Dar­rell’s on a high as U’s run out of Gas

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Claire Gould

BRIS­TOL Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke could not hide his de­light af­ter see­ing his side leapfrog hosts Ox­ford United with vic­tory at the Kas­sam Sta­dium.

First-half goals from Ol­lie Clarke and Stu­art Sin­clair were enough to en­sure 1,800 trav­el­ling Gas fans went home happy.

Clarke said: “It was a good per­for­mance and I’m re­ally pleased with the en­ergy and de­ter­mi­na­tion shown in a throughly good away per­for­mance.

“We’ve scored a cou­ple of goals and de­fended su­perbly, which we have been do­ing over a pe­riod of time and we were clin­i­cal with a cou­ple of mid­field­ers scor­ing the goals.

“Both goals were well­worked and good fin­ishes but every­one’s put a shift it, it’s not just about the lads that have scored the goals.

“All the play­ers have put the ef­fort and de­sire in and cheered on by 1,800 fan­tas­tic sup­port­ers, so we’re re­ally pleased to get the three points.”

Rovers started the game brightly and could have been ahead as early as the sec­ond minute when Clarke un­leashed a pow­er­ful shot that was tipped away by Si­mon East­wood.

Clarke opened the scor­ing in the 16th minute, curl­ing the ball home af­ter a flick-on from Sin­clair.

Ox­ford came close to equal­is­ing in the 32nd minute when Conor McAleny hit the post with a right-footed ef­fort from Marvin John­son’s low rightwing cross.

Rovers dou­bled their lead four min­utes later, Sin­clair turn­ing on the edge of the area be­fore fir­ing a low ef­fort past East­wood into the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner.

McAleny al­most pulled one back for Ox­ford in added time at the end of the first-half but his 25-yard free-kick was tipped over the bar by Joe Lum­ley.

The sec­ond­half was a closer af­fair but Ox­ford United man­ager Michael Ap­ple­ton was dis­ap­pointed af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

“I can’t say that any of the play­ers out there had a good game or played well,” he said.

“There were some bright sparks, but I could stand here and talk un­til mid­night be­cause that how long it would prob­a­bly have taken us to score!

“We weren’t good enough in the first half and with­out them do­ing any­thing fan­tas­tic they got them­selves 2-0 up.

“The op­por­tu­ni­ties that did arise for us to try and do some­thing they put good blocks in or got them­selves be­hind the ball quickly and it wasn’t to be.

“In­juries meant we had no at­tack­ing op­tions on the bench.”


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