Rovers slip to two goal defeat
Yeovil Town 2
Leitch-Smith (47 & 55)
Bristol Rovers 0
Referee: Christopher Powell
Rovers Fans: 289
Two second half goals by Ajay Leitch-Smith sealed what, in the end, was a comfortable win for Yeovil at Huish Park tonight.
Rovers began brightly and passed the ball around well, but made little impression up front in the opening period.
Their cause wasn’t helped as Ollie Clarke and Ryan Brunt appeared to pick up injuries and had to be replaced.
Leitch-Smith struck twice in the space of eight minutes and the home side could have added further goals but found Steve Mildenhall barring their way.
Once again, it was a hard working performance from Rovers though they provided little in the way of goalscoring opportunities.
Manager Darrell Clarke travelled to Huish Park with a squad of 18 players.
However, although he travelled, new signing Andy Monkhouse wasn’t involved
There was a welcome return to the starting lineup for Brunt, who was partnered by Matty Taylor, and Ryan Higgins was again selected at right back, the triallists’ fourth pre-season start.
The other two triallists, Neal Trotman and Daniel Thompson were both on the bench.
Rovers began with a back three of Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal and Tom Lockyer and played the ball out well from the back.
There was an early opportunity for the home side, however, but triallist A headed a cross from the right well wide.
That was on four minutes and the only opportunity created in the opening 15 minutes.
Triallist B did fire a long range effort high over the bar on 25 minutes, and two minutes later triallist A fired a shot straight at Mildenhall whch was dealt with comfortably by the former Yeovil shot stopper.
Stuart Sinclair replaced Ollie Clarke on 32 minutes, a change which looked as though it was necessitated by an injury to the midfielder.
Three minutes later Brunt was replaced by Thompson and shortly afterwards Lee Brown got forward and fired a shot wide of the upright.
Thompson then did well to get on the end of a pass from Brown and he picked out the unmarked Jake Gosling on the edge of the area but the midfielder’s first time volley cleared the bar.
Yeovil made five substitutions at the start of the second half and were ahead within two minutes of the restart when Leitch-Smith converted a cross from Kieffer Moore.
Almost immediately Rovers went down the other end and created a chance for Gosling, but his effort was blocked by Jakub Sokolik.
Leitch-Smith scored his, and Yeovil’s, second on 55 minutes when he rifled Sokolik’s cross past Mildenhall.
The striker was then denied a hat trick by Mildenhall’s fine save.
Just after the hour mark Jamie White, who had been on the pitch for only two minutes saw his header, from Gosling’s cross, well saved by Chris Weale.
Mildenhall then saved a header from Kieffer Moore as the home side applied the pressure.
The overworked Rovers keeper touched a shot from Andy Welsh round the post before the end of the game.
Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Ryan Higgins, Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer, Mark McChrystal, Tom Parkes, Lee Mansell (Dominic Thomas, 60) (Ellis Harrison, 76), Ollie Clarke (Stuart Sinclair, 32), Ryan Brunt (Daniel Thompson, 35), Matty Taylor (Jamie White, 60), Jake Gosling.
Substitutes: Neal Trotman, Kieran Preston
Yeovil Town: Chris Weale, Brendan Moloney, Liam Davis, Joe Edwards, Jakub Solik, Aaron Martin, Trialist A, Simon Gillett, James Hayter, Ajay Leitch-Smith, Trialist B.
Substitutes; Artur Krysiak, Nathan Smith, Seth Twumasi, Matteo Lanzoni, Calvin Brooks, Kevin Dawson, Nathan Ralph, Sam Foley, Kieffer Moore, Trialist C, Andy Welsh