Bristol Rovers 2
Lucas (67), Gosling (90)
Cinderford Town 1
Rovers came from behind to beat Cinderford Town 2-1 in the quarter final of the GFA Senior Challenge Cup at the Memorial Stadium last night.
After an even, and goalless, first half, George Lloyd gave the visitors the lead on 49 minutes. However Jamie Lucas equalised for Rovers and Jake Gosling scored the winning goal just as the game entered added time.
In an entertaining match there were a number of positives for Rovers. Angelo Balanta, in his first appearance in a Rovers shirt, showed some nice touches and played the whole ninety minutes, as did Gosling who has just returned from international duty with Gibraltar.
Andy Monkhouse, returning to action following a three match ban for the red card he received at AFC Telford, played for almost an hour and there were some impressive performances from some of the younger players.
Goalkeeper Will Puddy was a casualty, though, after colliding with a post as he tried to cut out a cross from the left. He had to go off and was replaced by Kieran Preston. Although his arm was bruised and very sore after the game, there was no break though it’s not certain if the injury will keep him out for any length of time.
The first test for either keeper arrived in the 15th minute when Cinderford’s Alex Harris did well to touch away a Jamie Lucas header following a Jake Gosling free kick.
Almost immediately the visitors broke and Will Puddy made a smart save from Gary Preen. Shortly afterwards Angelo Balanta was just wide of the mark with an exquisite chip from the edge of area.
Puddy made did well to save from smart save from Jacob Morgan, while Joe Turley fired over the bar when well placed.
Balanta, who was showing up well in the opening exchanges, drew another good save from Harris and the keeper then did well to keep out an Andy Monkhouse header from Balanta’s cross.
Pierce Mitchell was unlucky not to give Rovers the lead shortly after the half hour mark, but his close range effort from Gosling’s free kick was well saved by Harris.
The half ended with Gosling seeing his shot saved by Harris who dived to his right to keep Rovers at bay.
Rovers made a half time substitution, sending on Jay Malpas for Ryan Broom, but the visitors took the lead four minutes after the restart when Preen crossed from the left and George Lloyd fired past Puddy from close range.
The Rovers shot stopper had to leave the pitch on the hour mark, after lengthy treatment for an arm injury, and was replaced by Preston.
Tyler Lyttle went close to equalising two minutes later but his rasping drive from 20 yards crashed into the side netting.
Rovers continued to press and equalised on 67 minutes when Harris could only parry a shot from Balanta and Lucas was on hand to stroke the loose ball into the net from six yards.
Preston dealt well with the first shot he had to face after coming on, gathering cleanly from Lloyd on 74 minutes.
As Rovers pushed forward in search of a second goal Lucas headed over from Lyttle’s cross. The visitors were still dangerous on the break though and Morgan’s angled drive was deflected behind for a corner.
Rovers should have made the game save when Ward-Baptiste made a run from the halfway line into the Cinderford area only to see his shot blocked by a visiting defender.
It was Rovers, though, who conjured up a late winner when Gosling received the ball out on the right. He cut inside and into the area where he beat Harris with a left foot shot from 12 yards.
Bristol Rovers: Will Puddy (Kieran Preston, 60), Tyler Lyttle, Danny Greenslade, Pierce Mitchell, Daniel Leadbitter, Ryan Broom (Jay Malpas, 46), Angelo Balanta, Dominic Thomas, Jake Gosling, Jamie Lucas, Andy Monkhouse Aaron Ward-Baptiste, 58)
Substitutes: Harrison Trueman, Mitchell Palmer
Cinderford Town: Alex Harris, Kieran Thomas, Elliot Keightley, Jack Oldham (Josh Nelmes, 86), Danny Haile, Lorcan Sheehan, Joe Donaghue, Joe Turley, Jacob Morgan, George Llolyd, Gary Preen
Substitutes: Kane Fellows, Ethan Moore, Josh Emery, Jack Camm