Bristol Rovers player ratings: ‘Sublime’ - Five score 8/10 in convincing Oxford win
The Gas ended their winless run with a 3-0 win over Oxford United.
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Bristol Rovers ended their seven-game run without a win in sublime fashion as they swept aside Oxford United 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
First half goals from Scott Sinclair and Aaron Collins put Joey Barton’s side on their way, and Luca Hoole wrapped up all three points with 15 to go.
It was a cagey start to the game, as you might suspect given the form of the two sides and Rovers were given the perfect opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
Collins’ shot was saved by Simon Eastwood and when the follow up fell to Lamare Bogarde he was tripped by Cameron Brannagan. The referee pointed to the spot with no hesitation and Scott Sinclair sent Eastwood the wrong way to give his side the lead.
It was two before the half hour mark when Sinclair was found down the right hand side, his ball across the box was great and Collins was there to tap it home. Oxford looked in complete dissaray in the first half, and the Gas took full advantage.
The home side improved in the second half however and James Belshaw was finally called into action - saving low from a James Henry strike. The game was done with 15 to go, with substitute Hoole heading home from an Antony Evans corner.
Barton’s side defended well throughout, limiting their opposition to very few chances of note, and move up to 11th in League One, with all the other sides yet to play.
James Belshaw - 7
The biggest threat to Belshaw’s goal came off Sam Finley’s head - which struck the post.
Lewis Gordon - 7
Defended well and offered an option down the left.
Lewis Gibson - 8 (Gibbons 76’)
Added game experience to a Rovers defence put under a lot of pressure in the second half and won everything in the sir. A sublime performance from the Everton loanee on his first game back after injury.
Jarell Quansah - 8
The Liverpool loanee may have been lucky to not see red after his challenge on Marcus Browne - the only blip in a otherwise faultless performance.
Luca Hoole - 8
Offered an overlap down the right in the first half when his side were on top in the first half. Defended well and scored his side’s third - heading home from a corner with 15 minutes left.
Paul Coutts - 7 (Ward 70’)
Coutts was the glue that held the midfield together. The captain found success switching it cross field in the first half and teed up Finley and Bogarde well to get further forward.
Sam Finley - 8
Finley added a spark that had been missing from the midfield in recent times, with little flicks and passes opening up space for his teammates.
Lamare Bogarde - 7 (Evans 70’)
The Aston Villa loanee showed great game sense to step across Brannagan, winning his side a penalty.
Aaron Collins - 7
A smart first time finish extended the advantage, and with Oxford playing a high line Collins was allowed the space that he thrives off.
John Marquis - 7 (Coburn 70’)
Marquis offered an option long, and held the ball up well getting his teammates involved.
Scott Sinclair - 8 (Anderson 76’)
A well-taken penatly gave his side the lead and his ball across the box was on a plate for Collins to tap in making it two.
Antony Evans - 7
Caused problems with his set pieces late on and put one on the head of Hoole to settle the tie.
Josh Coburn - 7
Was a nuisence for the Oxford defence, using his body well.
Grant Ward - 7
Sured up the midfield late on.
Harry Anderson - N/A
James Gibbons - N/A