Rovers 1-0 Wimbeldon
Tom Hitchcock scored his first ever league goal this afternoon to propel Rovers into the top half of the table for the first time this season.
The single goal was enough to give Rovers all three points at a sunny Memorial Stadium, and see the side unbeaten in their last five games.
The Gas are now mathematically safe, and sit just five points outside of the play off zone, with four games left to play.
The game was shaping up to be a carbon copy of last week’s match against York, but Rovers dug deep and got the breakthrough thanks to Hitchcock’s well taken goal in the 83rd minute.
John Ward made three changes to the side that beat Dagenham 4-2 on Monday.
Steve Mildenhall returned from injury to reclaim his place between the posts for Rovers.
Oliver Norburn returned to the side to replace John-Joe O’Toole who has returned to his parent club, while Clayton McDonald made his home debut in place of the suspended Tom Parkes.
For the second week in a row at the Memorial Stadium it was a fairly uneventful first half.
Rovers’ first real chance of the half came when Ryan Brunt took a shot from around 40 yards out which was tipped over the post by the Dons’ keeper John Sullivan.
Oumare Tounkara also had a shot from 25 yards that was blocked by Alan Bennett.
Wimbledon had a couple of half chances in front of the Rovers goal; Gary Alexander had a headed effort that went wide, before Luke Moore had an attempt from just outside the box that produced a save from Mildenhall.
With the half wearing on Danny Woodards had a shot from 25 yards that was deflected wide of the left hand post.
Then Rovers’ best chance of the half came from Fabian Broghammer, but the winger scuffed his shot and the ball flew across the face of goal and hit the post, before being cleared by the Wimbledon defence.
Harry Pell had a shot for the Dons right from the kick off for the second half, but the ball was easily caught by Mildenhall.
Just before the 50 minute mark Michael Smith sent in a cross come shot which forced a save from John Sulllivan.
John Ward then made an early change, bringing Joe Anyinsah on for Ellis Harrision who had taken a slight knock.
Gary Alexander had a wild shot from 25 yards out that sailed high and wide over the bar.
Wimbledon put a bit of pressure on Rovers, forcing a string of corners, but the home side defended well and kept the visitors at bay.
Rovers then made a second change bringing Tom Hitchcock on to replace Ryan Brunt.
A corner from Broghammer was pushed around the post by Sullivan, before the keeper was called on to block a left footed shot from Hitchcock.
And it was the young striker that went on to score the crucial only goal of the game.
Tounkara put the ball into the path of the young striker who shot home from 12 yards out.
Hitchcock could have made it 2-0 after getting on the end of a Broghammer cross, but he headed wide of the right hand post.
But one goal was enough to give Rovers all three points, and send the Rovers fans home happy.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Clayton McDonald, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison (Joe Anyinsah), Oliver Norburn, Danny Woodards, Fabian Broghammer (Tom Lockyer), Oumare Tounkara, Ryan Brunt (Tom Hitchcock).
Substitutes: Mitch Harding, Eliot Richards, Conor Gough, Ollie Clarke.
AFC Wimbledon: John Sullivan, Kelly Youga, Pim Balkestein, Alan Bennett, Chris Hussey, Sammy Moore, Harry Pell, Gary Alexander (Jesse Darko), Jonathan Meades, Jack Midson, Luke Moore (Kevin Sainte-Luce)
Substitutes: Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Curtis Osano, Warren Cummings, Stacy Long, Will Antwi
Referee: Scott Duncan.