Nuneaton 0-2 RoversAttendance: 1,661 (926)
Rovers extended their unbeaten run to 13 games as they secured a 0-2 win over Nuneaton Town at Liberty Way Stadium to conclude a very successful festive period.
Lee Mansell opened the scoring with just under five minutes of the first half remaining and Nathan Blissett extended Rovers lead in the second half through a powerful header.
Darrell Clarke made three changes to the side that drew with Torquay United on New Years Day with Lee Brown, Mark McChrystal and Jake Gosling are recalled to the starting 11 with Angelo Balanta fit enough to take a place among the substitutes.
The game at Liberty Way started very slowly on an exceptionally cold day in Nuneaton.
However, it was Rovers who had the first chance of the game as skipper Mark McChrystal headed over from a Jake Gosling corner.
With 20 minutes on the clock Rovers forced a fantastic save from Christian Dibble in the Nuneaton goal to deny Matty Taylor from close range from a Rovers free kick.
Rovers continued to press in search of the opening goal as Andy Monkhouse saw his shot charged down well on the edge of the Nuneaton area.
With five minutes remaining of the first half it was Rovers who took the lead as a ball in from the Rovers left was headed goalwards by Nathan Blissett forcing another great save from Dibble but Lee Mansell was on hand to fire home from close range.
As the second half was less than five minutes old, Rovers doubled their lead through the head of Nathan Blissett.
Great attacking play from Rovers earned them a corner and Jake Gosling delivered a pinpoint cross onto the head of Nathan Blissett who headed home empathically from four yards.
Moments later Matty Taylor could have extended Rovers lead but dragged his shot wide across goal after great work to create himself enough space to take the shot.
With just over an hour gone Nathan Blissett should have doubled his tally for the game but managed to scuff his shot wide from two yards following a beautiful delivery from Andy Monkhouse.
Matty Taylor’s pace was causing the Nuneaton back line all sorts of trouble as he managed to go past the first marker but his left footed strike was deflected behind for a Rovers corner that was eventually cleared by Nuneaton.
Rovers continued to press and had half chances through Matty Taylor and substitute Bradley Goldberg but as the game went into the final 20 minutes it seemed to fizzle out.
Boro manager Liam Daish introduced three substitutes to the second half to try and open up the Rovers back line but Nuneaton failed to test Will Puddy who was largely a spectator for the whole game.
The win this afternoon allowed Rovers to maintain second place in the league and close the gap on league leaders Barnet to six points following the Bee’s 4-1 loss away to Lincoln.
Up next for Rovers is the away trip to Woking following a rare weekend off, before they entertain Braintree Town at the Memorial Stadium.
Nuneaton: Dibble, Streete, Cowan, Dean (C), Franklin, Smith, Brown (Fowler – 60), Amson, Walker (Quinn – 80), Gash, Sodje (Baker-Richardson - 60).
Unused Substitutes: Starosta, Charles.
Rovers: Puddy, Lockyer, McChrystal (C), Parkes, Brown, Gosling, Sinclair, Mansell (Clarke – 90), Monkhouse, Taylor (Goldberg – 80), Blissett (Harrison – 87).
Unused Substitutes: Leadbitter, Balanta.