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Match Reports

REPORT: Stanley 6 Bristol Rovers 1

Dion Charles celebrates his first league hat-trick in emphatic win

2 February 2021

Accrington Stanley ran rampant against Bristol Rovers to move into seventh place in the table.

Dion Charles celebrated his first league hat-trick while Colby Bishop scored twice and Joe Pritchard opened the scoring to secure another important three points for the Reds in their biggest win of the season so far.

The game was delayed 30 minutes to allow the staff of both clubs to help to clear the pitch of snow.

Coleman fielded the same starting XI which drew 2-2 at Plymouth on Saturday.

It was a breathtaking opening with Stanley kicking things off on eight minutes.

Bishop jinked his way into the area on the left and played in a cross with Pritchard there unmarked to fire home. It was his eighth goal of the campaign.

Pritchard played a dangerous ball across the goal which just needed a touch as Stanley looked for a second but it was Rovers who struck next.

On 11 minutes, a long goal kick by Joe Day caught out the Reds defence and Sam Nicholson ran through and finished into the far corner of the net.

However Stanley were back in front a minute later when Charles got the ball on the edge of the area, he evaded two challenges and fired past Day.

It was three on 17 minutes when a goalkick from Nathan Baxter found Charles, he took a touch and confidently fired into the far bottom corner of the net.

Pritchard curled an effort just over the bar while Day pulled off a superb save to tip a Bishop header over the bar.

However Bishop took his next chance when a Sean McConville corner was headed home by the striker at the near post on 28 minutes.

Rovers kept pressing and Zain Westbrook almost got one back for the Gas when he tried his luck from 25 yards, Baxter stopping it going into the top corner.

Baxter tipped out this time a lob from Westbrooke and, on the stroke of half-time, Brandon Hanlan headed over the bar for the visitors.

Stanley scored a fifth on 48 minutes when a Charles strike was well-kept out by Day but it fell kindly for Bishop to fire home his second into the empty net.

Bishop was denied a hat-trick by a superb save from Day after the striker had teed up the ball on the edge of the area and volleyed it goalwards.

Stanley were on the hunt for more with Pritchard denied by Day and heading just wide.

It was six on 70 minutes when Paul Smyth played the ball in and Charles got ahead of the defence and flicked it home at the near post for a hat-trick and 12 for the season.

The Reds still looked for more - Jon Russell and Seamus Conneely coming close in the latter stages.


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