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Bristol Rovers 0 Albion 4

31 July 2015

New signing nets a brace on debut

RICKIE Lambert scored twice as Albion recorded their most emphatic victory of pre-season - their final run-out before the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign.

The new signing from Liverpool, whose arrival was confirmed just a few hours earlier, grabbed a double against his former club Bristol Rovers, with Craig Gardner and Victor Anichebe also netting for the visitors.

Rovers legend Phil Kite, former goalkeeper and physio, received a guard of honour from both teams as well as a rousing round of applause from the Memorial Ground faithful ahead of his testimonial.

There was also a warm welcome for Lambert having spent three years with the West Country club between 2006-09.

Saido Berahino curled an early effort narrowly wide but it was Bristol Rovers who enjoyed a golden opportunity to open the scoring after seven minutes, Matty Taylor somehow firing off target from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

And it was Albion who took advantage and broke the deadlock after 23 minutes courtesy of new boy Lambert – his speculative long-range strike taking a huge deflection off defender Tom Parkes to leave goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall stranded.

Taylor forced a fine parried save from Myhill before the visitors doubled their advantage in the 34th minute, Gardner with a well-taken finish from Chris Brunt’s throughball. 

And within a minute of the second half getting underway it was 3-0 as new boy Lambert bagged his second of the evening when he converted James McClean's cross.

There was to be no hat-trick. The ex-Rovers man was given an ovation by the all inside the Memorial Stadium as he was replaced by Brown Ideye, one of several players to be swapped just before the hour.

Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye were to combine for Albion's fourth in the 77th minute. The latter twisted the ball into Anichebe's path, with the ex-Everton man smashing his shot past the Rovers keeper.

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