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Elliot Anderson nets valuable late winner for Bristol Rovers against Salford

Elliot Anderson – on loan from Newcastle – netted Bristol Rovers’ winner (Martin Rickett/PA)
Elliot Anderson – on loan from Newcastle – netted Bristol Rovers’ winner (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bristol Rovers boosted their hopes of promotion from Sky Bet League Two with a 1-0 win against Salford at the Memorial Stadium

On-loan Newcastle midfielder Elliot Anderson drove in low at the near post on 75 minutes for his fifth league goal of the season after being set up by a fine pass from substitute Luke Thomas.

Joey Barton had to rejig his attack when striker Leon Clarke was withdrawn from the starting XI after getting injured in the warm-up. Sam Nicholson was brought in to replace him.

But it did not stop the Gas extending their unbeaten home run to 11 league games.

Matt Smith’s header in the sixth minute tested Rovers goalkeeper James Belshaw at his near post, while Brandon Thomas-Asante volleyed over the bar on 20 minutes.

But that was as close as Salford came to scoring. Rovers substitute Antony Evans hit the crossbar in the second half, but the strike from Anderson, who has made a huge impression during his loan spell, eventually made the difference.

Rovers are fifth in League Two, five points behind the automatic promotion places with four matches to play.