Gillingham 4-0 Rovers
Kedwell (5, (pen) & 15), Lee (45), Whelpdale (82)
Bristol Rovers 0
Manager Mark McGhee made one enforced change to his starting lineup, with Michael Smith coming into the side in place of the injured Cian Bolger.
However the manager saw his side fall behind after just five minutes when a long ball over the top for Danny Kedwell saw him go to ground after a clumsy challenge by Tom Parkes.
The defender received a yellow card for his efforts, while Kedwell received the benefit of a spot kick for his and he duly blasted the ball high into the net for the first goal of the afternoon.
At the other end Wayne Brown saw a shot blocked by a packed defence but that was really as good as it got for Rovers in the first half and they fell further behind on 15 minutes when Charlie Lee’s long throw to the near post saw Kedwell back head the ball across goal. It looked to be over the line before Adam Virgo made a desperate attempt to clear, and the striker was indeed credited with his seventh goal of the season.
While Rovers’ approach play was neat, they rarely caused problems for a well organised home defence and their cause wasn’t helped when Matt Harrold had to come off with an injury to his left leg.
Fabian Broghammer replaced the striker, but Gillingham continued to cause problems for Rovers. Charlie Allen sliced a shot wide from five yards before Lee added goal number three just before the break.
Rovers’ defenders remained static when Allen delivered the ball in from a corner and Lee dived to head comfortably past Sam Walker.
There was more purpose about Rovers after the break and home goalkeeper Stuart Nelson beat away a curling shot from Wayne Brown.
However the home side threatened again through Kedwell who fired over the bar following a short free kick and Myles Weston, who saw his shot saved by Walker.
Ollie Norburn, played in by Wayne Brown, forced Nelson to make a smart save when Rovers next attacked but there was danger at the other end when Virgo cleared a shot from Jack Payne. The central defender then went close at the other end when he glanced a header wide from a Lee Brown corner, while Fabian Broghammer saw a shot cleared off the line.
Weston might have scored for the home side with ten minutes remaining, but he dragged his shot wide.
Two minutes later, though, he dispossessed Virgo and crossed into the box where Chris Whelpdale had the simple task of heading past Walker for goal number four to complete a miserable afternoon for Rovers.
Rovers: Sam Walker, Michael Smith, Adam Virgo, Tom Parkes, Jim Paterson (Ollie Norburn, 46), Eliot Richards, Matt Gill (Matt Lund, 66), Wayne Brown, Lee Brown, Matt Harrold (Fabian Broghammer, 34), David Clarkson
Substitutes: Joe Anyinsah, Conor Gough, Ollie Clarke, Seanan Clucas
Yellow cards: Parkes, Clarkson
Gillingham: Stuart Nelson, Matt Fish, Adam Barrett, Callum Davies, Joe Martin, Charlie Allen, David Wright (Chris Whelpdale, 71), Jack Payne, Charlie Lee, Danny Kedwell (Ben Strevens, 58), Deon Burton (Myles Weston, 46)
Substitutes: Tom Flanagan, Andrew Frampton, Lewis Montrose, Tommy Forecast
Yellow Card: Wright
Referee: Gary Sutton
Rovers Fans: 209