Rovers 2-1 Bristol Rovers – Player Ratings

After Rovers picked up a 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at Ewood Park, Lee Hilton reviews each player’s performance.

Goals from Charlie Mulgrew and Dominic Samuel gave Rovers their third win in the space of the week, for the first time since December 2006.

So, how did each player play?

Starting XI

RAYA, David – 7.5/10 – Couldn’t do anything about either of the times the ball ended up in the net. Great save from Liam Sercombe’s volley towards the end.

NYAMBE, Ryan – 5.9/10 -He wasted too many balls just booting it up, but he wasn’t the only one.

He had a couple of shaky moment as he normally does. But 2 moments stand out. At the end of the first half, they had a counter-attack that Nyambe single-handedly killed with some great 1 on 1 defending. In the second half, he brilliantly schooled two of the defenders.

DOWNING, Paul – 7.2/10 -Solid as always. I never really notice him which can only mean he does his job,

MULGREW, Charlie – 8.7/10 – This man was a beast all afternoon. At times he was a brick wall and others he pushed us 20 yards upfield.

It was performances like this that make you understand why TM doesn’t want to play without him. Added to his goal tally with another cracking penalty.

WILLIAMS, Derrick – 6.5/10 – A relatively disappointing display for Williams. Too many wasted balls and caught out of position too many times. He gets the opportunity to cross a lot and I must say his crossing this season has been poor. But if you sling mud at a door long enough, one will stick and he did get an assist for Samuel’s winner.

I like Williams and don’t want to see him dropped but we are desperate for real competition at left back.

EVANS, Corry – 6.7/10 -Thought he was a soldier in the middle. Would have liked a bit more going forward, but that was probably due to the opponents’ attacking nature.

Put his body on the line a number of times to win the ball, and I was glad to see him make it through 90 minutes.

SMALLWOOD, Richie – 7.1/10 – He was again a solider. Unfortunately, he gave the ball away a bit too easy a few times, but you can forgive him for how many times he wins it back.

WHITTINGHAM, Peter – 5.9/10 – He played a number of decent balls around thought the game but I didn’t really see anything else from him.

DACK, Bradley – 7.2/10 – This game was a shame for Dack as I thought he was outmuscled and struggled to find gaps in the 10 man defence. He also should have scored early in the second half.

ANTONSSON, Marcus – 6.6/10 – He wasn’t at his best today. He tends to have these games every so often. Huge fan of his but he had a number of chances but took too long to pull the trigger.

You could see the flair he tried to bring at times but ultimately ended up hitting one of those defenders or giving it to a Rovers player not expecting the ball.

NUTTALL, Joe – 5.9/10 – Massively disappointed for him today. Never had a chance really. But, when he did get the ball, he looked lively but there were too many Bristol bodies to fight through. One negative is that he was underpowered for their big defenders.


SAMUEL, Dominic (for Peter Whittingham) – 7.3/10 – Made an immediate impact winning the penalty. Showed his strength to fight with their defenders and used his fresh legs to cause problems. Popped up with a goal to win the game. Was slightly worried he wasn’t going to stop sliding though.

GRAHAM, Danny (for Joe Nuttall) – 7.8/10 – He seems to be the muscle at the moment. He came on and just disrupted their defence by fighting back. Great knockdown to Williams’ for Samuel’s goal.

BENNETT, Elliott (for Bradley Dack) – 6.1/10 – Glad to see he wasn’t injured after not seeing him in the starting 11. Other than that, not much to say.

Thanks for reading.

Click here to read our match review from the game.


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