Darrell’s on a high as U’s run out of Gas
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.”
STAR MAN STUART SINCLAIR Bristol Rovers