Salford City 1-1 Bristol Rovers: Key talking points from disappointing night at Peninsula Stadium

Nine-man Salford City snatched a point from Bristol Rovers at the Peninsula Stadium. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Nine-man Salford City snatched a point from Bristol Rovers at the Peninsula Stadium. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Nine-man Salford City snatched a point from Bristol Rovers at the Peninsula Stadium. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The Gas were unable to make the most of a two-man advantage as they drew in Salford

Bristol Rovers were left kicking themselves as they were made to accept just a point against nine-man Salford City at the Peninsula Stadium.

Sam Nicholson had put a dominant Rovers ahead but Brandon Thomas-Asante in the fifth minute of 11 minutes of added on time scored for the Ammies.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both Ash Hunter and Matty Willock were both sent off in either half, meanwhile the game was delayed twice.

The game was first paused for treatment on James Belshaw, who had to have a medical bandage wrapped around his head after a collision with striker Tom Elliot who raised his boot.

Secondly, treatment was needed in the away end as a Bristol Rovers supporter required  treatment. The fan was safely taken away from the stadium after being tended to by Salford’s medical team.

After a point on the road up North, here are the talking points from what can only be described as a disappointing night on the pitch.

Goalkeeper James Belshaw had to be bandaged up after picking up a head injury. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)Goalkeeper James Belshaw had to be bandaged up after picking up a head injury. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Goalkeeper James Belshaw had to be bandaged up after picking up a head injury. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Pitman onside and potentially another red card?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

VAR has yet to trickle down to the lower levels of English football so Rovers’ chance for a second goal was denied by the linesman’s flag.

Eagle-eyed Rovers fans at home, as well as Joey Barton’s coaching staff will have watched back Brett Pitman’s header and pointed out that he was onside at the point of Sam Finley’s cross.

On the replay, you can clearly see that Pitman is behind at least two of Salford’s defenders, which has ultimately proven a costly decision.

At the full-time whistle when handshakes were exchanged, Pitman almost talked himself into the book as he protested the decision.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Joey Barton was also upset that the goal didn’t stand but walked down the tunnel rather than discuss it at length with Ben Toner.

Another decision that perhaps had a bearing on the game was the lack of action taken against Tom Elliot. A collision between him and goalkeeper Belshaw paused the game for a number of minutes. In the modern game, leading high with your boot can sometimes be deemed a sending off offence.

Salford were down to ten at that point and Elliot later picked up a yellow card for a different foul, but the decision to keep him on the field proved costly as the substitute assisted Thomas-Asante.

A repeat of Barrow...

It’s another game on the road in which the home side have had an early dismissal and Rovers have failed to capitalise on it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At Barrow back in August, you guessed it… Sam Nicholson put the Gas ahead after Mark Ellis had been sent off for the Bluebirds.

Instead of a first-half lead or a further goal, they conceded to Ollie Banks in stoppage time and then were unable to get themselves back in front.

It’s an example of how Rovers need to make the most of chances when presented to them. A red card can make it harder to score against a team but when they’re reduced to nine men then really their attackers shouldn’t be in that area, never mind finish the game strongly.

Confidence is growing for Aaron Collins

Brought off in the 75th minute, this was a good performance from Collins who was full of running in the first-half.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Joey Barton welcomed him as he came off of the pitch with an embracing hug. It looks like Collins could be given the go ahead against his former club Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

The Welshman is putting in the performances now and is getting in the right areas to test the goalkeeper. A stunning goal came against Oxford United in the FA Cup but now it’s time to score in the league.

Brett Pitman’s return to the side, as well as Sam Nicholson’s recent threat in front of goal may make it harder for Collins to stake a claim to lead the line, so now is the time to goal run.

Another player in the treatment room

Before the match, Alfie Kilgour was the notable absentee.

It’s never ending for Rovers’ medical staff who now have to contend with losing one of their key players.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kilgour is what you want in a centre-back, someone who imposes themselves on their opponent and leads his defenders.

Unfortunately he is going to be out for the foreseeable future and will consult with a surgeon on whether he will receive surgery or not.

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.