.

Bristol Rovers: Liam Armstrong, Triallist, Osian Dillon, Ben Morgan, Jamie Bremner (Mo Baghdadi, 46), Theo Widdrington (Triallist, 64), Luke Russe (Connor Jones, 46), Cameron Hargreaves (Triallist, 46), Triallist (Cameron Ebbutt, 46), Triallist (Zain Walker, 46), Triallist (Triallist, 46).

Substitutes: Alexis-Andre Jnr, Cameron Allen.

Yate Town: The only Yate player mentioned in the report is Yate’s goalscorer Josh Ford.

(Zain Walker)

Darrell Clarke’s side eased to a 6-0 win at Melksham where Kyle Bennett scored a hat trick, Ellis Harrison scored twice and Tom Nichols also got on the scoresheet.

There were only two minutes on the clock when the first goal arrived when the triallists’s ball into the box was deflected as far as Bennett who headed past the home keeper Kent Kaupinen.

The second goal came in the 22nd minute when Sam Matthews picked out Bennett who sidestepped two challenges before lifting the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Nichols added the third two minutes later when he escaped the attentions of his marker and hit a shot across the face of goal and into the far corner of the net.

Bennett completed his hat trick with three minutes of the half remaining when he beat Kaupinen with a powerful shot.

Harrison’s first goal of the afternoon, and Rovers’ fifth, was scored after 54 minutes when the striker took a pass from Chris Lines who finished with a shot from 12 yards.

Two minutes later the same duo combined for Harrison’s second and on this occasion he comfortably beat the keeper to make it 6-0.

Bristol Rovers First Half: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Lockyer, Tony Craig, Alfie Clarke, Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe, Sam Matthews, Kyle Bennett, Triallist, Tom Nichols.

Bristol Rovers Second Half: Sam Slocombe, Joe Partington, Josh Bailey, James Clarke, Michael Kelly, Bernard Mensah, Ollie Clarke, Chris Lines, Alex Rodman, Ellis Harrison, Gavin Reilly.

Melksham Town: The only players mentioned in the report are goalkeeper Kent Kaupinen, Simon Gilbert

(Ellis Harrison in action at Melksham)

There were two more games played on 17th July, as the Development Squad took on Weston super Mare while the First Team Squad were in action against Yeovil Town at Huish Park.

There was a first defeat for Chris Hargreaves’ side as they were beaten 3-1 at the Woodspring Stadium. Hill scored a hat trick for the home side while Rovers’ goal was scored by one of the triallists.

Hill’s first goal arrived with only two minutes on the clock when he finished from close range after a low ball in from the right. He added a second 10 minutes later, rifling a shot beyond Alexis Andre Jnr after cutting in from the right, and completed his hat trick just after the hour mark when he chipped the ball over Andre from the edge of the area.

Rovers’ consolation goal came after 70 minutes when two of the triallists combined before one of them scored from close range after the Weston keeper had spilt a shot from the other one.

Bristol Rovers: Alexis Andre Jnr, Triallist (Connor Jones, 46), Ben Morgan, Josh Bailey, Jamie Bremner, Luke Russe, Cameron Hargreaves, Triallist (Theo Widdrington, 46), Zain Walker (Triallist, 46), Cameron Ebbutt (Triallist, 46), Cameron Allen (Triallist, 46).

Substitutes: Graeme Anderson, Osian Dillon.

Weston super Mare: The only player mentioned in the report is goalscorer Hill (Christian name unknown).

(Alexis Andre Jnr in action at Weston)

Down at Huish Park there was a 1-1 draw. With Tom Lockyer putting Rovers ahead in the first half and Bevis Mugabi equalising for the Glovers after the break.

The only goal of the opening period was scored in the 37th minute when Lockyer beat his marker to the ball following a left wing corner and touched the ball past goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.

There were 57 minutes on the clock when the equaliser arrived after Mugabi headed home from close range following Carl Dickinson’s free kick.

Rovers had chances to have won the game but goalkeeper Nelson saved one effort from Tom Nichols while a Chris Lines free kick was blocked by the home side’s defensive wall.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Daniel Leadbitter (James Clarke, 46), Tony Craig, Tom Lockyer, Michael Kelly, Sam Matthews, Kyle Bennett, Chris Lines, Liam Sercombe, Ed Upson, Tom Nichols.

Substitutes: Adam Smith, Ollie Clarke, Bernard Mensah, Alfie Clarke, Tom Broadbent, Alex Rodman.

Yeovil Town: These Yeovil players are mentioned on the match report; Jordan Green, Diallaing Jaiyesimi, Stuart Nelson, Omar Sowumni, Carl Dickinson and Bevis Miugabe.

(Ed Upson in action at Yeovil)

The First Team Squad made the short trip to Nailsworth on 21st July and were beaten 1-0 by Forest Green Rovers, as Christian Doidge scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot.

The goal came in the sixth minute when Doidge ran on to a through ball from Lloyd James and was brought down by goalkeeper Adam Smith.

The striker took the resulting spot kick himself and although Smith managed to get his fingertips on the ball, he couldn’t keep the effort out.

Carl Winchester and Doidge went close to increasing the home side’s lead, but the best chance of the half fell to Rovers after Bernard Mensah dispossessed goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and found Tom Nichols, but the striker somehow managed to hit a shot wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

Although Doidge might have added his, and his side’s, second goal after the break, when he headed home from an offside position, chances were at a premium and as both sides made a number of changes the flow of the game was constantly interrupted.

Bristol Rovers: Adam Smith, Daniel Leadbitter (Cam Hargreaves, 62), James Clarke, Luke Russe, Tom Nichols (Theo Widrington, 46), Bernard Mensah, Ollie Clarke, Tom Broadbent, Mo Baghdadi, Michael Kelly, Alex Rodman.

Substitutes: Sam Slocombe, Tom Lockyer, Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe, Kyle Bennett, Sam Matthews.

Forest Green Rovers: Sanchez, Shepard (Collins, 74), James, Rawson (Hollis, 74), Winchester (Jones, 84), Doidge (Ogunleye, 84), Brown (Laird, 80), Gunning, Archibald (Grubb, 57), Mills, Reid (Simpson, 84).

Substitute: Montgomery.

(Bernard Mensah in action at Forest Green)

The same day, Rovers sent a Development squad to Twerton Park where they suffered a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bath City.

It was Rovers who opened the scoring, though, when one of the club’s triallists took advantage of a mix up in the home defence and slotted the ball past former Rovers goalkeeper Ryan Clarke.

Minutes later Bath were awarded a penalty after Connor Jones was deemed to have handled inside the area and another former Rovers player, Sean Rigg, scored from the spot.

Midway through the half Andy Watkins scored a second for Bath after the triallist goalkeeper had touched a clearance straight to him and there was a third goal for the hosts before the half time whistle when Adam Mann scored with a well struck left foot volley.

Clarke saved well from Alfie Clarke at the start of the second half, but the home side added a fourth goal on the hour mark when Robbie Cundy headed home from a corner from the right.

Rovers were then awarded a penalty after one of the triallists was tripped in the box. He took the spot kick himself but Clarke made a comfortable save and the score remained 4-1.

A second penalty went in Rovers’ favour when Clarke fouled Cameron Ebbutt but the shot stopper made his second save from the spot.

The home side added two late goals, through John Mills and Adam Mann.

Bristol Rovers: Triallist, Triallist, Alfie Clarke (Sam Heal, 81), Connor Jones, Bailey (Alfie Kilgour, 46), Ben Morgan, Zain Walker (Cameron Ebbutt, 67), Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, Triallist, Cameron Allen (Triallist, 46), Trialist.

Bath City: Starting lineup unknown, though the following players were mentioned in the match report; Ryan Clarke, Sean Rigg (1 goal), Adam Mann (2 goals), Ross Stearn, Andy Watkins (1 goal), Robbie Cundy (1 goal), John Mills (1 goal).

(Connor Jones in action at Bath City)

On 24th July another Development squad game saw Rovers lose 2-1 at Corinthian Casuals, where they put in a much improved performance following their mauling at the hands of Bath City.

Once again Rovers took the lead, and again it was a triallist who opened the scoring for them after 15 minutes.

Two second half goals clinched a win for Casuals, though. Two minutes after the break a looping header beat goalkeeper Alexis Andre Jnr and 15 minutes from time Scott Isherwood scored from the penalty spot.

Bristol Rovers: Lineup unknown, though it is known that Alexis Andre Jnr was in goal.

Corinthian Casuals: Lineup unknown though the scorer of the second goal was Scott Isherwood.

One day later (25th July) Rovers played against FC Eindhoven while they were in Holland at a training camp.

Darrell Clarke’s side ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ollie Clarke and Kyle Bennett.

There were over 300 Gasheads in attendance and they saw Clarke score after 33 minutes when he finished from close range after goalkeeper Ruud Swinkels had palmed away a header from Bennett.

Bennett’s goal arrived with five minutes of the game remaining when he ghosted into the box and rolled the ball under the goalkeeper’s body as he attempted to save.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe, James Clarke, Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent, Michael Kelly, Alex Rodman, Liam Sercombe, Ed Upson, Ollie Clarke, Kyle Bennett, Bernard Mensah.

Substitutes: Adam Smith, Alfie Kilgour, Tony Craig, Daniel Leadbitter, Luke Russe, Sam Matthews, Tom Nichols.

Not known if any substitutes used.

FC Eindhoven: Ruud Swinkels, Collin Seedorf, Siebe van der Hayden, Karim Essikal, Elton Kabangu, Branco van den Boomen, Stevy Okitokandjo, Augustine Loof, Marcelo Lopes, Jay Idzes, Rochdi Achenteh.

Substitutes: Guy Smith, Menno Bergesen, Daan Simonse, Gyamfi Kyeremeh, Ibrahim Maaroufi, Damien Marie, Dani Koks, Max Liedelmeijer, Kaj de Rooij, Jordan Vermeulen, Jarno Janssen.

Not known if any substitutes used.

(Ollie Clarke)

On their return to these shores Rovers took on Exeter City at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday 28th July and suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Grecians.

After being in control in the opening stages of the game Rovers fell behind on 28 minutes when Jonathan Forte scored with a first time shot following a low ball into the box from Pierce Sweeney.

Three minutes later they doubled their lead through Dean Moxey who took advantage of some poor marking to volley a left foot shot past Sam Slocombe.

With 39 minutes on the clock former Rovers loanee Hiram Boateng scored Exeter’s third goal when he beat Slocombe from the edge of the box with a well struck shot.

The fourth, and final, goal arrived just after the hour mark when Nicky Law’s corner from the left reached Troy Brown who scored with a simple tap in.

Bristol Rovers: Sam Slocombe (Adam Smith, 46), Daniel Leadbitter, Tom Lockyer, Tom Broadbent (James Clarke, 46), Tony Craig, Sam Matthews (Ollie Clarke, 68), Ed Upson, Liam Sercombe, Kyle Bennett (Bernard Mensah, 62), Alex Rodman, Tom Nichols (Gavin Reilly, 62).

Substitutes: Michael Kelly, Luke Russe, Alfie Kilgour.

Exeter City: Christy Pym, Pierce Sweeney (Ortes, 68), Aaron Martin, Troy Brown, Dean Moxey (Craig Woodman, 85), Lee Holmes (Martin, 68), Jake Taylor, Hiram Boateng, Nicky Law (Jack Sparkes, 85), Jayden Stockley (Tristan Abrahams, 75), Jonathan Forte (Matt Jay, 46).

Substitutes: Luke Croll, James Hamon.

Christian name of Exeter substitute Martin unknown.

(Daniel Leadbitter in action against Exeter)

The Development Squad were also in action on 28th July and were 2-1 winners at AFC Totton.

They had to come from behind after conceding in the 15th minute when Tony Adekunle volleyed the home side into the lead.

However, two goals in the final 15 minutes, through a triallist and Cameron Ebbutt secured victory for Rovers.

Bristol Rovers: Lineup unknown, though Cameron Ebbutt was on the scoresheet.

AFC Totton: Lineup unknown, though Tony Adenkunle was on the scoresheet.

(Cameron Ebbutt in action at Totton)

The final warm up game was also a Development Squad fixture and they wound up their pre season programme with a 1-0 win at Salisbury on 3rd August.

The only goal of the game was scored by Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist who volleyed home after 30 minutes.

Bristol Rovers: Lineup unknown, though Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist was on the scoresheet.

Salisbury: Lineup unknown.

(Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist)

All photos courtesy of JMP.

Keith Brookman