Bristol Rovers lose to Burton as Kirk and Winnall cancel out John Marquis opener

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Joey Barton makes two changes to the Bristol Rovers side that drew with Ipswich for their League One clash with Burton Albion.

John Marquis’ fifth goal of the season was cancelled out by goals either side of the interval from Charlie Kirk and Sam Winnall, moving the Gas down to 15th in League one.

Joey Barton made two changes to the Bristol Rovers side that drew against Ipswich Town at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening, with Calum Macdonald and John Marquis replacing Lewis Gordon and Harry Anderson, who both dropped to the bench.

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He was made to change his side slightly after illness affected the camp, with five players affected in the build-up to the match.

The scoring was opened by the home side inside the first ten minutes, after James Gibbons galloped down the right hand side, his cross was inch perfect to the head of John Marquis, who headed down into the ground and over Craig Macgillivray, netting his first goal since December, and his side’s first in five games..

The away side hit back however, and after finding space on the left hand side Sam Winnall’s flick from close range was blocked well by Jarell Quansah and put behind for a corner.

It was another chance for Collins to extend his side’s lead after Antony Evans and Gibbons combined well oncemore on the right. Evans won it back well and fed Gibbons down the right. The full-back found Collins open again on the edge of the box, however the Welshman’s shot flew past Macgillivray’s other post.

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The Gas were made to rue their missed chances at the end of the first-half, Quansah was found unmarked in the box after an Evans corner, however the Liverpool loanee headed over.

Burton immediately countered, and after an exhance from Winnall and Dale Taylor, Charlie Kirk was found alone in the box. The substitute’s first time shot was low and crept under Balcombe.

The Gas seemed to be in control for the majority of the furst half, however only a last ditch block from James Connolly kept the scores level at the break, as Burton had their best spell of the game late in the first half.

Ten minutes after the break, the away side were ahead in what can only be described as a defensive mess from the Gas. The ball pinballed around the home penalty box after numerous half-clearances from Joey Barton’s defence. Winnall eventually tapped the ball home into an empty net.

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A triple substitution was made by Joey Barton on the hour mark after a poor start to the first half, however the Gas were firmly second best. A smart save from Balcombe denied Taylor as boos of discontent rung around the Memorial Stadium.

Balcombe saved his side again with 20 to go after a pass across the middle from Lewis Gordon was intercepted by Kirk looking for his second of the game. The Brentford loanee was out quickly and stopped his side fro going further behind.

It was almost a calamity from Balcombe shortly after however, as a seemingly easy catch was fumbled and Gassan Ahadme was there to tap in the rebound. Lucky for the keeper Ahadme was in an offside position, nevertheless this still prompted chants of ‘Belshaw’ from the home faithful.

Rovers tried throughout the second half, however lacked any sort of attacking spark making it five losses from their last six games - all to teams below them in the table.

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Bristol Rovers: (4-3-3) Ellery Balcombe, Calum Macdonald (Lewis Gordon 60’) , James Connolly (Luca Hoole 78’), Jarell Quansah, James Gibbons (Josh Coburn 70’), Lamare Bogarde (Harry Anderson 60’), Antony Evans, Grant Ward (Paul Coutts 60’), Aaron Collins, John Marquis, Scott Sinclair.

Substitutes: James Belshaw, Paul Coutts, Harry Anderson, Lewis Gordon, Josh Coburn and Glenn Whelan.

Goals: Marquis 8’

Burton Albion: MacGillivray, Brayford, Oshilaja, Hughes, Powell, Taylor, Winnall (Ahadme 58’), Moon, McCann (Kirk 24’ - Shaughnessy 86’), Hamer, Ashworth.

Yellow Cards: Chris McCann 11’, Jasper Moon 36’, Joe Powell 62’

Goals: Charlie Kirk 44’, Sam Winall 55’

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