Town were unable to take the spoils on Derby Day after falling to a 1-0 defeat away at Bristol Rovers in the Sky Bet League One earlier this afternoon.
It was the home side who created the better of the chances and Billy Bodin’s well-taken effort proved to be the difference between the two sides at the break.
There was little action to digest in the second-half and one goal proved to be enough for Rovers to secure all three points at The Memorial Stadium.
Town plumped for just the one change with James Brophy coming back into the fold to replace Yaser Kasim who dropped to the bench.
Club Captain Nathan Thompson was tasked with protecting the defence in a holding midfield role, with Ben Gladwin operating at the tip of the diamond.
Luke Norris and Islam Feruz led the line together for the third successive game while new signing Dion Conroy took his place amongst the subs.
With three points and local pride on the line, both sides looked to go on the attack from the very get-go.
Lawrence Vigouroux gathered Chris Lines’ long-range free-kick comfortably before John Goddard could not quite pick out a team-mate inside the penalty area at the other end.
However, it was Rovers who fashioned the game’s first clear-cut chance as Vigouroux somehow got his body in the way of Billy Bodin’s close-range effort to keep the scores level.
The in-form Town stopper was called into action again moments later after tipping Ollie Clarke’s drive around the post.
Rovers continued to threaten and they so nearly took the lead from the resulting corner but Ben Gladwin was in the right place at the right time to hack Ryan Sweeney’s header off the line.
But Town were unable to keep the Gas at bay for too much longer and they drew first blood just past the half-hour mark.
Billy Bodin found himself in some space and his effort from just outside the box crashed off the post before hitting the back of the net.
Ellis Harrison then saw his cross/shot tipped over the crossbar by the impressive Vigouroux, before Luke Norris sent a header over the bar from Fankaty Dabo’s cross.
Harrison went close again as his header bounced off Vigouroux and towards the empty goal but Raphael Rossi-Branco was there to hack clear.
Town struggled to create much in-front of goal throughout the first-half so they decided to make a change at the interval with Jermaine Hylton replacing Norris.
But it was the Gas who started the quickest and they had a chance to double their lead after forcing the Reds into a mistake, but Harrison could only skew his effort well wide.
There was little action in a scrappy second-half with neither team able to really stamp their authority on proceedings.
Town were searching for a way back into the contest and they came close just past the hour mark as Gladwin nodded over the bar from a free-kick.
They went closer moments later as James Brophy’s cross was parried by Joe Lumley, but the Rovers keeper did well to jump on the loose ball before a Reds’ attacker could pounce.
With the game entering its closing stages, the Robins made another change as Jordan Stewart replaced Islam Feruz.
Rory Gaffney, who had replaced Harrison earlier in the second-half, was presented with a golden opportunity in-front of goal but he could only aim his strike straight at Vigouroux.
It could have been two for the hosts moments later but Clarke could only watch on as his thunderous effort crashed back off the frame of the goal.
Town carved out their best opportunity of the game late on as Gladwin burst into space before letting fly and his shot was deflected inches past the post.
Stewart was then unable to connect properly with Brophy’s pinpoint cross and Goddard had his effort deflected into the side netting, with Rovers seeing out the remainder of the game to claim the win.
TEAM AND STATS:
SCORERS - Billy Bodin (29).
BRISTOL ROVERS - Lumley; Leadbitter, Lockyer, Sweeney, Brown; Bodin (Byron Moore 63), Lines, Clarke, Sinclair; Harrison (Rory Gaffney 63), Taylor (Luke James 79).
Subs Not Used - Puddy, Clarke, Partington, Montano.
TOWN - Vigouroux; Dabo, Rossi-Branco, Jones (Dion Conroy 89), Brophy; Thompson (C), Colkett, Goddard, Gladwin; Feruz (Jordan Stewart 69), Norris (Jermaine Hylton 45).
Subs Not Used - Henry, Rodgers, Kasim, Murray.
Referee - James Linington
BRISTOL ROVERS - Ryan Sweeney.
TOWN - Nathan Thompson.
ATTENDANCE - 10,557 (1,189 Town Fans).