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Bristol Rovers put six past non league side Darlington to progress to the next round of the FA Cup this afternoon. Darlington did have their chances but, unlike Rovers, did not take them.

Here are my Player Ratings from todays game:

Bristol Rovers

Anssi Jaakkola: 7
Jaakkola didn’t have that much to do in the first half however he was called upon multiple times in the second period to make a handful of saves, one of which being particularly impressive. This, alongside a clean sheet, is what earns the Finnish goalkeeper a 7.

Josh Hare: 8
A very good performance all round from the right back. It was his long ball upfield that resulted in the first goal being scored and he also managed to get his own name on the scoresheet, with a strikers finish. He was also solid defensively throughout and, of course, also picked up a clean sheet.

Jack Baldwin: 6
Not as involved as the other three defenders, but still a decent showing. Didn’t really put a foot wrong, but at the same time nothing too highlight worthy.

Max Ehmer (Off 63′): 7
A solid performance from the captain, picking up an assist for the sixth goal. Like Baldwin, he didn’t really make any mistakes but he also didn’t have too much defensive work to do.

Luke Leahy: 8
Leahy had a good showing, scoring two penalties for The Gas. He also kept Adam Campbell very quiet throughout the afternoon, not really allowing him to have an effect on the game.

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Josh Grant: 7
Grant, alongside with his midfield partner, did a lot of the dirty work for Rovers today, winning the ball back through interceptions and tackles throughout the match. This helped stop Darlo from being able to push up the pitch, and allowed Bristol to counter attack.

Ben Liddle (off 78′): 7
Worked well alongside Grant on his debut. Displayed a good level of passing, which helped his side progress up the pitch. Like Grant, he won the ball back well, but if I’m honest it wasn’t too much of a challenge with some of the passes Darlo were making. Decent performance overall though.

Luke McCormick: 8
He was easily the best player in the opening twenty, offering a decent attacking threat when no one else was. He showed good skill when driving forward with the ball, and always looked to attack at Darlington’s back line. He continued this performance on through the game, picking up an assist for the second goal, after a well timed pass through to Hare.

Erhun Oztumer: 8
Oztumer was a good attacking threat today, always finding good pockets of space in and around the penalty area. He also finished off a good move late in the first half to put Rovers 4-0 up. A good showing for the loanee today.

Sam Nicholson (Off 63′): 7
It took him a while to find his feet in this game, but he picked up his performance, allowing us to see many moments of quality from him before he was subtituted off. He set up Oztumers strike with a quick one two and his simple finish from close range gave Bristol their sixth goal of the day.

James Daly: 7
He was called upon with Bristol not having many options to play the number 9 role, due to injuries, and showed why he was the right choice. Good positioning and awareness to poach the first goal of the game and was just a general threat throughout, up until his injury which saw him taken off.

Alfie Kilgour (on 63′): 7
Got himself stuck in when he was introduced, producing some good strong tackles. Solid performance from Kilgour.

Zain Westbrooke (on 63′): 6
Played well after being brought on, but wasn’t hugely involved.

Cian Harris (on 77′): N/A

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Johnny Saltmer: 4
He may have conceded 6 but if I’m honest he was by no means terrible. He did make some decent stops, and most of the goals were not directly his fault. Ultimately 4 is the most I can give him after losing 6-0.

Tony McMahon: 4
Gave away the second penalty early on in the second half which completely sealed the game off. He did have Darlington’s best chance of the game though, forcing a great stop from Jaakkola.

Nicky Hunt: 4
Not a bad performance considering he has just come back from what was quite a serious injury. He showed good passing and composure on the ball in the first half, but after the goals started going in it was hard to fins anything to highlight.

David Atkinson: 2
Not the best of afternoons for the centre half. Miscommunication between himself and Saltmer gifted Rovers the lead. It was also his clumsy challenger that won Rovers their first penalty. He defiantly won’t be rushing home to watch the highlights show.

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Jordan Watson: 3
He just couldn’t contain the threat of McCormick at all, which allowed Bristol to exploit the right hand side at times.

Will Hatfield (off 87′): 4
Showed decent passing at times but overall wasn’t really able to compete with the quality that Bristol were playing with.

Joe Wheatley: 5
One of Darlo’s better players. At times looked dangerous with the ball but his consistency let him down a bit, making a few misplaced passes. He also a good physical presence in midfield, which some of the other players didn’t.

Sean Reid (off 45′): 4
Didn’t offer too much in the first half, and was brought off at the break.

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Jarret Rivers: 6
Easily Darlington’s best player. Was the main attacking threat when going forward, creating a number of chances for his side. His crosses into the box caused Rovers problems at times, but the end product just wasn’t quite always there. A good showing for Rivers.

Luke Charman (off 63′): 5
Another player who played well but just couldn’t finish off the hard work in the final third. He got himself into some nice positions, and made sure Jaakkola’s clean sheet was earned.

Adam Campbell: 4
Struggled up against Leahy and couldn’t really get too involved to do anything note worthy. Wasn’t a terrible showing, just went missing at times.

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Tyrone O’Neil (on 45′): 5
Played better than Reid, who he replaced. He had some efforts on goal, but nothing that was ever too much trouble.

Omar Holness (on 63′): 4
Wasn’t that involved after being introduced. The game had started to slow down, and the attacking intent from Darlington had dropped

Theo Hudson (on 87′) : N/A

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April 2024