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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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02 March 2021 Venue Pirelli Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: BRISTOL ROVERS (H)

2 March 2021

JONNY Smith was the Brewers goal hero once more as Albion overcame ten-man Bristol Rovers to move out of the League One bottom four.

The January signing struck the only goal of the game with a beautiful curling effort just two minutes after Rovers had been reduced to ten men following a second yellow card for midfielder Luke McCormick.

Albion seized control and could have had a second before the end before Rovers mounted a late fightback to almost secure a point in their own battle at the foot of the table.

Albion showed just the one change to the side that came away with all three points from Rochdale on Saturday. With Danny Rowe still building his fitness amidst a congested fixture list the former Ipswich winger dropped to the bench with former Chelsea and Nottingham Forest defender Michael Mancienne handed a first start after a couple of appearances from the bench since signing last month.

An early chance came from the long throw of Tom Hamer, the full back launching the ball into the box from the right hand side and Bostwick finding space for a header that was never really troubling the Rovers goal.

Rovers began to grow into the game and they had a couple of good chances on the quarter of an hour, Sam Nicholson springing the offside trap to force an excellent save from the advancing Ben Garratt and then Brandon Hanlan driving into the box before seeing his shot blocked by a combination of Garratt and Mancienne.

Albion responded well to the threat and from a half cleared corner Jonny Smith sent a rising shot straight into the waiting hands of keeper Jordi Van Stappershoef.

The game was opening up and after good work on the right hand side Rovers worked a chance for midfielder Zain Westbrooke but his shot from 15 yards fizzed over the bar.

Rovers skipper Luke Leahy was denied by a block inside the box as he tried to volley home Alex Rodman's deep cross and Garratt was swiftly off his line to deny Hanlan as he tried to break through onto a paass from Nicholson.

Albion made a change on 34 minutes with Joe Powell making an early entrance as Mike Fondop was withdrawn, a more that resulted in Lucas Akins becoming the focal point of the attack and Ryan Edwards moving out to the left to accommodate Powell in the centre.

Sean Clare picked up a yellow card in the dying stages of the first half for a foul on Rodman and it was the visitors that finished the half on top having had the better of the first half chances.

Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Bristol Rovers

It was another frantic start to the second half but Rovers were suddenly reduced to ten men when midfielder Luke McCormick was shown a second yellow card on 52 minutes. The Chelsea loanee was already on a card having dragged Ryan Edwards back on 11 minutes and when the ball ran out for a throw in the youngster needlessly kicked the ball up the touchline to prevent Albion taking a quick throw. Referee Charles Breakspear had little choice but to show the card.

Albion quickly took advantage going in front just two minutes later. Akins did well to hold the ball up on the edge of the box until SMITH arrived to take over and cut inside before curling a sumptuous finish into the far corner of the net.

Fresh legs were called forwith juts over twenty minutes remaining, Mancienne and Akins replaced by Terry Taylor and Kane Hemmings.

Hemmings missed a glorious chance to double Albion's advantage on 75 minutes, a delightful cross from Powell on the left finding him at the back post but under pressure from a retreating defender he flicked the ball wide wide of the post.

Powell almost sealed the points too with a rasping angled drive as the clock ticked into the first of five added minutes but van Stappershoef was able to do enough to push the ball away from danger.

Rovers piled on the pressure in added on time and Alex Rodman was inches away from an equaliser with Tom Hamer getting a vital touch to deflect his shot into the side netting.

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