Rovers FA Cup run comes to an end at Ashton Gate as Jay Emmanuel-Thomas strikes twice.Bristol City- 2 (Emmanuel-Thomas- 36’, 79’)
Tuesday 13th January, 2015
FA Cup 3rd Round REPLAY
With Sam Johnstone returning to Manchester United, Slovakian Under 21 International Marko Marosi made his first start for the club, while youngster Harry Middleton also made his first start of the season as he came in for Dean Furman.
Rovers started the game with a good energy as they looked to continue their impressive run of form away from home.
Their first sight of goal came a quarter of an hour into the game. Curtis Main used his pace to break free from his marker, before picking out James Coppinger who was there to meet the cross with a volley, but the Rovers captain couldn’t make good enough contact to test Frank Fielding.
Bristol City came close as Wagstaff got on the end of a neat flick from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Seeing Marosi off his line he went for the lob but his effort was well wide and didn’t test the Rovers ‘keeper.
The hosts should have taken the lead on the half hour mark as an unmarked Aden Flint got up to head to ball towards goal. Fortunately for Rovers the defender couldn’t keep his header down and Marosi was untested.
With the rain heavily coming down at Ashton Gate, conditions became difficult for both sets of players.
The home side broke the deadlock before half time after Rovers failed to clear their lines from a Bristol corner. Following a double save from Marosi and a real scrap in the area, former Rovers loanee Emmanuel-Thomas somehow tapped the ball over the line from close range.
As the visitors looked to respond before the half time whistle, Coppinger danced his way through the Bristol City defence before releasing a shot with his left foot. The Rovers captain thought he’d scored, only to see his effort cleared off the line.
Half time score: Bristol City 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Emmanuel-Thomas continued to look dangerous after the break and his cross into the area set up the in-form Matt Smith who saw his header go inches wide of the post.
Paul Keegan came close to levelling things up for Rovers, as he got on the end of a Harry Forrester corner at the back post, forcing Fielding to make the save. Unfortunately Harry Middleton’s follow up shot whistled over the bar.
Paul Dickov made attacking changes to get back into the game and introduced Theo Robinson, Nathan Tyson and Kyle Bennett.
Rovers enjoyed a short spell of pressure, Robinson came close with an ambitious over head kick following a cross from Enda Stevens, but he saw his effort well blocked by the Bristol City defence.
Despite pressure from the visitors, Bristol City finished the game off with just over ten minutes to play. Following a Rovers attack, the home side broke and found themselves three against two with Emmanuel-Thomas in possession. The City midfielder kept his composure and cut inside before calmly slotting the ball past Marosi.
Following the home side’s second goal, the game lost its sting and chances were few and far between. Rovers pushed for a goal back but with Steve Cotterill’s side getting all eleven men behind the ball, it proved difficult for the visitors. The referee blew for full time and Rovers impressive run of nine games unbeaten on the road came to an end.
Team line ups-
Bristol: Frank Fielding, Mark Little, Derek Williams, Luke Ayling, Aden Flint, Korey Smith, Matt Smith (Karleigh Osborne- 86), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Scott Wagstaff (Luke Freeman- 75), Greg Cunningham, Marlon Pack
Subs not used: Dave Richards, Wade Elliott, Joe Bryan, Jordan Wynter
Rovers: Marko Marosi, Enda Stevens, Andy Butler, Luke McCullough, Reece Wabara, Richie Wellens, Paul Keegan (Kyle Bennett- 78), Harry Middleton (Nathan Tyson- 60), James Coppinger, Curtis Main, Harry Forrester (Theo Robinson- 60).
Subs not used: Jack McLaren, Liam Wakefield, Jamie McCombe, Marc de Val