Fortunate but deserved third
Chelsea had turned the game on its head and the hosts looked unable to deal with our rapid offensive threat. Lawrence continued to enjoy space on the left and this time cut on to his favoured right foot to take aim at goal. His shot looked to be on target but a deflection off Anjorin’s back sent the ball into the back of the net, Van Stappershoef stood no chance and Anjorin was unaware of his contribution until his team-mates crowded him in celebration, we were level again at 3-3.
All to play for in the final quarter
With the score level as we entered the dying moments it was still all to play for and both teams had their goalkeepers to thank for producing wonder-saves which kept the tie alive. The first was from the Bristol Rovers keeper who denied Lewis an evening’s brace after the midfielder skilfully worked his way into the box and took aim.
The second was from Ziger who reacted quickly to get a strong hand to Nicholson’s drive after he beat the offside trap and advanced on goal with only our stopper to beat.
It was end-to-end but Chelsea looked to be edging closer to taking the lead for the first time on the night. Newly-introduced Bate tired his luck from distance after shrugging off two defenders, his whipped effort clipped the inside of the post and agonisingly rolled away from danger. At this point penalties looked likely but for a late blow to sink our men to defeat.
Our second-half efforts deserved more, but a devastating last-minute winner came for Bristol Rovers through Josh Hare who headed home from close range. That goal sealed the three points which propelled them into a qualification position and eliminated Chelsea from the competition.
Myers’ men are next in action on Sunday afternoon when they face Manchester City in Premier League 2 action. You can watch every kick live and for free on the 5th Stand app or on this website.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1) Karlo Ziger, Tino Livramento, Dynel Simeu (c), Levi Colwill, Henry Lawrence; Billy Gilmour (Lewis Bate 60), Danny Drinkwater; Myles Peart-Harris, Tino Anjorin, Marcel Lewis; Charlie Brown (George Nunn ht)
Unused subs Lucas Bergstrom, Pierre Ekwah-Elimby, Thierno Ballo, Dion Rankine, Bryan Fiabema
Scorer Anjorin 11, 68; Lewis 63
Bristol Rovers Jordi Van Stappershoef, Josh Grant, Max Ehmer, Ed Upson, Brandon Hanlan, Sam Nicholson, Alfie Kilgour, James Daly (Zain Westbrooke ht), David Tutonda (Luke Leahy 62), Josh Hare, Cian Harries
Unused subs Liam Armstrong, Ben Liddle, Cam Hargreaves, Zain Walker, Josh Barrett
Booked Kilgour 61; Grant 88
Scorer Hanlan 10; Nicholson 15; Westbrooke 58