Photo’s from the game..
The Rovers cup dream is over, but they gave a superb all-round display against a classy Gosport side that ply their trade three levels higher than Scott Rogers’ men.
There was a 100-metre line at 2.30pm of people lining up to get in to see the game and Silver Street was packed to the rafters for a very special occasion. Prior to kick-off there was an impeccable minute’s silence observed by the crowd – the silence out of respect for the Bow AAC player who had sadly passed away playing a Fresha League game against Thorverton, seven days before
The game was broadcast live on BBC Radio Devon with former Rovers assistant manager Neil ‘Nellie’ Greening as the guest expert summariser along side the BBC’s top commentator Richard Green who were perched in the Silver Street grandstand.
Rovers made an understandably nervous start and the first 15 minutes saw the Gosport front two of Justin Bennett and Matt Patterson make life very uncomfortable for the Rovers back line.
The first gilt-edged chance of the game came in the 23rd minute when Gosport striker Justin Bennett headed wide of an empty net with home keeper Kurtis Parkin flat- footed.
Just three minutes later Rovers’ lone striker James Blake was put through one-on-one, but rather than opt to go round the gloves man Blake hurried his shot and it was comfortably held by Nathan Ashmore, and the chance was gone.
Parkin made a superb save to deny a Rory Williams near post header from a 29th minute corner, but there was nothing he could do about a 34th minute shot from Mike Carter.
The lead was doubled five minutes before the break when a clever ball by Carter released Patterson and he applied a clinical finish.
Two minutes after falling further behind Luke Durham fired a shot that went just wide of the upright.
Early in the second half Blake went close after a fine run and cross from Josh Wadham.
At the other end Parkin produced a good save in the 55th minute to deny Dan Woodan, the ball going for a corner. Another corner was quickly conceded and, from this Steve Ramsey tucked the ball home to make it 3-0.
A minute later Rovers pulled a goal back through Luke Alden after good work from Blake.
In the 60th minute Blake had a shot saved before, two minutes later Tom Bath replaced Josh Waddon as Rovers switched to a two-man strike force.
Rovers were reduced to ten men in 66th minute with Luke Durham shown a second yellow card.
Down to ten men Rovers boss Scott Rogers tweaked his side and the final 15-minutes saw no further goals with chances at a premium at either end, though Gosport missed a fine chance late on, but a fourth goal against Rovers would have been mighty harsh on their effort.
Brett Worbey replaced David Steele with 15 minutes remaining, but a confident Gosport side saw the game out in some comfort and it is the Hampshire side who will be in Monday’s draw for the 1st Round proper whilst a brave Rovers will return to ply their trade in the Toolstation League.