League Two
Bristol RoversBristol Rovers1CheltenhamCheltenham Town0

Bristol Rovers 1-0 Cheltenham Town

By Caroline ChapmanBBC Sport at the Memorial Stadium
John-Joe O'Toole

Bristol Rovers pulled away from the League Two relegation zone with a narrow victory over Cheltenham.

Midfielder John-Joe O'Toole netted what was to be the only goal of the game shortly after the half-hour mark.

Rovers' top scorer capitalised on an error from defender Steve Elliott and fired in a low volley for his 13th goal of the season.

Cheltenham upped the tempo after the break but both Terry Gornell and Sido Jombati saw efforts miss.

Referee Iain Williamson inspected the Memorial Stadium pitch two hours before the game and deemed it fit for use, despite the rainfall in the West Country.

The heavy ground hindered the game's flow at times but Rovers managed the conditions well and earned a valuable three points.

In the opening 15 minutes, Jamie Cureton - playing against his former club - forced goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall into action from close range, while Alan Gow's looping strike went just wide.

O'Toole then pounced on Elliott's slip-up and hit powerfully into the net to give Rovers the lead.

Cheltenham went looking for an equaliser in the second-half but Mark Yates' side lacked the finishing touch. Jombati scuffed his shot after Mildenhall had parried into his path and Sam Deering's long-range strike soared wide.

It means Bristol Rovers move up to 18th in the standings and are now five points above the drop zone, while Cheltenham - without a win since Boxing Day - slip to 15th, two points above their local rivals.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward told BBC Radio Bristol:

"We've played like that in other games and not won them.

"The one thing that carries you through on nights like this is your attitude.

"The mind games were there from four o'clock onwards - was the game going to go ahead? The referee probably had more mind games than the rest of us.

"We mastered the conditions as best as we could. It was a really good effort from both sets of players."

Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates told BBC Gloucestershire:

"Three or four mistakes led up to the goal. It's disappointing we gave them a lead and then couldn't get it back.

"The effort was there. It was a battle between two evenly-contested teams. It's just disappointing we've got nothing from it.

"We felt we should have been a couple of goals up in the first 15 minutes but we weren't ruthless enough."

Line-ups

Bristol Rovers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Mildenhall
  • 2Smith
  • 14Brown
  • 25Clucas
  • 30Lockyer
  • 6Parkes
  • 16GowSubstituted forHardingat 88'minutes
  • 32O'Toole
  • 7ClarksonSubstituted forGillespieat 80'minutes
  • 19Beardsley
  • 39Mohamed

Substitutes

  • 8Gillespie
  • 15Norburn
  • 17Harrison
  • 18Harding
  • 20Gough
  • 33Santos
  • 34Keary

Cheltenham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Brown
  • 28IhiekweBooked at 35mins
  • 22Braham-Barrett
  • 4TaylorSubstituted forKotwicaat 75'minutes
  • 5BrownSubstituted forJombatiat 54'minutesBooked at 59mins
  • 6Elliott
  • 8Deering
  • 14Richards
  • 7CuretonSubstituted forHarrisonat 60'minutes
  • 10Gornell
  • 11McGlashan

Substitutes

  • 9Harrison
  • 12Roberts
  • 17Hanks
  • 19Kotwica
  • 20Jombati
  • 31Lucas
  • 32Brundle
Referee:
Iain Williamson
Attendance:
5,808

Match Stats

Home TeamBristol RoversAway TeamCheltenham
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home11
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Bristol Rovers 1, Cheltenham Town 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Bristol Rovers 1, Cheltenham Town 0.

  3. Post update

    Tom Parkes (Bristol Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Steve Elliott (Cheltenham Town).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Chris Beardsley (Bristol Rovers).

  6. Post update

    Steve Elliott (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Chris Beardsley (Bristol Rovers).

  8. Post update

    Michael Ihiekwe (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Hand ball by Michael Ihiekwe (Cheltenham Town).

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Chris Beardsley (Bristol Rovers).

  11. Post update

    Corner, Cheltenham Town. Conceded by John-Joe O'Toole.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Cheltenham Town. Conceded by Michael Smith.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Terry Gornell (Cheltenham Town) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Michael Ihiekwe.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Bristol Rovers. Mitch Harding replaces Alan Gow.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Bristol Rovers. Conceded by Matthew Richards.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sam Deering (Cheltenham Town) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Alan Gow (Bristol Rovers).

  19. Post update

    Sam Deering (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. John-Joe O'Toole (Bristol Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chesterfield301510548272155
2Scunthorpe301313442281452
3Oxford Utd301312540241651
4Rochdale29155946341250
5Burton2914873328550
6Fleetwood291541046341249
7Southend29138836251147
8Newport2610973530539
9Dag & Red30109113738-139
10Plymouth29109102731-439
11Hartlepool30108123235-338
12Wimbledon30108123236-438
13Morecambe29108113338-538
14York31812113437-336
15Cheltenham30812103540-536
16Exeter2998123438-435
17Mansfield30811113240-835
18Bristol Rovers30810122832-434
19Accrington2889113238-633
20Portsmouth30712113443-933
21Bury28711103235-332
22Wycombe30710133339-631
23Torquay2978142943-1429
24Northampton2968152340-1726
View full League Two table

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