Runcorn 1 Bristol Rovers 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 26 November 2002

Bristol Rovers escaped an FA Cup shock at Runcorn FC Halton as the Pirates stole a 3-1 win after extra time.

The early stages were tense and tight before Rovers took the lead after 17 minutes as Giuliano Grazioli flicked home Vitalijs Astafjevs' near-post cross.

Eleven minutes before the break Wayne Carlisle almost doubled the lead as he curled a 30-yard free-kick against the woodwork after a foul on Astafjevs.

Ten minutes after the break, Kevin Leadbetter finally got an effort on target for the home side, but his shot was easily dealt with by Scott Howie and soon after Mike Tomlinson was on hand to deny Robert Quinn a second for Rovers.

On the hour, Tomlinson almost levelled at the other end, but Howie did well for the visitors.

Paul Tait headed over from close range 19 minutes from time and then the home side almost stole a shock winner.

Liam Watson's shot from the edge of the area rebounded back off the woodwork and away to safety to spare Rovers' blushes.

The first period of extra time produced no more goals, but Runcorn's Lee Parle was sent off after a second booking and Rovers made the extra man pay after the turnaround.

Carlisle knocked home David Gilroy's pass from close range with 12 minutes to play and right at the death Gilroy touched in Tait's left-wing cross to ensure that it was Rovers who went through to round two

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