Eastleigh 1-1 RoversAttendance: 2,621 (New league record for Eastleigh)
Rovers extended their unbeaten run to 6 games after a hard fought draw away with Eastleigh.
A wonder strike from Ollie Clarke rescued a point for 9 man Rovers after Jamie Collins put Eastleigh ahead in the first half.
Rovers had both Steve Mildenhall and Ollie Clarke sent off and will miss Saturday’s fixture against Dover.
Darrell Clarke made two changes to the starting 11 that were victorious at the Merseyrail Community Stadium bringing Ellis Harrison and Ollie Clarke in.
Dave Martin and Adam Cunnington drop to the bench as the manager thinks pace with unlock the Eastleigh back line.
Rovers started brighter of the two sides with the pace of Ellis Harrison causing the Eastleigh defence trouble.
The Welshman was fouled on the edge of penalty area and Lee Mansell dispatched a low free kick that almost caught out Ross Flitney at his near post.
Eastleigh could have taken the lead through striker Jai Reason with just over quarter of an hour played. The Eastleigh man found himself in plenty of space on the edge of the Rovers box but shot over the crossbar.
Harrison’s pace continued to cause problems for the home side with Ellis earning Rovers another free kick in a similar position to the one early on in the game.
Jake Gosling whipped a pinpoint ball into the area which skipper Lee Mansell attacked and forced Flitney into a fantastic save to keep the game goalless.
At the other end of the field Steve Mildenhall was called into action to deny Ben Strevons.
Eastleigh worked the ball well on the edge of the Rovers box and floated a ball to the back post where Strevons looked destined to score. Mildenhall lept and was at full stretch to palm the ball out for a corner which Rovers cleared easily.
Moments later Rovers were reduced to 10 men as referee Colin Lymer sent off Rovers keeper Steve Mildenhall.
A poor squared ball from Tom Parkes allowed Craig McAllister through on goal. Mildehall flew out of his goal and conceded a free kick on the edge of the Rovers area.
Jake Gosling made way as Darrell Clarke brought on Will Puddy for only his second appearance for Rovers.
Puddy was immediately called into action from the free kick as he tipped over a curled effort from Jai Reason behind for a corner.
Rovers were punished from the resulting corner having failed to clear the ball Jamie Collins leapt highest to nod home from close range.
10-man started the second half well and drew the game level inside the opening 10 minutes.
A poor clearance from Ross Flitney fell to Ollie Clarke, the Rovers midfielder took a touch before lashing it back over the head of the Eastleigh keeper from 35 yards.
Rovers pressed throughout the second period with Lee Brown getting on the end of an Ellis Harrison cross but the fullback could only head directly at Flitney.
Eastleigh had the best chance of the second half as Dean Beckwith headed wide from a corner. Even though the home side had the numerical advantage they failed to create a great deal.
Rovers were reduced to 9 men just before the final whistle as goal scorer Ollie Clarke picked up his second booking within the space of 5 minutes however, Rovers rallied to see out the rest of the game.
It was a superb battling performance from Rovers in the second half as they extend their unbeaten run to 6 games.
Up next for Rovers is a return to the Memorial Stadium as they take on Dover Athletic on Saturday (4th October).
Eastleigh: Flitney, Green, Collins, Beckwith, Stanley, Reason, McAllister, Midson (Fleetwood) Strevens, Evans, Reid.
Unused Substitutes: Spence, Todd, Lee, Helm.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Lockyer, Trotman, Parkes, Brown, Clarke, Mansell (C), Sinclair, Gosling (Puddy - 31), Harrison (Martin), Taylor (Cunnington – 45).
Unused Substitutes: McChrystal, White.