Sunday, 15 April 2012

7-1 Burton Albion (H) - Absolute Annihilation

Bristol Rovers ended a run of 5 games without a win by emphatically beating Burton Albion 7-1.

The game started brightly with both teams having large spells of possession, the first chance coming when a through ball to Richards was only cleared to Matt Harrold who, on the bounce, hit his bouncing shot narrowly past the post after 23 minutes. At times Burton were allowed too much time on the ball in advanced attacking positions, but it was from a long goal kick that Burton’s first goal scoring chance came. Rovers’ Cian Bolger allowed the ball to bounce through to keeper Scott Bevan but Burton’s Jimmy Phillips intercepted the ball, taking it past the keeper, and with the goal gaping somehow only managed to fire straight against the woodwork sparing the blushes of the Rovers centre back. Minutes before half time a quick free kick to Mustapha Carayol enabled the Gambian winger to power an effort from 30 yards out which looked like a routine save but for the swerve of the ball causing all sorts of problems for Ross Atkins who fumbled the ball into the net gifting Bristol Rovers a narrow lead heading into the break.
          The game sparked to life after half time, within seconds a missed clearance from Burton allowed Eliot Richards a chance on goal withstanding a strong challenge and coolly finishing past the onrushing Atkins. Just 8 minutes later a weak header from Tom Parkes was headed straight back leaving Parkes out of position and Zola one on one, Zola fired the ball in the roof of the net giving Burton a way back into the match or so it seemed. Eliot Richards again caused trouble for the Burton defence, latching onto a through ball and was clumsily brought down, resulting in a Rovers penalty. Matt Harrold stepped up and as so often this season powered his penalty home providing a two goal cushion for the pirates. The third goal gave Rovers renewed confidence and now looked comfortable in possession and started to dictate proceedings. Rovers’ Mustapha Carayol looked dangerous all afternoon, the crowd rising in anticipation whenever the winger was in possession of the ball, and it was Carayol who made the fourth goal; beating two men before crossing into Jim Patterson, recording his first goal for the club putting the ball into the back of the net with finesse. Burton crumbled after the fourth goal, knowing defeat was inevitable, they rolled over and allowed Rovers to punish them. Richards used his pace to pull away from the Burton midfield before switching play to Matt Harrold through a Wayne Brown dummy, Harrold picked up his second goal of the game with a rasping effort into the far corner. Straight from kick-off Rovers won back possession and sent Richards on another run, causing keeper Atkins and centre half to collide giving Richards an empty net to collect his second of the match. The rout wasn’t over yet for Rovers or Eliot Richards, his first ever hat-rick coming from a fine strike outside the area 10 minutes from time putting Bristol Rovers into seventh heaven. 
       Rovers absolutely dominated the second half and turned over a feeble Burton Albion side through some lethal finishing and class play from Eliot Richards and Mustapha Carayol.

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