Bristol Rovers vs ASFC

League One
vs
11/08/2018
Score: 1 - 2

Match Report

Sean McConville made history as he scored Stanley’s first goal in the third tier of English football since 1960 – and he followed it up with a late second to grab their first win at League One level.

The winger fired home in the sixth minute before Stefan Payne equalised for Bristol Rovers on 83 minutes but there was still time for McConville to grab an 89th minute winner in dramatic fashion.

Stanley started strongly and took the lead when Jordan Clark played the ball to McConville just inside the area. The winger cut inside and fired low into the bottom corner of the net for a historic goal.

The Reds were enjoying plenty of possession and Billy Kee’s shot was just wide.

The Pirates threatened though and Stanley were indebted to a great block from defender Ross Sykes to keep out Liam Sercombe’s goalbound effort on 22 minutes.

And debutant keeper Connor Ripley, signed on loan from Middlesbrough on Thursday, instinctively denied Ollie Clarke a certain goal on 32 minutes.

It became end-to-end with Ed Upson heading over for Rovers and Slocombe saving at the feet of Offrande Zanzala, on his first start for the Reds since he came on loan last season and signed permanently from Derby this month.

Stanley started the second half well with Clark’s cross being caught by Slocombe while McConville played in two crosses, finding  Richards-Everton on the first and Mark Hughes on the second but neither could find the target.

The crossbar denied Clark his first goal of the season on 75 minutes as his strike beat Slocombe but crashed against the woodwork.

However three minutes later it could have been all-square with Ripley turning a James Clarke effort around the post.

It was level seven minutes from time when Payne, on his debut, raced into the area and headed home Clarke’s ball in.

Stanley kept pressing and, with one minute of normal time remaining, Clark once more provided the assist and McConville finished well to put the first three points on the board in League One for the Reds.

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