Bristol Rovers 0
Forest Green Rovers 2
Guthrie (3 & 63)
A competitive and entertaining game at the Memorial Stadium this morning ended 2-0 in favour of Forest Green Rovers, thanks to a goal in each half scored by Kurtis Guthrie.
There were starts for Mark McChrystal, Ellis Harrison and Jamie White, while some of the fringe members of the squad were also given a run out.
Second year scholars Jay Malpas and Ryan Broom started, as did triallist Jose Munez who partnered McChrystal at the back. Ryan Brunt, who has asked to go out on loan, wasn’t included in the squad as the
manager felt that Harrison and White needed a full 90 minutes game time.
The visitors took a third minute lead when Will Puddy was unable to hold on to a shot and parried the ball into the path of Guthrie who slotted the ball home from close range.
There were few chances for either side after that though Guthrie did get the ball in the net again on 18 minutes only to have the effort ruled out for offside.
Broom, who showed up well on the right saw two efforts blocked, but Rovers best chance of the half fell to Harrison two minutes before the break.
He was first to reach a cross from Danny Greenslade only to see his powerful header touched away by the Forest Green goalkeeper Paul White.
Greenslade saw a free kick blocked by the Forest Green defensive wall ten minutes into the second half and shortly afterwards Harrison, who had been on the end of a number of strong challenges, was replaced by Jamie Lucas.
McChrystal was denied a 59th minute goal when his powerful close range header was touched over the bar by goalkeeper White.
The visitors scored again on 63 minutes when a ball into the box wasn’t cleared and took a deflection to 10 whom was left with a simple chance to knock the ball into the net.
Greenslade set White up for a run on goal with 15 minutes remaining but the striker dragged his left foot effort wide of the target.
At the other end Puddy made a fine save to keep out an effort from Luke Rodgers. However visiting keeper White was in action again soon afterwards, when he parried a shot from his namesake, Jamie.
Hard as they tried, though, Rovers were unable to penetrate the visitors well organised defence.
Bristol Rovers: Will Puddy, Pierce Mitchell, Jose Munez, Mark McChrystal, Danny Greenslade, Ryan Broom, Jay Malpas, Dominic Thomas, Aaron Ward-Baptiste (Tyler Lyttle, 65), Ellis Harrison (Jamie Lucas, 55), Jamie White
Substitute: Kieran Preston