Rovers bow out of Capital One Cup
Ipswich Town 3
Scotland (40), Smith (56), Cresswell (84)
Bristol Rovers 1
Rovers bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the First Round stage, losing 3-1 to Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
Michael Smith gave Mark McGhee’s side the lead but Ipswich were on level terms by half time and their second half display brought them two further goals
New loan signing, goalkeeper Sam Walker, was selected for the game and he along with David Clarkson made their first class Rovers debuts.
Fabian Broghammer travelled with the squad to Portman Road, but was ineligible to play as the necessary clearance hadn’t been received from Germany.
Rovers started brightly and Wayne Brown had an early chance when he was played in by Clarkson, but his shot was blocked on its way through to goal.
The former Bristol City striker then did well at the other end of the pitch, being in the right place at the right time to head a cross from Lee Martin to safety from under the bar.
Sam Walker made a smart save from Michael Chopra, while Aaron Cresswell was wide of the target with another Ipswich effort.
Clarkson, who seemed to be popping up everywhere, fired a close range effort straight at Scott Loach.
Walker saved well from Jason Scotland and parried another effort from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas before Rovers took the lead with a stunning goal from Michael Smith.
The Northern Ireland full back made great strides down the right, cut inside and curled a 35 yard effort past Loach with his left foot.
The goal seemed to spur the home side into action and Walker twice saved from Chopra. The first was a fairly routine catch, the second made with his feet as the striker threatened to burst the back of the net from six yards.
The equaliser arrived on 40 minutes when Scotland won a tussle with Jim Paterson and curled a low shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards.
The home side almost went in with a half time lead as Emmanuel-Thomas and Chopra both hit shots wide of the target.
Walker saved well from Chopra early in the second period before saving a penalty, taken by Chopra, after Adam Virgo had committed a foul in the area. The keeper touched the ball round the post, but Ipswich scored a second from the resulting corner kick.
When the ball was delivered into the box, Tommy Smith powered a header into the net.
Ipswich continued to take the game to Rovers and Chopra sliced a shot wide of the target, though Rovers did go close at the other end when Clarkson touched the ball just wide of the upright.
The third goal arrived with six minutes of the game remaining when Walker saved superbly from Scotland, pushing his powerful drive up into the air and Cresswell had the simple task of slotting the ball into an empty net.
There was one last chance for Emmanuel-Thomas, but his ferocious drive flashed the wrong side of the upright.
Rovers: Sam Walker, Michael Smith, Adam Virgo, Jim Paterson, Lee Brown, Wayne Brown, Matt Gill (Matt Lund, 61), Oliver Norburn (Seanan Clucas, 63), Joe Anyinsah (Clarke, 90), Matt Harrold, David Clarkson
Substitutes: Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Ross Staley
Ipswich: Scott Loach, Carlos Edwards, Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith, Aaron Cresswell, Lee Martin (Cormac Burke, 89), Luke Hyam, Massimo Luongo, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Michael Chopra, Jason Scotland (Ryan Stevenson, 89)
Substitutes: Arran Lee Barrett, Nathan Ellington, Jack Ainsley, Joe Whight, Byron Lawrence