Half-time: Ryan Brunt strikes to offer Bristol Rovers slender 1-0 advatage over Wycombe Wanderers
A goal by striker Ryan Brunt has handed Bristol Rovers a slender lead over Wycombe Wanderers at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
Brunt produced a classy finish when volleying home from the edge of the penalty area after a Joe Anyinsah cross had deflected off a Wycombe defender into his path in the 35th minute to convert what was one of only a handful of chances in an otherwise lethargic opening period carefully played out by both sets of players.
John Ward's side, who could move out of the bottom six for the first time this season if they can add another victory to a five-match unbeaten run, started with a bit of intent and had the better of what few opportunities were created.
Brunt could have offered them a great start when presented with a good chance in the seventh minute after neat play between Lee Brown and Fabian Broghammer down the left-hand side.
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Broghammer, who was returned to the starting line-up as the only change to the side that won at Oxford United last week, produced a decent low cross after scampering away from his marker only for Brunt to place his side-footed effort into the arms of Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer.
Another 10 minutes elapsed before Rovers carved out another sniff at goal, but, on that occasion, Oliver Norburn sliced high over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after the ball had been headed away by a Wycombe defender at a free-kick situation. Midfielder John-Joe O'Toole – acting as a supplementary striker to lone man Brunt – also fired a shot wide in stoppage time.
Wycombe, meanwhile, failed to test Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall at all, despite some neat play in the middle of the pitch down the flanks at times.
Rovers (4-5-1): Mildenhall; Smith, Parkes, McChrystal, Brown; Anyinsah, Norburn, Clucas, O'Toole, Broghammer; Brunt. Subs: Harrison, Gough, McDonald, Hitchcock, Clarkson, Woodards, Richards.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Archer; McCoy, Winfield, Stewart, Dunne; Grant, Lewis, Harriman, Wood; Kuffour, McClure. Subs: Harrison, Johnson, Ainsworth, Spring, Oli, Morgan, Hause.