10.01.22 Match Report - Rovers v Plymouth Argyle

Rovers are defeated at the Quarter-Final stage of the Papa Johns Trophy.

Two first-half goals from Ben Waine and Ryan Hardie sealed Rovers' exit from the Papa Johns Trophy.

Joey Barton made multiple changes to the starting XI ahead of our Papa Johns Trophy Quarter-Final clash with Plymouth Argyle. There were a total of six changes to the side that started against Cambridge United. 

Only Ryan Loft, James Gibbons, Luca Hoole, Bobby Thomas and James Connolly kept their places from the weekend for tonight's game at The Mem.

Ryan Hardie was presented with the first chance of the tie after Plymouth had stolen the ball from Rovers in midfield. The ball fell to the Plymouth no.9 who dragged his shot wide of the target and wasted the opportunity.

The visitors from Devon took the lead on the 24th minute. Ben Waine headed past Anssi Jaakkola after Rovers had cleared the initial Plymouth cross. The ball was put back into the area where Waine was on hand to open the scoring. 

Goalscorer Waine had a golden chance to double the Pilgrims' lead. Ryan Hardie rolled the ball across the Rovers penalty area to the feet of Waine, who didn't get the connection he would've wanted on the strike and sliced his effort harmlessly behind for a Rovers goal kick.

The visitors did have their second only moments later. A long ball from a free-kick found Hardie, who fired hard and low past Jaakkola in the Rovers net.

Joey Barton turned to his bench during the half-time interval. The Rovers manager bought on Harvey Saunders for Lewis Gordon. 

Rovers came close to halving the deficit just before the hour mark. Luke McCormick's shot was parried by Callum Burton in the Argyle goal but straight into the path of John Marquis who could not keep his effort on target. 

Rovers had strong appeals for a penalty kick waved away by referee Darren Drysdale after Harvey Saunders had been played in on goal by John Marquis. Another chance fell to Luke McCormick after a long throw-in was flicked on towards the midfielder. McCormick took a touch to control the ball but hit his shot over the bar. 

Ryan Loft tried his luck just after the fourth official indicated that there was to be five additional minutes. John Marquis knocked the ball down to his strike partner, who hit a dipping effort which flew narrowly past Burton's right-hand post.

Rovers pushed for a goal to set-up a frantic finish, but there was to be no late comeback as Rovers exited the Papa Johns Trophy.

Next up for Rovers is the trip to the Wham Stadium to face Accrington Stanley on Saturday, 14th January (3pm KO).

Rovers: Anssi Jaakkola, James Connolly, Lewis Gordon, John Marquis, Ryan Loft, Antony Evans, Luke McCormick, Glenn Whelan (c), James Gibbons, Luca Hoole, Bobby Thomas.

Subs: James Belshaw, Sam Finley, Paul Coutts, Aaron Collins, Josh Coburn, Harvey Saunders, Scott Sinclair.

Argyle: Callum Burton, James Bolton, Macaulay Gillesphey, Matt Butcher, Joe Edwards (c), Ryan Hardie, Nigel Lonwijk, Ben Waine, Callum Wright, Jay Matete, Endacott.

Subs: Cooper, Ennis, Mumba, Randell, Halls, Issaka, Roberts

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 3,742 (678 away)

Read Time: 3 mins