All you need to know about tonight's opponents
Tonight Bristol Rovers entertain a Dagenham and Redbridge team who have become draw specialists, especially on the road.
Although they have had only 3 away wins, the Daggers have drawn 7 times whilst visitors. In their last 5 away games they have won 1, drawn 3 and lost 1.
On Saturday the Essex team picked up a point from their game just down the M5 at Exeter. The home side took the lead on 34 minutes after Tom Nichols turned in a tame Matt Grimes' effort.
Just after the hour mark the game was turned on its head in a ten minute spell. After being picked out by an Ashley Chambers pass Luke Norris curled in a fine shot for the visitors. Brian Saah then won Daggers the penalty which Medy Elito slotted away to give them the lead, after being adjudged to have been pulled back by Exeter City skipper Danny Coles.
The Grecians were thankful for an injury time mistake by goalkeeper Chris Lewington who allowed substitute, Rovers loanee, Eliot Richards’ effort to cross the line for a 2-2 draw.
Boss Wayne Burnett was pleased with the showing from his side, “I thought we had the three points in the bag and three valuable ones at that. We played all right today. I thought our performance was good and we were better than them in the first half.
“They came out for the second half and for the first 15-20 minutes were better than us but it was a good performance from us today. I felt we moved the ball well at times but we were still relinquishing possession a little too easy at times.
“It’s unfortunate that we have come so far and so close. Ninety seconds and they equalise. That’s the disappointing thing but it’s not an easy place to come.”
Defending his under fire keeper, the Daggers Boss said, “I just said to the group, every single player that has played on that football pitch today has made a mistake. Unfortunately he’s made a mistake which has cost us a goal. Because he’s so close to the goal if he does make a mistake you can concede goals. But we win, lose and draw together.
“He’s won us games on his own at times this season so you have to take the rough with the smooth.”
The Gas and the Daggers have only had 4 previous meetings in Bristol with 2 wins to each team.
The very first meeting between the clubs took place on 5 December 2001 in the Associate Members Cup (as it then was), with Rovers running out 4-1 victors.
In last season’s fixture, a period of pressure from Rovers led to a goal for the opposition, on 19 minutes Matthew Saunders crossed the ball in to Sam Williams who slammed the ball into the top right of the net from close range. It was the only goal of the game.
Rovers last victory was on 29 October 2011. By the end of the game Rovers had recorded their first clean sheet in eight games. It also ended their run of Saturday home defeats, having not won a weekend home game for eight months.
Joe Anyinsah bundled in Rovers first goal of the game early in the second half. Matt Harrold made sure of the three points with just two minutes left on the clock. The striker was fouled in the box to win a penalty, and stepped up to slot home for the spot.
That victory for Rovers was some sort of revenge for the reverse result the previous time the two sides met on 5 March 2011, as the visitors ran out 2-0 winners.
Daggers loan signing Ashley Chambers was pleased to make an immediate impact in the 2-2 draw at after coming on as a half-time substitute for Luke Howell.
Talking about the game Chambers said, “I enjoyed it, coming on at half time was a bit surprising to me but it’s nice to get straight into the thick of things. At 1-0 down we worked really hard to get the lead and it’s just unfortunate at the end there where we concede.
“Everyone is really disappointed but we have got to take the positives and how all of us feel in that we were the dominant side for a lot of that game.
“It’s good to get on and affect the team straight away. I’ll try and bring assists and goals and I am looking forward to the month with the Daggers.”
Written by Gerry Prewett