Bristol Rovers player ratings: Collins and Clarke show glimmer but two score 4/10 in Ipswich loss

How the Bristol Rovers players fared in the ratings after their 2-0 loss to Ipswich Town in Suffolk
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Bristol Rovers’ winless run continued as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

Goals in either half from Conor Chaplin and Lee Evans gave the Tractor Boys their sixth win of the season, whilst for the Gas it is their fourth loss in six matches.

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Bobby Thomas was sent off in the 85th minute for two yellow cards and Alfie Kilgour was later dismissed which will see both miss Saturday’s match at the Memorial Stadium with Lincoln City.

Ipswich remain top of League One level with Portsmouth, whilst Rovers are in a mix of teams hovering above the drop zone in 18th.

Tale of the match

Ipswich rattled the woodwork from the opening minute. A free-kick was lofted in and Luke Woolfenden’s header was tipped onto the crossbar by James Belshaw.

Freddie Ladapo later forced Belshaw into work after skilfully dribbling past the defence, the shot was palmed to Wes Burns, Conor Chaplin couldn’t turn home the effort.

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Rovers were forced into an early change as Harry Anderson sustained an off-the-ball injury with Harvey Saunders replacing him.

Ipswich continued to pepper Belshaw’s goal with Chaplin heading at goal from a Lee Evans corner as they ramped up the pressure.

They eventually broke the Rovers rearguard as Sam Morsy worked his way into the box with an intricate one-two with Chaplin who shot low past a stationed Belshaw.

A quick-fire second almost came as Wes Burns almost haunted his former manager as but his rising header from Ladapo’s cross was saved.

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In a rare moment of what was one-way traffic in the first-half, Antony Evans had a shot that cannoned off of the woodwork. Moments later, Christian Walton had to tip away Trevor Clarke’s low-driven attempt as Rovers finished the first period strongly.

Emerging from the changing rooms, Rovers almost got back on level terms as Hoole thundered a shot at Walton who had to beat his powerful strike away.

After being pinned back for the opening minutes, Ipswich found themselves in the ascendancy with two penalties for handball turned down with Hoole and Thomas making blocks at shots from the hosts.

Hope for Rovers dimmed when they fell behind to a second with Lee Evans’ shot deflecting off of Kilgour to flat boot Belshaw.

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Barton made a response to falling two behind with Luke McCormick and Trevor Clarke withdrawn for Paul Coutts and John Marquis, which pushed Collins out to the flank.

A frustrating night was made worse when Bobby Thomas picked up two quick successive yellow cards which saw him dismissed with five minutes to go.

Further damage was almost inflicted when substitute Gassan Ahadme was denied with a first-time effort after the ball was slid into him on the six-yard spot.

Rovers caused themselves problems for future games as Kilgour was shown a straight red card for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity as he clipped the heels of Chaplin. No further damage was inflicted by Ipswich who had completely controlled the second period.

Player ratings

James Belshaw - 7

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A number of good saves in the first half and was undone by two strikes that he would have expected his defence to marshall better.

Luca Hoole - 5

Hoole’s right side is where Ipswich targeted with Ladapo having much joy down there in the first half. Caught in possession which led to the second goal. Booked for a foul on Chaplin.

Bobby Thomas - 4

Caught in possession a couple of times and was caught in no mans land when Chaplin scored the opener. Picked up two yellow cards in quick succession which makes him unavailable for the weekend.

Alfie Kilgour - 4

Collectively the defence conceded poor goals to Ipswich with the second being at their own fault when in possession. His dismissal although though perhaps harsh bumped his rating down.

Lewis Gordon - 5

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Most of the danger came down Hoole’s side so Gordon wasn’t tested too much which also meant that the defender couldn’ thave his say on the game.

Luke McCormick - 6

McCormick showed some glimpses but was unable to get his foot firmly on to the game. A dazzling dribble against numerous players was a high point.

Sam Finley - 5

The midfielder was given the role as protector of the defence but gave possession away on a few occasions.

Antony Evans - 7

Evans put in a gritty performance and had a good balance of being combative but also nearly had a moment of magic with a shot. Subbed off given his importance to the team.

Trevor Clarke - 7

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Clarke had a few moments of quality in the first period and almost opened his account for the club, whilst also putting in some troubling crosses.

Substituted for John Marquis just after the hour mark and can take credit for a decent shift, despite being on the losing side.

Aaron Collins - 7

The Welshman continues to be the player that makes Rovers tick when they’re under the cosh. A tricky player and found a few teammates on occasion with some ambitious passes. Brought off with 15 minutes to go to save him for Saturday.

Harry Anderson - n/a

His game was ended just after 15 minutes after an off-the-ball injury, leaving the pitch in frustration.

Harvey Saunders (subbed on, 16) - 5

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Lost his man when trying to track Sam Morsy who assisted Chaplin for the opening goal. A lot of danger came down his side and he was unable to impose himself on the match in an attacking role.

John Marquis (subbed on, 61) - 6

Had a few rough challenges to deal with and was unable to get into the game from the bench.

Paul Coutts (subbed on, 61) - 6

Made a few tackles when brought on but the damage had already been done with the two goals.

Glenn Whelan (subbed on, 77) - 6

Came on to preserve other players fitness but looked calm enough on the ball.

Sylvester Jasper (subbed on, 77) -

Unable to have any real say on the match.

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