Rovers 0-1 Accrington
A wonder strike from Lee Molyneux was enough to give Accrington Stanley the three points at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
The free kick, which came within the opening two minutes of the game, was enough to secure safety for the visitors although it stopped Rovers from ending their home campaign in style.
Chances for Rovers were few and far between, but the day still ended on a high as John Ward picked up the Clubman of the Year award in front of the Memorial Stadium faithful.
The manager made three changes to the side that drew with Southend last weekend.
Ellis Harrison, Eliot Richards and Ollie Clarke returned to an attacking line up, with Ryan Brunt, Oli Norburn and Tom Hitchcock dropping to the bench.
Rovers were stunned in just the second minute when Molyneux fired home a wonder strike from 35 yards out.
Steve Mildenhall managed to get a hand to the ball, but he was only able to tip it in to the top left corner.
Rovers had to wait until the 22 minute for their first real chance on goal; a long range effort from captain Tom Parkes which went straight to the arms of Accrington keeper Paul Rachubka.
A few minutes later the visitors had another chance, but Rommy Boco’s shot sailed wide of the right hand post.
Just after the half hour mark Eliot Richards got on the end of a Fabian Broghammer corner, but his close range shot flew over the bar.
Goalscorer Molyneux had a half chance for Stanley, before Broghammer hit a shot from 20 yards which was cleared by Accrington.
Richards then came close again, but this time his volleyed shot flew across the face of goal and was blocked by Luke Joyce.
At the start of added time, Ellis Harrison curled a shot in from 25 yards but it fizzed over the bar.
Accrington nearly opened the second half in a similar fashion to the first; with an early goal, but this time Molyneux did not find the back of the net.
Rovers then made a substitution, with Oliver Norburn coming on to replace Clayton McDonald who had taken a knock.
Accrington were awarded another long distance free kick, but this time Steve Mildenhall was able to get down low and block the shot.
Rovers made their second substitution on the hour mark, with Ryan Brunt coming on to replace Ellis Harrison.
Brunt and Norburn both had an impact on the game, making Rovers look more of a threat going forward.
Fabian Broghammer found himself on the end of a ball from Brunt, but he skied his shot from close range.
Broghammer then found himself delivering the ball into to Richards, whose headed effort went straight to the Stanley keeper.
Ollie Clarke had an effort from distance blocked, before at the other end Lee Brown was able to block a shot on the Rovers goal.
Brunt then did well to get away from his man on the edge of the area, but the ball just got away from him, and he was only able to toe poke the ball straight at the keeper.
Rovers made their final substitution of the afternoon, bringing Joe Anyinsah on to replace Oumare Tounkara.
As the game drew to a close, Richards had a shot from 20 yards which flew over the bar, before Anyinsah had the last chance of the game, sending the ball over in the dying seconds.
Team: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Clayton McDonald (Oli Norburn), Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison (Ryan Brunt), Tom Parkes, Ollie Clarke, Fabian Broghammer, Eliot Richards, Oumare Tounkara (Joe Anyinsah).
Substitutes: Conor Gough, Jim Paterson, Tom Hitchcock, Tom Lockyer.
Accrington Stanley: Paul Rachubka, Peter Murphy, Dean Winnard, Lee Molyneux, Tom Aldred, Laurence Wilson (Michael Liddle), Luke Joyce, Will Hatfield (Francis Jeffers), Amine Linganzi, Padraig Amond (James Beattie), Rommy Boco.
Substitutes: Ian Dunbavin, Craig Lindfield, George Miller, Nicky Hunt.