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NEW SEASON, NEW TEAM | Bristol Rovers

2 June 2016

We take a look at our new opponents for 2016/17.

Bristol Rovers:

Who are this lot then?

Bristol Rovers secured promotion to League One in final-day frantic fashion as they defeated Dagenham & Redbridge, while closest rivals Accrington were held to a draw.

Lee Brown fired Rovers' elusive winner in added time as they came from behind to triumph against the relegated Daggers.

That result meant it’s two successive promotions for the Gas, after they secured passage to League Two in 2015 in similar dramatic fashion beating Grimsby Town on penalties at Wembley in the play-off final.

How did they get on last season?

Darrell Clarke's side, who suffered relegation to the National League on the final day on the last day of 2013/14 campaign, began the last day of 2015/16 in fourth position, two points away from promotion rivals Accrington Stanley.

Wins for both Accrington and Oxford would have left Rovers with the lottery of the play-offs to contend with, but Stanley’s failure to overcome Stevenage meant that the Pirates secured the final automatic spot on goal difference.

A run of one defeat in 14 during the ‘buisness end’ of the season was seen as crucial in Rovers returning to Sky Bet League 1 for the first time since 2011.

Who’s the Boss?

Darrell Clarke was appointed as Manager of Rovers in late March 2014. 

Although his arrival came too late to prevent relegation from League Two, Clarke masterminded an immediate return the following season via the play-offs.

This is his first managerial post in the professional game after having previously managed at non-league Salisbury City.

What happened last time?

Southend United progressed to the area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a narrow 1-0 victory over Bristol Rovers at Roots Hall when the two sides last met in November 2015.

John White's early header – his second goal of his career – after 11 minutes earned the win for the Blues against a Bristol side who threw everything at the Southend goal.

The skipper latched onto a Hurst cross from the left to head downwards and into the bottom corner of the net for his first goal at Roots Hall and second for the club.

What’s the ground like?

The Memorial Stadium has been owned by Bristol Rovers since 1998, when it was purchased from the old Bristol Rugby Club, who were in administration at the time.

The stadium capacity is just under 12,000, around 3,000 of which is seating. The seats are all located in the Dribuild Stand, the J&G Group Stand and the South Stand - the rest of the stadium is terracing only.

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