BAUER BAGS A LUCKY WIN­NER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Bull

BRIS­TOL Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke crit­i­cised the of­fi­cials af­ter Pa­trick Bauer’s firsthalf header gave ten-man Charl­ton Ath­letic only their sec­ond open­ing day win in six years.

Hav­ing had striker Lee No­vak con­tro­ver­sially sent off af­ter just six min­utes, Gas goal­keeper Adam Smith ap­peared to do enough to keep out Bauer’s win­ner.

But his un­marked header from Ricky Holmes’ free-kick shortly be­fore the break was ad­judged to have crossed the line, much to Clarke’s angst.

“I’m an­gry with the de­ci­sion – it’s never a goal,” he said. “The lines­man’s guessed, which changes the com­plex­ion. It doesn’t look over the line to me.

“You want the big calls to be right and that wasn’t. I’ve had a look back and there’s no way he could say it’s 100 per cent over the line.

“I’m an­gry, my staff are an­gry, the play­ers are an­gry. It’s one of those games that we’ve got to put to bed. We should have got some­thing out of the game but we didn’t.”

The game’s first talk­ing point came when No­vak flew into a 50/50 tackle with Stu­art Sin­clair yards into the Rovers half.

Af­ter slight hes­i­ta­tion, ref­eree Chris Sar­gin­son showed red.

Charl­ton man­ager Karl Robin­son dis­agreed with the de­ci­sion, say­ing: “It’s not a send­ing off. From be­hind, it doesn’t look great. Sim­u­la­tion gets him sent off.

“I’m not go­ing to tell my play­ers to stop tack­ling. If I’m go­ing to tell them that, we might as well go and play some silly sport. This is foot­ball – we want peo­ple go­ing into brave chal­lenges. I don’t want to see any play­ers hurt, but if Lee hadn’t have gone in for the chal­lenge, this place would have erupted.”

Robin­son also agreed with Clarke’s as­sess­ment of Bauer’s win­ner. “I’ve seen it – I wouldn’t be happy,” he added.

How­ever, the Ger­man cen­tre-back al­most dou­bled the hosts’ lead when Smith’s parry hit him on the shoul­der be­fore trick­ling wide.

De­spite the nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage, Clarke’s team failed to put the hosts un­der any sus­tained pres­sure.

Their best spell came early into the sec­ond half.

Loan goal­keeper Ben Amos saved well to deny Gas new-boy Liam Ser­combe from close range, but was nearly em­bar­rassed on the hour by Tom Lockyer’s 35-yard lob.

Clarke said: “I thought our fi­nal prod­uct, de­liv­ery and for­ward play was dis­ap­point­ing. We didn’t look like scor­ing, to be hon­est.”

Charl­ton's best chance for a sec­ond fell to Ja­son Pearce, whose goal-bound header from an­other per­fect Holmes de­liv­ery was bril­liantly de­flected wide by Tom Broad­bent 14 min­utes from time.

Robin­son added: “It was a de­served win. Our keeper’s made one save. I don'’t think you’d have known they had an ex­tra man. Our fans made it even.” CHARL­TON: (4-2-3-1): Amos 7, Solly 6, Bauer 8, Pearce 7, Dasilva 8, Forster-Caskey 7, Kashi 8, Fosu 8 (Ahearne-Grant 84 5), Clarke 7 (Watt 70 4), Holmes 7 (Crofts 90 N/A), No­vak 2 Subs not used: Phillips, Sarr, Konsa, Reeves BRIS­TOL ROVERS: (4-3-3): Smith 6, Clarke J 5 (Ni­chols 15 5), Lockyer 7, Broad­bent 7, Brown 7, Clarke O 5 (Broom 65 5), Lines 7, Ser­combe 6, Bodin 5, Har­ri­son 5 (Gaffney 66 5), Sin­clair 6 Subs not used: Slo­combe, Burn, Bola, Part­ing­ton

PIC­TURES: Rob­bie Stephen­son/JMP

IT’S RED: Charl­ton’s Lee No­vak is sent off for his chal­lenge on Stu­art Sin­clair MIXED EMO­TIONS: Charl­ton cel­e­brate Pa­trick Bauer’s goal while Rovers look round in con­fu­sion STAR MAN PA­TRICK BAUER Charl­ton

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