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Match Previews

Preview | Bristol Rovers (a) - Emirates FA Cup

20 November 2018

FA Cup First Round Replay – Memorial Stadium – Wednesday 21st November 2018 – KO 19:45

The Bees return to FA Cup action this week as they travel to Bristol Rovers in a First Round Replay at the Memorial Stadium on Wednesday night.

John Still’s men go into tomorrow’s game off the back of an impressive 3-1 away win over Hartlepool in front of the BT Sport cameras on Sunday. Despite falling behind on 10 minutes courtesy of Peter Kioso, a brace from Manny Duku meant the visitors took a 2-1 lead into the break. Josh Walker made sure of the three points deep into stoppage time as Barnet returned to winning ways.

Last Meeting:

The initial tie, which took place at The Hive London on 11th November, ended 1-1. The visitors were reduced to 10 men with only seven minutes on the clock after a dangerous foul by Stuart Sinclair on Wes Fonguck. The dismissal proved costly as Barnet took the lead just under 10 minutes later through a Craig Robson header. However, Chris Lines’ penalty in the second half cancelled out the opener, taking the tie to a replay.

Manager: Darrell Clarke

Darrell Clarke was appointed Bristol Rovers boss back in 2014 after a spell as assistant manager. Since taking over at the helm, he guided the side to Conference promotion alongside Barnet in his first full season in charge, winning the play-offs. He then achieved similar glory the year after, clinching back-to-back promotions after finishing third in League Two.

Before Rovers, Clarke was manager at Salisbury City from 2010 to 2013. As player-manager, he was part of the side who achieved Southern League play-off glory in his debut season. He also guided the club to the Third Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history before bowing out after winning the Conference South play-off final.

As a player, he made over 100 appearances for Mansfield Town, Hartlepool and Salisbury. Whilst at The Pools, he was sent out on loan to Stockport, Port Vale and Rochdale respectively.

One to Watch: Ollie Clarke

With three goals to his name this season, Ollie Clarke is Rovers’ leading scorer this season and he will be to replicate his league form in the Cup tomorrow.

The midfielder, who has 21 shots to his name this season, can score with his left or his right and the Bees’ back line will have to be on top of their game to prevent him from posing a threat.

Last Season’s FA Cup Form:

Clarke’s men will be hoping they won’t endure a repeat of last season’s FA Cup form when they host Barnet tomorrow.

Rovers were eliminated in the First Round after falling to a 4-2 defeat away at League Two side Notts County.

The visitors went 2-0 up after 12 minutes thanks to goals from Liam Sercombe and Stuart Sinclair. However, The Magpies hit back after Ryan Yates bagged twice in two minutes to keep their FA Cup hopes alive. Jon Stead turned the game on it’s head just shy of the hour mark before Jorge Grant’s stoppage time strike secured their progression to Round Two.

Last season marked Rovers’ fourth season on the bounce where they have been knocked out at the first hurdle.

Recent Form:

Sitting 21st in League One with 17 points to their name, Rovers find themselves in the drop zone, one point adrift of safety.

The Pirates only have one win under their belt in their last five games in all competitions. A 1-0 league defeat away to Barnsley was quickly followed up by an impressive 3-0 victory over Blackpool. The 1-1 draw at The Hive came eight days later before they fell to a 2-0 defeat at League Two Exeter in the EFL Trophy in their next encounter. Clarke’s side go into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 2-1 home loss to Scunthorpe United at the weekend which saw them drop into the relegation zone.

Last 5 games in all competitions: LWDLL

Connections:

Manager John Still left Barnet to become assistant manager at Bristol Rovers in 2002 and spent a season at the Memorial Stadium.

Pirates midfielder Ed Upson spent a month on loan at Barnet in 2010, netting one goal in nine games.


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