National League
Bristol Rovers2Braintree1

Bristol Rovers 2-1 Braintree Town

Matty Taylor
Matty Taylor moved to Bristol Rovers last summer from Forest Green

Bristol Rovers moved to the top of the Conference Premier with a hard-fought win over 10-man Braintree.

Matt Paine was sent off after bringing down Matty Taylor in the area and the striker converted the spot-kick for his 12th goal of the season.

Simeon Akinola levelled with a stunning overhead kick soon after for Braintree.

But Rovers, who have now gone 19 league games unbeaten, sealed all three points when substitute Ellis Harrison scored late on from a pass by Taylor.

It is the first time this season that Rovers, who were relegated from the Football League on the final day of last season, have gone top of the Conference.

They are two points ahead of Barnet, but the Bees have a game in hand.

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol:

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Clarke on Bristol Rovers v Braintree

"It was very hard. You can give a lot of credit to Braintree, they worked exceptionally hard.

"We were sloppy in possession at times and we lacked that killer instinct.

"But we got there in the end with a good bit of interplay from Ellis and Matty Taylor.

"We kept going, but it was testament to Braintree how hard they worked."

Line-ups

Bristol Rovers

  • 1Mildenhall
  • 2Leadbitter
  • 3Brown
  • 5McChrystal
  • 6Parkes
  • 4LockyerSubstituted forDawsonat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7MansellBooked at 50mins
  • 11GoslingSubstituted forBalantaat 46'minutes
  • 23MonkhouseBooked at 5mins
  • 10Taylor
  • 27BlissettSubstituted forHarrisonat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Wakefield
  • 17Harrison
  • 25Puddy
  • 28Dawson
  • 29Balanta

Braintree

  • 1Hamann
  • 4Isaac
  • 3Habergham
  • 6Massey
  • 2BrundleBooked at 4mins
  • 5PaineBooked at 29mins
  • 15AkinolaSubstituted forMaybanksat 90'minutes
  • 11Sparkes
  • 8Davis
  • 9Marks
  • 17MensahSubstituted forMulleyat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 16Maybanks
  • 19Pollen
  • 24Moore
  • 26Mulley
  • 29Pentney
Referee:
Dean Treleaven
Attendance:
6,471

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol RoversAway TeamBraintree
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home12
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home0
Away0
Fouls
Home9
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Bristol Rovers 2, Braintree Town 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Bristol Rovers 2, Braintree Town 1.

Booking

Adam Dawson (Bristol Rovers) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers).

Alan Massey (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Substitution

Substitution, Braintree Town. Joe Maybanks replaces Simeon Akinola.

Attempt saved. Dan Sparkes (Braintree Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved.

Foul by Sean Marks (Braintree Town).

Mark McChrystal (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Attempt saved. Angelo Balanta (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved. Assisted by Adam Dawson.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Attempt missed. Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Hand ball by Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers).

Foul by Sean Marks (Braintree Town).

Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Goal!

Goal! Bristol Rovers 2, Braintree Town 1. Ellis Harrison (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Matty Taylor.

Substitution

Substitution, Braintree Town. James Mulley replaces Bernard Mensah.

Attempt missed. Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers) header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Dawson.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Attempt missed. Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Foul by Bernard Mensah (Braintree Town).

Adam Dawson (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Adam Dawson replaces Tom Lockyer.

Foul by Sam Habergham (Braintree Town).

Andy Monkhouse (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Foul by Sean Marks (Braintree Town).

Mark McChrystal (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick.

Offside, Bristol Rovers. Angelo Balanta tries a through ball, but Angelo Balanta is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Lee Mansell (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved. Assisted by Angelo Balanta.

Corner, Bristol Rovers.

Substitution

Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Ellis Harrison replaces Nathan Blissett.

Offside, Bristol Rovers. Nathan Blissett tries a through ball, but Nathan Blissett is caught offside.

Foul by Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers).

Chez Isaac (Braintree Town) wins a free kick.

Attempt missed. Tom Lockyer (Bristol Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Corner, Braintree Town.

Attempt saved. Nathan Blissett (Bristol Rovers) header from the right side of the six yard box is saved.

goal

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