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Club News


7 March 2014

A look at tomorrow's opponents

Two of the form sides of League Two clash at the Mem this weekend as the Pirates look to repel the Pilgrims.

This weekend's visitors, Plymouth Argyle, top the table for the last six games played with 4 wins, 1 draw and just 1 defeat.

Last weekend the Devon side thrashed Morecambe 5-0 at Home Park.

The Pilgrims boss John Sheridan said after the game, "First and foremost it was good to get back to winning ways at home. I thought we were outstanding."
Argyle scored four against Fleetwood last weekend. Durrell Berry began the rout in the fifth minute with his first Football League goal after Shrimps keeper Barry Roche failed to hold Matt Parson's fierce drive.
Skipper Conor Hourihane won the ball in midfield to set up the first of two goals for former Shrimper Lewis Alessandra 5 minutes before half time. 

A 77th minute Curtis Nelson header from a corner put Argyle 3-0 up in the 77th minute and substitute Andres Gurrieri’s strong run the  length of the field counter culminated in the home team’s fourth.
Alessandra scored a second, sweeping home from 18 yards in stoppage time to make it 5-0 and take his season's tally to 12 goals.
Sheridan enthused, "(Jack) Redshaw had a chance just before we scored and it just broke for us. Other than that half chance I think we have totally dominated the game.
"I just think our fitness levels and the tempo of our game wins it. Again it's about the team and I don't normally pick out individuals but I thought Lewis was top drawer. To keep a clean sheet and score five goals is very pleasing.
"I think the fans are quite happy with where we are at the moment. Like I have said many times before they are good supporters and they get right behind the team. Before they have had hard times so it's good to give them a little bit of hope.
"Let's hope we can get in a position where we can give ourselves a good chance. We have just got to keep winning games, the next game is the most important game and we want to try and get on a run.
"I will keep my feet firmly on the ground because I know what is around the corner in football but we have got a little bit of momentum going at the moment and we want to keep that going."

The result followed Sheridan’s nomination for Sky Bet League Manager of the Month for February. Argyle played five games in the month, starting with a 1-1 draw at home to Mansfield. The sole loss in February was a 0-4 reverse at home to York City, but three away victories - at Northampton, Dagenham and Fleetwood - caught the eye of the Sky Bet judging panel.

Like Rovers, Argyle were founder members of the Third Division in 1920-21 season and they finished one spot below Rovers at the end of that season in 11th place.

The first ever League meeting between the clubs took place on 23rd April 1921 when goals by Ellis Crompton and Billy Palmer secured a 2-0 victory in front of a 14,000 Eastville crowd.

The return match saw Plymouth win 2-1 a week later, Jimmy Logan notching a double for the Pilgrims and Ellis Crompton notching Rovers single goal. 

In more recent times Rovers bagged five goals in a memorable FA Cup Third Round tie at Twerton Park on 5th January 1992. A rare Jockey Alexander goal was accompanied by four by Carl Saunders. The “There’s only one Billy Ocean” theme was heard loud and clear in Bath that afternoon.

Looking back over the history of games in Bristol there have been some real high scoring encounters. The Boxing Day fixture of 1973 kept a 22,353 crowd on their toes as goals by Stuart Taylor, Alan Warboys (2) and Bruce Bannister swept a rampant Rovers to a 4-2 win. 

Going back even further to 14th October 1961 a Bobby Jones double, Geoff Bradford and Peter Hooper goals made the score 4-3 to Rovers. Interestingly John Brown and Johnny Williams (both later to play for Rovers) scored for Plymouth along with one by Ken Maloy. This provided some sort of revenge for Argyle’s 5-2 win just 11 months prior.

It’s also worth remembering that “Goodnight Irene” was first heard on 4 November 1950 in a game between Rovers and Argyle. Rovers came back from being 1-0 down at half time to score 3 goals. The Rovers fans changed the words of the current hit by the Weavers to ‘Goodnight Argyle”

Last season Rovers won this fixture 2-1 on New Year’s Day. Stunning first half goals from Joe Anyinsah and Matt Lund gave Rovers victory. The visitors pulled a goal back in the second half but, apart from another effort that hit the post, they didn’t really give Steve Mildenhall too many problems on his Rovers debut.

John-Joe O’Toole and Tom Hitchcock, also made their debuts in an excellent team performance. 

Argyle will be aiming for a fourth consecutive away win on Saturday, and they will not be short of support, with the away allocation sold out.
Written by Gerry Prewett

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