Rovers entertained Slimbridge for the first time in a league match. For 45 minutes Rovers put the Hallen ghost to bed only for the old footballing cliché of being a game of two halves returned.
Simon Hill came back from suspension, Russell Jee started at left back and David Steele moved into midfield. For an hour Rovers purred with a silky performance of pace, panache, power and precision.
Rovers turned the screw with some flowing wing play, midfield balls hit their willing runners such a contrast to Wednesday night. But it was a well worked free kick one that has been practised in training that allowed Dan Western to let fly a thunderbolt to give Rovers the lead in the 25th minute.
But as so often this season we seem to switch off after taking the lead but for a brave save at the Swans striker’s feet by Paul Gibbins kept Rovers ahead. Five minutes later the Swans left back danced past everyone and his shot shaved the post. But for that 6 minute spell it was all Rovers Western got his second from the edge of the area and all seemed well at half time.
Into the second half and somehow Craig Veal and David Steele between them missed a good chance after a Luke Alden run. Another Alden cross evaded everyone. But as Rovers missed their chance to kill the game off Swans got one back with a 30 yard volley into the top corner. The game now became quite frantic with a spate of bookings. But Swans restored parity with the left back given too much time and space and although his shot was saved by Gibbins he pounced onto the rebound to bundle the ball home.
Rovers stung into action had two great chances to win it a Jee cross found Veal but his effort was clawed away at the keepers near post. As the minutes ticked away another Jee cross found Western but his lob fell invitingly into the Swans keepers arms.
Rovers: Gibbins; Wannell ©, Hill, Clampin, Jee: Wadham, Rogers, Steele, Alden; Western, Veal; Subs Hopkinson for Veal (80) Baily not used