WITH no game last Saturday, Graham Coughlan’s men had the luxury of six days off after the previous Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final, writes Stephen Knowlson.

That win set up a tasty looking semi-final at home to Sunderland towards the end of next month with Rovers just one game away from an appointment at Wembley.

In League One we entertained Peterborough on Tuesday with the Posh looking to impress returning manager Darren Ferguson who had replaced Steve Evans last weekend.

The extra days off seem to have invigorated Rovers who set about their opponents with gusto on a bitter Tuesday evening in Horfield. They harried the visitors throughout the opening period and looked far more dangerous in attack than in recent league outings.

Tom Nichols led from the front and it was his run into the box from the right flank that won Rovers a penalty after a trip by Rhys Bennett. Nichols duly dispatched the spot kick in the seventh minute to give the Gas a deserved lead.

Rovers continued applying pressure throughout the first 45 and were very unlucky to concede an equaliser on 37 minutes when Ivan Toney slotted in from what appeared to be an offside position. However, the team refused to be disheartened and Ollie Clarke’s excellent chip retook the lead a few minutes before half time.

The second-half was tighter and more even with just a handful of chances at both ends. But football can be a cruel game and just when Gasheads were dreaming of a priceless three points, on 90 minutes Peterborough sub Joe Ward unleashed a 25-yard piledriver which beat Bonham to ensure the tie ended all-square.

Rovers deserved more and should take heart from a hugely-improved display but the single point means we remain in the relegation zone two points from safety. Draws need to turn into wins quickly if we are to climb out of the bottom four.

The club has had a quiet January transfer window so it was good to welcome Reading defender Gabriel Osho on loan for the rest of the season. Hopefully a striker or two may not be far behind him.

Next is a trip over to Essex on Saturday as Southend host us at Roots Hall.