Leon Clarke makes instant impact to give Bristol Rovers victory against Crawley



Posted Sunday, September 05, 2021 by PA

Leon Clarke makes instant impact to give Bristol Rovers victory against Crawley

Substitute Leon Clarke scored within 90 seconds of his Bristol Rovers debut to earn a 1-0 League Two victory over Crawley at the Memorial Stadium.

The 36-year-old striker was introduced at the start of the second half and made an immediate impact, finding space in the box to head home from fellow debutant Antony Evans’ 47th-minute cross.

Goalkeeper James Belshaw then protected Rovers’ lead with second-half saves from substitute Ashley Nadesan twice and Sam Ashford, leaving Crawley entitled to feel unlucky.

The visitors had the best first-half chances, Tyler Frost forcing a save from Belshaw with an 11th-minute drive.

Belshaw also saved bravely at the feet of Jake Hessenthaler in the 32nd minute, while Jake Powell headed straight at the Rovers keeper from a 41st-minute free-kick.

Harvey Saunders might have wrapped up the points for the hosts when shooting wide with five minutes left.

Instead, Rovers had to dig in during seven minutes of stoppage time, but held out to the delight of the home fans in a 6,513 crowd.

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