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Match Reports

Report: Bristol Rovers 4 Blackpool 0

Clarke-Harris Hits Hat-Trick In Defeat of Pool

2 March 2019

A hat-trick from Jonson Clarke-Harris condemned Blackpool to a second consecutive defeat in Sky Bet League One, as Bristol Rovers ran out 4-0 winners at the Memorial Stadium.

It was a display that The Seasiders will want to forget quickly, having found themselves a goal down after just six minutes of play.

Clarke-Harris then doubled his tally prior to the break and added a third in the second-half to take away the match ball.  

Liam Sercombe rubbed salt into the wounds in added time, firmly punishing what was an out of sorts defensive performance.

Manager Terry McPhillips made two changes for the game, bringing Jordan Thompson and Nathan Delfouneso back into the starting line-up for Antony Evans and Chris Long.

It was Harry Pritchard who had Blackpool’s first opportunity inside three minutes, rising high to head a great cross from Delfouneso just wide.

Soon after, Bristol Rovers opened the scoring in disappointing fashion from a Blackpool perspective. Curtis Tilt’s attempted clearance was sliced back across goal and presented Jonson Clarke-Harris with the chance to slot home.

But for the quick reactions of Mark Howard, The Seasiders could have quickly conceded again. Liam Sercombe ran off his man at the back post and saw his volley pushed away by the stopper.

Jordan Thompson had a chance to respond in the 17th minute, finding space after an initial knockdown from Armand Gnanduillet. Unfortunately, he blazed his effort over the bar.

The hosts continued to have Blackpool on edge defensively and saw Clarke-Harris flash a powerful drive across the face of goal.

It wasn’t long before Clarke-Harris scored his second though, springing Blackpool’s step up for offside to fire the ball past Mark Howard.

Half-Time: Bristol Rovers 2 Blackpool 0

The Seasiders made a change after the interval, with the introduction of Matty Virtue for Nick Anderton resulting in a formation switch to 3-5-2. Ollie Turton and Harry Pritchard occupied the wing-back roles.

Despite that, Bristol Rovers almost found the net a third time immediately. Liam Sercombe’s strike was picked out of the air by Mark Howard to keep the score at two.

At the other end, Armand Gnanduillet and Jordan Thompson both saw efforts saved by Jack Bonham.

The home side regained a grip on proceedings after that little spell and went close again through Tom Nichols, who fired just over the bar.

As the time continued to tick by, Blackpool opted to bring on Joe Dodoo for Harry Pritchard, however he was barely on the field before Bristol Rovers made it three.  

Ollie Clarke was denied by a superb save from Mark Howard, but that left Jonson Clarke-Harris as the quickest to react and tuck away the rebound for his hat-trick.

Joe Dodoo watched a strike charged down, while third and final substitute Chris Taylor had an effort deflect narrowly wide.

In the 91st minute, Bristol Rovers made it four. Blackpool were completely stretched at the back and Liam Sercombe was left unmarked to pick his spot.

Full-Time: Bristol Rovers 4 Blackpool 0

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