Bristol Rovers’ away day blues continued as we fell to a 2-0 loss at Burton Albion last Saturday, writes Stephen Knowlson

A poor start to the season was turned around by home victories against Tranmere and Oxford during August, alongside a creditable 2-1 loss in the Carabao Cup against Premier League Brighton but our away form continues to disappoint with three consecutive 2-0 losses against Blackpool, Coventry and Burton.

In truth, this was a much better performance than the previous away trips. Rovers dominated possession for long periods against Nigel Clough’s Brewers but were guilty of squandering several chances to break the deadlock.

Both teams huffed and puffed in an even first half without producing much in the way of clear-cut chances but the main talking point of the first 45 minutes was an appalling challenge by Burton’s Ryan Edwards on Luke Leahy. The Australian midfielder went in very late on Leahy, catching his standing leg, and many a referee would’ve given him his marching orders but the Burton man only received a yellow card.

Rovers, roared on by excellent and vociferous travelling support yet again, raised the tempo in the second half and home keeper O’Hara was forced into a smart save from Jonson Clarke-Harris and then John Brayford cleared a goalbound header from Ollie Clarke off the line.

After failing to make our domination count, Rovers were hit with two late Burton sucker punches. Lucas Akins struck in the 87th minute to break Gasheads’ hearts and then villain-of-the-piece Ryan Edwards popped up to double Burton’s advantage deep into stoppage time.

It was a win that the home side barely merited - a draw would’ve been a fair result – but our inability to convert possession and chances into goals ultimately cost us. However, this was not a shambolic performance such as we saw at Coventry so Gasheads will be cautiously optimistic that we can bury our away hoodoo sooner rather than later.

Rovers travelled to West Country rivals Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Trophy last Tuesday. A much-changed side came away with a point after a 1-1 draw - although Argyle gained an extra point from the subsequent penalty shoot-out (nope, I don’t understand either!).

Next up is a home fixture against Accrington Stanley – let’s hope we can continue to make the Mem a fortress.