Tranmere 1-0 RoversAttendance: 3,559
Bristol Rovers crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of League Two Tranmere Rovers.
A second half Max Power penalty ensured Tranmere’s passage into the Second Round who saw George Donnelly sent off for lashing out at Tom Parkes.
Darrell Clarke made five changes to the side that won 0-1 away at AFC Telford United last weekend.
Steve Mildenhall has recovered from the illness that kept him out of last weekend’s win and replaces Will Puddy in goal. Mark McChrystal returns to captain Rovers against his old club replacing the injured Neal Trotman.
Dave Martin replaces the suspended Andy Monkhouse on the left flank with Stuart Sinclair coming into the midfield at the expense of Ollie Clarke and Ryan Brunt returns up front with Ellis Harrison dropping to the substitutes bench.
Rovers started the brighter of the two sides applying heavy pressure on Tranmere allowing them very little time on the ball however it was former Rovers player Eliot Richards who had the first chance of the match shooting well wide of Steve Mildenhall’s goal.
Richards was a constant presence for the home side and having spun Mark McChrystal saw his shot blocked well by Tom Parkes and then easily gathered by Mildenhall.
On the half hour mark Jake Gosling enjoyed space on the right hand side of the pitch and managed to pick out Matty Taylor on the edge of penalty box but Taylor scuffed his shot, which made it easy for Owain Fon Williams in the Tranmere goal.
Moments later Richards forced a couple of saves from Mildenhall but the Bristol Rovers keeper was equal to everything the Tranmere man had to throw at him.
Matty Taylor provided a moment of brilliance towards the end of the half, running at Michael Ihiekwe he dropped his shoulder and left his defender on the floor and made it to the touchline only to find no one with his cut back.
Just before the half time whistle, Lee Mansell tried his luck from distance but could only find the top of the goal.
Rovers started the second half brightly but it was Tranmere that look the lead from the spot.
Mark McChrystal was judged to have handled in the Rovers area and referee Darren England point to the spot with Max Power sending Mildenhall the wrong way to finish emphatically to the keeper’s right.
Tranmere were reduced to 10 men on the hour mark as George Donnelly lashed out at Tom Parkes in the corner of the field giving the referee no choice but to give him a red card.
Rovers pressed hard for the equaliser and Darrell Clarke brought Ellis Harrison and Lyle Della-Verde off the substitutes bench and changed his formation to a 3-5-2.
Della-Verde looked lively down the Rovers right and his beautiful cross just evaded Tom Parkes who was rushing into the penalty area.
It was Ellis Harrison who had Rovers best chance of the game as the young Welshman picked up the ball 25-yards out and lashed a shot goalwards to force a great save from Owain Fon Williams low down to his right hand side.
Rovers pressed and pressed in the second period but it wasn’t to be.
Substitute Lyle Della-Verde drove a left footed shot goalwards in the dying seconds only for it to be blocked on the line by Marc Laird.
Up next for Rovers is another away trip, this time to Alfreton on Tuesday night before they entertain Kidderminster Harriers at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Tranmere: Fon Williams, Ridehalgh, Power, Ihiekwe, Holness (C), Donnelly, Richards (Odejayi – 64), Laird, Donacien, Jennings, Thompson.
Unused Substitutes: Holmes, Baggie, Rowe, Kirby, Brezovan, Johnson.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, McChrystal (C) (Cunnington -82), Parkes, Brown, Gosling (Della-Verde – 58), Sinclair, Mansell, Martin (Harrison – 68), Brunt, Taylor.
Unused Substitutes: Puddy, Thomas, Wilson, White.