21102022 Match Report

A superb second-half comeback from the Gas secured a point against league leaders Plymouth Argyle

Joey Barton made two changes to the side that beat Cheltenham last weekend, with Hoole and Anderson coming in for Gibbons and Coutts.


The visitors started on the front foot, forcing a couple of early corners without threatening Belshaw's goal.

At the other end, Loft and Collins were working hard and the latter's ball towards Gordon gave the Gas a corner in the 10th minute, but referee Pollard blew for a foul. The man in the middle then waved play on when Finley was upended, a decision that did little to endear him to the home crowd.

From nowhere, the dangerous Azaz fired Argyle ahead from the edge of the box with a superb curling shot that Belshaw could only watch fly past him.


Collins then had a glorious chance to equalise in the 16th minute, but he could only fire straight at Cooper from ten yards out.


Houghton was shown a yellow card in the 22nd minute for a late challenge on Collins. The number ten then ran at the Argyle backline a minute later and the ball fell to Finley, who fired over the bar.

Randell was next in the book after half an hour, bringing down Evans as the midfielder looked to glide forwards. Rovers worked the ball down the right-hand flank and Finley played it into the area but his ball just evaded the onrushing Loft.

The big striker then found his way into the book after 36 minutes for a late, sliding challenge on a Plymouth defender.

Ennis looked lively for the visitors, but Rovers were largely bossing possession as the half drew to a close. Rovers broke away in the 43rd minute, with Evans' low cross sliced behind for a corner, from which Anderson headed narrowly over.

More Azaz trickery then saw Aryle extend rtheir advantage, as he put Mumba away down the right. His cross was cleared, but only as far as Randell, who rifled home from thirty yards to send the 1,240 Argyle fans into raptures.

The Gas started the second half, attacking the Thatchers End, looking to overturn a two-goal deficit - and they made the perfect start.

Collins burst down the right and crossed low for substitute Josh Coburn to bundle home with his first touch.

JMP_Bristol_Rovers_v_Plymouth_Argyle_RS_065.JPGIt was nearly two-all in the 51st minute, as Loft cut inside and shot on target from twenty-five yards. Cooper couldn't hold it and Collins latched onto the rebound and chipped towards the back post, where Rossiter was denied by a goalline clearance. Cooper then spilled the ball two minutes later as Argyle were rattled. Loft was next to go close, firing a snapshot narrowly wide.

Anderson's slip almost gifted Argyle a third, but Belshaw was alert at his near post.

It was 2-2 in the 57th minute as Rossiter nicked the ball in midfield, fed Loft and his flick was perfect for Collins to run onto and fire low into the corner of the net.

JMP_Bristol_Rovers_v_Plymouth_Argyle_RS_079.JPGGreat work from Harry Anderson almost saw the Gas snatch the lead as he whipped in a cross from the right but Coburn was flagged offside.

It was to be Anderson's parting shot, as Gibbons replaced him in the 64th minute. Rovers kept pressing and Loft set up Finley for a shot that ballooned over the bar. Loft then drew a foul and a caution from Galloway to give the Gas a free-kick in a dangerous area after 69 minutes. Evans' shot was on target but comfortably claimed by Cooper.

Argyle finally enjoyed a spell of possession after barely seeing the ball for twenty-five minutes, with substitute Hardie to the fore. The visitors won a corner after 75 minutes, but it drifted harmlessly behind. 

Rovers pushed for the winner with the unbelievable backing of the Gasheads but would have to settle for a point. 

Next up for Rovers is the trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday, 26th October (8pm). 

Rovers: Belshaw, Gordon, Hoole, Gibson, Thomas, Anderson, Rossiter, Finley (c), Evans, Collins, Loft.

Subs: Jaakkola, Gibbons, Saunders, McCormick, Sinclair, Clarke, Coburn.

Argyle: Cooper, Houghton, Wilson, Edwards (c), Ennis, Mumba, Azaz, Whittaker, Randell, Lonwijk, Galloway.

Subs: Burton, Butcher, Hardie, Grant, Craske, Jenkins-Davies, Edworthy.

Attendance: 9,258

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