Bristol Rovers player ratings: new signing gets 8/10 and one 9/10 in Swansea win
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The hosts dominated possession early on with Rovers hoping to catch them out on the counter attack. Matt Grimes delivered from a short corner and James Belshaw had to be alert to Jerry Yates’ header.
Rovers began to have their own spell in the game and got more of the ball with two chances in quick succession. Aaron Collins found space down the right and forced Andy Fisher to dive down low. As Swansea tried to break, they were caught in possession after Jevani Brown got the ball to Collins to Luke Thomas, who had his shot saved.
For a brief moment, Rovers were worried after Thomas went to ground from a knock from Oli Cooper. He picked himself up and found ex-Swan Scott Sinclair in space but he blazed over the bar. Five minutes from the break, Thomas should have secored after good work from Collins and Sinclair but his goalbound shot was blocked by Kyle Naughton.
Rovers made five changes in the second-half, giving debuts to Matt Cox and Tristan Crama who had only been announced 45 minutes before kick-off. It was Antony Evans who tested the Swansea goalkeeper with a low 20-yard shot.
Matt Cox was tested for the first time after donning the grey goalkeeper kit as sub Jay Fulton laced a shot from outside box which he dived down to palm away. He was at full strength to deny Cooper the opener after Fulton’s shot was blocked by Luca Hoole.
Rovers weathered the Swansea storm and took the lead with Thomas involved at the heart of it. He put a brilliant cross in to Brown to head home.
Joey Barton made more substitutions towards the end of the match and Kofi Shaw nearly doubled their lead as he curled a shot at goal. Rovers did double their lead in stoppage time as trialist Téo Kurtaran whipped a cross in for Marquis to head in.
James Belshaw (subbed off, 46) - 7
Looked more comfortable when the ball was played back to him. Made a much needed save to deny Yates.
Luca Hoole - 7
Moved into a more central role second-half and made a good goalsaving block.
Lewis Gordon (subbed off, 46) - 6
A welcome appearance given his absence in the other matches in pre-season.
James Wilson (subbed off, 46) - 6
Did well to limit the Swansea attackers to just a few opportunities.
James Connolly - 7
Got confident as the game went on and will be happy to have a clean sheet under his belt.
Sam Finley (subbed on, 84) - 7
Played some nice long-range passes to his teammates and did well under pressure when the opposition pressed him.
Grant Ward (subbed off, 46) - 6
Looked a bit more composed than against Braga, and dealt with being pressed by the Swansea attackers.
Luke Thomas (subbed off, 76) - 9
Rovers’ most creative player. A bright spark in the first-half and a brilliant assist for Brown.
Aaron Collins - 7
A few nice moments in the first-half where he had some rhythm from Sinclair and Thomas.
Scott Sinclair (subbed off, 46) - 6
Had a few opportunities to put Rovers ahead but couldn’t get them on target.
Jevani Brown - 7
Nice link-up play in the first-half and was in the right place at the right time for his header.
Antony Evans (subbed on, 46) - 7
Had a few chances to score, and did well in a deeper role.
Tristan Crama (subbed on, 46) - 6
Didn’t look out of place coming on and looked to have got a good understanding alongside Connolly and Hoole. Got a yellow for a foul though.
Matt Cox (subbed on, 46) - 8
Brilliant moment in the second-half where he looked unbeatable by making a string of good saves. Looked good on the ball.
John Marquis (subbed on, 46) - 7
Lead the younger players through the match and popped up with a well cushioned header.
Ryan Jones (subbed on, 46) - 6
Not a bad display from Jones, who hasn’t looked out of place when given
Jerry Lawrence (subbed on, 76) - N/A
Trialist (subbed on, 84) - N/A
Lovely assist for Marquis!
Harvey Greenslade (subbed on, 84) - N/A
Kofi Shaw (subbed on, 84) - N/A