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Match Previews


24 August 2012

A look ahead to tomorrow's game

Bristol Rovers look to gain their first victory of the season on Saturday as they take the short journey across the country to Adams Park to face Wycombe Wanderers.

The Chairboys' season got off to a good start with a victory away to newly promoted York City, but then in a carbon copy of Rovers’ last season, they lost their first home game.

The only real chance of an even first half of the game came when the Gill’s Danny Kedwell headed wide from just outside the six-yard box. 

Martin Allan’s half-time team talk seemed to rev up the Kent team as they took the lead ten minutes into the second period after Myles Weston’s fierce free-kick rebounded from the post to Joe Martin who easily slotted the ball home. 

The Gills were denied a further goal as midfielder Chris Whelpdale headed wide. On 77 minutes Gillingham’s Tom Flanagan was sent off for a second bookable offence when he pulled down Wycombe’s Richard Logan, but the home team were unable to make their numerical superiority count.

Talking after the game, Wycombe Boss and ex-Gas player Gary Waddock said, "I'm disappointed that we didn't perform well enough in the second-half to get anything from the game.

"Credit to them for their second-half, Martin has assembled a good squad of players. We matched them during the first-half, but in the second I was disappointed with the display. It's especially disappointing to not be able to back up Saturday's win with another three points.

"We'll dust ourselves down and go again at the weekend. We'll be positive. In your first home game you want to give the fans something to shout about, but we'll bounce back."

Looking at the history of games between Rovers and Wycombe the ledger is pretty even with 13 Rovers wins, 4 draws and 12 wins to the Chairboys.

It was a Wycombe away win that was one of the most significant results in the history of Bristol Rovers. On 2 May 2001 a spectacular Dannie Bulman strike sent Rovers to the basement Division for the first time ever.

At Wycombe, Rovers hold a slight advantage with 6 victories to the Chairboys 5, with 4 draws.

The last league clash came on 29 August 2009 when two stunning strikes from Jon-Paul Pittman and Matt Phillips secured a 2-1 win for the home team and gave Peter Taylor his only win as Blues' boss in League One.

On 9 November 2010 Jo Kuffour, had a game to remember at Adams Park. His two first half goals set Rovers up for what looked like a good away win, but on 58 minutes, Scott Rendell pulled one back for the Bucks team. Within a minute Kuffour had hit back to restore Rovers two goal lead and to complete his hat-trick.

Chris Lines added goal number four with a surging run into the area which took him past three home defenders and he comfortably beat Bull from eight yards.

Rovers fifth goal came from the penalty spot after Alan Bennett brought down Kuffour and Hughes sent Bull the wrong way with his spot kick.

A foul on Rendell by Lines enabled the home striker to add his second goal of the evening from the penalty spot on 83 minutes. Five minutes later Rendell completed his hat trick when he headed home a cross from Matt Bloomfield.

That wasn't the end of the scoring as Ben Swallow got in on the act, cutting in from the right and unleashing an unstoppable shot that flew past Bull and into the roof of the net and secure a 6-3 away win.

In the Wycombe camp there is transfer speculation concerning striker Stuart Beavon, last season's top scorer who opened his account on Saturday. 

Preston North End have had a bid rejected and Millwall are also believed to be interested in signing him. He scored 25 goals in all competitions last season and Boss Waddock hopes that his scoring continues, "We've had conversations during pre-season. I've said he needs to score goals and hit the ground running, which can only help us at the start of our campaign. 

"He's a goalscorer - as long as he's scoring goals he'll be happy and we'll be happy." 

News on the injury front is that Sam Wood, will be out for 10 weeks after straining knee ligaments against Gillingham. Fellow midfielder and vice captain Matt Bloomfield, could also miss the game because of a groin strain. 

Full-back Charles Dunne was hoping to return to training this week after suffering from a dead-leg whilst striker Matt McClure is already back in training after suffering from tendonitis of the knee. Defenders Danny Foster (knee) and Marvin McCoy (ankle ligaments) remain sidelined

After the heartening second half performance against Barnet and former Chairboy Matt Harrold notching his first goal of the season, Mark McGhee will be hopeful that his team can produce their first 3 point haul of the season. 

Written by Gerry Prewett.

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