Gateshead 0-1 RoversAttendance: 1,668 (676)
Rovers made it five wins in five games for the month of February beating Gateshead 0-1.
Substitute Ellis Harrison netted the only goal of the game with a calm chip over Adam Bartlett.
Darrell Clarke made one change to his starting line-up following Stuart Sinclair's return from injury. Today's game was Sinclair's first appearance since the fixture at Nuneaton of the 4th January and Jake Gosling makes way all together.
Gateshead had all of the ball in the early going and forced a corner inside the opening three minutes. Loan signing Lynden Gooch took the corner for the Heed deep into the penalty area and Carl Finnigan volleyed wide in an early scare for Rovers.
The home side continued to dominate possession in the early going forcing Rovers to concede three corners in quick succession but the Rovers back line held firm through solid clearances from Monkhouse and Parkes.
Darrell Clarke was forced to change tactics and personnel on the half hour mark following an injury to Stuart Sinclair. It appeared the midfielder may have landed awkwardly after an areal collision with a Gateshead player and was replaces by Adam Dawson.
Chances for the visitors were few and far between in the first half but following a foul on Matty Taylor, Rovers were presented with a free kick on the right hand side of the Heed penalty area. Lee Brown was stood over the ball and whipped it into the penalty area but Adam Bartlett was able to gather the ball with ease.
Rovers struggled to pass the ball around fluidly but did craft a fantastic move involving Tom Lockyer, Lee Brown, Andy Monkhouse and Adam Dawson before Daniel Leadbitter put his cross behind the goal without troubling Bartlett.
Adam Dawson looked lively again coming off the substitutes bench and had Rovers first real shot of the game. The Leicester City man picked up the ball with his back to goal and beat one before thundering a left footed shot goalward but his shot sailed wide of the mark.
The visitors had the last chance of the half deep into first half injury time as Tom Lockyer's long throw caused issues for the Gateshead back line and a poor punch from Adam Bartlett allowed Tom Parkes to volley goalwards but his effort was charged down by Tom Allen with referee Ian Hussin waving away protests for a penalty.
Rovers looked much more positive in the second period but still were unable to really test Adam Bartlett in the Gateshead goal which prompted Darrell to change his strike force bringing on Ellis Harrison to replace Matty Taylor.
In what was a very slow second half, Rovers made the break through with just under 20 minutes of the game remaining. Lee Brown's long ball forward bounced over Heed substitute Tom Allan and Ellis Harrison latched onto the ball over the top and cooly chipped the ball over Adam Bartlett.
Darrell Clarke's men seemed to grow into the game and Ellis Harrison's energy really seemed to make a difference. Entering the final 10 minutes the young Welshman flicked the ball onto Nathan Blissett in the Heed penalty area but the big man was unable to bring the ball under his spell and Gateshead were able to clear.
Gateshead offered very little in the second half and never made Steve Mildenhall make a save following another fantastic display from the Rovers rear guard.
Up next for Rovers is the visit of playoff chasing Eastleigh to the Memorial Stadium next Saturday (7th March).
Gateshead: Bartlett, Jones, Curtis, Clark (C) (Allan - 40), Oster (Ramshaw - 85), Finnigan, Baxter, Rodman, Pattison, Gjokaj (Campbell - 75), Gooch.
Unused Substitutes: Chandler, Shaw, Ramshaw.
Rovers: Mildenhall, Leadbitter, McChrystal, Parkes, Brown, Lockyer, Mansell, Monkhouse, Sinclair (Dawson - 28), Taylor (Harrison - 64), Blissett.
Unused Substitutes: Puddy, Trotman, Balanta.