Rovers 3-1 Northampton
Three players scored their first Bristol Rovers goal to give the Gas their first home win of the season – beating Northampton 3-1.
After a goalless first half loan striker Tom Eaves scored the opener, before Garry Kenneth doubled the lead minutes later.
Adebayo Akinfenwa pulled one back for the Cobblers, but Oliver Norburn rounded off the scoring with a glancing header.
It was a well deserved win for Rovers, who played some attractive, passing football in the second half.
Rovers made two changes to the side that lost to Cheltenham in midweek. Tom Parkes returned from suspension to replace Adam Virgo in the centre of defence.
Matt Gill, originally named in the starting line up, was a late withdrawal with a knee injury, and he was replaced by Eliot Richards. This meant that Rovers started the game with four strikers on the pitch.
Northampton had the first half chance of the game with Kemar Roofe shooting wide from distance.
Rovers' first attempt on goal came after a good cross in from Fabian Broghammer, Tom Eaves met the ball, but Lee Nicholls in the Cobblers’ goal was able to easily save.
Derek Riordan’s shot flew over the bar from a long range free kick, before David Clarkson produced another save from Nicholls.
At the other end Etheridge was called upon to make a save from Anthony Charles, before making a fantastic block with his feet to deny Alex Nicholls.
With just under 25 minutes on the clock Anthony Charles was sent off for Northampton after holding Riordan back on the edge of the box; the resulting free kick from Riordan rattled the cross bar.
Eliot Richards then had a shot from the edge of the box that flew across the face of goal, and at the other end Etheridge saved a close range header from Cobblers captain Kelvin Langmead.
Rovers made a half time substitution, with Wayne Brown coming on to replace David Clarkson who picked up a knock on his ankle in the first half.
The message from Mark McGhee at half time was not to panic, and that advice paid dividends early on.
Just seven minutes after the restart, Eaves got on the end of a cross from Eliot Richards and shot home from close range.
Riordan then left the field to be replaced by Michael Smith.
And less than five minutes after the first goal Richards set up the second, this time supplying a corner for Garry Kenneth to smash home at the far post.
Eaves could have made it three for Rovers after he looped the ball over the advancing Northampton keeper, but the ball scrapped wide of the post.
Mark McGhee then made his final change with Lee Brown coming on to replace Fabian Broghammer.
Richards had a chance on goal from distance, before Etheridge made a save from Alex Nicholls at the other end.
Northampton then got a goal back from a set piece. Akinfenwa got on the end of a long throw from Ben Tozer and headed the ball into the back of the net.
Eaves had a shot across the face of goal, before Norburn made it 3-1. Lee Brown’s cross into the box found Oli whose glancing header skimmed the post and found the back of the net.
Rovers: Neil Etheridge, Matt Lund, Tom Parkes, Garry Kenneth, Jim Paterson, David Clarkson (Wayne Brown), Oliver Norburn, Eliot Richards, Fabian Broghammer (Lee Brown), Tom Eaves, Derek Riordan (Michael Smith).
Substitutes: Joe Anyinsah, Seanan Clucas, Adam Virgo, Sam Walker
Northampton Town: Lee Nicholls, Danny East (Lewis Wilson), Joe Widdowson, Kelvin Langmead, Ben Tozer, Anthony Charles, Chris Hackett, Louis Moult (David Artell), Kemar Roofe (Henoc Mukendi), Adebayo Akinfenwa, Alex Nicholls
Substitutes: Shane Higgs, Ishmel Demontagnac, Clive Platt.
Referee: Mark Brown