Rovers bowed out of the Southern Combination Challenge Cup at the semi final stage when a tepid performance saw them comfortably beaten by Combined Counties South side Balham.

With a crucial relegation battle at the weekend, their were numerous changes to the line up that had picked up an unlikely point at Westfield the previous weekend.

Coming into the starting line up were Liam Holden, Gabriel Odunaike, Tobe Uzor, Markus Marku and Shakeel Morris, dropping to the bench were Danny Divine, Conan Torpey, Siao Blackwood, Courtney Swaby and Tyler Cox.

The visitors started really brightly and it was no surprise that they were able to take advantage of a somewhat disjointed Rovers line up, and on the quarter hour a mazy run by Tom Read saw his drift beyond three would be challenges before curling a ball into the the bottom corner for 1-0.

Rovers responded positively but after a run from full back Holden could only fire an effort wide of the right hand post. Marku and Oldham then combined to set up Nabeel Ghannam but his cross shot was comfortable for Haydn Read.

It was 2-0 on 20 minutes, and again Rovers were masters of their own downfall, although there is no denying the quality of the strike. Losing possession in the middle of the park, the ball dropped to Read, some 40 yards out, and he hammered the ball home.

Rovers survived a couple of dodgy moments as the half ran out, with the usually secure James Dillon spilling a harmless ball into the area, before recovering at the hands of Alec Fiddes and Antonio Simeone looking slightly fortunate to survive a handball shout.

Oldham fired over the bar and neat link up between Matt Tanton and Morris ended with a shot from Marku being comfortably gathered by Read.

Balham took a deserved lead into the half time break.

Early in the second half and neat link up between Swaby and Morris ended with a shot deflected behind for a corner and from the delivery Ghannam went down in the area but play continued on, with little SCR protest.

Kojo Kyei slipped to let in Oldham he clipped the ball over the keeper but Jake Henry hooked the ball off the line.

With 20 minutes remaining Rovers had thei best chance to get back into the game but Oldham saw his effort superbly blocked by Kyei, and from the corner Bert Lloyd saw his effort cleared.

Rovers twice went close in the closing stages, once through Ghannam and another when Cox saw his effort beat Read but drift wide of the left hand post.

Balham sealed the win late on when Fiddes raced clear after a Rovers corner was cleared and calmly lobbed the advancing Dillon.