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Bristol Rovers match report
19 September 2015 18:04 Post ID: #71411
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Argyle had to settle for a 1-1 draw against a determined Bristol Rovers team at Home Park.

A draw was a fair result in a game where we didn't create that many chances. Before the game Argyle and Rovers had yet to draw a game this season so a 1-1 stalemate was always on the cards.

The first half was lack-lustre and almost like a game of chess as each side took a good look at each other, the second half was very different with both sides looking to attack and credit to Bristol Rovers for making it an entertaining second half when most away sides would settle for a point and shut up shop.
Luke McCormick was very lucky to receive just a yellow card and not a red late in the game for giving away the penalty from which Rovers scored.

Argyle boss Derek Adams swapped Gregg Wylde for Craig Tanner on the left for the only starting change from the win against Wycombe.
We started well with Graham Carey and Harim Boateng both trying shots, one was saved and the other flew wide but it was Rovers who looked the more dangerous with McCormick saving a header and then tipping over a cross shot at the expense of a corner.

It was noticeable that after Rovers' first corner defender Peter Hartley shouted across to the bench and Adams and coach Paul Wotton then spent the next few seconds busily writing notes in the Argyle Big Book Of Tactics. From every Rovers corner after that Reid was drafted back into the penalty area to help defend the corners. #meticulousplanning.

There was a lull on and off the pitch midway through the first half but all it took was for Carey to chase and close down the Rovers the defenders to bring the crowd to life.
His team mates followed Carey's lead and now hunted in packs in closing down the Rovers players and bring some urgency to the game.
Despite this new momentum we couldn't create another chance before half time.

The second half was more end to end, however the final ball from both teams was lacking.
Carl McHugh picked up an injury and a yellow card and was replaced by Lee Cox. The ref was now intent on showing yellow cards for fouls that he was happy to let go with no punishment during the first half.

Wylde replaced the anonymous Tanner but didn't initially improve Argyle's attacking strength.
Reuben Reid had a great chance after waltzing through the Rovers defence but delayed in pulling the trigger and off loaded the ball to Wylde who had a right foot swing at the ball and cleared the danger for Rovers.

Ryan Brunt replaced Reid and should have been awarded a penalty soon after but the ref didn't think so and with modern day linesman just there to signal a throw-in we were harshly denied a spot kick.

With time running out Wylde outpaced the full back and put in an excellent cross and there was Jake Jervis in his usual position of two yards away from the goal line to tap in, with the aid of a deflection from a defender, and give Argyle the lead. Three quarters of Home Park erupted!
Has Jervis ever scored a "clean" goal for Argyle? It doesn't matter, a goal is a goal is a goal.

Chants of "We are top of the league" rang out around Home Park and you just knew Rovers would then score.
A simple long ball over the top deceived a hesitant McCormick who brought down Harrison. Surely a red card and with no subs left who would go in goal? There was also the issue of signing a keeper on-loan while McCormick served his ban.
Except the ref, who had previously been card happy, awarded McCormick a yellow card rather than a red.
I thought McCormick very cleverly stayed down injured after the incident to give the ref time to judge the situation rather than make a heat of the moment decision.
Will the now reprieved McCormick save the penalty? No, Harrison thumped the white round thing into the roof of the net. 1-1.

Both Rovers and Argyle continued to slug it out during the eight minutes of injury time, Rovers had the best chance when a header from Parkes was destined to rip the net but somehow McCormick turned it over, both teams looked for the winner late in the game but on reflection a draw was a fair result.

Boateng had another good game, strong in the middle of the park and McHugh was much the same before his injury.
Carey is the key player for us and had another creative game, Jervis struggled in the wide areas and was a passenger for most of the game although he did pop up to deliver when it mattered.

Cox made a good contribution after replacing McHugh, he got his foot in and got the team moving forward.

Reid's control let him down up front, too many passes bounced off him and the attacking momentum was lost.
Tanner was very average and surprisingly looked short of confidence. The back four unit was once again very strong, I thought McCormick could have advanced quicker to meet the ball before giving away the penalty but did make one world class save at the end and very professional of him to force the ref in delaying making a decision on a red or yellow card.

It's another home game this season where the opposition had more possession than Argyle, the only time we have had more possession at home was against Hartlepool last season.

1-1, fair enough.

McCormick 7, Mellor 7, Nelson 7, Hartley 7, Sawyer 7, McHugh 6 (Cox 7), Boateng 8, Carey 8, Jervis 6, Tanner 5 (Wylde 6), Reid 6 (Brunt 6).

Man of the match - Carey.
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