Sam Cosgrove Misses Out With Injury as Plymouth Draw Away at Bristol Rovers

Sam Cosgrove Misses Out With Injury as Plymouth Draw Away at Bristol Rovers
Sam Cosgrove Misses Out With Injury as Plymouth Draw Away at Bristol Rovers

Beverley’s own Sam Cosgrove has put his disastrous 18 months with Birmingham City well and truly behind him in recent weeks.

He secured a season-long loan move to Plymouth Argyle on transfer deadline day and ever since, he has gone from strength to strength on the south coast.

A debut goal away at Derby County, as well as goals in the victories over Wycombe Wanderers, Sheffield Wednesday and Accrington Stanley helped fire the Pilgrims to top spot in League One. 

After the 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at the start of October, Cosgrove had one of the most prolific strike rates in the country. Four goals in 188 minutes of football meant that he was averaging a goal every 47 minutes, a record that even Erling Haaland couldn’t keep up with.

He followed that up with another goal against Stanley the following week, scoring the only goal of the game in another away victory. He made a three-minute cameo appearance in the recent 4-1 victory away at lowly MK Dons, perhaps already carrying a knock that would ensure that he missed the trip to Bristol Rovers last weekend. 

With the huge amount of matches the modern footballer is expected to feature in, it’s of no surprise that more and more players are picking up niggles and knocks. And the lack of minutes the former Aberdeen striker has featured in since his £2m south of the border to Birmingham will only make injuries more likely, with Cosgrove perhaps still not 100% match fit. As such, he didn’t make the two-hour trip north from Cornwall to the Memorial Ground. And the league leaders certainly missed his presence. 

Plymouth throw away two-goal lead

As a result of Cosgrove’s injury, manager Steven Schumacher — who took charge of the Pilgrims following Ryan Lowe’s departure to Preston North End last December — opted to start Niall Ennis up front, with Morgan Whittaker and Finn Azaz supporting him.

The former Wolves trainee has been in fine fettle this season, bagging five goals like his strike partner Cosgrove. And it looked like that selection was justified after just 14 minutes. 

With Ennis occupying Rovers’ centre-half pairing — Bobby Thomas and Lewis Gibson — Aston Villa loanee Azaz was freed up space and brilliantly curled home a left-footed strike to give the visitors the lead. And on the stroke of half time, it was a lead that they would double. Midfielder Adam Randall was the man who scored the goal, and what a goal it was, hammering home to give the Pilgrims a two-goal lead. 

Argyle had won 12 of their last 13 games – including their last six on the spin – and with a two-goal half-time lead, it looked as though that run was set to continue. What they didn’t bank on, however, was a second-half fightback from Joey Barton’s side. We all know that the former Manchester City midfielder has a fiery temper, to say the least, and whatever he said to his players during the half-time interval worked wonders. 

Striker Josh Coburn, who is on loan from Championship Middlesborough, pulled a goal back just two minutes after entering the fray as a half-time substitute. 10 minutes later, the hosts were level thanks to Aaron Collins’ ninth goal of the season. The 25-year-old Welshman has been on fire this season, scoring nine goals so far this term, including three in his last two. With international manager Robert Page expected to name his World Cup squad in the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see whether the former Forest Green star has done enough to claim a spot on the plane to Qatar. 

For Cosgrove however, he faces a fight to be fit for the midweek clash with Shrewsbury Town at Home Park, a fixture in which the hosts will be looking to return to winning ways and consolidate their position atop of English football’s third tier. 

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