Bristol Rovers contrived to drop two points at home against Accrington Stanley last Saturday, despite being in the lead twice and playing most of the second half against 10 men, writes Stephen Knowlson.

I’ve come to dread going to the Mem when Accrington Stanley are in town.

The previous four matches I can remember against the Lancashire outfit all ended in defeats for the Gas, with last season’s fixture a particularly tedious experience which Rovers lost 1-0 at the death.

This game was a far more entertaining affair with plenty of end-to-end action and six goals to entertain the crowd. However, it really was a case of two points dropped for a Rovers side who looked good going forward but had a number of distinctly dodgy moments in defence.

It all started well with Alex Rodman giving us an early lead in the 4th minute but it didn’t take long for the dangerous visitors to get into their stride on the BS7 turf. Jordan Clark equalised on 18 minutes after poor defending afforded him space, then less than two minutes later Sam Finley put the visitors ahead after more lacklustre defensive work from the Rovers backline.

A rollercoaster first half saw Rovers draw level minutes before the break when Jonson Clarke-Harris fired in after fine attacking play by Ollie Clarke.

The second half had barely started when Seamus Conneely was shown a second yellow card for tugging back Tom Nichols, forcing Accrington to play with 10 men for more than 40 minutes.

Rovers made the numerical advantage count when Clarke-Harris scored his second with a sensational overhead bicycle kick to make it 3-2 and we should have pushed on and sealed the win with half an hour still to play. Inexplicably, we sat back against the 10 men and more poor defending saw Josh Hare give away a penalty which was duly converted by the visitors.

The Gas were unable to find a winner – despite playing nine minutes of injury time after referee Neil Hair was poleaxed by the ball and had to be replaced. At times 10-man Accrington looked the more likely to score and it was disappointing to witness our lack of creativity in breaking down a well-organised side.

Rovers look to improve their away form this Saturday with a trip to managerless Lincoln City.