Bristol Rovers 2-1 Plymouth Player Ratings: Brilliant Bodin

Gaffney celebrates the opener –

Put simply, this match pitted one team that always wanted to attack and another that rarely did. The former was Bristol Rovers, who won 2-1 thanks to goals from Rory Gaffney and Billy Bodin. The second half though against Plymouth Argyle, who got their goal through Nathan Blissett, was nervier than it perhaps should have been.

Bristol Rovers

Sam Slocombe – pushed away Blissett’s volley early in the second half, but was beaten by the striker shortly afterwards. Otherwise untested. 5

Joe Partington – put in a solid, hardworking performance, getting forward when the right moments arose, if not proactively. Struggled to handle Wylde for a 15-minute spell early in the second half. 6
Tom Lockyer – coped perfectly well for the majority of the match, but that was when his opposing striker was isolated. He was too static for the goal and looked suspect at the start of the second half, when his teammates needed him most. 4
Ryan Sweeney – could have been more dominant at times, especially when Rovers were under pressure at the start and end of the second half. Decent distribution though. 5
Lee Brown – a sturdy performance. Kept Jervis quiet throughout, but was happy to let Sercombe ahead of him do the attacking work. 6

Chris Lines – ignited the home side’s forward moves with some driving runs from deep, which allowed the front three to have a lot of possession in the final third. 8
Liam Sercombe – provided the first test for Letheren with a curling, right-footed effort early on, but he truly came to the fore in the second half and was unlucky not to add to his one assist. 8
Ollie Clarke – tidied up loose balls in midfield and did the simple things well. Has stepped up to League One level nicely over the last 12 months. 7
Billy Bodin – excellent movement into pockets of space in front of the defence. Scored the winner, could have added another were it not for questionable officiating and relished the freedom he got from playing in the 10 role. 9

Ellis Harrison – linked up superbly with Gaffney and Bodin. Wasn’t quite the most ruthless in terms of finishing but played with real energy. 7
Rory Gaffney – ran selflessly into wide areas and deserved his goal, which means he now has the best goals-to-game ratio in League One. 8

Tom Nichols (on 69) – without having raw pace, he looked hungry to show what he could do and hit the post late on. 7
Dominic Telford (on 90+5)

Plymouth Argyle

Kyle Letheren – made a lot of good saves and should be credited for keeping Plymouth in the game until injury time. 8

Gary Miller – closed down over-zealously, perhaps due to a lack of trust in the midfielders in front of him to put a tackle in. Although Miller has understandably taken criticism – and getting sent off in the left-back position is hardly ideal for a right-back – the focus should lie on what midfielders in front of him didn’t do. 4
Ryan Edwards – hit and miss. Looked prone to the odd error, but also won some headers under a siege of pressure. 6
Yann Songo’o – did well in the second half, considering the scrutiny the defence came under. Cleared one shot off the line. 7
Gary Sawyer – his positioning was too narrow and his use of the ball was poor. Looked limited. 4

Antoni Sarcevic – appeared more comfortable getting forward for the odd shot, but did not have the freedom to do that in a holding role that didn’t suit him. Plymouth needed to take the shackles off him by deploying a natural ball-winner. 3
Jamie Ness – hardly ever put a challenge in, appeared scared at times which is almost inexcusable for any position, let alone a defensive midfielder. 2

Jake Jervis – his strength appeared to be holding the ball up, which perhaps makes him more suited to playing up top. Lacked the pace for a wide role. 3
Graham Carey – looked bright at the start of both halves, but too often he was completely anonymous. For the talent he has he should have influenced the game more. 3
Gregg Wylde – when he was given the ball, he caused problems in flashes. Put in the cross for Blissett’s only first half chance and was key to Argyle’s period of pressure at the start of the second half. 6

Nathan Blissett – struggled for much of the game due to the lack of service. When he did get the support he needed, he caused all sorts of problems and scored an impressive strike to equalize. Needs midfielders close to him. 7

Jakub Sokolik (on 69) – didn’t make any mistakes, but was lacking in terms of fitness. 4
David Fox (on 76) – helped Plymouth get on the front foot with 10-men in injury-time, but could have been sent off for a bad challenge. 6