Category Archives: Bristol Rovers

Will Wimbledon Gas Bristol Rovers?

AFC Wimbledon go to Bristol Rovers tomorrow looking to build on a fairly solid start under new head coach Mark Robinson.

Robinson, who has been in charge for seven games prior to this game has slowly tweaked a few things and will be looking for a repeat of the victory gained at the same ground, albeit when Rovers had a different manager a few weeks ago.

Since then, Rovers have sacked Paul Tisdale and installed Joey Barton as they themselves look to move away from the bottom end of League One.

That said Wimbledon go in to the game on the back of some better and impressive performances.

A change in formation from a disastrous 3-5-2 to a more balanced 4-2- 3-1 formation has brought some solidity to a defence that in truth should have helped the Dons to a higher place in the league. Robinson’s side currently sit second from bottom in the division.

Current form, however, shows the improvment that has and is slowly starting to take place under Robinson, with the club sitting three places higher with a minus six goal difference.

Wimbledon as alluded to are starting to look a more formidable proposition, with players such as Ollie Palmer. So, it could be that instead of a 4-2-3-1 formation, they might revert back to a more trusted and historical 4-4-2, which has been responsible for a lot of their previous years success, which includes the Original Dons days ( which this author, remembers quite clearly!!)

The game should be an interesting one, given how Barton likes his sides to set up and be organised. Hopefully unlike at Barnsley Barton will keep his fists to himself!!

The Dons have no new injury worries, apart from Ethan Chislett, who has an achilles heel injury, but they have some promising youth products who could be included in the match day squad.

Dons head coach Robinson has stated that the performances need to be 100% from the off and that his team will be attacking on the front foot as that is the only way to win football matches.

So will the Dons gas Rovers? Come 4.45 on Saturday we will find out…..

AFC Wimbledon create unwanted history

Less than a month after moving into their brand New Plough Lane Ground, AFC Wimbledon, created unwanted history on December 5.

Playing against Bristol Rovers, themselves under new management, with ironically ex MK Dons Manager Paul Tisdale at the helm and playing a variation of AFC Wimbledon’s favoured 3-5-2, In rovers case, they employ an attacking free roving midfielder, to the Dons holding midfielder

The Dons Took an early lead, through a slightly contentious penalty, which was duly converted by Joe Piggot, himself a man in form and clearly liking playing at the new stadium, because this was in fifth goal since the move back to the clubs borough.

But, this seemed to inspire The Gas, as they are affectionately known, becaue within 11 minutes they were on level terms and then ahead, shortly before the half hour mark, though Wimbledon managed to level the scores up, through Ben Heneghan, only to concede late in stoppage time in the first half


The second half started much the same way as the first half had finished.

Bristol Rovers, put Wimbledon under the cosh for long periods and for some reason, best known only to themselves, AFC Wimbledon, seemeed content to play admiration football, when Rovers were in possession, (admiration football is watching the other player with the ball, without pressing)

This subsequently led to Rovers scoring a fourth goal, in the 63 minute, which ultmately killed AFC Wimbledon off and led to them

Creating Unwanted History

A first league loss back at the new ground, conceding four goals in the process and dropping to 14th as a result.

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

3 Possible Candidates to Replace Darren Way

As is the case when a football manager loses his job, then the list of potential candiates who could replace him, springs into life

With Yeovil parting company with Darren Way yesterday, after 1, 179 days in charge, Neale Marmon has been placed in temporary charge at Huish Park, with just a a few games remaining until the seasons end, if he does well, he could be in with a shout.

However, he does have some pretty impressive contenders for the roll, including former Glovers player, Jerry Gill, currently in charge of National League side Bath City ( which is not a million miles away from Yeovil) and who sit 5th in National League South. Gill has also managed Weymouth as well as holding coaching roles with Bristol Rovers and Wolves.

A strong contender for the job & one with Football League experience is Paul Hurst is one of the  current bookmakers favorite at the time of writing and has been out of work since he was dismissed at Portman road back in October.  The Sheffield born manager has had a prominent rise over the past decade with his first job being joint manager of Ilkeston town. Since then the former left back has managed Boston United where Hurst achieved promotion to Conference North and the Lincolnshire senior shield cup in his first season. Hurst would later resigned from Boston in 2011 to join fellow Lincolnshire based side Grimsby. Hurst spent five years at the Mariners achieving promotion back to the football league in 2016 via the playoffs. Hurst remained in charge of Grimsby till October of 2016 before moving to League One Shrewsbury Town. Hurst guided the Shrews off the bottom of the table and finished the campaign in 18th. The following season Hurst guided Shersbury to a playoff place and Checkatrade trophy final before losing out to Lincoln. After a successful season with the Shrews Hurst was hired as Mick McCarthy replacement at Ipswich town. Hurst only managed to last 15 games at Portman road before being given the boot after only winning one game.

The third and final manager on this list to replace Darren Way is former Bristol Rovers boos Darrell Clarke. Clarke has managed over 400 games as a manager and has built a strong reputation as a astue football manager and will be looking to get back into the game after being dismissed by Bristol Rovers in December 2018. Clark started out his managerial career with Salisbury City where the former winger started life as a player Manager. The Mansfield born manager went on to achieve two promotions with the Whites before leaving in 2013 to become assistant manager at Bristol Rovers. Clarke wouldn’t become full time Manager till March 2014 and saw the Gas relegated to the Conference following a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield on the final day of the season. Clarke remained in charge the following season and returned Bristol Rovers back to the Football league on the first time of asking. The following season Clarke would achieve consecutive promotions with the club as the former winger guided Bristol to a third placed finish in League 2. Clarke would continue to impress at Bristol Rovers finishing 10th and 13th place in League One. However Clarke left the club in 2019 after a run over 7 defeats in there last ten games.  

Clarke would be an excellent choice for Yeovil as the Manager has showed his determination and loyalty at Bristol Rovers whilst working with constraints.  Clarke also holds the highest FA coaching badge a level 5 UEFA pro.

Which ever way Yeovil decide to go, then they are spoilt for choice, they just have to make the right choice.

League One: 11 Teams & an 8 point battle

As we near the business end of the season in the English Football League One, there are 11 teams, seperated by just 8 points.

8 points might not sound a lot given the previous relegation history of this league, but this has been no ordinary season in this league.

It has given us everything including drama, unexpected results, upturns in form, managerial changes, some good some bad and some just inspired.

From Bristol Rovers in 13th Position on 44 points, down to Bradford City, who this week took over from AFC Wimbledon as the strong men of the division, on 36 points, it could be said that none of the teams from 13th, down to 20th are considered safe, by any stretch.

Bristol Rovers, Scunthorpe , AFC Wimbledon, Rochdale and Bradford, among these teams have changed managers this term, with Bradford and Rochdale , being the latest to change, though it could be said, that in Bradford’s case, the appointment of Gary Bowyer, is their 4th Managerial change this season, with history not favoring relegated teams who change manager more than once.

Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon, appointed managers who have fresh innovative ideas and this has been reflected in these two clubs upturn in form, both previous occupants of the bottom slot, Rovers now occupy 13th, with AFC Wimbledon sitting in 22nd position and just 3 points away from the teams directly above them.

In fact a win at home to Gillingham on Saturday, would potentially see the ‘Dons climb out of the bottom 4, which would represent a total turn around in fortunes.

Previous seasons have seen 50 points being the safety mark to avoid relegation, but given the unpredictable nature of results this season, and with just 8 games to go, it is quite conceivable that less than 50 points will be enough this season?

Either way, it promises to be a very exciting and potentially nerve-wracking end to an incredible season.

Who do you think will survive this season ?