Rovers 1 (Marquis 53)
Saturday 20th August 2016
LCI Rail Stadium, Cheltenham
EFL Sky Bet League Two
John Marquis scored against his former club as Rovers claimed a second straight win.
Marquis' goal early in the second-half, following on form his midweek strike against Cambridge, sealed the points for Rovers at the LCI Rail Stadium.
It was Rovers' first away success since the 3-0 success at Southend back in January, and ended a 17-game unbeaten home run for the Robins.
Rovers started with the same XI that finished Tuesday night's win over Cambridge, which meant Cedric Evina came in for the injured Tyler Garratt, and the conifdence showed with a high-pressing start. An early low cross from John Marquis, after a James Coppinger free-kick was only-half cleared, caused panic.
The first real shot came after 11 minutes, when Coppinger pounced on a poor clearance. He fed Andy Williams, but his shot after turning was easy for Russell Griffiths to collect.
Williams again had a half-chance four minutes later, this time when Tommy Rowe won the ball back. This time, though, Williams was forced wide in search of a shooting angle and his eventual cross was too deep for Marquis.
Rovers continued to be first to the ball in most situations, with only a great fingertip stop from Griffiths denying Williams as he tried to place the ball into the bottom-right corner. That higher intensity was reflected in a booking for Easah Suliman as Matty Blair beats him to the ball and the Cheltenham man is too heavy in his challenge.
Rovers appealed for a penalty after Matty Blair's corner from the left, but when the referee's whistle did blow he felt the home keeper had been fouled.
With half an hour gone the rain had eased off, and Marquis seemed to be inspired as he won the ball in the opposition half and got away from his man. His low shot is just wide, though.
The Robins also improved as the rain stopped, with a quick counter-attack resulting in James Dayton curling just wide of the far post. The Rovers keeper also had to be quickly off his line to smother the ball after a smart pass threatened to put Billy Waters through.
Williams also had another chance to break the deadlock, but he tried to take one touch too many as he tried to work space and couldn't get his shot away as he was crowded out by Robins defenders.
Rovers did need a fine stop from Marosi to keep the score level at the break, as he parried away a shot from Waters from just inside the area. Danny Wright also headed over, but the referee had already blown for a foul on Andy Butler.
HALF-TIME: Cheltenham 0 Rovers 0
There were no changes at the break, and the home side were the first to threaten with a long ball to the far post which Butler headed over for a corner.The corner was way too long, though, and resulted in a goal-kick.
Rovers deservedly broke the deadlock, though, with 53 minutes gone. Coppinger, whose trickery had caused problems all game, slotted the ball through for Marquis who cooly slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner.
The home side regrouped after the goal, restricting Rovers to half-chances - with Marquis flagged offside when through.
Robins boss Gary Johnson made another change as James Jennings came on for Danny Whitehead, as his side looked to get back into the game.
The home side pushed in search of a leveller, but Rovers looked dangerous on the counter-attack still as gaps appeared.
One resulted in Marquis and Williams combining well to win a corner. That set-piece was cleared, but the ball was played back in by Coppinger and Houghton's glancing header went wide.
Darren Ferguson's first change came with 10 minutes remaining, with Liam Mandeville coming off the bench for Blair.
The home side threw the ball into the area, but strong defending cleared most of the balls at the first attempt. Jenning's shot straight at Marosi - who dived and held it well - was the closest they went.
Harry Middleton came on in place of Coppinger as we entered the final stages. Five minutes of time added on brought no real scares as Rovers clocked their second win of the campaign.
Marquis could have rounded off the victory with a late counter, but Mandeville's ball through was just too far ahead of him.
FULL-TIME: Cheltenham 0 Rovers 1
ROVERS LINE-UP : Marosi, Lund, Wright, Butler, Evina, Houghton, Blair (Mandeville), Rowe, Coppinger (Middleton 87), Marquis, Williams. UNUSED SUBS: Etheridge, Calder, Fielding, Amos, Pugh
Cautions: Marosi (57), Houghton (79), Butler (84)
CHELTENHAM LINE-UP: Griffiths, Parslow (c), Pell, Waters, Wright, Cranston, Dayton, Whitehead (Jennings), O'Shaughnessy (Hall), Suliman, Arthur (Smith). UNUSED SUBS: Kitscha, Rowe, Lymn, Barthram
Cautions: Suliman (18), Jennings (81)
ATTENDANCE: 2,923 (367 away)