Kenny Jackett named the same team that beat Oldham Athletic 4-0 last weekend, but a slight change in shape saw Aaron Drinan partner Harry Smith up front, with Theo Archibald behind the pair.
The opening ten minutes of the match were quite cagey, with neither side able to grab a hold of the match or register a telling shot on goal.
The O’s first goal of the match came from a corner kick in the 16th minute. Tom James’ low delivery towards the front post was met by the darting run of Harry Smith, who headed the ball into the ground and past James Belshaw.
Bristol Rovers were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area soon after, but Brett Pitman’s low and powerful strike was blocked by James.
James played his part in Orient’s second too, whipping in yet another corner, though this one was half dealt with by the Gas. The ball was cleared to Darren Pratley, who looked to place the ball in the corner, but his strike was blocked out to Archibald.
The O’s number 11 controlled the bouncing ball before unleashing a dipping half-volley into the bottom corner from 20-yards.
Kenny Jackett’s team were clinical in the final third and added yet another before the half-time whistle. Tom James’ cross from deep found Aaron Drinan in-between two defenders, and the Irishman’s header had enough on it to beat the Rovers ‘keeper.
Frustration grew amongst the home team and home support, and there were some ugly scenes before the break, resulting in bookings for Darren Pratley, Aaron Drinan and Alfie Kilgour.
Half-time: Bristol Rovers 0-3 Leyton Orient
Bristol boss Joey Barton made a change at the break, introducing Harvey Saunders to the game in place of Nick Anderton.
The sub was quickly involved, racing in behind the Orient backline, however, goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux did brilliantly to race out and win his tackle.
Orient were disciplined in the second-half and allowed Bristol to dominate possession, but limited their attacking threat.
With just 15 minutes left to play, Dan Happe was forced to come off through injury and was replaced by Shad Ogie.
Alex Mitchell displayed his defensive qualities with some superb one-on-one defending to deny Harvey Saunders a shot on goal, after chasing the forward from the half-way line into the area.
Rovers registered a consolation goal from the spot, after Ogie was penalised for a foul on Saunders. Brett Pitman stepped up for Bristol, and he smashed the ball home.
Gas: Belshaw, Grant, Kilgour, Finley, Collins (Thomas 67’), Anderton (Saunders 46’), Taylor, Evans (Anderson 67’), Whelan, Brown, Pitman
Subs: Ward, Westbrooke, Coutts, Harries
Goals: Pitman 90’
Booked: Finley 28’ Kilgour 44’
The O’s: Vigouroux, James, Wood, Happe (Ogie 74’), Clay, Smith, Archibald, Mitchell, Drinan, Pratley, Beckles
Subs: Byrne, Kemp, Omotoye, Sotiriou, Sweeney, Kyprianou
Goals: Smith 18’ Archibald 34’ Drinan 40’
Booked: Pratley 44’ Drinan 44’ Mitchell 47’ Archibald 68’ Clay 79’ Vigouroux 83’
Ref: David Rock
ATT: 6,172 (551 away)