Rovers win first pre-season friendly
Gloucester City 3
Chamberlain (48), Griffin (55), Williams (64)
Bristol Rovers 4
White (49), Parkes (59), Sinclair (60), Lockyer (73)
The sun was shining at Whaddon Road, but it rained goals in the second half as Rovers and Gloucester contributed seven between them, Rovers scoring four, their hosts three.
The goal flurry followed a goalless opening period, when Rovers dominated possession but were unable to find a way past their former goalkeeper Mike Green.
Manager Darrell Clarke was without the services of four of his squad for this afternoon’s game.
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall missed the last two days of training through illness and was not fit enough to turn out this afternoon.
Mark McChrystal picked up a slight knock in training yesterday, while Lee Mansell was at the game, but not fully recovered from the injury he sustained at Yeovil and Ollie Clarke was still recovering from a thigh
The manager included two triallists in his starting lineup, one of them being Ryan Higgins who has featured in a number of pre-season games.
The other was Romauld Boco, who has previously played for Accrington Stanley and Plymouth Argyle in this country.
Gloucester had two players named Mike Green in their side, one of them being former the former Rovers keeper, while Matt Groves and Lewis Hogg will also be familiar to most Rovers supporters.
Another Gloucester player, Scott Wilson, spent time with Rovers on trial when John Ward was in charge.
Rovers kicked off on what must be the hottest day of the year and went close to scoring after only two minutes.
Higgins crossed from the right and found Jamie White in the area and he rolled a shot just wide of the upright.
On 12 minutes Higgins, who was looking lively down the right, had already delivered three excellent crosses into the box when he decided to cut in and try a shot himself, though his left foot effort drifted wide of the far post.
Ryan Brunt was next to try his luck, but his left foot effort cleared the crossbar.
On the 25 minutes Higgins again got forward and was gifted possession by Billy Jones, but the former Birmingham youngster curled a left foot shot wide of goal.
Shortly afterwards another Rovers effort, this time from Lee Brown, also cleared the bar.
It was 31 minutes before Gloucester got anywhere near creating a chance, but a sweetly struck Billy Jones free kick evaded everyone and drifted behind for a goal kick.
With 34 minutes on the clock Higgins found Brunt in the area but once again his shot cleared the bar.
Two minutes later Andy Monkhouse threaded a delightful ball through to Brunt and his fierce drive was touched away by goalkeeper Mike Green.
With five minutes of the half remaining a superb move from Rovers almost brought a goal.
Brunt’s header found Higgins in space out on the right and his cross was met by Monkhouse whom glanced a header just wide.
There was an explosive start to the second half, as both sides scored within four minutes of the restart.
On 48 minutes a delightful reverse pass from Matt Groves found Elliot Chamberlain and he rifled a shot past Preston and into the roof of the net.
Straight from the restart Matty Taylor picked out Jamie White who comfortably beat Green from ten yards with a shot that went in off the post.
The home side regained the lead on 55 minutes and again Groves was the provider. This time he found substitute Charlie Griffin in space and he beat Preston with a close range angled drive.
They held their lead for four minutes and the second Rovers equaliser was a stunner. Skipper Tom Parkes lashing home a 25 yard volley, giving Green no chance.
A minute later Rovers were ahead, as Green misjudged a cross from Stuart Sinclair that drifted beyond him and into the net.
Another four minutes elapsed before we saw another goal. This time it was for the home side, Matt Williams powering a header home from a Jones corner.
Taylor then hit a left foot shot over the bar as Rovers went in search of more goals.
A fourth goal for Rovers arrived on 73 minutes when Tom Lockyer rose to head Rommy Boco’s cross past Green.
Bristol Rovers: Kieran Preston, Ryan Higgins, Lee Brown, Tom Lockyer, Pierce Mitchell, Tom Parkes, Romy Boco, Jake Gosling, Ryan Brunt (Matty Taylor, 46), Jamie White, Andy Monkhouse (Stuart Sinclair, 46)
Substitutes: Ellis Harrison, Danny Greenslade, Dominic Thomas
Gloucester City: Mike Green, Michael Green (Sam Avery, 66), Billy Jones, Spencer Hamilton, Matt Williams, Adam Connolly (Tom Webb, 60) Lewis Hogg (Marc Richards, 16), Elliot Chamberlain (Scott Wilson, 60), Adam Mann (Nat Jarvis, 70), James Hartson (Charlie Griffin, 46), Matt Groves
Substitutes: Will Morford, Scott Wilson, Harvey Rivers
Rovers supporters: 205