Anderton’s Bristol Rovers return and Belshaw’s route one - moments missed in Morecambe draw

Will Taylor’s take on what you may have missed in a four-goal thriller at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday

Bristol Rovers twice came from behind to snatch a point late on against Morecambe in a great advert for League One football.

The Gas may have had the majority of chances, but it was the visitors who opened the scoring with just over ten minutes on the clock. Jensen Weir found himself with too much time on the edge of the box, the Brighton loanee with a goal of the season contender striking the ball into the top corner.

It was even 20 minutes later, with Ryan Loft scoring his third in as many games from a great Aaron Collins delivery and despite countless Collins chances, the two teams went in level.

Morecambe scored against the run of play again, after a swift counter attack found Kieran Phillips sweeping the ball past James Belshaw and giving his side the lead.

After they had some great chances, Rovers’ equaliser was as scrappy as they come as debutant Bobby Thomas’ header was saved but his rebound had no such luck and the points were shared.

With that in mind, here’s some moments you might have missed from the thriller.

Set piece frailties… again!

Rovers conceded this time last week from a Shrewsbury corner, and it was a similar story this time out with the visit of Morecambe. The Gas were too slow to react to the short corner, and by the time anyone got out to press the ball, Jensen Weir had already stuck it in the top corner.

Belshaw’s distribution

Rovers’ number one is well versed in Joey Barton’s system of wanting to play out from the back and playing second bottom of the league and winless Morecambe you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘Belly’ would stick to the script

He chose to hit balls long towards Ryan Loft and John Marquis into the wind in the first half, these balls were either taken by the wind or hit out of play, something the home faithful aren’t used to seeing from their keeper.

Collins does everything but score

The game could’ve been wrapped up in the first half for the Gas, with a hattrick of Aaron Collins missed chances and a strong penalty appeal.

It was an energetic start to the game for Rovers’ number ten, picking up the ball in the first two minutes before unleashing a strike that beat Connor Ripley but struck the post. A mere 30 seconds later he knocked the ball past Ripley, who looked to wipe him out in the box according to Rovers gaffer Joey Barton, yet referee Dean Whitehouse disagreed.

Collins was played through twice by Sam Finley at the end of the first half, with Ripley and Farrend Rawson stopping Collins from getting on the scoresheet the first time round, but it was only the post that stopped the striker from giving his side the lead minutes later.

Although not being on the scoresheet himself, he turned creator when he brilliantly chop past Liam Gibson, before crossing tantalisingly across the Morecambe box for Ryan Loft to poke in.

Return for Trevor Clarke

It was just four weeks ago that Joey Barton said he “made a mistake” in giving full-back Trevor Clarke a new contract after the Gas’ promotion heroics, however, Clarke seems to have got back in his manager’s good books by getting his head down and cracking on with things.

After starting in Tuesday’s penalty shootout defeat at Plymouth, the Irishman made his return to league action as a 71st minute substitute and could’ve won the game when he was found unmarked at the back post, his volley was saved well by Ripley.

Jasper makes an impression

After making his debut, Sylvester Jasper made an impression on the fans, taking time out to pose for photos and sign autographs for his new fan base for the season.

Evans searching for that spark

It was massive when Rovers secured Antony Evans to a new three year deal in the aftermath of their promotion, however the former Everton man is yet to replicate his scintillating form of last season. The midfielder notched an impressive ten goals and twelve assists in League Two however seems to have a hard time adjusting to League One, despite former loan spells with Blackpool and Crewe in the division.

It seems the midfielder is being deployed as more of a right-sided centre midfielder, instead of the attacking midfielder role he relished last season with him still finding his feet in a higher division.

Nick Anderton at the mem

Everyone associated with the Gas was shocked to learn that Anderton had been diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer earlier this year and fans were pleased to learn that the 26-year-old was in attendance for the draw against Morecambe.

The left-back was a pivotal part of the promotion success last season and his shirt has been hung in the Rovers’ dressing room home and away in which he signed.

Fans have also had him in their minds in every game with a minutes applause from fans at every home match.

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