Bristol Rover player ratings: 'colossal' debutant scores 8/10 whilst others impress in Oxford United win

Bristol Rovers got off to winning ways in 2024 as they dispatched Oxford United in League One.

Bristol Rovers will hope they can reignite their season after defeating League One rivals Oxford United at the Memorial Stadium.

Chris Martin gave the hosts the lead after just a quarter of an hour, as Luke Thomas soon doubled Rovers' with a brilliant finish.

Mark Harris pulled one back for Des Buckingham's men as Cameron Brannagan's shot deflected off the centre forward, which wrong-footed Jed Ward as the ball trickled into the back of the Rovers net.

Harvey Vale's alertness wrapped up proceedings for the Gas as his pinpoint accuracy was too much for Jamie Cumming with 15 minutes to go.

The Gas started the stronger of the two sides and a brilliant cross by Jack Hunt on the right-hand side met the head of Antony Evans, who diverted the ball into striker Martin's path as he slotted home with a fine finish from a tight angle with his weaker foot.

Matt Taylor's side quickly doubled their lead as Thomas broke through the middle of the park and fired an arrowing shot into the bottom right-hand corner, with Jamie Cumming only able to get a slight hand to it.

The visitors came out in the second-half and started the stronger of the two sides and had a penalty shout on the 50th minute waved away by referee Benjamin Speedle.

The O's pressure after the interval grew and they were rewarded as an unfortunate deflection puzzled the Gas shot-stopper, which silenced the home faithful.

Rovers reinforced their two goal cushion as Sam Finley's effort from distance was parried by Cumming which allowed Vale to pounce and brilliantly striker the ball past the visitors' goal-keeper.

Here is how I felt the Rovers players faired in their first win of 2024...

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