2017/18 English League One, Regular Season
  • Joe Partington (53')
  • Chris Lines (84' PEN)
  • Liam Sercombe (87')
  • Charlie Wyke (38' PEN)

Darrell Clarke delighted with Bristol Rovers character

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke felt his team had to overcome a first-half injustice before storming to three well deserved points.
The hosts trailed at the interval thanks to a controversial 38th-minute penalty from Charlie Wyke, awarded against Ollie Clarke, who stumbled inside the box and inadvertently kicked the ball against his hand as he looked to break his fall.
Manager Clarke said: "Sometimes a bit of common sense needs to be applied in that sort of situation. Ollie has slipped and clearly didn't mean to handle the ball.
"At half time I told the lads not to let the incident upset them and they again showed great character to come from behind and continue the little run we are on.
"We had played pretty well in the first half, without being as effective in the final third as we can be, only for that big decision to go against us.
"In the second period we were better and more clinical. It's a good win and we move on.
"I would still like to bring in a couple of players during the current window, preferably on a permanent basis."
Wyke fired his penalty underneath the diving body of Adam Smith and Bradford could have been two up at the break as Tyrell Robinson blazed over when put clear on 42 minutes.
But Rovers equalised on 53 minutes, Joe Partington netting his first goal for the club with a mishit volley in a crowded box following a corner, and went ahead from the spot on 84 minutes after Ellis Harrison had been tripped by Nathaniel Knight-Percival.
Chris Lines sent Rouvan Sattelmaier the wrong way with a crisp penalty and, after Romain Vincelot had grazed a post for Bradford with a header, Rovers midfielder Liam Sercombe cut in from the left to seal the result with a right-footed drive from 12 yards.
Bradford boss Stuart McCall said: "We were probably a bit lucky to be ahead at half-time, but I felt we did better in the second period and the match turned on us conceding a poor goal.
"It wasn't a great corner from them, but Nicky Law has slipped going to head it and they have ended up scoring with a scruffy volley.
"That got their crowd going. We conceded a penalty that was a penalty, but even then Romain Vincelot has put a header just wide before we paid for committing extra men forward.
"We don't have a lot of strength in depth at the moment and I think we need to bring in a couple of new faces to sustain a promotion challenge."

English League One Standings

1 Wycombe Wanderers 19 +14 40
2 Ipswich Town 18 +15 36
3 Peterborough United 19 +17 32
4 Blackpool 19 +7 32
5 Bristol Rovers 18 +3 31
6 Coventry City 19 +3 31
7 Oxford United 18 +18 30
8 Rotherham United 19 +11 30
9 Fleetwood Town 17 +7 29
10 Portsmouth 18 +8 28
11 Sunderland 18 +4 26
12 Shrewsbury Town 18 -3 25
13 Doncaster Rovers 16 +7 24
14 Gillingham 19 +1 24
15 Burton Albion 18 +1 24
16 Rochdale 20 -11 22
17 Lincoln City 18 -2 21
18 Accrington Stanley 19 -4 19
19 AFC Wimbledon 19 -7 17
20 Tranmere Rovers 18 -11 17
21 Milton Keynes Dons 19 -14 14
22 Southend United 20 -37 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 16 -27 2