Bristol Rovers v Yeovil Town Match Preview
By Simon Gray
Bristol Rovers face West Country rivals Yeovil Town at the Memorial Stadium this weekend as they look to break into the automatic promotion places once more.
Rovers are full of confidence following their impressive comeback to draw 2-2 against league leaders Northampton last Saturday and are still unbeaten at home since beating Wycombe 3-0 on December 1st last year.
Darrell Clarke’s side will be boosted after midfielder Lee Mansell returned in their GFA Cup defeat to Forest Green in midweek and could push for a return to the starting line up.
The will also be a huge buzz around the place after defensive duo Tom Lockyer and Lee Brown put pen to paper on new contracts at the club.
On the Brown signing, Clarke told the Bristol Post,
“Whilst there are five important games to be played during the current season, we also have to have an eye on next season.
“We are beginning to shape our squad accordingly and I am delighted that Lee will be staying with us because he has been one of our most consistent players during my time here as manager.”
Both Brown and Lockyer have been star performers in a stand out season, Brown scoring goals from left back and Lockyer keeping the defence strong and also being called up to the Wales U21 squad.
Yeovil go into the game having turned around their season since the appointment of Darren Way.
Destined for a third straight relegation at one point, the Glovers acted quickly in sacking Paul Sturrock in December.
Under the new management, Yeovil have averaged 1.5 points a game picking up 32 points from a possible 63.
Going into the match this weekend, Way expects a ‘fiery derby’.
It’s a derby game and it will have a derby feel. I have been involved with them as a player so I know exactly what it takes to win a football match there,” he told the Western Gazette.
“I remember the intensity of the game. It was quick and end-to-end and it was always a bit fiery. So it’s important that you play with control. When you add all those things together you have certainly got to think sharp to be able to handle that environment.
Matty Taylor edged closer to the League 2 Top Goalscorer award taking his tally to 25 league goals with his fine finish at Sixfields last time out.
The last meeting between the two sides came back in August where an 88th minute Ellis Harrison winner ensured the Gas took all three points back to Bristol.
These two sides have met just 15 times in their history, there has been 5 Rovers wins, 5 Yeovil wins and 5 draws.