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Movers and Shakers

Take a look at our past history with the confirmed additions to Sky Bet League One.

29 May 2018

The weekend’s games means that we now know the make up of next season’s League One, Coventry City being the final team to make it by virtue of their 3-1 win against Exeter City in the League Two play off final.

Leaving us at the top end of the table, after just one season at this level, are three of the four teams relegated from the Championship at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Rotherham United.

At the other end of the table, we say goodbye to Oldham Athletic, Northampton Town, MK Dons and Bury, as they drop into League Two.

The seven sides replacing these teams are Sunderland, Burton Albion, Barnsley, Accrington Stanley, Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and, as already mentioned, Coventry City.

Of those seven, surely Sunderland is the fixture that will capture the imagination of Rovers supporters.

Although we haven’t met them in the league since the 1992/93 campaign, The Black Cats have played at The Mem before, beating us 2-1 in a League Cup tie on 31st October 2000 when a crowd of 11,433 saw Don Hutchinson score twice for the visitors and Nathan Ellington reply for The Gas.

The last league encounter against Sunderland was at Twerton Park on 16th January 1993. The result was a 2-2 draw and the crowd of 6,140 saw goals from David Rush and Shaun Cunnington for the visitors. On target for Rovers was Marcus Stewart, a future Sunderland player, of course, and Paul Hardyman, who had appeared in the 1992 FA Cup Final for the men from Roker Park.

The Stadium of Light was still a few years off (it was opened on 30th July 1997) so next season will see us play there for the first time and a great many Gasheads are expected to travel to Wearside for the fixture.

The clubs have met on 24 occasions in the league and have eight wins apiece. The distance between The Mem and The Stadium of Light is 289 miles.

Of the other two clubs coming down from The Championship one of them, Barnsley, have never played at The Mem.

The last time the clubs met in the league was at Oakwell on 27th March 1993 when they ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Deiniol Graham and Owen Archdeacon with Tony Pounder replying for Rovers on his 100th appearance for the club.

There has been a more recent meeting between the clubs, in the FA Cup. Rovers were at Oakwell for a fifth round tie on 13th February 1999, but were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by The Tykes in front of a crowd of 17,508 which included 4,245 Gasheads.

The clubs first met in the league in November 1955 and have gone head to head on 28 occasions, with Rovers winning 11 and Barnsley eight whilst nine games have ended all square.

It’s another fairly long trek for Rovers supporters as the distance from The Mem to Oakwell is 188 miles.

Games against the other relegated club from The Championship, Burton Albion, are far more recent.

The first meeting ended in a 2-1 defeat for Rovers at The Pirelli Stadium, on 22nd October 2011 but by the time of the return fixture at The Mem, on 14th April 2012, Rovers were a much stronger side and ran out 7-1 winners.

Eliot Richards scored a hat-trick that day, while Matt Harrold weighed in with two goals and Mustapha Carayol and Jim Paterson were also on the scoresheet.

We have met The Brewers, who were relegated on the final day of last season, on six occasions, Rovers winning three, Burton two and there has been one draw.

Distance from The Mem to The Pirelli Stadium is 127 miles.

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