Half-time: Bristol Rovers 1 Aldershot 1
David Clarkson has opened his account for Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
The former Bristol City striker was offered too much time and space to set himself when receiving the ball all of 25 yards from goal before executing a vicious effort that flew past the despairing dive of Aldershot goalkeeper Jamie Young.
That strike came in the 11th minute after a bright opening in which Mark McGhee's side had dominated proceedings as they sought to win their first game of what has been a disappointing start to the season – but the lead lasted only a matter of minutes before Aldershot levelled.
It was difficult to better Clarkson's aesthetically-pleasing effort, but striker Craig Reid managed to outdo his opposing scorer with a goal of spectacular exquisiteness.
Peeling off the shoulder of Rovers defender Cian Bolger in the 18th minute, Reid collected a high and long cross-field pass from Adam Mekki on the toe of one foot before deftly lobbing it over advancing goalkeeper Sam Walker with the other.
McGhee, however, was fuming that a free-kick hadn't been offered to his side in the build-up after Jim Paterson was knocked off the ball in the phase of play prior to Reid's outrageous piece of individual skill.
Aldershot goalkeeper Young, meanwhile, made a good reflex save to spare the blushes of defender Sonny Bradley after he had poked a Lee Brown cross goal-ward, whilst Clarkson, Eliot Richards and Matt Harrold all tried their luck from distance in unsuccessful attempts to regain the advantage.
Earlier, Michael Smith had been the unlucky man to miss out as McGhee named a side showing one change from the one that lost at home to Yeovil on Tuesday night.
Full-back Smith filled in on the right-hand side of midfield against Gary Johnson's side – but dropped to the bench to accommodate the return of striker Matt Harrold, who had recovered from a minor knock.
Harrold took his place at the top of the attack, which meant Eliot Richards returned to the right-side of midfield in front of Adam Virgo, who retained his place in the starting line-up.
Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Walker; Virgo, Bolger, Parkes, Paterson; Richards, Gill, W Brown, L Brown; Harrold, Clarkson. Subs: Gough, Smith, Broghammer, Norburn, Anyinsah, Goddard, Clarke.
Aldershot (4-2-3-1): Young; Herd, Lancashire, Bradley, Tonkin; T Brown, Morris; Mekki, Vincenti, Rodman; Reid. Subs: Morris, Payne, Rankine, Branston, Berqvist, Anderson, Roberts.