Rovers 1-2 Torquay
Bristol Rovers lost a vital match in their fight for survival against Torquay United this afternoon.
A poor performance at the Memorial Stadium saw the Pirates lose 2-1 to the side who currently sit bottom of the league.
Shaquille Coulthirst and Lee Mansell scored for the visitors, before Danny Woodards scored a late goal for Rovers.
Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that drew with Wimbledon last weekend.
The manager started with a 4-4-2 formation, with Chris Beardsley and Steven Gillespie recalled to play up top.
Danny Woodards came into the side for Tom Parkes, while Alefe Santos started in midfield.
Matt Harrold, Tom Lockyer and Seanan Clucas were the other players to make way.
It was a nervous opening half, with both teams clearly worried about making a mistake – this meant there were very few opportunities on goal.
The first chance of the game went Rovers way, as an early ball into the box was headed over the bar by Chris Beardsley.
With chances at a premium for both sides, Michael Smith had an effort on goal, from distance, but the ball flew over the bar.
The only shot on target of the first half fell to Torquay just before the break. Eliot Benyon turned and shot on the volley, but Mildenhall made a good reaction save to keep the score at 0-0.
The second half started with three corners to Torquay in quick session, following a strike from distance from Shamir Goodwin, but Rovers were eventually able to clear the danger.
A half chance fell to Rovers as Lee Brown whipped the ball into the box, Beardsley got their first but his shot flew over the bar.
The manager made a double substitution just ten minutes in to the second half; bringing Matt Harrold and Ellis Harrison on for Steven Gillespie and Alefe Santos.
The two substitutes then combined to have an effort for Rovers. Harrold played the ball to the winger on the edge of the box, but his low shot was dived on by the keeper.
Torquay took the lead just after the hour mark. The ball was floated in to the box from a free kick and Shaquille Coulthirst rose and headed past Mildenhall in the Rovers goal.
Mildenhall was then forced to tip a cross from Baily Cargill out for a corner, which was cleared by Rovers.
Lee Mansell then doubled the lead for Torquay. His shot took a wicked deflection off a Rovers player and flew into the back of the net.
As the minutes ticked away Rovers wasted an opportunity to get back in the game as Kaid Mohamed’s tame shot was hit straight at the keeper.
Rovers thought they might have pulled a goal back when David Clarkson headed against the underside of the bar, but the ball had not crossed the line.
In the final minutes of extra time Rovers staged some sort of fight back and managed to net a goal through Danny Woodards.
But it was not enough, and Rovers now find themselves with a lot to do with just four games left.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Mark McChrystal, Danny Woodards, Lee Brown (David Clarkson), Kaid Mohamed, Ollie Clarke, John-Joe O’Toole, Alefe Santos (Ellis Harrison), Chris Beardsley, Steven Gillespie (Matt Harrold).
Substitutes: Tom Pakes, Seanan Clucas, Tom Lockyer, Conor Gough,
Torquay: Martin Rice, Dale Tongue, Krystian Pearce, Anthony O'Connor, Baily Cargill, Lee Mansell, Ben Harding, Shaquille Coulthirst, Courtney Cameron (Danny Stevens), Elliot Benyon (Aaron Downes), Shamir Goodwin.
Substitutes: Michael Poke, Billy Bodin, Jordan Chappell, Ashley Yeoman, Nathan Craig