DARRELL’S LOV­ING LEAGUE 1

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

DARRELL CLARKE saw his Bris­tol Rovers team move up to ninth in League One and then claimed: “We should be even higher.”

The man­ager was de­lighted with a fully de­served win over high-riding Vale, achieved with­out the ser­vices of in­jured top scorer Matt Tay­lor.

A first-half header from El­lis Har­ri­son and a sec­ond-half penalty from Jer­maine Easter wrapped up the points af­ter Martin Pater­son had fired the vis­i­tors into a 23rd-minute lead.

Asked whether he felt Rovers had taken time to adapt to life in League One, Clarke re­sponded: “No I don’t think that at all.

“Our per­for­mances since the start of the sea­son have been good and, while 13 points is a de­cent re­turn from nine games, I be­lieve we should have more.

“We de­served to beat Southend and Wal­sall, while the Rochdale game could have gone ei­ther way.

“The lads have done well and no one could be­grudge them the vic­tory.

“Our front three cre­ated a lot of prob­lems and then we switched to a 4-4-2 and gave Port Vale more to think about.

“We have never been a one­man team and when we have to do with­out Matt Tay­lor the other strik­ers are more than ca­pa­ble.

“If I have one com­plaint it is that we tried to waste time too early by tak­ing the ball to the cor­ners when we could have picked a pass and got the third goal.”

Clarke was also frus­trated that, not for the first time, Rovers gave their op­po­nents the ad­van­tage of scor­ing first.

Vale went in front on 23 min­utes when a ric­o­chet off Ol­lie Clarke gave Pater­son space in­side the box to drill a left­footed shot past Kelle Roos.

Rovers had cre­ated the bet­ter open­ings to that point and lev­elled on 44 min­utes when Lee Brown’s cross from the left to the far post was met by Har­ri­son with a pow­er­ful header.

The de­ci­sive mo­ment came on 63 min­utes when Paulo Tavares need­lessly brought down Rovers sub­sti­tute By­ron Moore when there was lit­tle ap­par­ent dan­ger and Easter drilled a low spot-kick past Jak Al­nwick.

The im­pres­sive Moore chipped against a post af­ter that and Vale as­sis­tant-man­ager Andy Smith gave an hon­est as­sess­ment.

“There are no com­plaints from us,” he said.

“We went a goal up and looked in con­trol of the game, but never showed the same in­ten­sity in the sec­ond half. “We only have our­selves to blame for the re­sult. “In the sec­ond half Rovers played well and the bet­ter team won. “We might have had more goals in the first half, but you can’t switch off like we did. “For the first Rovers goal we have failed to track a run­ner and pre­vent a cross. It was good play by them, but very dis­ap­point­ing from our point of view.

“The penalty was right. There was no need to make that sort of chal­lenge be­cause their player wasn’t go­ing to score. That’s what we need to look at.”

PIC­TURES: JMP

MATCH WIN­NER: Bris­tol Rovers’ Jer­maine Easter cel­e­brates his goal from the spot, in­set

LET’S HUG: El­lis Har­ri­son is smil­ing

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