04.03.23 Match Report - Rovers v Barnsley

Bristol Rovers held play-off chasing Barnsley to a 0-0 draw with a gutsy, battling performance.

The Gas made one change to the starting line-up from last week's 3-0 win at Oxford, with Grant Ward replacing Paul Coutts. The game's first moment of note was a yellow card in the 10th for skipper Sam Finley for a late challenge on Cadden. 

A minute later, Marquis joined him in the book for a foul on Kitching as referee Parsons was struggling to control a lively start from both sides. The Gas forced a corner after 22 minutes, after good work by Gordon. Quansah met it, but his header was straight at Isted in the Barnsley goal.

Ward was harshly adjudged to have fouled Kane to give the visitors a free-kick thirty yards from goal in the 26th minute. However, Cadden's kick went straight into the Rovers' wall and Finley was able to race away up the other end and tee up Sinclair. Unfortunately, the winger's shot was sliced wide.

Finley and Marquis were instrumental in Rovers taking the game to Barnsley and, with half an hour gone, there was precious little to separate the sides, albeit without a meaningful effort on target. Barnsley's Russell was booked in the 37th minute for a late tackle on Ward. Tykes captain Andersen joined him in the book seconds later for one foul too many on Marquis.

The visitors could have gone ahead in the 42nd minute but Belshaw pulled off a spectacular flying save from a close-range Kitching header.

At the start of the second half, Finley's free-kick found Quansah but Isted somehow kept out his volleyed effort. Rovers continued to press and Hoole's low cross had to be cleared behind for a corner.  Belshaw palmed away a Cadden cross and away for a corner in the 60th minute, with Barnsley appealing for a penalty. Parsons waved away the protests and the Gas cleared the corner through Finley. 

Collins had a good chance as the ball found him in space on the edge of the box in the 65th minute. The striker opened up his body and curled narrowly wide of the far post.


The visitors made four changes in the 73rd minute, including a return to The Mem for Luke Thomas.A misplaced Gordon pass after 77 minutes almost handed Barnsley the opener, but Finley raced back to divert the cross away, via the top of Belshaw's bar.

Phillips tested Belshaw in the 82nd minute but the Gas goalkeeper was right behind his strike from the edge of the box.

Marquis was replaced by Coburn in the 82nd minute. Ward threw himself at a fierce shot to bravely block with his head as the visitors pushed for a late winner.

Rovers made two further substitutions, with Loft and Gibbons replacing Collins and Sinclair in the 88th minute. Gibson saw yellow a minute later for time-wasting at a throw-in.

Loft chased a lost cause in the first of five added minutes but former Rover Bobby Thomas just did enough to clear.

Next up for the Gas is the short trip to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 11th March for a Sky Bet League One game.

Rovers: Belshaw, Gordon, Quansah, Finley (c), Sinclair (Gibbons 88), Ward, Marquis (Coburn 82), Collins (Loft 88), Gibson, Bogarde, Hoole.

Subs: Balcombe, Connolly, Evans, Coburn, Loft, Gibbons, McCormick.

Barnsley: Isted, Williams, Russell, Kitching, Andersen (c), Cadden, Kane, Norwood, B.Thomas, Phillips, Cole.

Subs: Searle, Benson, L.Thomas, Cotter, Larkeche, Tedic, Watters.

Referee: T Parsons

Attendance: 8,816, incl 789 away

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