BRISTOL ROVERS 1-2 COVENTRY CITY
Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, Brown, Lockyer (Mitchell 72), McChrystal (Gosling 46), Parkes, Sinclair, Clarke, (Mansell 46), Brunt, Taylor, Monkhouse (White 59), Subs: Preston, Harrison.
CIty: Allsop, Phillips. Haynes, Trialist, Finch, Lawton, Daniels, Barton, G.Thomas, Swanson, Maddison. Subs: Dev Kelly Evans, Richards, Stevenson, Shipley.
HT BRFC 1-0 CCFC FT BRFC 1-2 CCFC ATT 1821
Goals Matty Taylor 40, Danny Swanson 66, Aaron Phillips 68
Coventry City fielded a young team but they put in a hard- working performance to take a 2-1 win from their trip to Bristol Rovers.
The City support, which has been heavily criticised by some on social media, for the heinous crime of turning up to matches which are part of a day with friends or family, travelled down the M5 in the pouring rain.
At the Memorial Stadium, Steven Pressley, who posed for photos with some of the 120 City supporters stood on the terrace and some who had journeys of four hours plus to get here, fielded a very young team with Brian McLean again helping out.
City, in their yellow kit, won an eighth minute corner and then a free kick for a foul on Maddison whilst the Conference side had one chance with Taylor firing over in the fifteenth minute.
In the 19th minute, Steve Mildenhall got down to push away a Barton free and then Thomas fired in a shot.
Five minutes later and Allsop made a good stop getting down to his left to push a Tom Lockyer header onto the post. City countered and some good work by James Maddison played in Danny Swanson who blasted over from the edge of the area.
Swanson turned provider to set up Haynes for a shot which went across the goal and was cleared away by a Rovers defender.
In the 33rd minute, a poor header from Jack Finch played in Taylor who thankfully fired wide, with only Allsop to beat.
The excellent James Maddison went close but not as close as the highly influential Billy Daniels who thumped the bar in the 37th minute with a superb run and shot.
In the 40th minute, City, who have signed Reece Charles-Cook and promptly loaned him to Nuneaton, went a goal down when Allsop failed to hold a shot and there was Matty Taylor to bang home.
There were no changes from the Sky Blues at the break and it was City, who, had an early chance but Rovers had a good effort from their winger and a corner thanks to a superb tackle from Barton.
In the 54th minute, a Brunt header beat Allsop and went into the net. Thankfully, the assistant on the side by the dugouts had his flag up and the goal was not allowed to stand.
George Thomas was another who worked for City but he fired over on the hour mark after White had struck Allsop’s left hand post.
Rovers had another goal ruled out for offside before Haynes won City a 65th minute corner as the rain came down. That was cleared but out of nothing City built a move and there was Danny Swanson on the edge of the D to smash the ball high in to the net.
Ryan Haynes who had a fine game won a corner. The ball from Haynes, came deep and there was Aaron Phillips , who along with Ivor Lawtonworked tirelessly all night, to head firmly into the net and give City a 2-1 lead.
As Ryan Haynes was leading Danny Leadbitter a merry dance, at the other end, Rovers twice went close.
Haynes fired over with eleven minutes left and although Rovers threatened late on, City did what they had to do in order to leave the Memorial Stadium with a win from what a gutsy team performance with plenty of endeavour.