After keeping four clean sheets in seven games during October, Jack Bonham started November in a similar vein as Bristol Rovers beat Blackpool 3-0 on Saturday.
The opening 45 minutes produced no goals but Rovers needed only three minutes after the interval to break the deadlock, Ollie Clarke’s strike having just too much power on it for home goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi. There was then a collector’s item for former Bee Tony Craig as he volleyed home a second before Clarke wrapped up the points late on. The clean sheet was Jack’s eighth in 14 games for The Gas as they moved out of the bottom four. The Sky Bet League One relegation battle takes a back seat next weekend as Rovers head to Barnet in the Emirates FA Cup First Round.
In the Sky Bet Championship, Ryan Woods played 90 minutes as Stoke City were held 0-0 at home by Middlesbrough in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Both sides had chances in an entertaining affair but Stoke couldn’t break down the second tier’s best defence while, at the other end, Jack Butland was on hand to make key saves to deny Jordan Hugill and Jonny Howson late on. The point leaves The Potters in 15th with a trip across the Midlands to Nottingham Forest coming up this weekend.
Theo Archibald made his first Sky Bet League Two start in four matches as Forest Green Rovers went down 2-1 away at league leaders Lincoln City on Saturday. In a meeting between top and sixth, it was the home side who struck first; John Akinde scoring after just eight minutes. Rovers, looking for a third straight league win, hit straight back when Reece Brown capitalised on an error by home keeper Josh Vickers four minutes later. That was how it stayed until the final 20 minutes when Kellan Gordon broke forward from right-back to tap home at the far post. Rovers are back in action tomorrow night, hosting Arsenal Under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Elsewhere in the fourth tier, Tom Field was an unused substitute for Cheltenham Town’s 2-2 draw with Mansfield Town while injury kept Chiedozie Ogbene out of Exeter City’s trip to Tranmere Rovers which ended in defeat. Both sides face tricky Emirates FA Cup ties next week as The Grecians host League One side Blackpool while Cheltenham head to Kent to take on Ebbsfleet United.
In the National League, Justin Shaibu played the final 15 minutes of Boreham Wood’s goalless draw at Play-Off chasing Solihull Moors. It was a game of few clear-cut chances at either end, the best of which fell to Moors’ defender Alex Gudger. The point leaves Luke Garrard’s side in 11th ahead of their trip to Southport in the Emirates FA Cup.