‘More red cards than league wins’: Talking points from Bristol Rovers’ 2-1 defeat to Port Vale
Much to consider from the Memorial Stadium as Bristol Rovers lose to Port Vale
Aaron Collins scored in the second-half after Ben Garrity had scored twice in two minutes to give the Valiants the lead.
Here are the talking points from what was a fiery affair at the Memorial Stadium:
More red cards than league wins
Winning football matches are much easier when all 11 players are on the pitch, but for the fifth time this season, a player or players have been sent off.
It’s become so bad that there have been more red cards than there have been league wins this season with seven dismissals to Rovers’ six league wins.
There is a discipline issue. Sam Finley and Cian Harries became the sixth and seventh Rovers players to be red carded this season. These sending offs were both avoidable and just required both players to be more streetwise.
This was the second time Harries had been sent off, having also been sent off against Colchester in which Trevor Clarke was also dismissed.
Before that we saw Alfie Kilgour ejected against Swindon and Paul Coutts against Mansfield.
The only time we’ve seen a victory after going a man down was when Glenn Whelan was dismissed against Northampton Town.
Ultimately, something needs to be looked at and players need to be more careful when making split decisions.
A good reception for Clarke
As was expected, former manager Darrell Clarke received a good reception from the Gas fans upon his return to the ground he is adored at.
He first returned last season in the EFL Trophy but that was without spectators so this was a moment for him to show the respect for the fans who cheered his name.
Emerging from the tunnel ahead of kick-off, he was a lone figure but applauded the three stands housing the home fans. He also showed mutual respect to Joey Barton, shaking his hand and his additional staff members before the game.
The result tonight will frustrate some fans as they will go down memory lane and remember the good times under him, wondering what could have been if things were different before his departure.
Confidence is growing in Collins
At last, a league goal for Collins to celebrate or we hope so. Since moving from Forest Green Rovers, the Welshman has endured a frustrating spell in front of goal, unable to replicate the return he had at the New Lawn.
He has since netted in the FA Cup against Oxford United and then Sutton on Saturday and now he is a player which is growing in confidence.
A striker in the January transfer window may be one of Joey Barton’s key priorities but this may change his mind.
An extended run in the side may give Collins a chance to put away the chances presented to him. At FGR he was a striker who scored plenty in the box but so far for Rovers, his goals have mainly come from just outside it.