Rovers 3-0 Burton
Rovers got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Burton Albion at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
Ryan Brunt opened the scoring on five minutes after a bright start from Rovers.
Burton came back into the game, but Rovers showed effective resilience and John-Joe O’Toole and Eliot Richards both got their names on the score sheet in the second half.
John Ward made two changes to the side that lost to Northampton in midweek. Ellis Harrison made his home debut for Rovers in place of Oli Norburn, while Ryan Brunt returned from injury to replace Tom Hitchcock up front.
New signing Oumare Tounkara started the game on the bench.
Ellis Harrison had the first effort for Rovers, shooting across the face of goal from the left hand side of the pitch.
And on five minutes Brunt gave Rovers the lead – Joe Anyinsah crossed the ball in to the penalty area and Brunt fired home from close range.
Rovers went on to dominate the game for the next 20 minutes, with Harrison forcing a save from Stuart Tomlinson in the Burton goal.
Anyinsah then produced a great individual effort, making a break from inside his own half, but his shot from a tight angle fizzed across the face of goal.
Tom Parkes had an effort from 12 yards out which was saved by Tomlinson, before Rovers won a string of corners and Brunt saw his header cleared off the line.
Rovers were awarded a free kick for a foul on Eliot Richards, and the striker stepped up, but sent the ball over the cross bar.
Burton then had a couple of corners themselves, before Billy Kee saw his effort from the edge of the box saved by Steve Mildenhall.
Rovers made a substitution on 25 minutes with Oli Norburn coming on to replace Anyinsah who tweaked his hamstring.
Burton started the second half strongly, and Rovers did well to weather the storm. Alex MacDonald had a chance for the Brewers from 20 yards out, which was easily saved by Mildenhall.
Rovers made another change on the hour mark with Oumare Tounkara coming on to replace Ryan Brunt.
The change had an instant impact, as Rovers doubled their lead moments later.
John-Joe O’Toole got on to the end of a Norurn cross inside the box and found the net from close range.
The second goal seemed to give Rovers renewed confidence, and less than ten minutes later, Eliot Richards made it three.
Harrison, who was impressive on his home debut, did well to get the cross into the box and Richards fired home with his right foot.
Mark McChrystal blocked a shot form substitute Calvin Zola, before Jimmy Phillips produced a cross that was easily taken by Mildenhall.
Rovers made their final change with Jim Paterson coming on to replace Harrison.
Norburn had a shot cleared off the line, while at the other end the visitors had a shot easily caught by MiIldenhall.
With the clock ticking down Rovers held firm to protect their lead and record another clean sheet.
Rovers again showed what they are capable of against a team challenging for automatic promotion, and the side were greeted with a fantastic reception from the fans at the final whistle.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Ellis Harrison (Jim Paterson), Danny Woodards, John-Joe O’Toole, Joe Anyinsah (Oliver Norburn), Ryan Brunt (Oumare Tounkara), Eliot Richards
Substitutes: Clayton McDonald, Adam Virgo, Conor Gough, Tom Hitchcock.
Burton Albion: Stuart Tomlinson, Anthony O'Connor, Marcus Holness, Ian Sharps, Robbie Weir (Jack Dyer), Damien McCrory, Jacques Maghoma (Jimmy Phillips), Lee Bell, Alex MacDonald, Billy Kee (Calvin Zola), Michael Symes
Substitutes: Dean Lyness, Andrew Corbett, Zander Diamond, Matthew Paterson, Jack Dyer.