‘Didn’t get the rub of the green’ - Bristol Rovers reaction after Lincoln loss
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The Gas for the first time since the late 1940s, a fact provided by Rovers guru Keith Brookman, conceded six goals in a match at home, in what ultimately was a bizzare game.
Glenn Whelan, Luca Hoole and Lewis Gordon all started as centre-backs in a 3-4-3 formation that is seemingly here to stay despite shipping six goals at home to a side that had scored nine goals before their win yesterday.
Some positives from the match included Aaron Collins’ goal-scoring form as the Welshman took his place amongst the division’s top scorers again.
The 24-year-old is tied with Conor Chaplin on six goals but also boasts three assists this season, cementing himself as Rovers’ most important player.
Ryan Loft also made a welcomed return, starting from the off after missing the defeat to Ipswich Town in midweek through injury.
Loft, assisted by Gordon, scored with a well-taken goal as he powered a low shot into the corner of the goal past Carl Rushworth. It was his fourth goal in as many games and has become a player of real importance in recent matches.
Both football reporters were in the press conference room of the Mem where Barton and Gordon delivered their post-match thoughts. Gordon speaking for the first time after the match spoke wisely for a young player making their first real steps into the professional game.
Barton meanwhile gave an insight into his tactical approach to the match, whilst also ruing the players he is missing at his disposal. Bobby Thomas and Jordan Rossiter will return from their suspensions for the match against Accrington Stanley and there is good news on the injury front.
Despite conceding six, the 40-year-old added context to the defeat with it being just another three points lost. The margin of defeat did inflict further damage to their goal difference margin, but it was just that.
Barton also took the positives out of the defeat and was pleased with the character of his side and their commitment to playing how he wants his side to do.