By Gerry Prewett.
On Tuesday evening Bristol Rovers entertain table topping Peterborough United and welcome back Jonson Clarke-Harris for the first time. After something of a slow start JCH has started to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
The overall record between the Gas and the Posh reads Rovers wins, 14, draws 14 and losses 15. There is a definite split in which team rules the roost. In the first 25 games Rovers won 11, drew 10 and lost 4, in the next 18 games Rovers won 3, drew 4 and lost 11. In fact, Rovers have failed to win any of the last 11 games between the clubs. The last 6 home games for Rovers has produced 3 draws and 3 defeats.
The teams’ first ever meeting was on 26thNovember 1938, when Rovers won an FA Cup tie at Eastville 4-1. Donal Tolland (2), Frank Curren and Dick Spivey scoring for Rovers and Fielding scoring for the away team.
The first League meeting with Peterborough was on 4thSeptember 1962 when goals by Keith Williams, Ian Hamilton and Bobby Jones secured a 3-1 win for the Pirates in front of an 11,860 Eastville crowd. On 15thSeptember 1964 Rovers gained their biggest win over Peterborough when an Alfie Biggs’ hat trick and a goal by Bobby Jones gave the Pirates a 4-0 win. Rovers’ first goal was a penalty when the Referee Setchell ruled that Ian Hamilton's goal bound header was deliberately handled by Graham Birks. The 17,415 crowd were denied a sight of crowd entertainer and Irish international Derek Dougan who was out injured.
The following season Rovers keeper Bernard Hall had a good reason to remember the game. Diving at the feet of Peterborough's dangerous winger Tom Watson, Hall caught a kick to the head and the tip of his left ear was removed. It was never found! Incidentally the game finished 1-1.
Rovers last victory over Posh was on 3 February 2007 at the Mem, Rickie Lambert gave Rovers a 14thminute lead. Richard Walker doubled the lead on 52 minutes. The game changed in 9 minutes as Danny Crow (65 minutes) and Aaron McLean (74 minutes) levelled the scores. Stuart Campbell won the game for Rovers with a last minute goal.