Bristol Rovers 2-1 Plymouth Argyle
Attendance: 7799 (1398)
By Steven Hood
Bristol Rovers made it 6 games unbeaten as they swept aside West Country rivals Plymouth in front of a packed Memorial Stadium.
A headed goal from Kaid Mohamed ensured all three points remained in Bristol after Neal Trotman cancelled out Chris Beardsley’s opener.
John Ward named the same starting 11 that earned a hard fought point last weekend at Northampton. Matt Harrold returned from injury to claim a place on the bench.
Rovers started the brighter of the two sides and sent out a warning shot with Ollie Clarke firing over on the volley with less than two minutes played after the midfielder latched onto Kaid Mohamed’s knock down.
It only took the home side 6 minutes to find the back of the net through loan striker Chris Beardsley. Michael Smith delivered a long flat throw into the Argyle penalty area to Kaid Mohamed at the near post. Mohamed flicked the ball across the 6-yard box to find an unmarked Beardsley who nodded in from close range.
The visitor's first chance of the game came through Luke Young, there was a quick interchange of passes between Reuben Reid and Durrell Berry before Berry fed Young on the edge of the box, but his swerving shot was parried by Mildenhall.
Rovers earned a free kick after Neal Trotman fouled Kaid Mohamed on the left hand side of the Argyle area. Lee Brown’s ball was not dealt with by Plymouth. Jake Cole saved Chris Beardsley’s header, but the keeper couldn’t hold onto the ball. A goalmouth scramble ensued but Rovers couldn’t find that vital touch to extend their lead.
The home side were made to pay for their missed chances as just before half time Plymouth drew level.
A Luke Young free kick was palmed wide by Mildenhall but only to the head of Maxime Blanchard. Blanchard headed the ball back across the Rovers 6-yard box and Neal Trotman jumped highest to make it 1-1.
Rovers' first effort of the second half came through an audacious Kaid Mohamed bicycle kick.
Lee Brown’s corner was headed clear only as far as Ollie Clarke, the youngster fired a shot low, which was blocked. The ball looped into the air, Mohamed connected with his spectacular effort only for Jake Cole to push the ball wide for a corner.
Rovers looked the more likely to break the deadlock and did on the 79th minute through the head of Kaid Mohamed. Further pressure from down the Rovers left allowed Lee Brown to deliver a pinpoint ball to the far post and an unmarked Mohamed restored Rovers advantage.
Matt Harrold was close to extending Rovers lead with less than 5 minutes to play but his header went into the ground and bounced over from yet another Lee Brown set piece.
The home side had goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall to thank for keeping their noses in front after making an unbelievable reaction save to deny Marvin Morgan.
Argyle whipped a ball in from the left hand side when substitute Morgan guided the ball goal wards only to see Mildenhall produce a superb save with his left hand.
The three points moved Rovers up to 14th in SkyBet League Two ahead of Tuesday's visit of Dagenham and Redbridge to the Memorial Stadium.
Bristol Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Kaid Mohamed, Ollie Clarke, John-Joe O’Toole, Tom Lockyer, David Clarkson (Matt Harrold), Chris Beardsley (Seanan Clucas).
Substitutes: Danny Woodards, Steven Gillespie, Ellis Harrison, Matt Harrold, Conor Gough, Seanan Clucas, Alefe Santos
Plymouth Argyle: Jake Cole, Durrell Berry, Maxime Blanchard, Neal Trotman, Curtis Nelson, Matthew Parsons, Paul Wotton, Conor Hourihane, Luke Young (Tope Obadeyi), Lewis Alessandra (Tyler Harvey), Reuben Reid (Marvin Morgan)
Substitutes: Cameron Dawson, Romuald Boco, Dominic Blizzard, Andres Gurrieri