Weston Super Mare 1-3 Bristol RoversAttendance: 820
Rovers made it four pre-season wins out of four with a comfortable 3-1 win against Weston super Mare this evening, in an entertaining game at The Woodspring Stadium.
Rory Gaffney, Jermaine Easter and Jamie Lucas were on target for Darrell Clarke’s side, while former Rovers striker Eliot Richards replied for Weston.
Rovers were the first side to play on the immaculate new surface and came up against a Weston side containing some familiar faces, namely Richards, Darren Mullings and assistant manager Mark McKeever.
There was another familiar face as well, as referee Savvas Yianni took charge of his third pre-season game involving Rovers!
Peter Hartley skippered the side tonight.
The first goalscoring opportunity of the evening fell to Weston’s Ashley Kington, but his effort was well wide of the target.
Rovers then went close as Byron Moore’s ferocious volley was parried by goalkeeper Luke Purnell.
Rovers were moving the ball around well and it was no surprise when they took the lead on ten minutes when Liam Lawrence floated a free kick to the back post and Gaffney powered a header past Purnell.
Moving the ball around at pace paid off again on 20 minutes when Moore was brought down in the area by Clayton Fortune and Easter confidently stroked the resulting penalty past Purnell.
The shot stopper then did well to keep out a low drive from the impressive Moore. Weston broke well at times, but could find no way through a resolute Rovers defence and ten minutes before the break Moore was again denied by Purnell’s fine save after he had been put through by Gaffney.
Jake Mawford fired over the bar as Weston went in search of a goal and shortly afterwards he evaded a challenge from Steve Mildenhall, who had rushed off his line to clear, and fed a pass the Tristan Plummer. The Weston man hit a shot that was going well wide of the mark before Richards stepped in to fire the ball home.
At the end of an impressive first half performance, Cristian Montano saw a shot just clear the bar.
Rovers made eight changes at the start of the second half, only Mildenhall, Aklfie Kilgour and Danny Greenslade were left from the starting XI.
Within a minute of the restart, Lucas ran on to a ball in from the right and slotted the ball past Purnell.
The cross had been supplied by Rovers triallist, who then went close to scoring, his angled drive drifting just wide of the upright.
Mildenhall then comfortably saved a long range effort from Joe McLennan.
However Rovers continued to enjoy a good deal of possession, though at times the final pass just let them down.
Lucas went close to adding another goal on 68 minutes, hitting a first time effort just over the bar after running on to Ryan Broom’s long ball forward and then the triallist drew a good save from Purnell.
The tricky Luke James saw a shot blocked by a packed home defence and Lee Brown’s long range free kick saw Purnell save well.
Weston: Luke Purnell, Sekani Simpson, Syd Camper, Jacob Cane, Ollie Barnes, Clayton Fortune, Joe McClennan, Tristan Plummer, Eliot Richards, Jake Mawford, Ashley Kington
Substitutes (all used): Jake Buxton, Elliott Ripley, Kane Ingram, Darren Mullings, Ben Withey, Ash Tandey, Tyler Davis, Matthew Mattis, Danny Wring, Liam Kington
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Daniel Leadbitter, Alfie Kilgour, Peter Hartley, Danny Greenslade, Byron Moore, Stuart Sinclair, Liam Lawrence, Cristian Montano, Jermaine Easter, Rory Gaffney
Substitutes (all used at the start of the second half): Lee Brown, Ollie Clarke, Jake Gosling, Jamie Lucas, Ryan Broom, Jay Malpas, Luke James, Triallist