Bristol Rovers respond positively to late rejig as Antony Evans delivers glitzy display against Leyton Orient

Bristol Rovers delivered a performance that was full of positives as they defeated Leyton Orient 2-0 at Brisbane Road

Bristol Rovers had plenty of positives to take out of their performance against Leyton Orient. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers had plenty of positives to take out of their performance against Leyton Orient. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers had plenty of positives to take out of their performance against Leyton Orient. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers were all smiles as they came away from Leyton Orient with a 2-0 win at Brisbane Road in League Two.

A quick-fire double from the returning Antony Evans and in-form forward Aaron Collins gave the Gas their third consecutive win and a fourth clean sheet in a row.

The two goals came against the run of play but once Rovers struck, Joey Barton’s men rarely looked challenged.

They had to deal with Harry Smith coming on and causing a few problems but fortunately the defence and James Belshaw did their job to preserve the clean sheet.

Here’s our key takeaways from Bristol Rovers’ win over Leyton Orient on a happy night in North East London.

What a difference a year makes

It’s a year to the day since Joey Barton was appointed and he marked the anniversary with a win this evening.

At this point last year, there was doom and gloom around the place with relegation beckoning. A win on Tuesday put Rovers within touching distance of the play-offs with a real belief that they can really get into those spots.

Barton keeps uttering the words ‘The Gas are coming’ and that’s perhaps a warning rather than just a loose sentence. They have come out of nowhere to become a team that has asserted themselves as playoff contenders.

There was a scene after the full-time whistle where Barton showed his delight with the result by celebrating with the supporters. He’s done well to build up a rapport with the fans and long may it continue.

Evans lights up on his return

It was like Antony Evans hadn’t gone anywhere when he made his return this evening, delivering a man-of-the-match display.

A hamstring issue had seen Evans sidelined for the past three matches and the form of Elliot Anderson had initially kept him out of the side, but an opportunity came in a different way when he replaced Nick Anderton at the eleventh hour.

Evans was deployed as a winger rather than his usual position as number ten but he still had an impact on the match. He placed himself on the set pieces and almost scored from a free-kick,hitting the post.

He then delivered a moment of magic, scoring from distance with a trademark finish from 25-yards.

His performance is one that makes it hard for him to be dropped and given that Elliot Anderson hobbled off, he may find himself in a more familiar role when Exeter City come to town on Saturday.

Late rejig doesn’t affect the performance

A fortnight ago when Connor Taylor was withdrawn from the team at the last minute, it obviously affected them as they conceded inside the first minute to Oldham.

History could have repeated itself when Evans came in for Anderton but instead the team reacted positively.

Harry Anderson, who had been playing well on the attacking flank in recent weeks, did well in a more defensive role. He may not have made an impact in the attacking thirds but coped well to playing in a different area of the pitch.

Not many teams have to change just minutes before kick-off but this was a good response to reacting to curve balls.

Managerial enders

Tonight’s defeat to Bristol Rovers was the final act of Kenny Jackett’s reign as manager of Leyton Orient with the London club announcing his sacking less than an hour after the full-time whistle.

Given how they performed in their win at the Memorial Stadium and their early season promise, it came as a surprise how they fell down the table.

It goes to show how tricky this division is when someone like Jackett who has had a good amount of experience in the Football League, can’t get a tune out of a team like Orient with their resources.