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The Memorial Stadium (ATT 10,883) 7th January 2012 - Kick off 17:30 Ref: H Webb

Bristol R Bristol Rovers vs Aston Villa A Villa

Bristol R 1

S McGleish (90)


A Villa 3

M Albrighton (35)
G Agbonlahor (64)
C Clark (78)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 7:27 pm, January 7th 2012

  1. Thanks for tuning in this evening. Stay with for the full match report.

  2. That's it! Aston Villa withstand a VERY late fightback from Bristol Rovers to win 3-1 at the Memorial Stadium.

  3. 90+3

    Gardner tries a late shot and forces a great save at full stretch from Poke as this dramatic finale plays out.

  4. 90+3

    Guzan denies McGleish with a good save to the left and Rovers miss out on a grandstand finish.

  5. 90+2

    PENALTY FOR ROVERS! What a finish this is turning out to be. Warnock handball in the area.

  6. 90+1

    Dunne makes a woefully misjudged pass to hand the ball to McGleish on the edge of the box and he chips it nicely over Guzan to hand the hosts a consolation.

  7. 90


  8. 88

    Zebroski can't keep the ball from going behind as Rovers try a late push and it looks all over for the hosts.

  9. 87

    Kayne McLaggon comes on for the last few minutes in place of Anyinsah as Rovers make a late swap.

  10. 86

    Bannan's corner is a short one as Villa build an attack, but Gardner's cross from the opposite flank seconds later is high and wide.

  11. 86

    Darren Bent is released by Agbonlahor in front of goal but Downes makes a timely clearance as Villa win a corner.

  12. 85

    Woodards charges forward, desperately hunting for Villa, but Ireland is there to intervene.

  13. 84

    Stanley floats in the kick from far out on the right but Dunne gets the first touch to it in front of goal, heading clear.

  14. 83

    Warnock dives in on Zebroski down the right and is lucky to avoid a yellow. Free-kick Rovers.

  15. 82

    As expected, Petrov makes way for Bannan.

  16. 81

    It looks like Bannan is going to come on for Petrov as Villa prepare to make their final change. The visitors are firmly in the driving seat as they calmly trade passes.

  17. 80

    Richards comes off for Lee Brown as Rovers make a change.

  18. 80

    It looks like Villa are home and dry unless Rovers pull off something spectacular here.

  19. Clark makes a terrific run from the back, charging to the edge of the box before unleashing a neat shot which slots into the bottom left-hand corner.

  20. 78


  21. 78

    The kick is headed clear and the hosts can breathe easy for a bit. Albrighton puts a wonderful ball in the box for Ireland but the latter can't deal with it.

  22. 77

    Rovers concede a free-kick in their own half as Ireland is fouled. It's from far out on the left and Albrighton steps up to take it.

  23. 76

    The hosts win a corner which Downes attacks but the whistle has gone for handball long before the ball is planted in the net.

  24. 75

    Rovers try to get forward but Clark produces a well-timed header to diffuse the threat.

  25. 74

    Teenager Gary Gardner comes on for Collins as Villa make another change.

  26. 74

    Agbonlahor commits a silly foul as Villa win a free-kick in midfield.

  27. 73

    Albrighton and Clark exchange passes in midfield as Villa enjoy some comfortable possession.

  28. 72

    Anyinsah tries a run but Collins is too strong and cuts it short down the middle. Rovers aren't really getting a look-in.

  29. 71

    Agbonlahor, Ireland and Albrighton team up in front of goal with some great passing but the latter can't quite pick out Bent, poised to apply the finish.

  30. 70

    Villa win another throw in their own end, which Hutton takes, finding Agbonlahor in midfield.

  31. 68

    Anyinsah wins a corner for Rovers as the hosts get a chance to come back but the header with which Downes greets it is off target.

  32. 67

    Villa win a throw inside their own half, which Warnock takes. The visitors are in no hurry to give up possession after surging ahead.

  33. 65

    That goal seemed inevitable the way Villa have been playing these last few minutes and it doesn't look good for Rovers now.

  34. Substitute Agbonlahor gets away from Bolger far out on the left and skips towards goal, steering the ball past Poke and into the bottom right-hand corner with a tidy finish.

  35. 64


  36. 63

    Clark finds himself in space in the Rovers box but Woodards pounces before he can turn to try a shot.

  37. 63

    Richards tries to find a way through for Rovers, looking for Anyinsah in the box, but he gives the ball away to Collins.

  38. 62

    Villa have been firmly on the front foot so far this half, bar those dodgy opening minutes, and Rovers could be in trouble if they keep pressing.

  39. 61

    Goalscorer Albrighton plays through Hutton on the right and he fires in a fizzing cross but it's dealt with by Richards.

  40. 60

    Ireland tries a run down the left for Villa but is called offside as the hosts reclaim possession.

  41. 59

    Hutton takes a throw-in for Villa which Bent picks up on the right. He plays in the ball which could have been a cross or a shot but either way Poke dives to snatch it to safety.

  42. 57

    After a few bright minutes early in this half the hosts have dropped off. They need to pick up the pace if they're going to mount a comeback.

  43. 56

    Villa are enjoying most of the possession as Collins rolls the ball back to Guzan, but the keeper's long kick goes straight out for a Rovers throw.

  44. 54

    Villa are pushing forward inside the Rovers end. Agbonlahor hoofs a long pass into the box but there's no-one there to meet it.

  45. 53

    Zebrowski gives away a silly free-kick as he drags down Petrov in the Villa half.

  46. 52

    Hutton drives in a low cross from the right but the Rovers defence deal with the powerful effort from the Scottish full-back.

  47. 51

    Villa win a corner as the ball glances off the top of Bolger's head and goes behind. Albrighton takes it quickly.

  48. 50

    Agbonlahor finds Warnock on the left of the Rovers goal but the Villa man blasts his cross straight back to the opposition. He's not having the best day.

  49. 49

    Stanley makes a late challenge on Petrov as Villa win a free-kick in their own half, taken by Guzan.

  50. 48

    Richards does well to get the ball away from Hutton on the right of the Rovers end as the visitors win a throw.

  51. 47

    Stanley pokes through a pass meant for Anyinsah on the right of the Villa goal but overshoots his target and it goes behind.

  52. 46

    We're back underway and Rovers make a bright start, catching Villa asleep as Anyinsah tries a shot but scuffs it across the face of goal.

  53. 46

    A change for Villa as Gabby Agbonlahor comes on for Emile Heskey, who came tantalisingly close with a chance in the first half only to be denied by Poke.

  54. Almost time for the second half at the Memorial Stadium. Bristol Rovers have some work to do if they're going to produce a giant-killing.

  55. Got something to say on the first 45 minutes? Get in touch on Twitter @SkySportsRachG or email

  56. That's it for the opening half and Villa lead 1-0 thanks to Marc Albrighton's strike.

  57. 45+2

    There's a late throw-in given to Rovers on the right of the Villa half, which Woodards takes, as they try a last-ditch attack this half but they can't keep the ball down.

  58. 45+1

    Heskey and Ireland try to build something on the left but are shut down by the Rovers defence.

  59. 45

    Villa are the side getting forward in these dying stages as Hutton and Petrov trade passes on the right of the Rovers end. Two extra minutes are added this half.

  60. 44

    Warnock produces a great delivery from the left to pick out Albrighton, waiting in the box, but the winger scuffs his shot behind. Not the best touch from Villa's goalscorer.

  61. 43

    Nothing comes of the set piece as Collins gets his head to the ball to clear after the initial scramble.

  62. 42

    Rovers win a free-kick from 30 yards, which Stanley steps up to take. Chance for the hosts here...

  63. 41

    Villa get forward again as the minutes trickle down this half. Warnock looks for Heskey with a searching pass but Woodards wins the ball.

  64. 40

    Zebroski gets a shot away for the home side from inside the box but Guzan makes a comfortable diving save.

  65. 39

    Warnock responds for Villa with a wildly off-target shot and the home faithful don't miss the opportunity to jeer.

  66. 38

    Stanley delivers the kick from almost the middle of the park but Guzan charges out and leaps to collect.

  67. 38

    Ireland makes a rash challenge on Woodards and Rovers win another kick, this time just inside the Villa end.

  68. 37

    Woodards takes a long throw for Rovers in their own half as they try to mount as reponse and they win a free-kick in midfield seconds later.

  69. 36

    That's a strong position for Villa to be in if they can hold onto it in the closing minutes of this half.

  70. After looking Villa's brightest player so far, Albrighton reaps the rewards for his efforts after picking up a well-weighted Petrov pass on the edge of the area and storming forward before driving his low shot home.

  71. 35


  72. 34

    Bent has had a quiet evening so far - he's had fewer touches than any other player out there on the pitch.

  73. 33

    Albrighton tries again with another break on the right wing but Sawyer is there to obstruct him. The Villa man is working hard so far.

  74. 32

    Albrighton does well with a tricky run down the right but it's wasted as his cross is blocked by the Rovers defence.

  75. 31

    Stanley's initial corner kick is dealt with by the Villa backline. It comes back in through Sawyer but Guzan is there to collect.

  76. 30

    Rovers win a throw on the right of the Villa half and Hutton concedes a corner soon after.

  77. 30

    We're into the final 15 minutes of this half and it's still goalless, with Villa having had most of the chances.

  78. 29

    Collins tries to find Heskey just outside the Rovers box but the striker's outstretched leg can't bring the ball down.

  79. 28

    Rovers are forced to make an early change as Scott McGleish comes on for the injured Carayol as expected.

  80. 27

    Play resumes and Albrighton is bundled over by Sawyer but nothing is given by referee Webb.

  81. 27

    There's a lull in play as Rovers sort out their change, with veteran striker Scott McGleish poised to come on.

  82. 26

    Rovers win a free-kick in their own end after Carayol collides with Warnock. The former limps off as the hosts are forced to make a switch.

  83. 25

    Dangerous for Rovers after Poke charges out to deal with the advancing Petrov, freeing up Warnock in front of the empty goal, but Downes makes the key clearance.

  84. 24

    Poke pulls off some athletic goalkeeping to make a fingertip save of Heskey's headed shot from a Villa corner.

  85. 23

    Warnock drags the ball back to Heskey outside the box but it's not the best first touch from the midfielder and the frontman's shot is blocked by the Rovers' defence.

  86. 22

    The teams are vying for possession in midfield after that spell of Villa attack.

  87. 21

    Poke's goal-kick for Rovers is fired right back at him by the head of Collins.

  88. 20

    McLeish is up and yelling on the touchline, apparently berating Heskey for missing the target with his header.

  89. 19

    Warnock fizzes in a cross from the left but Bolger gets his head to it to clear. Villa are really pressing now.

  90. 18

    Villa look to be waking up a bit now after slow start to the clash. Ireland plants a great ball into the box and Woodards can only just hook it away.

  91. 17

    Ireland dawdles with the ball down the left of the Rovers half and is caught off guard with a strong tackle from Woodards. The resulting throw almost leads to the opener but Heskey nods his effort over the crossbar.

  92. 16

    Warnock makes a superb diagonal pass across the pitch to Bent but the frontman can't quite get a hold of it as Poke bounds out to collect.

  93. 15

    Ireland tries a shot for Villa and Stanley is forced to produce a crucial header to clear.

  94. 14

    There's another couple of throws in quick succession for Villa in midfield but they can't seem to keep the ball down.

  95. 13

    Eliot Richards does well to bring down an awkward ball from Woodards and tries a shot from range, but scuffs it wide.

  96. 12

    Albrighton, looking threatening down the right, tries another break but is impeded for a Villa throw.

  97. 11

    Dunne hoofs another long ball up the pitch, aiming for Heskey, but it rolls to Poke.

  98. 10

    Richard Dunne gets his head to Albrighton's corner but can't power it home. Albrighton tries a shot from distance seconds later and there's plenty of pace behind it, but Rovers keeper Poke has it covered.

  99. 9

    Villa trade passes in midfield, allowing Albrighton to break down the right. His cross is knocked behind for the first corner.

  100. 9

    The question is,how long can Rovers maintain this lively tempo without scoring?

  101. 8

    Rovers win a throw in midfield. The hosts have looked undaunted by their Premier League visitors so far, making the brighter start.

  102. 7

    Warnock tries to find Bent as Villa mount an attack but the ball bobbles and flies in completely the wrong direction.

  103. 6

    Zebroski tries a shot for Rovers, side-footing a powerful effort towards goal from outside the box, but Guzan stoops to collect.

  104. 5

    Dunne picks out Heskey in the box with a well-placed long pass but he can't do anything with it under pressure from the Rovers defence and is forced to offload to Ireland.

  105. 4

    Anyinsah fouls Hutton down the left of the Villa half as the visitors win an early free-kick, which Guzan takes.

  106. 3

    Craig Stanley plants the ball in the box but Hutton gets it away. The home side have made a lively start.

  107. 3

    Woodards takes on Warnock down the right wing and holds his own, fizzing in a cross, but Guzan is there to make a comfortable catch.

  108. 2

    Villa win a couple of early throw-ins. Hutton lofts the second in, looking for Bent in the Rovers box, but the home defence intervene.

  109. 1

    Right, we're off at the Memorial Stadium and Darren Bent gets things started for Aston Villa on a pitch that's seen better days.

  110. There's a tribute for former club president Denis Dunford before kick-off, who passed away this week at the age of 89. The minute's applause is observed well by both sets of fans.

  111. The teams are out and we'll be underway at the Memorial Stadium in a couple of minutes, so enjoy the game guys!

  112. There's only been one big shock in the FA Cup this afternoon - Swindon's upset of Wigan - but Rovers will be out to produce another.

  113. Villa, meanwhile, are enduring their own struggles in the Premier League, with a surprise victory at Chelsea marking their only success in their last five outings.

  114. The hosts will be desperate for some relief from their League Two woes this evening, having lost their last four on the bounce to lead to Buckle's sacking.

  115. Rovers are managerless at the minute following the departure of Paul Buckle in midweek and Shaun North takes charge this evening. He's made just one change, with Joe Anyinsah stepping in for injured leading scorer Matt Harrold.

  116. Alex McLeish has made three changes to his side, bringing Alan Hutton in at right-back in place of the injured Carlos Cuellar, while Emile Heskey gets the nod ahead of Gabriel Agbonlahor in attack and Marc Albrighton relegates Charles N'Zogbia to a spot on the bench.

  117. Refereeing the clash this afternoon is Mr Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

  118. Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Ireland, Petrov, Clark, Bent, Heskey. Subs: Marshall, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Delph, Bannan, Weimann, Gardner.

  119. Bristol Rovers: Poke, Woodards, Downes, Bolger, Sawyer, Anyinsah, Stanley, Dorman, Carayol, Zebroski, Richards. Subs: Cronin, Smith, McGleish, Lee Brown, Anthony, McLaggon, Goddard.

  120. Right, here are the line-ups...

  121. I'll be bringing you the team news in just a sec but first why not get in touch with your thoughts ahead of kick-off. You can Tweet me @SkySportsRachG or email

  122. Good afternoon all and welcome to our live coverage of Bristol Rovers' visit of Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup.


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