The last time I saw Rovers win an away league game was ‘that day’ at Brentford in April 2013. This victory was much less dramatic but may be just as valuable come the end of the season.
With Tyler Garratt joining the lengthy queue outside the treatment room, Cedric Evina deputised in the only change to the starting XI as Rovers again played a 4-4-2 formation with midfield diamond. As on Tuesday, Rovers impressed with their energy and ability to press the ball and largely dominated the first half.
Andy Williams forced Russell Griffiths to turn a low shot wide of the post and Tommy Rowe’s fierce drive was blocked by a defender. However, too often Rovers snatched at chances or wasted openings, John Marquis’s tame shot after a good run, an example. At the other end Rovers had a scare when James Drayton found space but his shot curled wide of Marko Marosi’s goal.
Rovers finally went ahead after 53 minutes. James Coppinger broke and played a slide-rule pass into the feet of Marquis who was able to slip the ball wide of Griffiths. Cheltenham huffed and puffed but with Rovers defence well marshalled by Andy Butler, found clear openings hard to come by. James Jennings, on as a substitute, came closest but his low drive was well held by Marosi.
So Rovers held out with some comfort to record their first away win on since 2 January. That long wait, and my even longer one, is now over.
by John Coyle