Rovers 0-2 Bath CityAttendance: 3,505 (404)
Rovers crashed out of the FA Trophy in the first round following a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Bath City at the Memorial Stadium.
Second half goals from Chas Hemmings and Frankie Artus ensured Bath City’s passage into the second round.
Darrell Clarke made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Welling a week ago bringing Daniel Leadbitter, Neal Trotman, Dave Martin and Matty Taylor back into the starting 11.
Bath City started the brighter of the two sides and had a chance within the opening 90 seconds.
Former Bristol City trainee Frankie Artus found some space down the Bath City left, Chris Allen met the cross but the Romans midfielders shot didn’t trouble Fabian Spiess.
Seconds later Bath had the ball in the back of the net as Artus’ corner sailed straight into the goal but referee Adam Hopkins disallowed the curled effort following a foul on the Rovers keeper.
Artus was causing Rovers trouble down the left hand side and it was his cross that was chested inches wide by Ashley Kington, another Bristol City trainee.
Rovers then started to assert themselves on the game controlling the possession but it took almost 30 minutes for them to create their first real chance of note.
Dave Martin took a corner from the left but his delivery was just too high for an arriving Tom Parkes who seemed to chest the ball over Jason Mellor’s crossbar.
The home side continued to attack down the left hand side and it was Angelo Balanta who got his head on Lee Brown’s cross but headed wide of the Bath goal.
Minutes before half time Romans right back Sekani Simpson tried his luck from distance but Rovers goalkeeper Fabian Spiess comfortably watched the ball over his crossbar.
Rovers started the second half the brighter as they looked to break the deadlock however Angelo Balanta got his body position all wrong and headed wide from a Dave Martin cross.
Moments later Bath had the chance of the match.
Frankie Artus spotted the powerful run from Andy Gallinagh down the Romans left. The Bath skipper pulled the ball back across the Rovers penalty area to Andy Watkins who forced a fantastic save from Fabian Spiess but the Bath man probably should have scored.
Just before the hour mark Chas Hemmings tried his luck from range but his 35-yard strike went narrowly wide of the goal however, Spiess had it covered at full stretch.
With 61 minutes on the clock Rovers had their most clear opportunity of the game as Spiess’ long kick upfield was controlled perfectly by Matty Taylor who then played in Dave Martin.
Martin was advancing onto goal but took an especially heavy touch and the ball got away from him and rolled into the arms of Jason Mellor.
Referee Adam Hopkins turned down Bath’s protests for a penalty following a challenge from Lee Brown on Andy Watkins. Brown clashed with Watkins who went down but Hopkins said no penalty.
It was Bath who took the lead with 20 minutes left to play as Chas Hemmings turned home a Frankie Artus corner.
This followed good work from Sekani Simpson down the bath left who won the corner and it was Hemmings who managed to get in ahead of Spiess to head in from close range.
Minutes later Bath doubled their lead through Frankie Artus.
David Pratt found some space down the bath left and his cross in was met by the head of Artus who cut in front of Neal Trotman to guide the ball past Spiess.
Rovers searched hard to find a goal to get themselves back into the game and Stuart Sinclair was denied twice as Jason Mellor made a fantastic double save with just 10 minutes left on the clock.
The home side continued to press but substitutes Alex Wall and Bradley Goldberg both scuffed shots on what didn’t seem to be Rovers day.
Up next for Rovers is a return to league action and the visit of Gateshead to the Memorial Stadium on Friday (19th December) in front of the BT Sport cameras.
Rovers: Spiess, Leadbitter, Trotman (C), Parkes, Brown, Balanta, Clarke, Sinclair, Martin (Gosling – 62), Taylor (Goldberg – 73), Blissett (Wall – 45).
Unused Substitutes: McChrystal, Harrison.
Bath City: Mellor, Simpson, Gallinagh (C), Ball, Walsh, Hemmings, Watkins (McCootie – 79), Allen, Pratt (Stern – 84), Kington, Artus.
Unused Substitutes: Bowman, Adelsbury, Keary.