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20 January 2018 Venue The Memorial Stadium Attendance

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Match Reports

REPORT | THE BANTAMS BEATEN ON THE ROAD BY ROVERS

20 January 2018

Match Report:

Bristol Rovers 3 (Partington 53, Lines pen 84, Sercombe 87)

Bradford City 1 (Wyke pen 38)

Saturday 20th January 2018 | Sky Bet League One | Memorial Stadium

The Bantams fell to defeat on the road at the hands of Bristol Rovers with three second half goals proving a killer blow for Stuart McCall's men. City weren't their blistering best in the first half but led at the interval through a Charlie Wyke penalty after Ollie Clarke had handled but a goal from Joe Partington, a Chris Lines penalty and a late Liam Sercombe strike gave the hosts the victory.

Rovers have been astute on their own turf this season and enjoyed plenty of the ball in the early stages, almost going ahead through Tom Lockyer but he flashed a header narrowly wide after latching onto Chris Lines' teasing free-kick.

All the early ventures into dangeorus positions came from the hosts in the early stages and after Nathaniel Knight-Percival heroically denied Rory Gaffney a clean run on goal, Timothee Dieng produced a similar level of defending to block a goal-bound attempt from Stuart Sinclair.

City hadn't threatened as much as they would have liked but Tyrell Robinson was a constant threat down the left-hand side and after getting into the box he forced Ollie Clarke into a handball which meant the referee Lee Swabey pointed to the spot, and on his return to the side Charlie Wyke stepped up to score his 4th goal against Rovers this season.

A few minutes later, Robinson himself got beyond Lockyer after latching onto a Jake Reeves pass but his eventual shot went over the bar to let the hosts off the hook - a real chance for the Bantams to double their lead before the break.

Early in the second half, Liam Sercombe forced Rouven Sattelmaier into a smart save and from the resulting corner, Joe Partington got a scuffed attempt away inside the box which crept into the far corner to draw things level.

Rovers had a spell of chances after that with Clarke, Harrison and Sercombe all going close around the hour mark to putting the home side in front. Harrison wasted a good opportuity after latching onto Sercombe's cross when he headed straight at Sattelmaier and then City substitute Dominic Poleon had a good chance of his own shortly after his introduction.

Coming on on Paul Taylor's place, Poleon latched onto Alex Gilliead's pass to lash a powerful shot across goal; Adam Smith did really well to make the save and hold onto the ball before the lurking Wyke could get there for a tap-in.

Liam Sercombe was growing into the game for Darrell Clarke's side and he lashed a shot over the bar before Poleon went down in the box under Tom Broadbent's challenge after latching onto Robinson's pass. It was a half-hearted appeal for a penalty waved away by the referee.

Penalties were very much on the agenda and shortly afterwards Rovers were awarded one of their own to take the lead. Ellis Harrison caused a problem in the box and went down after a coming together with Nathaniel Knight-Percival, it looked a contentious incident but the referee sided with the home team on this occasion and Chris Lines made no mistake from 12 yards.

Lines' goal put Rovers in front with only six minutes of normal time remaining - the first time they have led all afternoon.

Romain Vincelot came so close to levelling things up but he headed inches wide of the post after connecting with Nicky Law's cross and a minute or so later, Rovers scored their third to secure the win. Hitting City on the counter-attack, Sercombe cut inside onto his right foot before planting a shot into the bottom corner from 10 yards out.

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