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Match Previews

Bristol Rovers Preview - Looking ahead to our trip to the Memorial Ground

10 March 2022

Match Previews

Bristol Rovers Preview - Looking ahead to our trip to the Memorial Ground

10 March 2022

Town are back in action this weekend after a rare midweek break and will be looking to get back to winning ways after a 2-1 home defeat to Hartlepool a week ago.

A tricky test lies ahead though as they travel to face a Bristol Rovers side who now have more than one eye on a late season promotion push.

Our opponents

After a sticky start to the season that saw them in the lower reaches of League Two over the first quarter of the season, Rovers have put together a strong run of form that now sees them within touching distance of the playoff positions.

They come into the game on the back of a run that has seen them defeated just twice in 15 games, averaging two points per game in the process.

They are also on a seven-game unbeaten run at home, propelled by a tight defensive record that has seen them keep five clean sheets during this time.

Earlier this season

Rovers will be looking for a league double over Town on Saturday after they came away from The Envirovent Stadium with a 1-0 win.

The game was a tight affair, with Town edging the shots and possession battle, but the outcome was ultimately settled by Nick Anderton's 64th minute winner.

The man in charge

Joey Barton is the man in the dugout for the Gas. This is his second managerial job, having previously had a three-year spell in charge of League One side Fleetwood before departing in January 2021.

Just over a month later Barton took the Rovers job with the club deep in relegation trouble. He was unable to save them from the drop though and is now looking to help them bounce back at the first attempt.

During his playing career Barton played for Manchester City, Newcastle, QPR, Marseille, Burnley and Rangers, also winning a single England cap.

Ones to watch

Forward Aaron Collins is man in form at the moment and he leads the way with nine goals for the Gas this season.

Midfielder Antony Evans is hot on his heels though with eight goals and also has eight assists, with Sam Finley also contributing three goals and four assists from a midfield position.

The club added Elliott Anderson from Newcastle in the January window and the teenager has shone in his 9 starts for the club so far. James Connolly also arrived on loan, from Championship side Cardiff, slotting well into the back line, in front of former Town stopper James Belshaw.

History

The club was initially founded way back in 1883 and were first admitted to the Football League in 1920, entering in Third Division South where they would remain until achieving promotion in the early-1950's.

Rovers achieved a best ever finish of sixth-place in the 1956 and 1959, but were relegated in in 1962 before returning after the 1973/74 season. Further relegations were experienced before returning to the second tier in 1990 but after three seasons the club were once again relegated and suffered a drop to the bottom tier in 2001.

The 2013/14 season saw the Gas fall out of the league completely, but under the stewardship of Darrell Clarke the immediately returned via the playoffs.

For the majority of their history, Rovers played at the Eastville Stadium, before a move to Twerton Park in Bath for a decade in the mid-1990's before returning to the city and their current home the Mermorial Stadium, which they share with Bristol Rugby.

Team news

Simon Power is available again following his return from injury last weekend while Josh Falkingham and Rory McArdle could feature having taken part in training the latter part of the week following lay-offs of differing lengths.
 

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