How Bristol Rovers’ January transfer window signings fared against MK Dons

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Goals in either half from Mo Eisa and May Dean made it three losses on the bounce for Joey Barton’s side, with four of the five January signings making their home or full debut.

Jarell Quansah, Ellery Balcombe and Grant Ward all started, with deadline day loanee Lamare Bogarde making a ten minute cameo at the end.

Balcombe and Quansah kept their places in the starting eleven, despite making their debuts in the 5-1 defeat to Morecambe last weekend, while Ward made his first start for the club and deadline day signing Lamare Bogarde making an appearance for the last ten off the bench.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Balcombe came under scrutiny for his part in his new side’s heavy defeat, however Joey Barton revealed in the week that if the goalkeeper didn’t start in the first three games of his loan spell, Bristol Rovers would have to pay a loan fee.

Jarell Quansah stands out in good and bad

Quansah was one of the highlights of a poor afternoon in the North West, and Ward made a positive impact off the bench, being brought on just before the hour mark.

The former Blackpool man started from the off, and struggled to get on the ball against the away side’s midfield trio. A tactical switch at half time saw Ward drop slightly deeper, forming a two man midfield with Sam Finley.

The midfielder had a decent second half performance, acting as the more defensive member of the Gas’ midfield, and making numerous important interceptions, with the away side looking to soak up pressure and counter. Ward was substituted late on for Lamare Bogarde, with the Aston Villa loanee given ten minutes of a debut.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was the stuff of nightmares for the Liverpool loanee Quansah, who lunged in on Mo Eisa inside the penalty spot inside two minutes. Referee Carl Boyeson pointed to the spot with no hesitation and Eisa picked himself up to slot into the bottom corner.

The centre-back looked comfortable on the ball, as Joey Barton’s side dominated possession for the most part, however the vast majority of his long balls forward left a lot to be desired.

Despite conceding the penalty, Quansah had one of the best performances of those in a blue and white shirt, and made up for his earlier mistake in the second half, sliding in and blocking a ball across the box from Leko, denying a certain goal with Eisa lurking at the back post looking for his second of the game.

It was another good block late on after Harry Anderson gave the ball away when the 20-year-old dived in front of Leko’s effort, prompting praise from his new manager post match.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Best of the rest

Facing Eisa from 12 yards wouldn’t have been Balcombe’s ideal start to his home debut, and the 23-year-old was sent the wrong way by the former Bristol City striker.

The Brentford loanee denied the away side a quickfire double, getting a strong hand to Sully Kaikai’s effort minutes later that looked destined for the top corner, however it was a heart in mouth moment when his failed clearance landed straight at the feet of Jonathan Leko 30 yards from goal, luckily he was bailed out by his defence.

Lamare Bogarde was given a ten minute spell at the end, however the Dutchman lost the ball which ended up setting Eisa through on goal. The striker unselfishly squared it to substitute May Dean, who slotted home late on and put the contest to bed.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.