Bristol Rovers fans' panel: Reaction to 1-0 defeat at Newport County in League Two
ROVERS are still searching for their first win of the season after slumping to defeat at Newport County on Saturday.
Although it is early days, a return of one point from a possible nine so far is disappointing, even with our horrendous injury list.
The trip to Rodney Parade never looked an easy one and having 10 players on the sidelines meant the challenge would be even tougher.
Sides that have been promoted normally carry their momentum and winning habit into the new season and the Exiles’ impressive start shows they are no exception.
The backing of over 1,000 travelling Gasheads failed to inspire a youthful side as they were out-fought by their rivals from across the Severn Bridge.
However, we were only undone by a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Parkes after McChrystal’s lack of pace had been exposed. Some referees may have not given the award, but if you lunge in you run the risk of conceding a spot-kick and former Rovers player Sandell made no mistake to give Newport the decisive advantage.
The Pirates failed to score for the second consecutive game and that statistic alone shows where our problems have been.
Defensively we have been well organised and solid but the reliance on youth in midfield and the shortage of options up front, despite the valiant efforts of Eliot Richards, have led to our downfall.
The bright spot on Saturday was the return of Ryan Brunt for the last 20 minutes, as we have sorely missed his physical presence, as well as his goalscoring ability.
We cannot expect too much too soon as he is so short of match sharpness, but I would hope he would be in the starting line-up on Saturday when York visit the Memorial Stadium.
Having Gill and Kenneth on the bench at Newport was also a positive sign that our injured players are nearing a return, which will give the squad a more experienced look.
It is now vital to secure three points against the Minstermen on Saturday, which would raise spirits among the fans and get our season up and running.
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