Full-time: Bristol Rovers 3 Northampton Town 1
Striker Tom Eaves, defender Garry Kenneth and midfielder Oliver Norburn all scored their first goal for Bristol Rovers to help Mark McGhee's side to a 3-1 win over ten-man Northampton this afternoon.
On-loan Bolton youngster Eaves popped up to score his first ever goal in senior league football to open the scoring in the 52nd minute before Kenneth was on-hand to double the advantage at the far post after a corner fell kindly for him four minutes later.
Adebayo Akinfenwa struck back for the Northampton when directing a long throw past Rovers goalkeeper Neil Etheridge in the 75th minute – but Norburn's close-range header six minutes from time ensured Rovers were able to celebrate a victory at the Memorial Stadium for the first time this season.
McGhee's side almost made a dream start to proceedings when Eaves connected powerfully with a Fabian Broghammer cross in the fifth minute only to see his volley touched onto the post by Northampton goalkeeper Lee Nicholls.
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It was the first of a number of chances at both ends of the pitch in an entertaining game in which Northampton were reduced to ten men when defender Anthony Charles was dismissed after illegally preventing Derek Riordan to stride through on goal in the 24th minute.
Riordan angled the resulting free-kick on to the crossbar, but it was Northampton who probably had the two best chances of the first-half and should have been in front when the ball fell nicely around the penalty spot for striker Alex Nicholls in the 18th minute.
Etheridge, however, further enhanced his growing reputation by repelling the powerful effort with his legs before the ball was hacked away to safety.
Akinfenwa muscled his way into a crowd of players inside the penalty area son after to glance a header past Etheridge only to be disappointed to have the 'goal' ruled out before guiding a far post effort over the crossbar when meeting Nicholls' pinpoint cross just before the break.
Eaves and defender Tom Parkes had further opportunities to increase the margin of victory during a second-half in which Rovers were very much in command, although Etheridge was called on to keep out a powerful effort from Nicholls after the striker had capitalised on a misplaced Wayne Brown pass.
Parkes, meanwhile, had returned from suspension as the only change to a Rovers side that lost at home to Cheltenham on Wednesday night.
McGhee, however, was forced into a late change just before kick-off, which saw the omission of skipper Matt Gill, who was replaced by Richards.
Richards started on the right-hand side of midfield, which meat David Clarkson was deployed to replace Gill in the centre.
Parkes came back in alongside Garry Kenneth, who wore the armband in Gill's absence, at the heart of the back four, while Matthew Lund, who featured in an unfamiliar right-back role for the 1-0 midweek defeat, retained his place.
Rovers (4-4-2): Etheridge; Lund, Kenneth, Parkes, Paterson; Richards, Clarkson, Norburn, Broghammer; Riordan, Eaves. Subs: Walker, L Brown, Anyinsah, W Brown, Virgo, Clucas, Smith.
Northampton (4-4-2): Nicholls; East, Langmead, Charles, Widdowsen; Hackett, Moult, Tozer, Roofe. Subs: Higgs, Demontagnac, Platt, Mukendi, Wilson, Artell.