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Match Reports

Bristol Rovers vs Crawley Town

15 November 2016

Match Reports

Bristol Rovers vs Crawley Town

15 November 2016

Bristol Rovers 4 Crawley Town 2

Reds bowed out of the FA Cup despite a brave effort against League One Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium.

Crawley twice came from behind to equalise through a cracking first goal for the club by Jordan Roberts and a first of the season from Matt Harrold.

But Rory Gaffney and Matt Taylor scored in extra time and it will be Rovers who will be hosting non-league Barrow in the second round on December 3. 

Rovers had already hit the post through Gaffney when they too a deserved lead in the 32nd minute when Taylor headed over Glenn Morris from ten yards, although Lewis Young appeared to have been fouled in the build-up as he and Taylor contested Chris Lines' ball into the box.

But Reds stunned the home side when they drew level in first-half stoppage time. Roberts, who was making his first start since August, was found in space on the left-hand edge of the box by Jimmy Smith's long corner and the midfielder hit a thunderous left-foot shot into the top right-hand corner to make it 1-1 with Crawley's first shot on target.

But Rovers were back in front in the 52nd minute when Gaffney cut in from the left, ghosted past Chris Arthur and hammered a shot inside Morris's near post.

Dermot Drummy brought on Harrold and Enzio Boldewijn on the hour and the attacking changes paid immediate dividends when the Dutchman beat the Rovers' offside trap down the right and unselfishly squared the ball to Harrold, who smashed home his first goal of the season against one of his former clubs to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute.

The rest of the second period saw both sides desperate to win in it normal time. Gaffney and Taylor went close for the hosts but perhaps the best chance of a winner fell to Reds' James Collins, whose angled shot was athletically turned past the far post by home keeper Kelly Roos.

The game went into extra time and Rovers regained the advantage for the third time when Gaffney slipped inside Alex Davey and managed to beat Morris from close range in the 96th minute.

And Rovers extended their lead in the 101st minute when substitute Conor Henderson brought down Billy Bodin in the penalty area and referee Ben Toner awarded a penalty which Taylor smashed into the top right-hand corner to make it 4-2 with his 15th goal of the season. 

Luke James hit the post in the second half of extra time and Reds couldn't muster a response, with Harrold ending the contest with heavy strapping over his nose after an accidental collision in the second half of normal time.

It was a gallant effort by Reds, whose back four for the last hour comprised Addison Garnett, who was making his full debut, Davey, Lewis Young and Henderson, a substitute for Roberts, at left back. In addition, Adi Yussuf was a virtual spectator in extra time because of a hamstring injury.

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