Rovers lose on their travels again
Accrington Stanley 1
Bristol Rovers 0
Rovers lost their second away game in a matter of days and the manner of the defeat, by a solitary goal, is a cause of concern.
While they were without a number of players through injury, and missing Tom Parkes through suspension, the performanced was a strangely lethargic one and manager Mark McGhee must be wishing he could call on some of the injured players as soon as possible.
McGhee made two enforced changes for this game, as Tom Parkes missed out through suspension, while Adam Virgo was injured.
In their places came Lee Brown and Fabian Broghammer. Brown played at left back, with Jim Paterson moving to the centre of defence to partner
Garry Kenneth. Broghammer started on the left of midfield and Eliot Richards partnered Tom Eaves up front.
Derek Riordan returned to the squad and took his place on the bench.
The home side were out of the blocks quickly and two early corners caused problems at the back for Rovers, though they did eventually mange to clear their lines.
As Rovers began to get a foothold in the game Richards saw one shot blocked at the expense of a corner and hit another effort just wide of the target.
Eaves then hit a left foot effort just wide of goal after good play by Broghammer, though on the half hour mark the home side squandered an opportunity to take the lead when Peter Murphy headed over the bar following a cross from the left.
Kenneth deflected a shot over his own bar and Luke Joyce drew a comfortable save from Neil Etheridge.
The Rovers shot stopper touched away another effort from Padraig Amond, while Lee Molyneux saw his late first half effort gathered by Etheridge.
Will Hatfield stabbed a shot wide and Michael Liddle fired high over the bar as the home side took the game to Rovers at the start of the second half.
Broghammer picked up on a knockdown by Eaves and fired a superb first time volley straight at Ian Dunbavin before Etheridge pulled off a superb save from Romuald Boco, diving to his left to touch the ball round the post for a corner.
Eaves again went close for Rovers when he rode two strong challenges before rifling a left foot shot straight at Dunbavin.
The overworked Etheridge then made saves from Osayamen Osawe and Joyce in quick succession before the game’s only goal arrived with just 12 minutes remaining.
Boco whipped a cross from the left into the box where Padraig Amond got the first touch and sent the ball flying past Etheridge.
The keeper made another fine save from Osawe in stoppage time before Rovers, who had fashioned no chances at all after the Accrington goal, managed two late chances.
Kenneth saw a shot cleared off the line and the ball travelled as far as Derek Riordan, whose shot appeared to be heading for the back of the net before Dunbavin somehow managed to grasp his effort at the last minute.
It was too little too late from a Rovers side that looked out of sorts on their travels for the second time in four days.
Rovers: Neil Etheridge, Matt Lund, Garry Kenneth, Jim Paterson, Lee Brown, Wayne Brown, Oliver Norburn (Derek Riordan, 58), David Clarkson, Fabian Broghammer (Joe Anyinsah, 76), Eliot Richards, Tom Eaves
Substitutes: Ellis Harrison, Seanan Clucas, Ollie Clarke, Sam Walker, Tom Lockyer
Yellow card: Clarkson
Accrington Stanley: Ian Dunbavin, Dean Winnard, Rob Atkinson, Peter Murphy, Michael Liddle, Will Hatfield (Osayamen Osawe, 58), George Miller, Luke Joyce, Rommy Boco, Lee Molyneux (Bohan Dixon, 90), Padraig Amond (Jack Sampson, 90)
Substitutes: Aristote Nsiala, Craig Lindfield, Andrew Dawber, Piero Mingoia
Yellow cards: Molyneux, Miller
Referee: Robert Lewis
Rovers supporters: 288