Bristol Rovers vs Plymouth Argyle live: Updates and reaction from ...

11 Jan 2023
Live coverage as League One rivals Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle clash in the quarter-final of the Papa John's Trophy at the Mem this evening.

Bristol Rovers were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy with a 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle at the Mem on Tuesday.

The League One leaders were the side who got to grips with the difficult conditions the fastest and found themselves 2-0 up on a sodden pitch by half time.

Ben Waine opened the scoring with a looping header before Ryan Hardie doubled their advantage with a cool finish after beating the offside trap, putting the Pilgrims within one win of a Wembley final.

For the Gas, it was a chance for players not in Barton's league starting XI to stake a claim, but below-par performances and a soaked surface combined for a disjointed display and despite a late burst from the home side, Argyle were deserving winners.

Next up for the Gas is a trip to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, with the chance to make it three straight league wins and overcome the disappointment of missing out on the chance of a Wembley final.

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Key Events


The view from the dugout

First-team coach Andy Mangan says Bristol Rovers did not want to risk injuries to their star players who went unused as substitutes as the Gas were knocked out in the EFL Trophy quarter-finals by Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.

Read the full story here

Joey Barton watches on from the technical area as Bristol Rovers suffered a 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Trophy. (Image: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

22:07Sam Frost

Player ratings

A night to forget for Rovers.

Read the player ratings here

Luke McCormick of Bristol Rovers. (Image: Will Cooper/JMP)


Full time: Rovers 0-2 Argyle

Rovers are knocked out of the EFL Trophy. A game lacking in quality and the Gas shot themselves in the foot with some flimsy defending.

90+1Sam Frost

Just wide

Loft zips a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards.

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Stoppage time

Five minutes added.

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Gas corner

Rovers need something now if they are to stay alive in the Trophy...

James Gibbons heads straight into the keeper's arms.

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Yellow card

Ryan Loft is booked for a late challenge.

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Best chance of the night for Rovers

McCormick plants a volley just over the bar from Loft's pass.

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Argyle subs

Niall Ennis and Oscar Halls replace James Bolton and Ryan Hardie.

Still no sign of Rovers' star men on the bench...

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Gas corner

Hoole's teasing cross is sliced behind for a corner.

Evans' cross is punched clear but the Gas force another corner soon after.

McCormick stings the palms of the keeper from the edge of the area.

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Yellow card

Jay Matete is booked for a trip on McCormick.

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Another corner

Thomas blocks Waine's shot and concedes a corner. The game is drifting to an unsatisfactory conclusion for the Gas.

Jaakkola palms away a dangerous cross.

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Argyle corner

Hardie's shot balloons over the top after a deflection. Corner.

Another Wright corner lands on the roof of the net.

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More pinball

A corner comes in from the Rovers right and they just cannot get it away. Bodies are desperately thrown around and Evans makes a crucial block.

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Chance for Rovers

Evans squeezes a ball through to Saunders, who cuts it back for McCormick but his effort from 12 yards is saved. Marquis can't get the follow-up on target, although he was certain it was a corner. Goal-kick given.

54Sam Frost

Blazed over the top

Rovers fail to deal with a corner and the ball lands at the feet of Butcher, who fails to hit the target from 20 yards.

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Rovers have improved

It's not saying much, but the Gas have gone up a gear and they are starting to make an impression in the final third, although they are yet to create a clear chance.

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Narrowly wide

Matt Butcher fires just wide of the target from 20 yards. Jaakkola looked concerned.


Second half underway

Antony Evans takes the kick-off for the second half. Rovers are attacking the Thatchers.

Harvey Saunders is on for Lewis Gordon.

20:36Sam Frost

Half-time thoughts

20:33Sam Frost

Half-time player ratings

Anssi Jaakkola - 6

Luca Hoole - 4

Bobby Thomas - 4

James Connolly - 4

James Gibbons - 5

Antony Evans - 5

Glenn Whelan (c) - 5

Luke McCormick - 6

Lewis Gordon - 5

John Marquis - 5

Ryan Loft - 5


Half time: Rovers 0-2 Argyle

The visitors deservedly have the lead.

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Chance to kill the game

Argyle get in behind the defence again with Waine clear on goal, but he skies his shot. Huge let-off for Rovers.

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Stoppage time

One minute added.

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Thomas concedes a corner with Rovers almost caught out over the top again.

The ball in curls onto the roof of the net. Goal kick.

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A sign of life

At last, Rovers put a move together as Gordon and Gibbons charge forward. The ball is teed up for Evans on the edge of the area but his shot is blocked.

37Sam Frost

Gas struggling

Buoyed by their two goals, Argyle have taken command in the possession battle. They look the likelier to score next at this moment in time.


GOAL! Rovers 0-2 Argyle

Ryan Hardie.

Poor defending again. Rovers are caught from a straight ball over the top. Credit to Hardie, he controlled it brilliantly and finished well, but it's a soft goal all told.

29Sam Frost

Huge chance for Argyle

Connolly is too deep and he is caught two against one with the assistant's flag staying down. Hardie pokes a cross towards Waine and he should score again but he slices wide with just Jaakkola to beat.


GOAL! Rovers 0-1 Argyle

Ben Waine.

A hanging cross is delivered from the left and the New Zealander gets above Bobby Thomas and loops a header into the top corner.

I thought there may have been a push in the back on Thomas when the ball came in, but there were no protests from the Rovers players.

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