Salford City manager points to an important factor that may help Bristol Rovers in chase for promotion

Gary Bowyer spoke after the Gas narrowly beat the team from Greater Manchester at the Mem to give themselves a three-point buffer in the play-offs.

Gary Bowyer, manager of Salford City.Gary Bowyer, manager of Salford City.
Gary Bowyer, manager of Salford City.

Bristol Rovers made it five wins in a row at home on Good Friday, with a 1-0 victory over Salford City.

And although there are five points between the Pirates and Port Vale in third place in League Two, Joey Barton’s side now head to Vale Park next to face former Rovers manager Darrell Clarke in an intriguing end-of-season league game. The result could be pivotal.

While Barton was pleased with an important victory against a promotion rival to kickstart the Easter weekend, his opposite number also gave his reaction and highlighted something that could be an important factor in Rovers’ charge for League One: the ‘wonderful’ home crowd and atmosphere in BS7.

Gary Bowyer also bemoaned his side's second half display, that leaves his team two points outside the play-off positions after a first loss on the road in seven games.

"It's disappointment. We lost a game of football - we came here to set our stall out to have a right good go at winning it,” said Bowyer, after on-loan winger Elliot Anderson had driven in low at Tom King’s near post on 75 minutes to seal the win.

"I thought we started the game well, Matt Smith's header and it was a good save from the goalkeeper and from the resulting corner Ryan Watson's put it narrowly just wide.

"But then we have another couple of key moments and failed to capitalise on that final bit. They came into the game a little bit, as you'd expect with a wonderful crowd and the noise and the atmosphere.

"I didn't think we started the second half at all well. I didn't feel that we put them under enough pressure in the final third. That's the disappointment for me," he added.

Pushed on where his side went wrong, Bowyer suggested the difference between the two teams when it came to creating chances.

Rovers recorded an 11th home clean sheet of their League Two campaign, and an eighth in their last 10 games on their home turf.

"We didn't create enough and we didn't get into good areas enough. We were a bit rushed with the final ball,” Bowyer said.

“But we have to move on and look at Monday's game now. It's about recovery and the lads getting the fluids and the food down them as quickly as possible now and getting ready to go again,” he added.