Bristol Rovers fans' panel: Reaction to wins over Burton Albion and Exeter City in League Two
ROVERS made a mockery of the league table with convincing wins over Burton and Exeter to move closer to safety.
The Brewers arrived at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday in a rich vein of form, having won their last four matches to lift them up to third place.
For that reason Gasheads were expecting a tough match in which we would have to be at the top of our game to have any hope of victory.
But the Pirates set the tone for the afternoon in the first 20 minutes when we could have been three goals up during a dominant spell.
We were on the attack from the start, with shots raining in on goal. Only their keeper prevented the contest from being over already but Ryan Brunt gave Rovers a deserved lead by marking his return from injury with a goal after five minutes.
Two more goals in the second half, from the consistent John-Joe O’Toole and lively Eliot Richards, sealed a polished performance, lifting us up a place in the table and restoring our six-point cushion over the relegation zone in the process.
Richards enjoyed possibly his best game of the season and showed us all what the young striker is capable of.
But the standout performer was 19-year-old Ellis Harrison, making his first full start for the club at home.
He terrorised the Burton defenders with his pace and ability and thoroughly deserved the rapturous ovation he received when he was substituted near the end of an entertaining contest.
The future looks bright with younger players now starting to break into the first team as they know they will be given a chance under Ward’s astute management.
Our fine form continued on Tuesday night with a magnificent 2-0 win over West Country rivals Exeter City, which lifted us up to 15th place.
The Grecians arrived at the Mem with one of the best away records in the division and they showed why they are competing at the upper end of the table with some neat passing football.
However, our well organised defence was never seriously troubled by Cureton and co and a clanger by their goalkeeper, who let a tame shot squirm through his hands, gave us an early advantage.
Despite long spells of possession their attack was stifled while we looked to catch them on the break.
Brunt worked tirelessly on his own up front and deserved the assist as he set up Lee Brown to seal the win with an exceptional 25-yard strike.
It may not have been the prettiest win but we dug in and battled throughout the contest to defeat one of the division's form teams.
The hectic fixture schedule continues with a trip to Chesterfield on Saturday before we host another promotion-chasing team, Port Vale, next Tuesday.
Our emphatic victories over Burton and Exeter have proved how open this league is and if the Pirates maintain that high level then more teams should be put to the sword over the coming week.
Do you agree with Jeff’s views? Have your say below.