ROVERS claimed top spot in the Conference table thanks to a magnificent run of four consecutive victories.

Hard-fought wins over Altrincham on Saturday and Braintree on Tuesday night propelled the Gas into pole position as they overtook long-time leaders Barnet.

On Saturday, Rovers moved to within a point of the Bees after a scruffy 1-0 win over Altrincham.

The win may not have been pretty as the Pirates were not firing on all cylinders, but it was a crucial three points against hard-working and committed opponents.

We couldn’t produce much passing football and were unable to keep possession, which made for an edgy encounter.

Parkes’ goal just before half-time was the difference between the two sides and was the icing on the cake for the young defender’s man-of-the-match display.

He made no mistake powering in a header from a corner and showed the confidence in his game.

Leadbitter has also improved greatly since earlier in the season and has made the right-back berth his own.

He combines solid defending with foraging runs down the flank to great effect.

We lacked flair up front throughout the contest as Blissett looked a raw talent and Taylor missed a great chance in the first half with just the keeper to beat.

The impending return of Sinclair in midfield, followed by Easter up front, should make us more potent but in the meantime, a solid defence is the cornerstone of our success. Fortunately one goal was enough to seal the points and at this stage of the season, winning games is more important than doing so in style as we battle for the automatic promotion spot.

On Tuesday night against Braintree at the Memorial Stadium, Rovers edged the encounter 2-1 thanks to a Taylor penalty and a late Harrison strike.

Heads did not drop after our opponents equalised, despite going down to 10 men, as Rovers seem to have developed a knack of grinding out wins.

Rovers face a trip to Gateshead on Saturday, knowing the challenge for the remaining 10 games of the season will be to remain top of the league.

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