DERBY DAY IS A NERVE SHRED­DER

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

DAR­RELL Clarke re­flected on a full-blooded West Coun­try derby and claimed: “Much more of that and they can start mea­sur­ing me for my cof­fin!”

The Bris­tol Rovers boss was re­fer­ring to his team’s fail­ure to kill off League One’s bot­tom club Ply­mouth after they had been re­duced to ten men by Gary Miller’s 64th-minute send­ing-off.

“We de­served the win, but it wasn’t good for my heart-rate,” said Clarke. “We have to be more clin­i­cal than that when we are dom­i­nat­ing games.

“There were nu­mer­ous chances to put the game to bed and then Ply­mouth have a great op­por­tu­nity to score them­selves right at the end.

“When you are only one goal up, that can hap­pen. We need to be bet­ter at fin­ish­ing off op­po­nents.

“What pleased me most was the way my play­ers re­sponded to con­ced­ing a sloppy goal.

“They raised their game again and showed some char­ac­ter.

“While I would have liked a few more points by now, this is a very tough di­vi­sion.”

Rory Gaffney fired Rovers in front from El­lis Har­ri­son’s 22nd­minute cross, cap­i­tal­is­ing on yards of space to shoot low past Kyle Letheren from 12 yards.

But Ar­gyle equalised on 52 min­utes when for­mer Rovers striker Nathan Blis­sett sent a right-footed shot from an an­gle into the top corner via the fin­ger­tips of Rovers keeper Sam Slo­combe.

The win­ner on 62 min­utes was an­other qual­ity fin­ish, Billy Bodin net­ting his eighth goal of the sea­son with a rasp­ing first-time drive from Gaffney’s cross.

Ply­mouth’s hopes nose-dived when Miller, hav­ing made a good chal­lenge on Har­ri­son, stretched into a sec­ond tackle and was shown a straight red card for a foul on Joe Part­ing­ton.

Rovers dom­i­nated from then on, with sub­sti­tute Tom Nichols hit­ting a post and the busy Letheren mak­ing a fine save from Liam Ser­combe, who also found the net only to be de­nied by an off­side flag against Nichols.

But Ar­gyle should have lev­elled at the end when An­toni Sarce­vic shot wide from close range with the goal at his mercy.

Miller’s dis­missal was Ar­gyle’s fifth of the sea­son and man­ager Derek Adams ad­mit­ted it wrecked his team’s chances. “We can­not go on try­ing to win with ten men,” he said. “I thought the red card was harsh be­cause from where I was stand­ing, it looked as though Gary got the ball. “We started the sec­ond half re­ally well and looked to be get­ting on top. “Then Rovers scored again and the send­ing-off quickly fol­lowed. That was prob­a­bly game over. “In­juries and sus­pen­sions have hit us hard and ev­ery­one is work­ing flat out to turn things around.”

PIC­TURES: Pin­na­cle

UP AND RUN­NING: Rory Gaffney salutes his open­ing goal for Bris­tol Rovers

UP WE GO: Nathan Blis­sett gets air­borne for Ply­mouth

STAR MAN LIAM SER­COMBE Bris­tol Rovers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.