Despite having the better of the game, Argyle were knocked out of the FA Cup this evening following a 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers. The Pirates will go on to play Coventry City in the third round.

Starting XI

Alex Palmer, GK – 7

A disappointing evening for the West Brom loanee who was hardly tested in a match which Argyle dominated, but he still didn’t really deserve to be on the losing side. He could do nothing about the goal, a near perfect going right into the top of the net.

He did however make a very good save to prevent a Rovers sucker punch attempt going in shortly after, as Argyle piled men forward. They say it’s the sign of a good keeper to do well even when not tested for long spells in the game. Palmer certainly did that as well as consistently effective distribution.

Scott Wootton, CB – 7

Another solid enough performance from Argyle’s number 5. In the first half in particularly he made use of the space in front of him to give Argyle’s right side some added attacking impetus. He was bitterly unlucky not to level the scores with the last kick of the game, and even more unlucky with his deflected clearance leading to the only goal. One he’ll want to forget, but through no fault of his own.

Josh Grant, CB – 7

A great many Argyle fans were nervous when we saw he returned to centre back after a long spell in defensive midfield. However, we needn’t have been. In spite of his previous inadequacy in this position, he passed the test with good colours today. He was good in the air and with the ball at his feet, often starting attacks by playing the ball out well through the midfield lines. We hope Canavan isn’t injured for too long but if he is, Grant just needs to keep on playing how he has.

Gary Sawyer, CB – 6

A fairly mixed, and in all honesty unspectacular, performance from Argyle’s long serving captain. He linked play up down the left well at times, although that seemed to fade the longer the game went on. Played a pass directly out of play as the game drew to a close which didn’t help the mood, and he was beaten in the air for the winner, though he can hardly take too much of the blame considering the nature of the chance.

Joe Edwards, DM – 7

A solid game from Edwards who showed exactly why he was selected in lieu of Josh Grant in the defensive midfield role. He still displayed some of the same weaknesses. His passing over 15 yards or more for example isn’t great.

What he did do well is that which he always does well. He is a scrapper. He picked up numerous loose balls as well as tackling well when needed to regain the ball for Argyle. Against weaker opponents, we may need more of a passer but Edwards had a consistently good game in stopping the Pirates’ counter-attacking moves as well as playing the short passes well when they were needed

Byron Moore, RWB – 7

Good but not spectacular from Argyle’s right winger on the day. He followed a familiar script for Argyle players recently in looking tidy until reaching the final third. Completed some good runs and won some set pieces, but a lack of cutting edge prevented him from really shining this evening.

Antoni Sarcevic, CM – 6

Not a bad game from the dynamic central midfielder but not quite as good as many of the games that he’s played in recent weeks. He drove forward with the ball well at times but his old weakness of close control and passing came to the fore again at times in the game.

We returned again, as in the Morecambe game, to a nominally more passing based style today and it didn’t work out quite as well against stronger opponents. He still deserves to keep his place for the trip to Macclesfield but it’s worth bearing in mind. More positively, he covered a lot of ground and defended well

Danny Mayor, CM – 7, Player of the Match

In the first half, so much of the play went through Mayor. He played some superb through balls to set Taylor and Joel Grant free, where the former could have won a penalty and the other hit the side netting. He was another who faded slightly in the second half, possibly through Rovers changing their shape and focusing their defensive efforts down Argyle’s left. It is, however, still enough for Mayor to take our player of the match award.

George Cooper, LWB – 7

A curious game for the Peterborough loanee. He always looked threatening, could have scored if a few deflections were more friendly, and he played the McFadzean role well in the second half to bolster Argyle’s threat down the left. That being said, his one-footedness prevents him from a higher mark. He’ll probably be remembered most from this game for being particularly wasteful on his weaker side.

Joel Grant, ST – 6

Another slightly underwhelming game from the striker who has managed to be capable up front without ever really being inspiring. He was far from all bad. He linked up play well at times and got into one very good position to score.

Less positively, that good position resulted in a disappointing miss and there were large spells of the game where he didn’t really involve himself enough. He has done well enough to keep his place for now but he must be sweating at the prospect of the January window.

Dom Telford, ST – 7

The little striker certainly had a very good game on the whole. There were a number of occasions where he expertly held up the ball and laid it off to advancing midfielders to develop the attack. However, he has to lose marks for THAT miss. In a game of Argyle profligacy, that was just about the worst miss of the lot. A goalscoring striker to complement Telford is badly needed in January. Jamie Reid, perhaps?

Substitutes

Zak Rudden, ST – 5

It would certainly come as a big surprise if Rudden were to stay at Argyle if recent performances are anything to go by. He clashed with the Rovers goalkeeper moments after coming on, and generally bore the characteristics of a headless chicken at times. A worrying lack of technical ability on show, both tonight and in previous games, doesn’t work in his favour either.

Billy Clarke, ST – 5

In truth, he hardly touched the hall in the short time he was on, not really impacting the game

Conor Grant, DM – 6

He was clearly brought on to give more of a passing flavour to Argyle’s game as we looked to chase a leveller but he didn’t quite managed to find the defence-unlocking pass that we needed. He still did well though, moving the ball around quickly.

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