Bristol Rovers fans' panel: Reaction to League Two win over York City
ROVERS got their season up and running with a hard-fought victory over York City at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Gas were boosted by the return of Ryan Brunt to lead the forward line as they clinched their first victory of the campaign, but not without a few scares along the way.
His reappearance in the side came at a vital time as Eliot Richards was ruled out through a hamstring injury that is likely to keep him sidelined for around a month.
Although Brunt was understandably rusty the benefit of having him back was clear for all to see and Clarkson also seemed to flourish playing off him with one of his best games in a Rovers shirt.
The Scot wasted no time getting the Pirates off the mark with a well-taken volley after just three minutes and added to his tally with a clinical finish half an hour later.
Rovers should have been cruising at this stage, seeing out the game until half-time to ensure a comfortable second half and three points.
But nothing is ever straightforward for the Gas and our long-suffering fans, as sloppy defending let York back in it. Although the Minstermen also had a player sent off just before half-time, they were in the ascendancy for long spells of the second half and benefited from a highly dubious penalty award to level the game at 2-2.
Fortunately Rovers raised their game and John-Joe O’Toole, showing the sort of form that made the club wait all summer to secure his signature, popped up in the right place at the right time to give Rovers the points.
It was a welcome win that will raise spirits and confidence but cannot be described as convincing.
However the return of injured players, including Gill who looked sharp and eager during his 10-minute substitute appearance, should now see the team improve.
Northampton’s visit to the Mem on Saturday is sure to provide a tough test but we should be looking to secure another win, which would set us up nicely for the trip to arch-rivals Bristol City in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next Wednesday.
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