By Gerry Prewett.
Bristol Rovers head up to table topping Lincoln City this weekend, fresh from their first victory of the season last week over Northampton.
Last season, a scrappy first half saw both goalkeepers have to make one good save each, with Rovers' Anssi Jaakkola beating away a drive from Jack Payne and Imps keeper Josh Vickers tipping over a header from Nichols. Rovers broke the deadlock midway through the second half, and it proved to be the match-winning goal. Neal Eardley got caught the wrong side of Tom Nichols, who fell under the defender's challenge, and the in-form Jonson Clarke-Harris sent Vickers the wrong way from the spot for his sixth of the season.
On 13th September 2014 in the Vanarama Conference Rovers picked up their first away win of the season. First half goals from Stuart Sinclair and Daniel Leadbitter gave them a two goal cushion but the home side levelled before the break. In an open second half both sides had chances before Lee Brown missed an 87thminute penalty. However, the defender set up Ellis Harrison who fired in a last minute winner, though Rovers were indebted to goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall for a superb save from the final shot of the match.
The During the 2006-07 promotion season the teams met four times in the League and the Play-Offs. During the regular season the Imps came out on top with a 1-0 win at Sincil Bank and a 0-0 draw at the Mem. In the Play-Offs Rovers won the home leg 2-1 and expected a tough game at Lincoln. An early Stuart Campbell stunner settled Rovers nerves as they went on to win 5-3 on the night and 7-4 on aggregate. The Imps failure was their fifth in successive Play-off competitions, a record for any club.
The first match between the clubs took place on 19th September 1953 and the Imps stunned a 24,650 Eastville crowd by inflicting Rovers with their second home defeat of the season, 1-0. In the return match at Sincil Bank Rovers gained their revenge with a 2-1 victory with Paddy Hale and Vic Lambden scoring for Rovers.
Lincoln were relegated from the Second Division in 1960-61 season, one year before Rovers suffered the same fate. During those seasons the Gas won four more times in Lincoln and suffered just one more defeat in Bristol. One of those defeats was a 4-1 thrashing on 20thSeptember 1958 when Geoff Bradford scored Rovers consolation goal. At Eastville Rovers scored pretty freely against the Imps and five times put three goals past the Lincoln keeper. Alfie Biggs twice scored doubles in these games.