Bristol Rovers play host to today’s FA Cup fixture, as Darlington look to bring a little cup magic to the Memorial Stadium. Rovers can’t underestimate the National League North side, after they won against fellow League One competitors, Swindon Town, in the first round. Paul Tisdale is still looking for his first win as Rovers boss, only claiming a point from his first two games in charge. It’s certainly going to be, a tough game for Darlington, but certainly not impossible.
Harry Buckett will be taking you through all the action.
KICK OFF Darlington get us going on this damp afternoon in Bristol.
5′ A bit of a slow start this afternoon. Rovers have seen more of the ball but haven’t really been able to do anything with their possession. The ball spending a lot of it’s time in the air at the moment.
10′ It’s becoming quite a physical game, with Darlington especially showing they aren’t afraid to get stuck in. Luke McCormick has looked bright for Bristol, but other than this still quite a slow game.
13′ David Atkinson can’t quite control a searching cross sent in by Jarret Rivers and Bristol are able to clear. The most action the games seen so far.
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18′ McCormick picks the ball out of the air and tries his luck from the edge of the box. The boll sails high and wide of the target, resulting in a Darlington goal kick.
25′ Joe Wheatly opts to shot from distance but has to watch his effort bounce wide of the post.
26′ Rivers and Adam Campbell link up well for Darlington and work themselves into a bit of space on the edge of the penalty area. Campbell tries to curl one in but it’s a simple save in the end for Anssi Jaakkola. Darlington certainly looking more threatening than Rovers at the moment.
29′ GOAL (BRR) What a howler for the Darlington defence. Josh Hare sends a long ball upfield but a mix up between David Atkinson and Johnny Saltmer results in the centre half heading it over his own keeper. James Daly is then left with one of the easiest finishes of his career, into an empty net.
33′ The goal has really got Rovers going now as they work the ball well up the pitch. A tame shot from distance by Erhun Oztumer is comfortably saved by Saltzer, but with the way Rovers are playing now a second goal could be right around the corner.
37′ Darlington form a quick counter attack after winning back the ball. Luke Charman is played through the backline of Bristol but his driven effort can’t find the target.
38′ GOAL (BRR) A great passing move from The Gas. Mccormick slots the ball into the box for Hare, allowing the right back to finish off the move with a clinical outside the boot finish, into the bottom left corner.
42′ PENALTY (BRR) It’s not been a good day for Atkinson as this time he gives away a penalty. A clumsy high challenge on Daly gives the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
43′ GOAL (BRR) Luke Leahy converts the penalty, sending the keeper the wrong way.
44′ CHANCE Daly finds himself with the ball and the box and works himself into a position to shoot. His powerful low effort is well saved by the hand of Saltmer.
45′ GOAL (BRR) Another one for The Gas. A nice one two played between Oztumer and Sam Nicholson gives the Charlton loanee the space to place the ball into the far right hand corner. If you had asked me to predict the score after the first 20 I might have said 0-0, but with the rate Bristol are scoring now, I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough fingers to count all the goals.
HALF TIME Bristol Rovers 4-0 Darlington
Four goals for Bristol puts them in complete control in what was a half of two halves. Darlington are going to have to do something really special if they are to comeback from this and stand a chance of progressing to the next round. Paul Tisdale will definitely be happy with his sides showing so far, and is on course to pick up that first victory as Rovers manager.
46′ And we are back underway. A big half needed from the non league side to get something out of this.
51′ YELLOW Rivers is shown the yellow card.
52′ PENALTY (BRR) Another penalty for Bristol Rovers. Daly chases down the rebound from his original shot but is tripped by Tony Mcmahon.
53′ GOAL (BRR) Leahy slots the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Saltmer the wrong way for a second time.Embed from Getty Images
56′ SAVE Outstanding stop from Jaakkola. The ball falls perfectly for McMahon who smacks the ball across goal. Jaakola reacts quickly and flicks the ball onto the post to keep his clean sheet in tact. The closest Darlington have come by far.
59′ GOAL (BRR) A lofted corner is nodded downwards by Max Ehmer straight onto the boot of Nicholson, who finishes well from close range. No way back for Darlington at this stage, it’s going to be more about damage control, ensuring they don’t get embarrassed too much.
61′ CHANCE Nicholson should really have another goal to his name, after he finds a pocket of space just inside the box, but his shot is hit straight at the keeper.
68′ YELLOW Will Hatfield is shown the yellow card after a late challenger.
71′ SAVE A skilful flick from Rivers allows him to hit one of the volley, but it’s going to take something special to beat Jaakkola in this form, as he gets down quickly to save.
76′ After a good period of play from Darlington, Tyrone 0’Neil is given a chance to shoot however it is sent off target.
79′ INJURY Daly is receiving treatment after falling awkwardly on his ankle following a challenge. It doesn’t look like he can continue, and after using all three substitutes, Rovers will have to finish the game with ten men.
84′ The balls spent most of it’s time in the middle of the pitch the past five minutes. Both teams not really searching for another goal this late on.
90′ We will have three additional minutes.
FULL TIME Bristol Rovers 6-0 DarlingtonEmbed from Getty Images
Darlington’s FA Cup campaign ends at the memorial stadium, after a dominating performance from Bristol Rovers. All six of the goals came within a period of thirty minutes, however the rest of the game was mostly still rather entertaining. Darlington did have chances, taking eleven shots, but a mixture of poor finishing and great goalkeeping denied them.
Bristol will now look ahead to tomorrow evening, where they will be waiting to hear who they draw in the next round of the competition. With the introduction of both Championship and Premier League teams, Paul Tisdale’s side will certainly be looking to get their hands on a big third round tie.