Rovers v Plymouth last time
September 28, 2017
Bristol Rovers 1-1 Plymouth Argyle
Attendance: 10,190 (1,285)
Rovers shared the points with Plymouth Argyle at the Memorial Stadium
Josh Simpson’s late strike rescued a point for Argyle after Billy Bodin headed Rovers in front in the second half.
Darrell Clarke named an unchanged side to take on the league leaders at the Memorial Stadium with just the one change to the matchday squad as Ryan Broom came in to replace the on loan Ellis Harrison.
Argyle started very well putting the Rovers rearguard under heavy pressure without actually forcing Steve Mildenhall into action with their best effort being a Ryan Brunt free kick that went straight into the wall.
After a dominant opening 10 minutes from the league’s top side Rovers started to impose themselves on the game but were seemingly missing that slice of luck in the final third.
Lee Brown watched two crosses narrowly miss the head of Matty Taylor before a nicely worked free kick routine to Taylor was spilled by Luke McCormick but gathered at the second time of asking with James Clarke and Daniel Leadbitter advancing.
Plymouth’s first real chance of the half came on the half hour mark as Tom Parkes gave the ball away sloppily to Gregg Wylde who charged past James Clarke before unleashing a shot goalwards which struck the crossbar with Steve Mildenhall planted.
In what was a very feisty first half it was the Pilgrims that had the best effort of the half right on the stroke of half time. Gregg Wylde was allowed space to run as James Clarke was down with an injury his cross from the left was met by Reuben Reid who flicked the ball onto Jake Jervis who was denied by a combination of Tom Parkes and Steve Mildenhall who blocked the ball behind for a corner.
From the resulting corner, Argyle centre half Peter Hartley jumped highest only to see his effort go narrowly wide of Mildenhall’s left hand post.
The second half started as frantically as the first ended with Argyle throwing balls into the Rovers box before Steve Mildenhall could get a clean pair of hands on the ball.
With things seemingly not going to plan for the Rovers boss he made a double substitution with only 10 minutes gone in the second half bringing on Cristian Montano and Billy Bodin to replace James Clarke and Lee Mansell with the sides shape changing to a 4-4-2 formation.
Rovers grew into the second half as they did in the first and had the ball in the back of the net with just over 20 minutes remaining only to see the effort ruled out for offside. Rory Gaffney raced through and latched onto a ball over the top before dinking the ball brilliantly over Luke McCormick but the linesman had his flag up.
Moments later Rovers had their best chance of the game. Cristian Montano advanced out of the Rovers half with the ball before picking out Rory Gaffney. The Irishman continued onto goal before picking out Matty Taylor in acres of space. Taylor took a touch but his shot was tame and into the arms of the Pilgrims keeper.
With just over 10 minutes of the remaining Rovers took the lead through substitute Billy Bodin.
Rovers were bombarding the Argyle penalty area when the ball was loose up in the air before Jermaine Easter nodded the ball onto Bodin who made no mistake powering the ball past McCormick sending the home supporters into a exceptional loud verse of Goodnight Irene.
Darrell Clarke’s side went from strength to strength after the goal as the home side had a brilliant chance to make it 2-0. Billy Bodin took the ball down well inside the penalty area before playing the ball into the path of an advancing Chris Lines who failed to hit the target with his side footed effort.
Moments later Rory Gaffney won Rovers a corner who Tom Parkes met strongly only to see his headed effort kept out by a superb save from Luke McCormick.
However, Argyle showed why they are the league leaders and clawed themselves back into the game inside the final five minutes. Jake Jervis hooked a ball into the penalty area which Rovers could only clear to Josh Simpson who composed himself before smashing the ball into the back of the net.
Both sides then went in search of a winner but failed to create anything clear cut so the game ended in a draw.
Up next for Rovers is the trip up north to take on Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium before entertaining AFC Wimbledon at the Mem on the 6th February.
Rovers: Mildenhall; Leadbitter, J. Clarke (Montano – 54), Lockyer, Parkes, Brown; Mansell (C) (Bodin – 54), Lines, Sinclair; Taylor (Easter – 73), Gaffney.
Unused Substitutes: Preston (GK), McChrystal, O. Clarke, Broom.
Plymouth: McCormick, Mellor, Sawyer, McHugh, Nelson, Hartley, Simpson, Reid, Wylde, Jervis, Brunt.
Unused Substitutes: Bittner (GK), Carey, Harvey, Purrington, Threlkeld, Tanner, Forster.