Bristol Rovers 2-0 Welling UnitedAttendance: 5,791 (72)
Bristol Rovers climbed higher in the playoff places having swept aside Welling United at the Memorial Stadium.
A second half goal from Nathan Blissett and a Matty Taylor penalty secured all three points for Darrell Clarke’s men to make it two wins at the Mem within five days.
Darrell Clarke opted to freshen up his starting 11 recalling Jake Gosling and handing a start to Thursday’s loan signing Alex Wall. Nathan Blissett and Fulham loanee Lyle Della-Verde take a place among the substitutes.
It was a slow start by both sides at the Mem and it took 15 minutes for either side to really create a chance.
Matty Taylor and Jake Gosling linked up well down the Rovers left before the Gibraltar international picked out Lee Mansell on the edge of the Welling penalty area but Mansell couldn’t test Benji Buchel.
The visitors only real shot on goal fell to player/manager Jamie Day but Mildenhall easily gathered his 25-yard freekick.
Just after the half hour mark good pressure from Stuart Sinclair as he won the ball on the edge of the area but lashed his shot well wide of the goal.
Rovers did have the ball in the back of the net through Matty Taylor but it was disallowed for offside.
Jake Gosling cut in from the Rovers right and tried his luck but his low shot was deflected towards Taylor who finished emphatically only to see the linesman with his flag in the air.
Moments later Gosling had another shot on target, this one was spilled by Buchel but it was Barney Williams that came to the keepers rescue taking the ball off of Lee Brown before he could pull the trigger.
Darrell Clarke decided to change things at half time bringing on Angelo Balanta and Nathan Blissett for Jake Gosling and Alex Wall but it was Andy Monkhouse who had the first chance for the men in blue and white in the second half.
Balanta and Blissett linked up well down the Rovers right before passing the ball off to Monkhouse. Monkhouse beat his man on the edge of the Welling box before Michael Chambers blocked his shot.
Moments later it was the two substitutes that linked up again, this time Blissett latched onto Balanta’s pin-point through ball and calmly chipped the ball over the keeper to put Rovers 1-0 up.
Things went from bad to worse for Welling as captain Jake Gallagher was shown a straight red card for a foul on Lee Mansell. Gallagher went in from behind on Mansell and referee Steven Rushden had no choice but to show the red card.
With just over an hour gone, Blissett towered over Zach Fagan to flick on a header to Matty Taylor. Taylor outpaced his marker but from a tight angle could only fire straight at Buchel.
Matty Taylor held the ball up superbly and turned his marker and was barring down on the penalty area when Zach Fagan chopped him down and Steven Rushden pointed to the spot.
Taylor then dusted himself down and dispatched the penalty into the top left-hand corner of the goal leaving Benji Buchel with no chance of saving it to put Rovers 2-0 up.
Rovers then really tried to turn the screw on 10-men Welling as substitute Lyle Della-Verde perhaps tried to be to clever and curled his effort well wide of the goal when everyone in the ground expected him to score.
With 10 minutes remaining on the clock Stuart Sinclair won the ball on the edge of the Welling area and passed it off to Lee Mansell, Mansell lashed a shot goalwards only to be denied by Buchel at full stretch.
Up next for Rovers are back-to-back away trips as they face Wrexham at the Racecourse on Tuesday night before the return fixture against Welling next Saturday.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Monkhouse, Sinclair, Mansell, Gosling (Balanta – 45), Taylor (Della-Verde – 74), Wall (Blissett – 45).
Unused Substitutes: Trotman, Goldberg.
Welling: Buchel, Williams, Fagan, Chambers, Fyfield, Bassele (St. Aimie – 65), Crone, Day, Gallagher (C), Healy (Jefford – 86), Penny (Hudson – 80).
Unused Substitutes: Henly (GK), Taylor.