Full-time: Bristol Rovers striker Ryan Brunt on target to secure 1-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers
A first-half strike by Ryan Brunt was enough to help in-form Bristol Rovers move out of the bottom six for the first time this season.
Brunt produced a classy finish when volleying home from the edge of the penalty area after a Joe Anyinsah cross had deflected off a Wycombe defender into his path in the 35th minute in a game where Rovers again needed to be resolute at the back for long spells in the second-half to extend their recent unbeaten run to six games.
John Ward's side, who have now extended the gap between themselves and the relegation zone to seven points, started with a bit of intent and had the better of what few opportunities were created in a lethargic opening period.
Brunt could have offered them a great start when presented with a good chance in the seventh minute after neat play between Lee Brown and Fabian Broghammer down the left-hand side.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Broghammer, who was returned to the starting line-up as the only change to the side that won at Oxford United last week, produced a decent low cross after scampering away from his marker only for Brunt to place his side-footed effort into the arms of Wycombe goalkeeper Jordan Archer.
Another 10 minutes elapsed before Rovers carved out another sniff at goal, but, on that occasion, Oliver Norburn sliced high over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area after the ball had been headed away by a Wycombe defender at a free-kick situation. Midfielder John-Joe O'Toole – acting as a supplementary striker to lone man Brunt – also fired a shot wide in stoppage time.
Wycombe, meanwhile, failed to test Rovers goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall at all, despite some neat play in the middle of the pitch down the flanks at times.
In stark contrast to a lack of goalmouth activity in the opening 45 minutes, the second-half began with a flurry of chances at both ends.
Broghammer was the first to see an opening in the 48th minute when striding away down the right, but the ball ended up deep inside the Blackthorn End following a wayward shot.
Norburn scuffed an effort wide soon after when teed up by Broghammer, while O'Toole also arrowed a left-foot volley the wrong-side of the post after being picked out by a searching pass from Brunt.
At the other end, former Rovers striker Jo Kuffour served to pose the biggest threat, but was off-target when fashioning a couple of chances before Mildenhall easily collected an ambitious effort from all of 40 yards off the boot of full-back Marvin McCoy.
Gareth Ainsworth's side really started to press for an equaliser in the final 15 minutes and were unlucky not to be given an opportunity to get one from the spot when Kuffour tangled with Michael Smith inside the box.
Still Wycombe failed to turn possession into chances – although Michael Harriman's cross that zipped across the face of goal and a stoppage-time scramble inside the six-yard box were nervous moment that Ward had to endure before the referee brought proceedings to a welcome end.
Rovers (4-5-1): Mildenhall; Smith, Parkes, McChrystal, Brown; Anyinsah (Richards, 80) Norburn (Clarkson 67), Clucas, O'Toole, Broghammer (McDonald, 90); Brunt. Subs: Harrison, Gough, Hitchcock, Woodards.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Archer; McCoy (Spring, 64) Winfield, Stewart, Dunne; Grant (Morgan, 63), Lewis, Harriman, Wood; Kuffour, McClure (Oli, 89). Subs: Harrison, Johnson, Ainsworth, Hause.