Tuesday night’s shock defeat to Mansfield, coupled with a win for AFC Wimbledon, means City’s playoff hopes have been all but extinguished for another year. However, while there is still a mathematical possibility of City extending their season Paul Tisdale won’t necessarily ring the changes. David Wheeler missed the Mansfield match with the knock picked up during his cameo against Northampton but the Bristol resident will hope to be fit enough to play some part, while the impact Christian Ribeiro made off the bench ought to convince Paul Tisdale to restore him to the starting line-up.
It was something of a shock for Bristol Rovers to have found themselves relegated into non-league in 2014 but, having returned successfully via the playoffs at the first attempt. Darrell Clarke’s side has built up momentum and a run of eight wins and just one defeat in their last eleven matches has seen the Pirates (or the Gas!) emerge as genuine contenders for automatic promotion. Having performed poorly at home in the early part of the season their form has taken a turn for the better with an unbeaten run of 12 at the Memorial Stadium. Key to their success has been the goal scoring form of Matty Taylor, who has 27 goals in all competitions this season and, up until Rovers’ 0-0 draw at Stevenage on Tuesday night had scored in eight successive matches. One player who would love to feature is Jake Gosling, the former City winger returned to the starting line-up on Tuesday night after a loan spell at Newport.
The reverse fixture saw Rovers take a late lead through Sinclair before an equaliser deep into stoppage time from Jamie Reid ensured a share of the spoils. It was another late goal, this time from John-Joe O’Toole, that gave Rovers a 2-1 win the last time City visited in January 2014 – a Lee Brown OG had given City the lead which was immediately cancelled out by a penalty from O’Toole before his late winner. The sides are level in the Football League head-to-head with 25 wins apiece (27 draws).
Last away trip to Rovers match detail – http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4205
Match officials for this game are:-
Referee: Nigel Miller
Assistant Referees: Joe Clark and Gavin Muge
Fourth Official Marvyn Amphlett
He’s taken charge of 5 City games, http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?s=nigel+miller . So far this season he taken charge of 29 games, issuing 74 yellows and sending off 3 players.