By Gerry Prewett.
For the first time in over 16 years Bristol Rovers entertain Hull City. On 29 November 2003 Ben Burgess put high flying Hull in front after just 5 minutes but Ryan Williams - on loan to Rovers from Hull - equalised when his cross curled straight in just after the half hour mark.
Rovers dominated the second half and won the game with an 88th-minute goal. Williams fired in a cross which Hull were unable to clear, before Junior Agogo volleyed home.
In the 1910-11 Season the teams clashed for the very first time in the FA Cup and after a 0-0 draw at Eastville, the Tigers won the replay 1-0.
They next clashed again on 10 February 1951 at Eastville when goals by Lambden and Watling (2) gave Rovers a 3-0 F.A. Cup Round 5 win.
Rovers have featured in some high scoring games with the Tigers, there have been two 4-2 home wins, a 4-0 home win, a 5-2 home defeat, a 4-1 away defeat, a 4-3 away win and a 6-1 away defeat.
The first Eastville league game between the teams was on 3 October 1953 and a 25,269 crowd was entertained by a 4-2 home win, Bill Roost (2), Geoff Bradford and Josser Watling scoring for the Pirates. That score was repeated in January 1956 and Geoff Bradford hit three of the goals with Peter Hooper also adding his contribution.
Fast-forwarding to the 1964/65 season both teams were challenging for promotion from the Third Division. Hull had an expensively assembled team and had run out narrow 3-2 winners in a thrilling game at Boothferry Park.
The return match at Eastville on 6 March was marred by snow and an icy surface. What should have been a top class game was turned into comedy on ice; the 1-1 result pleased the Northerners more than it did Rovers.
As it turned out both teams missed out on promotion that year, but the Tigers went up in some style the following year scoring 109 goals in the process. They scored six of those goals in their defeat of Rovers. Simpkin, Houghton (2), Henderson, Chilton and Ian Butler were the Tigers scorers as they ran riot against a sad Rovers team, for whom Roger Frude had scored an equalising goal! They completed the double over Rovers in the final match of the season with a 2-1 win at Eastville.
The overall record of games reads Rovers wins 18, draws 11, defeats 18.