Bristol Rovers player ratings: ‘Difficult night’ - One 4/10 in Plymouth Argyle loss
How the Bristol Rovers players fared in the 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Mem
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Bristol Rovers' EFL Trophy came to an end as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Memorial Stadium. Ben Waine and Ryan Hardie scored two first-half goals in between eight minutes of each other with no response from the Gas.
Story of the match
It was a scrappy affair in the early stages, with both sides struggling to deal with a waterlogged pitch. Argyle started the better, and were ahead midway through the first half after a cross was met by Ben Waine, who’s looping header found the top corner.
It should have been two on the half-hour mark, James Connolly played Callum Wright onside down the left, who put it on a plate for Waine in the box for his second. His shot from less than six yards out was sliced however, and skidded harmlessly past Anssi Jaakkola’s goal.
The Rovers defence were caught sleeping once more and Argyle’s lead was extended after a ball over the top found Ryan Hardie in space behind the Gas defence, the striker ran on and curled the ball past Jaakkola, giving his side a deserved second.
The addition of Harvey Saunders after the break showed promise for Joey Barton’s side, and they had their best opportunity after the substitute found Luke McCormick, with the midfielder’s shot straight at Callum Burton being his side’s best chance of the evening.
The Gas threatened more in an improved second half, yet still departed the Papa Johns Trophy at the quarter final stage with a whimper.
Anssi Jaakkola - 6
Couldn’t do much about Argyle’s first two goals, however looked shaky throughout, with his lack of game time this season perhaps causing rustiness.
James Gibbons - 5
He wasn’t able to keep track of his man throughout the first half, and like the rest of the Rovers defence had an especially poor first 45.
Luca Hoole - 6
Was switched from a right sided centre back to a right wing-back inside the first 20, made a couple of good tackles and was the best of the defence.
James Connolly - 5
Seemed to lack cohesion with his defensive partners.
Bobby Thomas - 4
The on-loan Burnley defender lost his man for the away side’s first and a seemingly easy ball to deal with from a Plymouth defender ended up finding Hardie for Argyle’s second. Thomas didn’t provide much of a deterrent to stop the striker in a tough first half. Difficult night.
Lewis Gordon - (Subbed for Harvey Saunders, 45’) - 5
Provided little in a poor first half for Joey Barton’s side, and was hooked at the break in an offensive switch.
Glenn Whelan - 5
The 38-year-old had it all to do defensively, and often found himself facing the Argyle midfield alone with Evans and McCormick both taking up attacking roles. Tried his best, howeve he lost out against a strong Plymouth midfield.
Luke McCormick - 7
Came out after the break as a new player after an average first half. The Wimbledon midfielder looked to pick up the ball and make things happen for his side and linked up well with Saunders off the bench, giving his side a flicker of hope.
Anthony Evans - 6
Evans’ second half set piece deliveries were the highlight of his game after he had misplaced several passes forward.
Ryan Loft - 6
Started strongly after a period of time out of the starting eleven and was his side’s main point with the Gas hitting the ball long, He struggled more in the second half after a change of shape for his side.
John Marquis - 5
Had little to no service throughout and the striker found himself dropping deeper and deeper to get on the ball which impacted his ability to affect the game.
Harvey Saunders - 7
The super-sub was a bright spark off the bench and threatened to make a game out of it after a very one-sided first half. Chased every ball and made a great account for himself.