30.08.22 Match Report - Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Rovers (Argyle win 4-3 on penalties).

Rovers miss out on a bonus point after a penalty shoot-out defeat against Plymouth Argyle in the Papa Johns Trophy.

Second-half goals from Ryan Loft and a Ryan Hardie penalty sent the game to a penalty shootout in which the hosts prevailed 4-3.

Andy Mangan took charge of Rovers for their trip to Devon in the Papa Johns Trophy, deputising for a poorly Joey Barton. The Gas made a number of changes for the tie, with Jerry Lawrence making his full debut and Trevor Clarke making a return to the starting line-up.


Rovers started brightly and controlled possession for the majority of the first ten minutes, forcing a number of corners. However, it was Argyle who threatened in the 13th minute as Whittaker rode a number of challenges before firing low across the area, which Rovers did well to clear. Argyle's number nine Hardie was next to try his luck, outpacing Whelan, but dragging his shot well wide of the far post in the 16th minute. Jaakkola then came to Rovers' rescue two minutes later, snatching a cross off Hardie's toes.

Trevor Clarke, returning to the starting line-up, then made a superb sliding challenge to stop the dangerous Hardie from profiting from a Jenkins-Davies cross.

Rovers won a corner in the 25th minute, which Paul Coutts drifted in from the right. Argyle cleared and went the closest to breaking the deadlock; Edwards crashed a header against the crossbar with Jaakkola beaten. The big Finn then had to save a curling Hardie effort as the hosts began to turn the screw.


Glenn Whelan showed a lovely bit of skill to dance away from trouble on the edge of his own box after 32 minutes. 

Marquis was fouled in the 35th minute and took the free-kick quickly, curling a delightful ball out to Saunders on the right flank. The winger looked to repeat the trick, but his cross evaded both Loft and Marquis.

Rovers were awarded another free-kick in the 37th minute in a decent position, with Whittaker booked for the foul on Clarke. The set-piece was well worked and Coutts' ball was inch-perfect for Luca Hoole, whose header went agonisingly wide of the upright, with the 'keeper Burton rooted to his spot. Rovers continued to press and Gordon crossed into a dangerous area, but the hosts cleared.

The Gas then produced the best move of the match, with Coutts instrumental in it. The skipper exchanged passes with Marquis and slid a delicious ball through the Argyle defence for Saunders. His cross was inches away from finding Gordon at the back post, but an outstretched Houghton leg averted the danger.

On the stroke of half-time, Luca Hoole rifled a shot on target but Burton was equal to it.

The second half started in a lively fashion. First, Hardie worked himself some space but his shot cannoned into Trevor Clarke's back whilst, at the other end, Jerry Lawrence showed good skill to put Harvey Saunders away into the box, but his cross was cleared. The youngster then played a great ball over the top for Ryan Loft to run onto. The striker showed both strength and composure to grab his second goal in consecutive games to give the Gas the lead in the 49th minute.


Argyle were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute after a misplaced Marquis ball forced Trevor Clarke to bring down Whittaker. Hardie stepped forward to strike confidently past Jaakkola to make it 1-1.

The home side then had a chance to go ahead, but Lonwijk's header was wide as he raced onto a free-kick.

The Gas made a triple substitution in the 60th minute, with Marquis, Coutts and Lawrence being replaced by Collins, Evans and the returning Luke McCormick.


Evans slid a great ball down the right-hand channel to Hoole, whose cross was inches away from finding a blue-and-white shirt.

Clarke departed the action in the 70th minute, replaced by Ryan Jones, sparking chances at both ends. First, Collins shot was saved by the feet of Burton. The clearance put Argyle away and Hardie's shot was turned away by Jaakkola, with Evans clearing the follow-up off the line.

Argyle sub Finn Azaz, who was at Newport last season, flashed a shot over the bar in the 75th minute.

Hoole was replaced by Greenslade in the 78th minute to mark his senior debut for Rovers, leaving Rovers with a back three of Whelan, Gordon and Rossiter. The latter was shown a yellow card in the 88th minute for a late challenge. 

Rovers could have won the game in the last minute. Collins played a one-two with Jones and sprinted to the byline. His cutback to Saunders was inch-perfect but the frontman's goalbound shot was deflected wide for a corner. There was still time for Evans to blaze over the bar from distance, before proceedings were brought to a close and a penalty shoot-out would decide the outcome.

Unfortunately, misses from Evans and Greenslade saw Rovers narrowly lose the shoot-out 4-3. 


Rovers are back in league action on Saturday when they host Morecambe in a Sky Bet League Two clash.

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE: Burton, Gillesphey, Houghton, Edwards (c), Hardie, Whittaker, Randell, Lonwijk, Endacott, Halls, Jenkins-Davies.

Substitutes: Cooper, Butcher, Ennis, Mumba, Azaz, Forkuo, Issaka.

BRISTOL ROVERS: Jaakkola, Clarke, Hoole, Gordon, Coutts (c), Rossiter, Whelan, Lawrence, Saunders, Loft, Marquis.

Substitutes: Belshaw, Kilgour, McCormick, Evans, Collins, Jones, Greenslade.

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 2,298 (95 away)

Read Time: 5 mins