Mildenhall makes his mark

Last Updated: Sat, 07 Dec 2013 19:39
Bristol%20Rovers

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward praised goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall after his saves ensured an FA Cup replay in a 0-0 draw with Crawley.

It was a mistake by the experienced keeper that prevented his side beating York at the first attempt in the first round, although they eventually won the replay.

This time it was Mildenhall's agility and bravery that kept Rovers in the competition as Crawley looked to make an instant impression on their new boss John Gregory.

Ward said: "Steve held his hand up over the error against York and apologised to the lads, which is typical of him.

"If anything he has raised his game again since then. He is a terrific professional and his first words to me at the end of this game concerned it being his third successive clean sheet.

"He has been really commanding and might easily have helped us win the game. We have finished it strongly after a tentative start.

"I wouldn't say we did enough to earn a victory. But we will have John-Joe O'Toole and Chris Beardsley back from suspension for the replay and are not out of the tie by any means."

Gregory's side looked the more likely scorers in the first half and Mildenhall had to be at his best to beat away a fierce volley from Mark Connolly after 43 minutes.

The tall goalkeeper had also done well to save a 15th-minute header from Gary Alexander and in the second half made further saves to deny Dannie Bulman and Joe Walsh.

Oliver Norburn hit the crossbar with Rovers' best effort, a right-footed volley from 20 yards just before the hour-mark.

Crawley goalkeeper Paul Jones later had to five full length to keep out a long-range effort from Eliot Richards and the League Two side battled to the last.

The visitors lost skipper Josh Simpson to a hamstring injury in the warm-up and had to draft in Andy Drury as a late replacement.

Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.

Related news

McChrystal rallies troops

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:05

A game too far - Clarke

Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:17

O'Toole ready for Rovers return

Sun, 20 Apr 2014 16:13

Pirates boss Clarke stays positive

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 18:25

Swashbuckling Pompey down Pirates

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 17:43

Rovers sweating on trio

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:54

Clarke calls for fight from Pirates

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:31

We deserved boos - Clarke

Sat, 12 Apr 2014 18:41

Pirates suffer damaging defeat

Sat, 12 Apr 2014 17:36

Broghammer in Rovers squad

Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:33