Bristol Rovers player ratings: ‘Livewire’ scores 8/10 and few 6/10s in Barnsley draw

How the Bristol Rovers players fared in the player ratings in their 1-1 draw with Barnsley.
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Bristol Rovers came from behind to draw 1-1 with Barnsley in their first home game of the season at the Memorial Stadium.

Nicky Cadden gave the Tykes an early lead but ten minutes from time Scott Sinclair came off the bench and got the Gas back on level terms. Rovers were unfortunate to not take all three points and had the best chances of the match but were denied by Liam Roberts and the woodwork.

Both sides hoped to profit from mistakes, and firstly Rovers nearly got in as John Marquis picked up the ball but Aaron Collins couldn’t anticipate the pass. At Matt Cox’s end, Lewis Gordon lost possession, and it resulted in Liam Kitching hitting a powerful effort at him, which he held on to.

Rovers’ sloppy start resulted in them falling behind. Cadden wasn’t closed down with neither Luca Hoole or Connor Taylor getting close to him and his left-footed shot ended right in the top corner.

It took Rovers time to find their feet, but a golden opportunity passed them by. Antony Evans delivered an inch-perfect cross but John Marquis’ header somehow flashed past the post.

Another chance passed Rovers by as they went on the counter-attack. Evans fed a ball through to Collins who went for the shot rather than setting up Thomas, and after a goal-saving block, there was discussions between the pair.

Despite the goal, Barnsley were passengers throughout the first-half, but nearly got an insurance goal. Cadden played in Callum Styles, and his low shot needed to be dealt with by Cox. A penalty appeal was then turned away up the other end as Evans’ cross came off Kitching’s body.

Early in the second-half, Marquis had an opportunity to get the hosts back on level terms. Collins was clipped for a foul but an advantage was played, and Marquis curled a shot just past Liam Roberts goal. The 31-year-old was doing everything but score as he curled a shot onto the post on the hour mark.

Evans and Marquis continued to link up well - and the striker had a header saved by Roberts once more, after Evans had found space on the right flank.

Rovers’ patience was awarded with an equaliser as they broke through on the counter-attack. Thomas found substitute Sinclair in space on the flank and he broke through to show his composure and curl home.

Three minutes after getting on the scoresheet, Sinclair nearly got a second as he flicked a header over. The substitute was full of running and brought a save out of Roberts after being teed up by Marquis. His shot resulted in a corner and Collins’ looping header needed to be hooked off the line.

Matt Cox - 6

Beaten by a really good effort, but made a few routine saves after that. He did show some calmness on the ball though and wasn’t afraid to rush out.

Luca Hoole - 7

Couldn’t really do much about the goal, but was solid in the second-half.

Connor Taylor - 7

Didn’t really allow Max Watters to do much in the game, other than the assist.

Tristan Crama - 7

Nervy at times, but important towards the end.

Lewis Gordon (subbed off, 72) - 6

Made some good runs forward in the second-half but at times struggled with Barnsley’s wingers.

Sam Finley (subbed off, 72) - 7

Put himself about well and made some challenges when required of him.

Grant Ward - 6

Gave the ball away a few times which allowed Barnsley to attack. He picked things up in the second-half though and was neater in his play.

Antony Evans (subbed off, 92) - 7

He was at the heart of every Rovers attack. He showed good chemistry with Marquis and set him up for most of his opportunities.

Luke Thomas - star player - 8

Thomas was quality for most of the match and was a real handful against his former club. A real livewire.

John Marquis - 7

He did everything but score. Marquis should have got things level with his free header, and then he was denied by the woodwork and a couple of good saves.

Aaron Collins (subbed off, 92) - 6

Big moment in the first-half where he should have squared it to Thomas for what was nearly a certain goal. Collins improved in the second-half though, and looked more lively.

Josh Grant (subbed on, 72) - 6

Scott Sinclair (subbed on, 72) - 7

Immediate impact! Sinclair showed brilliant composure to score his goal.

Ryan Loft (subbed on, 92) - N/A

Luke McCormick (subbed on, 92) - N/A