Cirencester Town 2-5 Bristol RoversReferee: Alexander Emery
Rovers were too strong for Cirencester in this Gloucestershire Challenge Cup first round tie at The Corinium Stadium this evening.
Christian Montano and Billy Bodin scored two goals apiece and Blake Davies added a fifth goal against a hard working home side who struggled to cope with Montano’s pace down the left in particular.
The home side forced two early corners and goalkeeper made a fine save from Ross Langworthy’s angled drive.
However Rovers soon settled and after Bodin had headed a cross from Montano straight at goalkeeper Glyn Garner, Rovers took an eighth minute lead.
Montano was the scorer, curling an exquisite free kick into the top corner of the net from just outside the area.
The same player was instrumental in setting up a second goal just four minutes later when his cross from the left was met by Bodin. His first shot beat Garner and hit the post, but the striker followed up and tapped the ball into an empty net from close range.
Another four minutes elapsed before the next goal arrived, this time for Cirencester. A clearance by goalkeeper Kieran Preston reached Charlie Griffin and with the keeper out of position the experienced striker hit a low shot into the net from just inside the area.
Another Montano free kick was touched behind by Garner shortly afterwards and then Bodin saw his shot blocked after collecting yet another cross from Montano.
There was another chance for Rovers just before the half hour mark when Bodin won possession midway inside the Cirencester half and raced off towards goal as he entered the area he attempted to slip the ball past Garner who anticipated the shot and saved with his legs.
At the other end Preston saved comfortably from Aiden Bennett though Rovers might have added a third goal in the final minute of the half when Garner scrambled across his line to touch Bodin’s free kick behind for a corner.
Rovers made a change at the start of the second half, which saw Tom Fry replace George Corp.
Montano carried on where he had left off in the first half, as in Rovers’ first attack of the half he saw his rasping drive hit the upright and fall behind for a goal kick.
Eight minutes into the half, though, he scored his second goal of the evening, curling in another free kick from just outside the box after a foul on Bodin.
Not to be outdone in the goalscoring stakes, Bodin scored his second goal on 57 minutes. Played in by Ryan Broom, the striker chipped the ball over Garner as the keeper rushed off his line to clear.
It was to be his last touch of the game as he and Montano were replaced by Olly Mehew and Elliot Green respectively.
The home side pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when Josh Parsons volleyed past Preston following a ball in from the right.
On 76 minutes, though, Rovers scored again when Green found Davies in space out on the right and he cut inside before firing a low shot past Garner.
Moments later there was almost a goal at the other end but Preston touched a free kick from Parsons on to the bar and saw it drop behind for a corner.
Bristol Rovers: Kieran Preston, Ryan Broom, Christian Montano (Elliot Green, 58), Tyler Lyttle, Alfie Kilgour, Danny Greenslade, Jay Malpas, Dominic Thomas, Blake Davies, Billy Bodin (Olly Mehew, 58), George Corp (Tom Fry, 46)
Substitutes: Bradley Confrey, Charlie Phillips
Cirencester Town: Glyn Garner, James Mortimer-Jones, Ian Herring, Ben Brown, Brad Hooper, Mark Pritchett, Ross Langworthy, Oliver Knight, Charlie Griffin, Josh Parsons, Aidan Bennett (Jody Bennett, 81)
Substitute: Leigh Henry