All sum­mer

Pro­mo­tion miss will hit Clarke

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Joel Lamy

THE pain of miss­ing out on back-to-back pro­mo­tions will linger for Bris­tol Rovers boss Dar­rell Clarke.

With re­sults go­ing well else­where, a Rovers win at Peter­bor­ough would have left them with a good chance of nick­ing a play-off place with their fi­nal match against sixth-place Mill­wall.

But a ‘gob­s­macked’ Clarke saw his side go four goals down af­ter a Leo Da Silva Lopes dou­ble and strikes from Marcus Maddison and Craig Mack­ail-Smith.

And de­spite two late strikes from Rory Gaffney, it was a painful day for Clarke with El­lis Har­ri­son also miss­ing a penalty.

He said: “The other re­sults make a flat day even flat­ter.

“I’m very down. It will take a few days to get over it, but as a team we are not a mil­lion miles away.

“It was a frus­trat­ing per­for­mance. We missed a penalty, hit the post, had one off the line. We cre­ated nu­mer­ous chances.

“I’m a lit­tle bit gob­s­macked. If we had de­fended any­where near what we are ca­pa­ble of do­ing we would have won the game.

“We are dis­ap­pointed but the play­ers can be proud of their achieve­ments. I said to the boys we have been out­stand­ing in the sec­ond-half of the sea­son.”

Da Silva Lopes struck early for Posh, but his foul on Byron Moore should have al­lowed Har­ri­son to level the scores.

How­ever, Luke McGee saved the penalty be­fore Maddison took ad­van­tage of a mis­take from Rovers cen­tre­back Ryan Sweeney to ex­pertly lob goal­keeper Joe Lum­ley.

The goal­keeper then let a Da Silva cross through his legs, be­fore Mack­ail-Smith and Gaffney com­pleted the scor­ing.

Posh boss Grant McCann be­lieved mov­ing to three at the back gal­vanised 18-year-old Da Silva Lopes, who scored his first-ever league goals.

He said: “It’s a for­ma­tion I think can help Leonardo. I think it can help him get up the pitch – he’s so quick. “The first goal is a great fin­ish across his body. I was de­lighted for him to score a cou­ple of goals.

“He’s had a long sea­son – 45 games for an 18-year-old is an in­cred­i­ble thing. He’s go­ing to be colos­sal next sea­son.

“There are go­ing to be changes next year, a fresh ap­proach. That’s some­thing over the sum­mer I will be work­ing hard to do.”

On his side’s per­for­mance, McCann added: “Once we scored the first goal we were on top and pos­si­bly could have had a few more if I’m hon­est.”


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