Rovers 0-1 Cheltenham
Bristol Rovers were unable to pick up their first home win of the season against Cheltenham Town this evening.
Former Gas striker Chris Zebroski scored the only goal at the Memorial Stadium in the first half to give the visitors the three points.
Rovers played some good football for large spells of the game, but despite their endeavour they were not able to get anything out of the match.
Mark McGhee made one change to the side that beat Exeter on Saturday.
Tom Parkes missed tonight's game through suspension, after picking up five yellow cards, and he was replaced by Matt Lund who started at right back with Adam Virgo slotting into the centre.
Derek Riordan made the journey down from Scotland this afternoon after his wife gave birth to a baby girl.
Ross Staley took the vacated place on the bench, for his first involvement with the first team.
It was a bright start from Rovers who were looking to build on Saturday’s win down at Exeter. The side seemed to be playing with confidence, and were not afraid to shoot at goal.
Fabian Broghammer looked like Rovers’ danger man in the opening 20 minutes, firing a number of good crosses into the box, and the winger had a shot blocked after a goal mouth scramble, amid calls form the Gas fans for handball.
Riordan had a half chance that was cleared by the keeper, before Oliver Norburn had a shot from close range.
Marlon Pack took a free kick for Cheltenham that was skied over the bar, before Neil Etheridge was called on to make the first of a string of fine saves that saw him named as Rovers’ man of the match.
David Clarkson had a chance with his back to goal, he turned well, but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Zebroski then opened the scoring, capitalising on an error from Garry Kenneth who failed to see the high ball into the box. Etheridge was on hand to block the first shot, but Zebroski rifled home from close range.
Cheltenham had the first chance of the second half, when Jermaine McGlashan shot into the side netting from the right hand side of the box.
The away team seemed to come out with more aggression than Rovers, and it took the home side a little while to get themselves back into the game.
Broghammer had a shot from the left, before Scott Brown in the Robins’ goal did well to gather the ball after a goal mouth scramble.
McGlashan had a good chance to make it 2-0 for Cheltenham after losing Kenneth, but Etheridge was able to make a fantastic save and tip the ball over the bar.
Norburn had a shot for Rovers, before Eliot Richards was brought on to replace Broghammer.
Etheridge was then called upon to make another couple of saves, including blocking a Cheltenham free kick and making a save from Kaid Mohammed.
At the other end Riordan had a shot straight at the keeper as Rovers started to reassert themselves in the game.
Tom Eaves had a low powerful shot through the box, which Brown got down well to take.
Cheltenham made a string of last minute substitutions as Rovers sought an equaliser, and Brown was forced to make a reaction save to deny a Rovers headed effort in the dying minutes of the game.
Rovers: Neil Etheridge, Matt Lund, Adam Virgo, Garry Kenneth, Jim Paterson (Lee Brown), David Clarkson, Oliver Norburn (Wayne Brown), Matt Gill, Fabian Broghammer (Eliot Richards), Tom Eaves, Derek Riordan
Substitute: Joe Anyinsah, Seanan Clucas, Ross Staley, Sam Walker
Cheltenham Town: Scott Brown, Billy Jones, Steve Elliott, Alan Bennett, Sido Jombati, Darren Carter, Marlon Pack, Russell Penn (Sam Deering), Jermaine McGlashan (Darryl Duffy), Kaid Mohammed (Keith Lowe), Chris Zebroski.
Substitutes: Connor Roberts, Harry Hooman, Jeff Goulding, Bagasan Graham.
Referee: Oliver Langford