Opposition In Focus: Bristol Rovers

A closer look at the Gas

THE GRECIANS are back on the road this Saturday as they travel to the Memorial Stadium to face Bristol Rovers.

Paul Tisdale's men will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating midweek defeat to Mansfield Town. The Grecians will be looking to make it six wins from six on their travels - they have not tasted defeat away from home since February.

Rovers also come into the game with something to play for, with the second and third places still up for grabs. They drew 0-0 with Stevenage last time out.


With City fighting to be promoted through the play-offs, Saturday’s opponents have their eyes set on avoiding Wembley and sealing their place in Sky Bet League 1 next season automatically.

The Pirates are currently fifth in League 2, just one point behind Oxford United who sit in the final automatic promotion spot.
Having not lost in their previous five matches, Rovers will be a tough test for the Grecians and the game will certainly carry significant weight in deciding where the two finish at the end of the season.


It is fair to say for City’s West Country rivals that it has been an eventful few seasons under manager Darrell Clarke.
Clarke took charge of the club in 2013, and his Rovers bounced straight back up from the fifth tier last season and now find themselves with the strong possibility of achieving back-to-back promotions.

With the club entering new ownership under the Al-Qadi family in February this year, they have gone from strength to strength as they look to break into the third tier of English football.

It seems the club is also pressing ahead with plans to build a new stadium, plans which were originally proposed eleven years ago. The new ground is likely to be built next to a campus of the University of the West of England.
The 21,000-seater stadium looks set to become an even more plausible possibility if the club can achieve League One status.


The clubs met in a 1-1 draw earlier in the season at SJP as Jamie Reid earned an injury-time point for City, after Stuart Sinclair looked to have won it late-on.

City last beat Rovers in August 2013 a 2-1 win at St James Park with two second-half goals from Danny Coles and Sam Parkin.

The Grecians' last win at the Memorial Stadium was in 2011, when both clubs were in League One.