Rovers earn a well deserved point at Home Park
Plymouth Argyle 1
Bristol Rovers 1
Rovers gained a well deserved point from at Home Park last night, and might well have secured their first win of the season with a fine second half performance.
They also dominated the opening stages of the game, but fell behind on 35 minutes when Conor Hourihane beat Sam Walker with a stunning twenty yard drive.
There were few other chances for the home side and Rovers took the game to their hosts after the break. They were finally rewarded for their efforts when Tom Parkes produced a striker's finish to beat Jake Cole with twenty minutes remaining.
Manager Mark McGhee rang the changes; missing injured striker Matt Harrold, he left Michael Smith, Eliot Richards and Jim Paterson out of his starting lineup.
There was a full debut for Garry Kenneth and a first start for Fabian Broghammer, while Ollie Norburn and Matt Lund also started.
Rovers began at a high tempo and Lund played in David Clarkson after five minutes but the striker's shot was too close to Cole, who made a comfortable save.
At the other end Guy Madjo hit a shot just wide of the target.
Lund headed over from a Matt Gill corner as Rovers continued to take the game to Argyle, though there was a let off when Madjo beat Kenneth to the ball and saw his curling shot hit the crossbar and drop behind for a goal kick.
The same player then fed his strike partner Matt Lecointe, whose shot was deflected behind for a corner.
A Broghammer cross was deflected into the arms of Cole before Plymouth scored in the 35th minute. Hourhihane found himself in space some twenty yards from goal and his left foot shot flew past Walker before nestling in the back of the net.
It was a cruel blow for Rovers, who had shown some nice touches going forward without seriously troubling Cole.
However they created the first opportunity of the second half, but Broghammer's shot was saved by Cole at his near post.
After a Madjo shot had been deflected behind for a corner, Rovers threatened again through Oliie Norburn, who fired just wide.
Rovers kept up the pressure and equalised on 70 minutes with a well worked goal. Joe Anyinsah laid the ball back to Clarkson who, in turn, played in Parkes and the central defender produced a quality finish, beating Cole with a shot with the outside of his left foot.
Lee Brown saw another effort saved by Cole before Kenneth set up Clarkson, who saw his shot blocked by the massed ranks of home defenders.
Walker made a comfortable save from Hourihane's long range effort, but Rovers finished the stronger side and went close again when Clarkson headed wide from Broghammer's deep cross from the left.
Rovers: Sam Walker, Adam Virgo (Michael Smith, 60), Garry Kenneth, Tom Parkes, Lee Brown, Wayne Brown (Joe Anyinsah, 68), Matt Lund (Eliot Richards, 55), Matt Gill, Oliver Norburn, Fabian Broghammer, David Clarkson
Substitutes: Jim Paterson, Conor Gough, Ollie Clarke, Seanan Clucas
Yellow Cards: Brown (W), Parkes, Clarkson
Plymouth: Jake Cole, Durrell Berry, Maxime Blanchard, Darren Purse, Robbie Williams, Alex MacDonald, (Warren Feeney, 85), Luke Young, Conor Hourihane, Onismor Bhasera, Guy Madjo, Matt Lecointe (Paris Cowan-Hall, 65)
Substitutes: Ollie Chenoweth, Curtis Nelson, Joe Lennox, Andres Gurrieri, Johnny Gorman
Yellow Cards: Young, Purse, Madjo
Referee: Darren Deadman