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Plymouth Argyle 2 Rovers 3

29 September 2018

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John Marquis had a day to remember as he scored his 49th and 50th goals for Rovers, on his 100th league outing for the club, to fire his side up to third in the Sky Bet League One table.

He struck once in each half, sandwiching Matty Blair's effort, as Grant McCann's side recorded a fourth straight victory.

McCann was forced into one change to the starting line-up, with Jermaine Anderson coming in to replace the suspended Ben Whiteman.

Anderson was clearly keen to make an impression, getting himself booked after two minutes when too eager to close a home player down and ended up fouling him.

Rovers started brightly, with the confidence of a team who had taken maximum points from their previous three games, with Herbie Kane seeing a free-kick deflected by the wall then forcing Matt Macey into a save from distance.

The lead came after 18 minutes, and it was no surprise to see in-form Marquis scoring it. He collected a smart pass from James Coppinger, who found him in acres of space, and he turned and smashed the ball home at the near post with it going through the legs of defender Yann Songo'o.

Marquis had his tail up and clipped the outside of the post when afforded too much space after 35 minutes, and Ryan Edwards stopping him with a good tackle moments later. He did have the ball in the back of the net again after 43 minutes, but the offside flag was up before he finished the move.

But the home side had a good spell of possession as the half ended, with Ruben Lameiras clipping a great effort into a far corner in stoppage time after a period of play which had twice seen Marko Marosi called into action with some good instinctive stops.

Rovers turned their play up even further in the second period, with Marquis firing over five minutes after the restart and Mallik Wilks beating several defenders before shooting wide.

Rovers took the lead again after 58 minutes, and it was no more than they deserved after a dominant start to the second period.

Wilks found himself again in a dangerous position on the right, and placed a perfectly-timed cross for Blair to smash home and celebrate with a somersault in front of the travelling fans.

McCann responded with two changes, bringing on Alfie May and Ali Crawford in place of James Coppinger and Jermaine Anderson.

It was an attacking move against a side with only three points to their name, and with few experienced options on the bench with an injury crisis which meant 10 first-team players were missing.

Home keeper Matt Macey was in good form, making a point-blank save from a Wilks header then reacting quickly to stop Alfie May's effort from the rebound.

The home side simply were not allowed into the game until the closing stages, with Beestin then May leading a counter-attack which saw the latter's shot pass agonisingly wide of the far post just ahead of the onrushing Marquis.

But Rovers' No.9 was not to be denied his second goal of the day, and it was a sublime finish.

Macey stood up well, but Marquis cooly rounded him to find the angle and finished sweetly before celebrating his 50th goal for the club with the travelling fans.

There was seven minutes of time added on. Graham Carey smashed home an unstoppable second strike for Argyle to make the game look closer than it was, but in the end it was a well deserved victory for Rovers.

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