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Bristol Rovers Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 04/02/2005

TWO wins in the last two away games has given Town hope of a play off place but they need to continue their good form away at Bristol Rovers, the draw specialists of League Two.

Home > 2004-2005 Season > Previews > Bristol R (a)

The Opposition

Big things were expected of Ian Atkins’ (left) Bristol Rovers side this season. Atkins left Oxford under a cloud at the end of last season, to take up his post at the Memorial Stadium. The summer saw lots of transfer activity, but the Pirates, like Town have failed to live up to their potential this season. Currently a point behind Town, they will still hope for a last minute charge into the top seven.

Their Squad
It is probably true that on paper, Rovers have one of the strongest squads in the division. At the back they have former Hull City defender John Anderson, who Nicky Law tried to sign for Town last season. Welsh defender Christian Edwards has also been a regular feature this term. Edwards has lots of league experience with Swansea, Forest, Tranmere and Crystal Palace. In midfield are two ex Town players Stuart Campbell and Paul Trollope. They are joined by former Oxford man James Hunt and summer signing Craig Disley. In attack are two other former Mariners players - Lee Thorpe, who had a loan spell with us last season and Jamie Forrester who was with Town from 1995 to 1997 under Brian Laws and Kenny Swain.

Key Player
Junior Agogo. Already with 15 goals to his name this season, Agogo is starting to live up to his potential. A £110,000 signing from Barnet a few summers ago, last season was a difficult one for the London born forward, but this season has put in some fine performances for the Pirates and is definitely one to watch.

Recent Form


TownBristol R
WLeyton Orient(a)2-1
Currently 15th in League Two.
WLeyton Orient(a)2-1
Currently 16th in League Two.

Top Scorers


TownBristol R

Team News


TownBristol R

Rob Jones and John McDermott both face late fitness tests before being named in the squad to face the Pirates. Macca (knee) and Jones (back) have both been troubled by their respective injuries for a few weeks

  • Justin Whittle is back in contention after playing for 45 minutes in a mid-week reserve game, but is unlikely to get further than the bench.

  • Utility player Jason Crowe (ankle) will miss the game, but is expected to be back next week to face Shrewsbury,

  • Ronnie Bull is still suspended, for this the final match of the trio of games missed.
  • Goalkeeper Kevin Miller will return to the squad after a recent ankle problem but Ian Atkins will have to decide whether to put his most senior keeper straight back into the side at the expense of 22-year-old Ryan Clarke.
  • Defender Christian Edwards could also return, allowing Atkins to consider a 3-5-2 formation with Anderson, Elliott and Edwards across the back.
  • Midfielder Aaron Lescott is returning to full fitness after an injury lay-off, but is unlikely to get further than the bench.
  • Lee Thorpe is suspended and the involvement of Junior Agogo could be limited due to off-the-field reasons.
  • Probable Teams


    TownBristol R
    1Anthony Williams
    2John McDermott
    6Rob Jones
    28Terrell Forbes
    4Simon Ramsden
    15Terry Fleming
    17Thomas Pinault
    11Stacy Coldicott
    10Andy Parkinson
    9Michael Reddy
    26Martin Gritton
    1Kevin Miller
    6Steve Elliott
    5Chris Edwards
    14John Anderson
    19Ali Gibb
    3Robbie Ryan
    8James Hunt
    7Stuart Campbell
    20Craig Disley
    11Jamie Forrester
    17Richard Walker



    TownBristol R
    3Greg Young
    5Tony Crane
    6Justin Whittle
    12Graham Hockless
    13Paul Fraser
    2Craig Hinton
    32Aaron Lescott
    15Dave Savage
    4Paul Trollope
    9Junior Agogo

    Head to Head

    Rovers just have the edge over Town, having won 11 of their 32 encounters.

    P 32 W 11 D 9 L 12 F 53 A 48

    Bristol R Head-to-Head (48th on The Opposition Ladder)


  • Current Bristol Rovers players Paul Trollope, Stuart Campbell, Lee Thorpe and Jamie Forrester have all played for Town in recent years. Campbell of course was with Town last season, as was Thorpe, in an impressive loan spell. Paul Trollope spent a month on loan here in 1996 under Brian Laws, whilst Forrester was a £50,000 signing from Leeds in 1995.

  • Andy Tillson (left) made 250 appearances for the Pirates in an eight year spell between 1992 and 2000. Tilson was signed by Alan Buckley from non league Kettering in 1988 and made a massive impact at the back, encouraging QPR to spend £400,000 for his services. He retired in 2003 whilst at Rushden and Diamonds.

  • Former Town favourite Bradley Allen ended his time as a professional with the Pirates when between November 2002 and May 2003 he appeared ten times for Rovers, scoring twice. He was playing for Hornchurch last season.

  • Last Meeting

    The two sides met last October in a tight 0-0 draw. Both sides could easily have won the game with Town having numerous chances in the first half, but with the Pirates taking contol in the second. Former Mariners Lee Thorpe and Stuart Campbell both missed the game, so when Campbell starts on Saturday it will be the first time he has faced Town since relegation at the end of lasts season.

    Grimsby Team: Williams, Whittle, Forbes, Gordon, McDermott, Fleming, Pinault ,Crowe, Reddy (Cramb, 45), Sestanovich (Coldicott, 63), Parkinson
    Subs: (not used) Jones,Bull,Marcelle

    Bristol R Team: Miller, Edwards, Anderson, Elliott, Gibb, Hunt, Savage, Lescott ,Ryan, Agogo (Haldane, 82), Walker (Forrester, 76)
    Subs: (not used) Hinton,Trollope,Disley

    Attendance: 4,691    Report


    Bristol Rovers have drawn eight times at home this season - more than any other side in League Two. Therefore common sense tells me a draw, but I think Town will nick it. 2-1!


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