Match Report


Sat 27 Feb 10

The U's were defeated by Bristol Rovers 3-2, with goals from John-Joe O'Toole and Kayode Odejayi not enough at the Memorial Stadium.

The hosts went ahead against the run of play on sixteen minutes but O'Toole equalised four minutes later.

The second half saw the home side score twice and Odejae's late strike proved to be just a consolation for Aidy Boothroyd's side, despite a dramatic finish to the game.

Boothroyd made just one change from the side that beat Oldham a week ago, while Bristol Rovers made four changes to their starting line up.

The game started with both sides looking to get forward and Ben Williams watched an early shot fly wide before his opposite number did the same.

A long free kick was kept in the danger area and David Prutton hit a volley wide of the target.

In the fourth minute, Steven Gillespie got onto the end of a clever Phil Ifil cross and had to generate pace on his header from fifteen yards out. Anderson in the home goal was equal to it though and tipped it wide for a corner, which came to nothing.

The U's forward should have then given his side the lead but hit the side netting from a far post corner in the thirteenth minute.

Matt Heath got into the opposition area a couple of minutes later but no-one could get on the end of his knock down.

Against the run of play, Rovers took the lead in the sixteenth minute, as Blizzard's long range effort crept into the bottom corner past Williams.

It looked like there could have been a deflection on the shot but the U's were back on level terms four minutes later.

A corner was cleared to the edge of the box to Ifil and his volley looked to be going wide of the target. John-Joe O'Toole was on hand though, to flick a header past Anderson and into the net.

The U's continued to press the Rovers and kept the home side pegged back into their own half but failed to create too many chances in the middle third of the first period.

The half came to life in the final five minutes, with Gillespie having two shots, botyh of which failed to test Anderson.

The home side also had two shots as the half came to an end, the best of which came from Heffernan from a tight angle that flew across Williams and just past the far post.

The U's went into half time level but they really should have been ahead given the dominance and chances in the first forty five minutes.

At the very start of the second half, Gillespie was once again frustrated, when the flag went up for offside as he rounded the keeper and put the ball into the empty net.

The game then settled down into a more even spectacle, as Rovers began to ease their way back into the match.

Chances didn't materialise for either team until just after the hour, when the hosts shot wide after a good build up.

On sixty two minutes, they went ahead, when Kuffour used his experience to pin Danny Batth behind him and swivel to score from close range, giving Williams no chance.

Straight from the U's kick-off, Clive Platt was denied by a great save from Anderson and seconds later, the Rovers keeper was called into action again, making a much easier stop from Ifil.

Kayode Odejayi and Ashley Vincent were both introduced to add more attacking power but within eight minutes of the double substitution, the U's fell further behind.

Lines made a diagonal run with the ball and his reverse pass found Kuffour in the box. After moving the ball onto his right foot, he crossed low and Lines, having continued his run, sidefooted home from eight yards out.

Platt had a header saved on eight five minutes, before Boothroyd threw on Kevin Lisbie for the last few minutes.

With two minutes remaining, Odejayi set up a grandstand finish when he was given the freedom of the Rovers penalty area and slotted home from Platt's knock down.

The game went into injury time but the four minutes added time was enough for the U's to have three chances to nick a point.

Matt Heath headed straight at Anderson, Lisbie was also denied by the home keeper and then O'Toole's overhead kick went narrowly wide of the post.

U's: Williams, White, Heath, Batth (Lisbie), Tierney, Ifil (Vincent), O'Toole, Prutton, Wordsworth, Platt, Gillespie (Odejayi).

Subs: Cousins, Okuonghae, Fox

    Data provided by Press Association

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