by Matt Slater
Venue: The Memorial Stadium
BRISTOL Rovers’ Jonson Clarke-Harris grabbed both goals as the home side walked away with a well-deserved victory.
The striker found the opener with a very well worked goal as he shrugged off his defender and fired home.
Clarke-Harris got the winner from the spot to get the three points against a poor Black Cats side. The Rovers stay in 14th position, with Sunderland staying outside of playoffs in 7th.
It was the Black Cats’, Antoine Semenyo, who had the first chance of the game. His dancing run, from the halfway line, was able to take two defenders out of the game. The resulting shot was blocked.
The home side’s, Liam Selcombe, replied with a hopeful shot from 40-yards out. It flew wide and out for a goal-kick. The Gas continued to add pressure. Clarke-Harris put through Jayden Mitchell-Lawson on the byline.
Josh Scowen’s block led to a corner, with the home side failing to find any success through this.
And it was the home side who opened the lead through Clarke-Harris. Alex Rodman’s one-two with Ollie Clarke allowed the captain to find the striker in the box, who rolled his defender and found the roof of the net.
The second half struggled to get going as both sides were unable to create any real chances.
The Black cats’ Max Power played a risky back pass to Jon McLaughlin, as it was chased down by a sprinting Clarke-Harris. Mclaughlin, however, carefully passed the ball to safety.
— Matt Slater (@MattSlater2000) March 10, 2020
Rovers started to increase their hold on the game, with chances coming a more regularity.
Chris Maguire’s freekick was unable to find a Sunderland head as he saw his high cross go out for a goal kick. The midfielder stood in disgust.
Sunderland’s hopes of getting back into the game were tainted shortly after. Luke Leahy’s cross struck the rising arm of a Black Cat’s defender in the box.
Clarke-Harris’ resulting penalty was powered into the bottom corner to give him his second goal of the game.
Rovers were in full force at this stage and were looking for a third. Tony Craig lifted a perfectly weighted ball over the top and found Jayden Mitchell-Lawson. He ran through the defence but could only find the side-netting.
And withing minutes, Sunderland nearly pulled one back. Semeyno fired a low shot towards the Rovers goal, but Rodman was able to clear the ball on his goal-line.
The game concluded as Clarke-Harris nearly bagged his hat-trick. The striker fired the ball towards McLaughlin, but the ‘keeper got down low and pushed it wide.
Star Man: Jonson Clarke-Harris
Bristol Rovers: Jamal Blackman, Tony Craig, Liam Sercombe, Ollie Clarke, Jonson Clarke-Harris (Michael Kelly 90’+3), Luke Leahy, Alfie Kilgour, Cian Harries, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson (James Daly 80’), Alex Rodman, Cameron Hargreaves (Josh Hare 83)’.
Sunderland: Jon McLaughlin, Jordan Willis, Alim Ozturk (Lynden Gooch 71’), Max Power, Chris Maguire, Kyle Lafferty (Charlie Wyke 46’), Tom Flanagan, Luke O’Nien, Josh Scowen (Will Grigg 87’), Denver Hume, Antoine Semenyo.
Incident Log: Goals: Jonson Clarke-Harris (39’), (75’).
Yellow Cards: Luke Leahy (30’), Cameron Hargreaves (45+1’). Ollie Clarke (68’)