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Match Previews


4 September 2012

A look ahead to tonight's game

Bristol Rovers entertain near neighbours Yeovil Town in the JPT following Saturday’s 3-0 home drubbing by Morecambe.

Gary Johnson will relish the opportunity to return to Bristol with his high flying Yeovil team.

Whilst Mark McGhee has been fretting after seeing his team pick up just one point from their first three games, Gary Johnson’s Glovers have notched 10 points from their 4 games.

The Somerset team have won both their away games so far, including a 4-0 demolition at Scunthorpe.
On Saturday they recorded their third victory of the season when they overcame Doncaster Rovers 2-1. Donny old boy James Hayter headed his third goal to haunt his old team as he met Reuben Reid's right wing cross on 55 minutes. 

Two minutes before the end of normal time Gozie Ugwu, on as a substitute, chipped the ball over keeper Woods’ head from the edge of the area for it to cross the line after hitting the inside of the post.

In the last minute of stoppage time Billy Paynter drilled home a close range finish from a cross by David Cotterill.

Speaking after the game Gary Johnson said, "When you bring people in, you have to try very hard to bring in the quality that you think you need to win games at this level.

"You have to have the spirit, so you need the personalities, and you have to have the work-rate, so you need the character," he added.

"At the moment, it's only four games, I know, and I will say that week-in week-out until we get to 40-odd, but we have got ten points so we are in credit and hopefully we can use that as a nice little back-up to take games to teams."

Looking to the history of games between the clubs the very first time they met was back in November 1924. Rovers were drawn away to Yeovil and Petters (as Westland Helicopters were earlier known) in the first round of the Cup.

Morgan (2), Phillips and Whatmore scored for Rovers and Gardner and Hayward for the Glovers giving a 4-2 away win.

The Glovers recorded a historic victory in their first ever League visit to the Mem in December 2003 followed by their thrashing of Rovers 4-0 in their first League visit to Huish Park.

The following season saw an amazing 2-2 draw at the Mem and Rovers once again go down heavily in South Somerset 4-2. Last season both games went in favour of the away team with a 2-1 result at the Mem and a 3-0 score line at Huish Park.

The last time the teams met in 2010/11 Rovers won both League games by a single goal, 2-1 at home and 1-0 at Huish Park. In total the clubs have crossed paths 13 times with 4 wins to the Glovers, 4 to the Gas and 5 draws.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s game, Johnson noted, "We had a good pre-season game against them. It's one to look forward to and they have got a lot of players I have worked with before, so I know the mentality and Mark McGhee has brought in three or four winners.

"We obviously want to progress and a good competitive football match is what is on the cards. The Directors will want a run in one of the cups, at least.

"We are favourites in this cup because we are joint-top at this point, and if we stay top we will be favourites to win this Competition.

"There will be a lot of other teams that will want a say in that, but positionally we will be favourites."

Johnson went on to joke about his history as Bristol City manager and previous visits to the Memorial Stadium with Yeovil, “They always welcome me with open arms and I always feel very comfortable walking across that pitch to the fans behind the dug-out.

"Mark [McGhee] has done a great job there. It will be a good game because both teams will want to progress. There is always a good atmosphere at Bristol Rovers and I'm looking forward to going there.

"We have got to make sure there is an edge to every game, but certainly Yeovil against Bristol Rovers has that ring. Mark isn't quite the same personality as Ian Atkins, and I am sure proper things will be said in the dressing room and everything will be about the football."

With the Rovers team anxious to prove their worth, not only to Manager McGhee but also to their disconsolate fans it should be a Cup-tie well worth watching.

Written by Gerry Prewett

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