Promotion hopes ended
By Gary Brigden
Rovers saw their title and promotion hopes ended on Saturday, when they slumped to a hugely disappointing defeat at home to ten man Guildford City.
The visitors made a lightning start, and took the lead inside 20 seconds, before a Rovers player had touched the ball. From kick off a ball down the right was squared to Stefan Joseph who rolled home beyond Aaron Bogle.
Despite the setback Rovers responded positively, with Guy Baskerville bringing a good save out of City keeper Stuart Norman, and the City keeper was to prove to be their hero with a string of superb save.
Rovers eventually levelled on 24 minutes, when a neat short corner routine, saw Matt Tanton find Matt Farrell who poked home from close range. The visitors were then rocked on the half hour when Dan Stewart saw red for an incident with the referee.
It was the visitors who struck next though, five minutes before the break when Malachi Robinson bought down Nathaniel Williams, and Benga Ogunseye stroked the spot kick beyond Bogle for 2-1. Rovers almost levelled immediately, but Norman did well to turn aside a low Phil Page header.
The second half saw the visitors increase their lead on 50 minutes, with a sublime header by Joseph, rising highest to thump home Bobby Webbe's free kick.
Rovers were rocking but regained composure and had the visitors pinned back for long period. Page, Baskerville and Ollie Twum were all thwarted by Norman, before Farrell bought them back into the game with his second, on 65 minutes, heading home a Brendan Murphy-McVey corner. Two minutes later and it was all square, and again it was the Murphy-McVey Farrell link, with Farrell guiding a header beyond Norman for his hat-trick.
It was all Rovers now, Nemo Adams somehow blocked a Baskerville effort from six yards, before the scored what proved to be decisive goal. Luke Fenlon's crossfield ball was intercepted, and the lively Osunseye released, he shrugged off Asa Rixon-Nicholls before poking under Bogle for 4-3.
Rovers threw caution to the wind, but found Norman in inspired form, in a 90 second spell the keeper thwarted, both Farrell and Malachi Robinson from distance, in between which he somehow turned over a point blank Rixon-Nicholls strike.
The visitors celebrated like the had won the cup at the end of the game, but after beating the then league leaders, with over ten men, I guess you can't really begrudge them that.