harriers-online match preview
21st February 2005  
Bristol Rovers
At Aggborough
22/2/05    7:45pm
We're now entering the Last Chance Saloon at the Harriers.  Tomorrow evening we'll be entertaining an inconsistent Bristol Rovers side and at the same time the only side within reach of ourselves, Rushden, will be playing another inconsistent side, Bury, at home.

The consequences of us losing this one and Rushden doing the perfectly possible and beating Bury will leave us so far behind that it'd need a miracle of financial proportions to save us.  With a possible eight points difference to close it'll be fingers crossed that both Rushden and Cambridge Utd will go into administration and get docked ten points.  The frightening talk is that Cambridge may decide to fold anyway and so it would be us that got docked four points instead.

That would put us at the bottom and a full twelve points to make up.  At this late stage of the season it would be fateful.

So the answer is to beat Rovers and beat them comprehensively.  We showed that we can score goals, vis a vis the two early goals at Shrewsbury.  We also showed that we can't defend to save our life.

To that end I just can't see how Stuart Watkiss can continue anymore with the idea of trying to fit a disappointing Wayne Hatswell in somewhere in the hope that he might feel comfortable.  He hasn't fitted in anywhere that he has played in recent games and on Saturday at the back instead of Billy Jones was yet another mistake, as was the idea of playing him as a sweeper against Chester City the previous week.

I fully hope and expect Billy to come marchin' home for this game and with Dean Keates also due back following his shoulder injury I also expect Tom Bennett to stand down after his less than marvelous display on Saturday.

Up front Blair Sturrock and Chris Beardsley did the biz when they grabbed our two goals but Stuart has still bought in more ammo up front in the shape of big man Mark Rawle from Oxford Utd for the remainder of the season.  With Gary Birch out for the rest of the season now that he's to undergo the knife on his dodgy knees it's a good move by the gaffer to bring in a different kind of striker than we're used to.

Some may say that Rawle is a long ball striker but maybe that's just what we need to revert to when we can't break a side down by playing purists football.

Rovers are a good example of a side that go via the motorway and not the leafy lanes to reach goal.  Their manager Ian Atkins is well known for that style of playing and he's slowly moulding Rovers in the ways of his religion.

They struggled to break down another long ball team on Saturday, Boston, and the home fans are starting to question his tactics and threatening to take their money down the road to Ashton Gate.  Only joking for any Rovers fans reading this.

As we all know Craig Hinton now plays for Rovers but it appears that he's not got too many fans down that way.  The faults that we know he has, getting caught in possession and backtracking have been noticed and some Rovers fans think he's the worst defender they've ever seen at the Mem.  We'll have him back, warts an all.

On the injury front they'll be without Stuart Campbell and that seems to be the only one.  Like our official site theirs seems more interested in betting than player news.

As mentioned we'll be without Gary Birch and he seems to be the only one.

Win.  We gotta win or else!


Harriers from:
Danby, Lewis, Burton, Mullins, Jones, Sall, Weaver, Jackson, Bennett, Hatswell, McHale, Beardsley, McGrath, Jenkins, Keates, Cozic, Gleeson, Sturrock, Christie, Rawle, Foster, Russell.

Bristol from:
Miller, Clarke, Hinton, Ryan, Trollope, Edwards, Elliott, Hunt, Agogo, Forrester, Gwinnell, Anderson, Savage, Williams, Walker, Parker, Gibb, Disley, Heiniger, Haldane, Lescott, Horsell, Lines, Sinclair, Shakes.
Previous games against Bristol Rovers
Harriers score first
2004 - 05
0 - 2
0 - 1
2003 - 04
1 - 0
0 - 1
2002 - 03
1 - 1
2 - 1
2001 - 02
2 - 0
1 - 2
2000 - 01
No game
No game

links to some
bristol rovers websites:

official site
brfc return.com
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