By Gerry Prewett.
Bristol Rovers look for their first victory of the season tonight when they entertain Oldham Athletic. Rovers home record against the Lancashire team is very impressive. 30 games played, 18 wins, 8 draws and 4 defeats.
The first meeting was in the FACup on 14 December 1935 as the teams tied 1-1 at Boundary Park, Rovers won the replay 4-1 at Eastville with a Phil Taylor hat-trick and a goal by Harry Houghton, who had scored the goal in the away game.
The first League meeting was a Second Division tie on 16 April 1954 with Rovers winning 1-0 at Eastville with a George Petherbridge goal. Three days later the teams drew 0-0 at Boundary Park. With the Latics getting relegated that season the teams did not clash again until 8 January 1962 for an FA Cup match at Eastville, which ended 1-1, Norman Sykes scoring for Rovers, they lost the replay 2-0.
The clubs first clashed in Division 3 at Eastville on 31 August 1963 and it was Colin Whitaker who secured an away win. Rovers then won 5 and drew 2 of the next 7 games in Bristol.
In the 1967-68 season the goals really flowed in this fixture. Rovers won the tie in front of a 6,864 crowd on 17 February 1968, 4-3 with goals by Alfie Biggs (2) and Johnny Williams (2, 1 penalty) for the home team and Tony Towers (2) and Laurie Sheffield (who had been on Rovers books at one stage without ever getting a game).
Oldham had gone ahead in the game but with 11 minutes left, Rovers were 3-1 up. Towers then scored and Sheffield equalised before Biggs headed his second.
The last of the game in that run was a 3-3 draw on 10 February 1973, Harold Jarman, Tommy Stanton and Stuart Taylor scored for Rovers and Alan MacNeil, Ian Robins and substitute Ronnie Blair for the Latics.
Oldham won the next game but once again Rovers went on a long unbeaten run 0f 11 games with 6 victories and 5 draws, 4 of those draws were 0-0!
Once again once Oldham won in Bristol on 28 October 2000, Mark Allott scoring on 5 minutes and Lee Duxbury adding the second on 76 minutes. Once again Rovers responded with an impressive run 5 consecutive wins. The last time the teams met at the Mem it was one of those rare Latics wins
On 12 September 2017 three goals in five minutes at the end of the game broke Rovers hearts after a strong comeback. Oldham midfielder Jack Byrne opened the scoring in the 48th minute when he picked up the ball 30 yards out and fired the ball over goalkeeper Adam Smith.
Craig Davies added a second in the 70th minute when his low bobbling shot deflected in off Tom Lockyer.
Substitute Rory Gaffney pulled one back for the Gas in the 83rd minute with a low strike from the right side of the box for his second goal in two games.
Then defender Ryan Sweeney opened his account for the season when he nodded in a Chris Lines free-kick two minutes later. But it was Doyle who had the last word. Doyle nodded in a cross from fellow striker Davies to claim his second goal of the season in the 88th minute and a 3-2 away win.