Cinderford win at the Mem
Bristol Rovers 0
Cinderford Town 1
A young Bristol Rovers side bowed out of the GFA Senior Challenge Cup at the semi final stage this evening, beaten by first half goal from Cinderford’s Lewis Sommers.
In a hard fought and keenly contested game, the visitors proved to be a little too strong for Rovers, who defended well but lacked a cutting edge up front.
There was an early chance for the visitors but when a cross from the right reached Lee Smith, he miskicked when well placed, and the chance went begging.
Alefe Santos dragged a shot wide of the mark in Rovers first attack before the Cinderford again went close as a shot from Dale Evans passed inches wide of the upright.
Rovers should have taken the lead on 11 minutes when Mitch Harding did well down the left and cut the ball back to Shaquille Hunter. However with the goal at his mercy, the youngster blazed the ball wide of the target.
Conor Gough was called into action shortly afterwards, and the keeper dived low to his right to keep out a shot from Josh Emery.
The visitors fashioned another chance with 26 minutes on the clock when a cross from Lewis Sommers found Kieran Thomas at the back post. However he directed his header straight at Gough, who saved comfortably.
Two minutes later the pair combined again, this time Thomas finding Sommers with an overhead kick that saw the tall striker strike a firm shot past Gough to put the visitors ahead.
Rovers went close to an equaliser on the half hour mark when Pat Keary sent Harding away down the left. The striker cut inside and hit a shot over keeper Alex Harris only to see his effort come back into play off the bar. Hunter, following up, drove the rebound wide of the target.
Almost immediately the visitors broke, and Gough held on to a powerful close range header from David Bird.
Cinderford almost doubled their lead two minutes into the second half when Bird burst intom the area and rattled the crossbar with a ferocious drive.
The visitors again went close to scoring when Sommers was first to reach Matt Smith’s free kick from the right. However Gough was on hand to punch his firm header to safety.
Hard as they tried, Rovers seldom troubled Harris in the visitors goal and they were fortunate not to conceded a second goal 20 minutes from time when substitute Sam O’Sullivan ran on to a long ball out of
defence and lobbed the ball over Gough only to see his effort drift wide of the upright.
At the other end Jamie Lucas headed wide of the target, while O’Sullivan could have wrapped things up for Cinderford when he broke free down the left but hit a hurried shot well wide of goal.
Rovers: Conor Gough, Josh Southway, Trey Anderson, Pat Keary, Ross Staley (Danny Greenslade, 60), Laurent Mondo (Aaron Ward-Baptiste, 55), Tom Lockyer, Jordan Goddard, Alefe Santos, Shaquille Hunter, Mitch Harding (Jamie Lucas, 37).
Substitutes: Dominic Thomas, Chad Douglas.
Cinderford Town: Alex Harris, Warren Archer, Matt Smith, Andy Lewis, Dan Harrison, Dale Evans, Josh Emery (Ashley Malcolm, 37), David Bird (Jack Camm, 65), Lewis Sommers, Lee Smith (Sam O’Sullivan, 46), Kieran Thomas.
Substitutes: Matt Barnes, Greg Lewis.
Referee: Rob Cockle