A first-half goal for Charlton Athletic’s Ian Maatsen means Rovers suffer defeat on Good Friday.
Andy Butler made three changes from the side that faced MK Dons last weekend with Branden Horton, Jason Lokilo and Taylor Richards replaced in the side by Scott Robertson, Fejiri Okenabirhie and Matt Smith, who has returned from international duty with Wales.
Rovers came out looking like a reenergised side with bright opening spells in the game. Equally, Charlton looked up to the occasion and they came with a game plan to press Rovers and push Butler’s all the way to the back when ever the boys in red and white were in possession.
This pressure paid dividends with Ian Maatsen twice getting up close to Jones, putting the youngster under pressure. On the second attempt, he managed to slide through the goalkeeper’s legs from close range, to give the visitors the lead within 12 minutes.
Despite going behind, Rovers’ spirts were not hampered. Chances came the way of James Coppinger and Omar Bogle, but neither were able to beat Ben Amos in the away goal.
On the 32nd minute Rovers hit Charlton on the break straight from Jones’ goal kick. He found Coppinger in space and the number 26 then fed through Smith who was too hesitant in front of goal and in an attempt to square the ball he momentarily lost possession. Rovers would eventually win the ball back again and Bogle would have a shot saved from close-range by Amos.
A golden chance fell at the feet of Alex Gilbey in the six-yard box, but his timid effort was blocked and cleared by Tom Anderson.
Half-time then arrived, with Rovers 1-0 down thanks to Maatsen’s early goal.
At the start of the second-half, Charlton thought they had extended their lead through Jayden Stockley from a corner, but the assistant referee Lisa Rachid ruled it out for offside.
Tempers began to get heated when Brad Halliday was shown a yellow card for a coming together with Stockley who had been teasing the Rovers right back.
Andy Butler’s first change of the game saw Richards enter the field of play at the expense of Robertson. The Brighton loanee ended up having little influence on the game except for two ambitious efforts from distance.
An injury to Joe Wright cut his game short and he was substituted for Cameron John. At the same time Okenabirhie was replaced by Lokilo.
Within the final 15 minutes Rovers strung together some neat short passes which moved them through the thirds neatly, but like most of the game they struggled to get the ball into the box and make some chances for themselves.
Charlton executed their game plan well and managed to keep Rovers quiet in front of goal and restrict the amount of balls they could put into the box.