Devoted Gas fans get their reward
DARRELL Clarke dedicated Bristol Rovers’ second home win of the season to the fans after a Matt Taylor double downed Carlisle.
The Memorial Stadium faithful had witnessed seven defeats in ten league and cup games so far in the campaign, the last of them inflicted by Southern League side Chesham United in the FA Cup first round.
But, far from giving up on their team, the supporters rallied to the cause and raised the volume again for the visit of the injury-hit Cumbrians.
Their loyalty was not lost on manager Clarke as two second-half goals from Taylor were the difference on the day.
He said:“As always our fans were magnificent. They are what makes the club special for me and I am delighted to have sent them home happy.
“The atmosphere could have been subdued in the light of recent home results, but they were right behind us and it makes such a difference.
“I am as relieved as they are.We opened the scoring with a brilliant counter-attacking goal and took two of our chances, which we haven’t been doing.
“There is a long way to go, but we are well placed thanks to our away form. We respect all our opponents, but fear no one in League Two.”
Rovers began brightly and might have gone in front on four minutes when Stuart Sinclair’s chip set up a chance for Taylor, whose close-range shot was saved by Mark Gillespie.
The Carlisle goalkeeper was in action again moments later, parrying an angled drive from Jermaine Easter, but from then on chances were at a premium.
But Taylor sent a wave of relief around the ground when breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes with a close-range shot from a Chris Lines cross. And the striker doubled the advantage on 87 minutes with a low left-footed drive from the corner of the box, which gathered pace off the saturated surface.
For Carlisle boss Keith Curle it was a disappointing return to the club where he began his playing career, but he refused to be too despondent.
“If you take six or seven regular starters out of any League Two side it is going to have an effect,” he said.
“We still looked wellorganised and had a good structure, with the players coming in knowing what was required of them.
“We lacked a bit in our decision making in the final third of the pitch.
“There were times when a threatening ball was on and we took the wrong option.
“But there was nothing in the game up to the opening goal when we got caught a bit lop-sided as they broke on us.”
STAR MAN MATT TAYLOR Bristol