Player ratings from Bristol Rovers’ lacklustre defeat at the hands of Portsmouth
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A poor first half for Bristol Rovers ended with an unmarked Connor Ogilvie heading a Michael Jacobs corner into the top corner.
The Gas may have felt hard done by after seeing a strong penalty appeal turned down minutes before, but they went into the break a goal down and yet to test Portsmouth shot stopper Josh Griffiths.
It was barely 15 minutes into the second half when a John Marquis ball across the box found Aaron Collins, who made no mistake in slotting the ball past Griffiths, sending the 1,843 away fans into raptures.
The home side should have retaken the lead five minutes later when a cross somehow evaded the head of substitute Dane Scarlett, and Owen Dale fired his shot at the back post over James Belshaw’s goal.
Pompey then had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Joe Piggot tripped over Harry Anderson’s outstretched leg, and referee Gavin Ward pointed straight to the spot. The striker stepped up and sent Belshaw the wrong way.
With five minutes left, the Gas had a great penalty shout of their own, but Ward instead awarded a goal kick, confining Rovers to their second defeat in a week.
The game was wrapped up a minute into stoppage time, when Scarlett found himself in behind the defence, unselfishly crossing for Dale to head into an empty net.
Here are our player ratings from the defeat:
James Belshaw - 6
The keeper couldn’t do anything about Ogilvie’s header and kept the score down early in the second half. He was sent the wrong way from the penalty spot for Pompey’s second.
James Connolly - 6
Connolly put in a solid defensive performance, having to cover for the space left from the Rovers wing-backs when Portsmouth hit on the counter attack, but he was punished when he pushed up the pitch in the latter minutes of the game.
Lewis Gibson - 7 (Alfie Kilgour 76’)
The Everton loanee looked impressive on his first start, he marshalled Ronan Curtis well throughout the game and was a shining light in a poor defensive display.
Luca Hoole - 7
Hoole started again as a centre back for Joey Barton’s side and worked well alongside Gibson and Connolly to take Colby Bishop out of the game, the league’s top goalscorer and Portsmouth’s number nine wasn’t a threat to Belshaw’s goal.
Sam Finley - 6
The midfielder was his usual self, looking to provide that bridge between the defence and attack for the Gas, however, like the majority of the Rovers midfield, he failed to get himself into the game.
Paul Coutts - 5
In possession, Rovers’ captain slotted into the defence creating a back four, however he was poor on the ball and his cross field balls were regularly met by Portsmouth players.
Glenn Wheelan - 6 (Harry Anderson 46’)
The 38-year-old received a yellow card in what was a hard looking tackle on Louis Thompson mid way through the first half, other than that, the midfielder didn’t contribute much.
Jordan Rossiter - 5 (Ryan Loft 74’)
Rossiter is yet to show the Rovers faithful what he is really about and this was shown again, battled well in the midfield but yet to make any real impact in a blue and white shirt.
Antony Evans - 5
The playmaker failed to really get into the game at any stage, sitting on the right-hand side of midfield for the most part. He was wasteful in possession.
John Marquis - 6 (Harvey Saunders 78’)
The former Pompey man had a poor showing on his return to Fratton Park, being marshalled out the game excellently by Sean Ragged and Michael Morrison. However, he worked tirelessly and won the ball back to find Collins for the Gas’ equaliser.
Aaron Collins - 7
Portsmouth were interested in the striker during the summer, with Collins putting the speculation to rest by signing a new deal with the Gas. It was his well taken goal that brought Rovers back into the game.