Bristol Rovers player ratings vs Plymouth Argyle: Whelan ranks highest as Loft pleads his case

Player ratings from the action that unfolded under the Home Park floodlights
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Bristol Rovers picked up only a points as they lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle in their opening EFL Trophy match.

In regulation time, the Gas suffered a similar fate to Saturday as after Ryan Loft scored the opening goal, Argyle issued a response ten minutes later with Ryan Hardie scoring from the spot.

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Antony Evans and Harvey Greenslade’s missed penalties proved costly as Niall Ennis scored with the decisive penalty as his attempt hitting the roof of the goal.

Here’s how BristolWorld rated the players performances - and it’s a bit mix-and-match, a bit like the team selection that Andy Mangan went with tonight.

Anssi Jaakkola - 6

The Finnish goalkeeper didn’t have much to do in the first-half but in the second he had to try and save a penalty, as well as doing well to deny Houghton.

Luca Hoole - 7

Hoole was composed in possession but was better performing in the attack with two opportunities in the first-half. Plymouth put Rovers under the cosh a lot, especially on Hoole’s right side. He made way for Harvey Greenslade with 15 minutes remaining.

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Whelan’s career hasn’t been spent much as a centre-back but the former Stoke City man was assured in possession on the ball. Given he was in the centre of the three he had a difficult task of dealing with Plymouth’s front two.

Trevor Clarke - 6

Made a much-needed block to deny Hardie early in the early stages of the second-half. As a left-sided centre-back, it’s a role he wouldn’t have played many times in his career. Harshly judged to have fouled Whittaker for a penalty.

Harvey Saunders - 6

Right wing-back isn’t a role that Saunders is fully accustomed to but a lot of Plymouth’s danger came down his side.

Paul Coutts - 6

The skipper played a few wayward passes and did not test the home defence with his corner-kicks which at times failed to beat the first man. Substituted for Antony Evans just after the hour mark.

Jordan Rossiter - 6

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There was a steely feel in the centre of the park but Plymouth showed a slight more grit in the centre. Moved into defence when Greenslade was introduced for a 3-4-3. Yellow carded for a foul in the centre of the park with the game getting away from him.

Jerry Lawrence - 7

An otherwise quiet first-half, Lawrence grew into the game in the second half and played a couple of neat passes. An assist was then put on his head as he played a pass through to Loft which will give the youngster confidence that he can play a part in the team. Brought off for Luke McCormick after the hour.

Lewis Gordon - 6

Started the game off well but faltered out slightly and in the second-half a lot of chances came down his side but he was able to show his defensive strengths.

Ryan Loft - 7

Another game, another goal for Loft who will take some pride with his goal. Before his strike he hadn’t had many chances but took the one presented to him which is just what is needed for a striker.

John Marquis - 6

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Played his teammates into pressure with a passback that ended up giving Plymouth a penalty. His last act before he was replaced by Aaron Collins.

Aaron Collins (subbed on, 61) - 6

Almost scored a goal for Rovers ten minutes after coming on following desire to get on a poor backwards header from Gillesphey. He did have some moments but couldn’t get a feel for the game. Scored his penalty in the shootout with a composed spot-kick.

Luke McCormick (subbed on, 61) - 6

A game designed to build up the minutes, McCormick was unable make an impact bar a few floating crosses. He did score his penalty however.

Antony Evans (subbed on, 61) - 7

Made a much-needed goal line clearance when Plymouth broke on the counter-attack. Terrific to track back and fight for the cause. The former Everton midfielder is more known for his talismanic attributes but he put in a respectable defensive shift.

Ryan Jones (subbed on, 69) - 6

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After the chopping and changing as the substitutes came on, Jones found it difficult to get a foot in on the game. He did put Collins through but the pass could have been played better.

Harvey Greenslade (subbed on, 77) - 6

A similar tale to Jones, the youngster couldn’t get into the match properly as the players took time to settle into their rolles. Missed a enalty.

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