MATCH REPORT: Bristol Rovers 2-2 Coventry City

This 3rd round tie will go to a replay at St Andrews following an enthralling 2-2 draw at the Mem.

Coventry almost had the lead in the opening minute of the game when Westbrooke was found in behind the Rovers back line however, Van Stoppershoef was able to parry the volley out for a corner.

However, despite Coventry’s bright start, it was the Gas who drew first blood from the penalty spot. The Gas pressed Coventry well and a loose pass was miscontrolled allowing for Hargreaves to nick in. Before the youngster could get control of the ball he was up-ended by Coventry defender Kyle McFadzean and the ref had no other choice but to point to the spot. JCH stepped up and confidently slotted the ball home, putting the Gas 1 up against his former employers.

^JCH celebrates scoring against his former club.

From this point Coventry continued in control of the game and if not for some excellent goalkeeping the Gas’ lead would have been incredibly short lived. Van stoppershoef produced a incredible stop with his feet to deny Shipley from point blank range.

Unfortunatley for the Gas the equaliser came 15 minutes before the break. Walsh’s strike from 20 yards was just out of the reach of the sprawling Van Stoppershoef and nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

Coventry’s lead didn’t last long and within 2 minutes the Gas were back in front. Sercombe’s whipped freekick met the head of the leaping Tony Craig who thundered a header past Marosi and into the net. However this was not to be Craig’s only contribution.

The beginning of the second half was the opposite of the first. The Gas started positively and were desperately unlucky to see Upson’s delightful volley crash off the outside of the post. However, following a Rovers attack breaking down, Coventry broke quickly with the ball finding it’s way to Walsh, again, and his lob was turned in by Tony Craig. Replays later showed that Walsh’s effort was missing the target.

The remaining 35 minutes made for an enthralling cup tie with both teams having opportunities to prevent the replay. Rovers best opportunities came through pressing Coventry high up the pitch and forcing mistakes from their centre backs, while Coventry were hurting the Gas down the wings.

However both teams best chances to win the tie came in stoppage time. Godden , who Rovers had kept quiet till this point, found his way 1 on 1 but Van Stoppershoef blocked his strike superbly to deny the inform striker. At the other end Craig headed marginally over the bar from another set piece from Sercombe.

The replay will take place in 2 weeks time at St Andrews. Following this the Gas will play Stevenage on Wednesday night where they will look to progress in the trophy.