Plummer's penalty joy for Rovers

Second Division Bristol Rovers crowned a memorable evening by beating Everton in a penalty shoot-out to move into the third round of the Worthington Cup. Substitute Dwayne Plummer, who once featured in a Paul Gascoigne skills video as a youngster, scored the winning penalty in front of an 11,000 crowd.

Second Division Bristol Rovers crowned a memorable evening by beating Everton in a penalty shoot-out to move into the third round of the Worthington Cup. Substitute Dwayne Plummer, who once featured in a Paul Gascoigne skills video as a youngster, scored the winning penalty in front of an 11,000 crowd.

A stirring second-half performance by Rovers had taken the tie into extra-time as Everton failed to build on an early Francis Jeffers goal.

Marcus Bignot equalised in the 58th minute and Rovers, with teenagers Simon Bryant and Lewis Hogg driving them forward from midfield, almost secured victory in normal time.

As Everton wobbled, Mark Walters, Vitalijs Astafjevs and Bignot went close three times in as many minutes but the Premiership side held on.

Everton were without David Weir, Paul Gascoigne and Kevin Campbell who, despite scoring in the first leg 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, had to be content with a place on the bench. Their manager, Walter Smith, decided to pair Mark Hughes with Francis Jeffers up front.

The Premiership side took the lead in the 14th minute when, not for the last time, Steve Watson brought the ball out of defence. As Rovers back-pedalled, Watson advanced over half-way and put the ball beyond their back three for Jeffers, looking suspiciously offside, to run on and score with a low right-foot shot across Nick Culkin from 12 yards.

Midway through the half Everton attacked down the right only for crosses by Thomas Graveson and then Joe-Max Moore to be cleared with some desperation.

Just after the half-hour, Rovers forced Paul Gerrard into serious action for the first time with a well-struck free-kick by Astafjevs, then Graveson's deflected shot from outside the penalty area was brilliantly beaten away by Culkin.

Eight minutes from the interval Everton missed a golden opportunity to go further ahead when Moore fired wastefully over. Jeffers was injured in the attack and was replaced by Alec Cleland.

Three minutes later, the Memorial Stadium erupted when Rovers rounded off a good spell of pressure with the equaliser. Scott Jones linked up well with Ellington before the striker's shot was parried by Gerrard straight into the path of Bignot. The wing-back gleefully side-footed the ball in.

Within 20 seconds of the start of extra-time, Gravesen should have put the visitors back in front but Culkin saved with his legs. Only a vital tackle from Dunne denied Ellington a clear sight on goal barely six yards out. Ellington then somehow rode three challenges, fell over but regained his feet to smash in a shot which Gerrard kicked over the bar.

 

Bristol Rovers (3-5-2): Culkin; Andreasson (Walters, h-t), Foster, Jones; Bignot, Hogg (Plummer 86), Bryant, Astafjevs, Wilson; Ellington, Ellis. Substitutes not used: Foran, Meaker, Glennon (gk).

Everton (3-5-2): Gerrard; Dunne, Watson, Unsworth (Ball, h-t); Alexandersson, Graveson, Max-Moore, Nyarko, S Hughes; Jeffers (Cleland, 39), M Hughes (Campbell, 76). Substitutes not used: Simonsen (gk), Gemmill.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

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