Bristol Rovers 1 Carlisle United 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 24 January 2004

Wayne Carlisle's second-half penalty was enough to earn Bristol Rovers a 1-0 win over Carlisle, watched by the club's second biggest gate of the season.

Rovers slashed prices to just £5 and were rewarded as a crowd of 8,485 turned up at the Memorial Stadium.

It completed a double over the Cumbrians and Carlisle, who scored twice against them in August, was again the hero.

This time he drove home 51st minute penalty after Lewis Haldane had gone down under a challenge from Kevin Gray.

The margin between the two sides was narrow with Carlisle defending a survival run of four wins and a draw from their last six matches and they were not prepared to roll over.

Earlier their player manager Paul Simpson twice tested home keeper Kevin Miller with free kicks from beyond 30 yards.

They continued to carry the game to Rovers but let themselves down by being caught offside six times in the first half hour.

Rovers got into the game through the lively running down the left by Ryan Williams, and Lee Matthews, on loan from Bristol City, was twice involved in moves which could have brought a goal.

Matthews rolled a perfect ball across the front of goal for his young partner Lewis Haldane who arrived too late and the chance went begging.

Matthews was then twice off target with headers but clearly won over the crowd of 8495 - if not the travelling 537 from Carlisle.

The visitors stepped up their game after the penalty and in a scrappy second half almost snatched a draw with six minutes to go.

A free kick given away by Dave Savage was all of 35 yards out but Andy Preece slammed his shot against the bar and Rovers were happy to scramble that away for a corner.

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