Bristol Rovers player ratings v MK Dons: ‘Careless, naive, uneventful’

How the Bristol Rovers players fared in their 2-0 defeat to MK Dons
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Bristol Rovers lost for a third league game in a row as MK Dons won 2-0 with former Bristol City striker Mo Eisa heavily involved in the Gas’ downfall.

Eisa scored a penalty in the third minute, and later set up substitute Max Dean for the insurance goal, just as the game entered stoppage time.

A misplaced pass from Paul Coutts allowed Josh McEachran to thread in Dawson Devoy, and his low cross found Eisa, who was upended by Jarell Quansah. Eisa stepped forward and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to open the scoring.

As the fourth official indicated five minutes of additional time, Eisa broke through with Rovers committing bodies and played in Dean to tuck a shot underneath Balcombe.

Joey Barton’s side drop down to 13th and are out of the top-half in League One, losing their last four games in all competitions, with three League One defeats and an EFL Trophy exit.

Player ratings

Ellery Balcombe - 6

A penalty and a tap in meant Balcombe could do nothing about the goals. He made a save from Eisa in the first-half which was to be applauded.

James Gibbons - 5

Put his body on the line to block several Dons chances and tried to get forward but MK did well in dealing with the full-backs.

Jarell Quansah - 5

A difficult start to his first match. Quansah’s lack of match experience saw him catch Eisa, and there was no doubt about the referee’s decision with a bit of naivety in his tackle. He improved after the goal however and was comfortable on the ball.

James Connolly - 5

Connolly was carless in some of his passing when trying to play from out of the back. He put several passes in to the midfield which were intercepted. He improved in the second-half and made a decent goal line block.

Lewis Gordon (subbed off, 75) - 5

The left-hand side is where MK Dons found their joy and it was down Gordon’s flank that the cross wasn’t stopped for the penalty.

Sam Finley - 5

Finley usually controls the midfield but MK Dons won the battle in the the end with a solid performance from Josh McEachran.

Paul Coutts (subbed off, 46) - 5

The Gas skipper couldn’t impose himself in the first-half with the game being played primarily on the wings. Brought off at half-time to allow for a more attacking formation.

Grant Ward (subbed off, 85) - 6

Rovers’ best performer with the energy that he brought in the centre of the park. He enjoyed making several runs in to the opposition’s final third.

Scott Sinclair (subbed off, 62) - 5

An uneventful outing for Sinclair, who despite swapping wings in the first-half and a change of formation in the second could not help in attack.

Josh Coburn (subbed off, 75) - 5

A game that passed by the Middlesbrough loanee. His header in a crowded penalty box was his only chance of note. He held the ball up well, but that was only on the half-way line.

Aaron Collins - 6

Involved in all of Rovers’ best attacking opportunities, but could not get that assist. His header got Coburn in an attacking position and twice set up Loft.

Ryan Loft (subbed on, 46) - 6

Loft brought some life into the Rovers attack with two half opportunities but he could not convert them.

Luke McCormick (subbed on, 62) - 5

Came on for Sinclair, but MK just did a job on Rovers’ midfield.

Harry Anderson (subbed on, 75) - 5

If Anderson had positioned himself better from Loft’s pull-back, it could have been an equaliser for the Gas.

John Marquis (subbed on, 75) - 5

Marquis didn’t have any chances of note.

Lamar Bogarde (subbed on, 85) - N/A

Came on to offer something different

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