24092022 Match Report Rovers v Accrington

Winless league run stretches to seven for the Gas.

A single second-half goal was enough to settle the game after last week's nine-goal spectacle. Unfortunately, it was Accrington Stanley's Pritchard who scored it, leaving Rovers without a win in seven league games.

Joey Barton shuffled the pack from last week's 6-3 defeat against Lincoln City. Antony Evans, Glenn Whelan dropped to the bench, whilst Luca Hoole missed out through international commitments for Wales. Alfie Kilgour, Paul Coutts and Bobby Thomas came into the starting XI for today's clash.


Stanley won a couple of corners in the opening minutes; from the first, McConville had a shot deflected over the bar, whilst Belshaw comfortably claimed the second. 

Finley span his man in the fourth minute and set Collins away down the left, but Stanley skipper Conneely was quickly across to clear the danger. A flowing passing move in the 10th minute saw Loft put McCormick away down the right and a fine Rodgers tackle brought Rovers a corner.

There was a chance for Rovers in the 15th minute, as Clarke's cross was sliced behind by Coyle, with Loft waiting to pounce in the box. Collins then drove forward and shot wide in the 16th minute, as the home fans clapped in unison in support of Nick Anderton.

Alfie Kilgour saved a certain goal in the 22nd minute as he blocked a free header for Tommy Leigh after Belshaw had rushed from his line but been beaten to the ball out wide.

Aaron Collins fashioned a chance for the Gas in the 29th minute, exchanging passes with Finley and crossing into a dangerous area, but Astley cleared. At the other end, a mishit Thomas backpass gave Stanley a corner. 

Collins' blushes were spared in the 35th minute as he was flagged offside after tamely shooting straight at Jensen when clean through.

Astley was finally penalised for fouling Loft a minute later before Stanley were appealing for a penalty in the 39th minute after Whalley's shot was blocked, but referee Swabey waved away the protests.

Rovers were indebted to Kilgour again a minute later as the defender bravely blocked after a misplaced Thomas pass had set Pritchard free.

Astley was then shown a yellow for crudely scything down Collins as he looked to break from the halfway line.

On the stroke of half-time, Collins created Rovers' best chance all by himself, driving in from the left flank and curling a right-footed shot narrowly wide of Jensen's left-hand post.

Neither side made a change at the interval and the Gas got us underway for the second half, attacking the Thatchers End.

Collins then picked the ball up in his own penalty area, ran the length of the pitch, played a one-two with the corner flag, and drove into the Stanley area, only to see his goalbound effort blocked. Loft then dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area as the Gas upped the ante.

Stanley had a chance to grab the opening goal in the 53rd minute but Thomas got back to block behind for a corner. It was only a brief respite though as the visitors took the lead from it, Pritchard stealing in to put Stanley one up.


Rovers sent on Rossiter and Evans for Coutts and Clarke in the 57th minute. McCormick was next to be replaced, as John Marquis was introduced in the 66th minute as the Gas searched for a way back into the game.

McConville was booked for time-wasting after 70 minutes. A nice one-two between Gordon and Rossiter saw the Gas make ground down the left before Clark cleared his lines.

Jasper replaced Anderson in the 73rd minute and was straight in the action, putting Evans away down the right. His floated cross was nearly swept home at the far post by Collins. Marquis cut inside and fired on target in the 75th minute, but Jensen was equal to it. The 'keeper was then off his line to clear an inswinging Jasper cross from off the head of Kilgour.

Tommy Leigh almost put the game to bed in the 79th minute, but his goalbound effort was cleared by the outstretched leg of Thomas. From the resulting corner, Stanley had another chance but Astley headed over.

Jasper and Evans were combing well down the right, and Marquis won a corner in the 82nd minute. Evans took it and mayhem ensued in the Stanley area, with the visitors finally clearing after a number of blocked shots and passes. 

Kilgour nearly grabbed the equaliser in stoppage time, heading on target from a Jasper cross. Evans was then booked for a late challenge on McConville. Collins was then penalised in the Stanley area and that was the end of the action.


A trip to St. James' Park to face Exeter City on Saturday, 1st October (3pm KO) is next for the Gas.

BRISTOL ROVERS: James Belshaw, Lewis Gordon, Alfie Kilgour, Sam Finley, Aaron Collins, Paul Coutts (c), Ryan Loft, Harry Anderson, Trevor Clarke, Luke McCormick, Bobby Thomas.

Subs: Anssi Jaakkola, John Marquis, Harvey Saunders, Antony Evans, Glenn Whelan, Jordan Rossiter, Sylvester Jasper.

ACCRINGTON STANLEY: Lukas Jensen, Mitch Clark, Ryan Astley, Liam Coyle, Shaun Whalley, Tommy Leigh, Joe Pritchard, Sean McConville, Harvey Rodgers, Seamus Conneely (c), Doug Tharme.

Subs: Toby Savin, Ethan Hamilton, Nathan Delfouneso, Bailey Sloane, Dan Martin, Baba Fernandes

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 8,906 (153 away).

Read Time: 5 mins