ROVERS return to League One action on Saturday after the summer break, looking in good shape to challenge for a top six finish.

Darrell Clarke looks to have recruited well since the season ended, having bided his time for the right players to become available to strengthen the squad.

And they certainly caught the eye at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday as Premier League West Bromwich Albion provided the opposition for a pre-season friendly.

The Gas ran out 2-1 winners in the testimonial match for Peter Aitken in a very encouraging performance to whet the appetite for the campaign that lies ahead.

A strong start saw Harrison give us the lead as he pounced on an opportunity in front of goal to score after a fortuitous rebound, as the Pirates took full control.

New signing Sercombe looked commanding in midfield alongside Lines and Ollie Clarke. Sinclair and Bodin also looked sharp while Broadbent gave a promising display in defence, showing he will not be fazed by his rise to League One from the Army and non-league football.

We played some excellent, entertaining football that was pleasing on the eye and although the Baggies may have been holding a bit back before the start of the season, you could not fail to be impressed by the quality Rovers were showing.

A number of changes were made at half-time as West Brom upped their game and looked more threatening. However our defence looked solid and we were quick to put them under pressure again for spells of the game.

Clarke gave both new goalkeepers, Slocombe and Smith, a half each and both impressed, leaving the manager with a tough decision to make on Saturday.

New striker Nicholls looked sharp and got off the mark late in the game with an accomplished finish following a deft through ball from his strike partner Gaffney.

The Baggies pulled back a late consolation but it ended in an excellent victory.

We face a tough start at Charlton on Saturday but look well placed to return with at least a point before hosting Cambridge in round one of the EFL Cup at the Mem on Tuesday.