harriers-online preview
2nd november 2001 


  • bristol rovers (home ko 3:00pm)

    Harriers take on Bristol Rovers tomorrow in what I believe is the first ever meeting of the two sides at the top level. We may have played them in a friendly many years ago but I can find no record of it.

    Bristol Rovers fall from grace is astonishing. Although they have never been higher than the 2nd division they have always been thought of as a big city club.

    They have always been in touching distance of the other Bristol club, City, but now that City look to be one of the promotion favourites in the 2nd they are starting to drift apart.

    When Rovers were relegated at the end of last season it was thought that it would be only one season before they gained promotion back to the 2nd but things aren't going well at the Memorial Ground.

    Although they have appointed a high profile manager in Gerry Francis they are struggling to get anything like the form needed for promotion.
    They started the season reasonably winning four out of four games but in recent weeks have lost to the likes of Carlisle, Macclesfield and Exeter. On Tuesday they almost came a cropper against Conference side Yeovil in the LDV Trophy, needing penalties to see them through.

    Then last Friday came the news from the boardroom that costs would have to be cut if they were to survive. At least they didn't put the squad up for sale, but will probably be looking to offload some players.

    For the match tomorrow they will be hoping for a return to form with a win so it's up to us to repeat our performance against York city with a few goals.

    Again we have a full strength side available, in fact even stronger because Adie Smith is available again after injury.

    It will be interesting to see if Abdou Sall is dropped to make way for him. Lets hope not just yet.

    Others that picked up knocks against Chesterfield will be fit for tomorrow, these include Drewe Broughton (knees and shins lacerations), Scott Stamps (thigh), Stuart Brock (thigh) and "Wonder Kid" Abdou (knee).

    Harriers (from):
    Brock, Murphy, Joy, Stamps, Medou-Otye, Clarkson, Sall, Webb, Hinton, Smith, Blake, Williams, Bird, Davies, Bennett, Shilton, Doyle, Foster, Hadley, Broughton, Larkin, Ducros, Corbett.

    Rovers have a bit of an injury list with star striker Nathan Etherington (knee) definitely out, along with Ross Weare (neck).

    Ones that will be touch and go are Trevor Challis (dead leg), Ronnie Mauge (strain) and Neil Ross who went off on Tuesday with severe cramp and is still in some pain but should be fit.

    Rovers (from):
    Howie, Thomson, Foster, Foran, Walters, Wilson, Mauge, Bryant, Plummer, Jones, Gall, Bubb, Ross, Cameron, Pritchard, Hillier, Astafjevs, Richards, Lopez, Clarke, Hogg, McKeever, Trought, Hammond, Andreasson.

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    official site
    bristol rovers online
    this is bristol.com

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