FA Cup First Round Match Preview: Crawley Town v Bristol Rovers

 

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By Simon Gray

The FA Cup first round is here and two sides that met in the second round of the 2013/14 season meet again this weekend.

Crawley Town of League Two face Bristol Rovers of League One hoping to upset the odds and progress to round two.

Both sides went out at this stage last season with Crawley losing 2-1 at home to Luton Town where as Rovers were on the end of one of the shocks of the season, losing 1-0 at home to minnows Chesham United.

Rovers will be hoping to amend that defeat this season as they bid to out an end to their FA Cup hoodoo in recent years, with manager Darrell Clarke not managing to guide Rovers past the first round in his two attempts.

“The less said on some of our cup results the better,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“My FA Cup record has not been great since I have been here and I’d like to change that this year if we can.

“We were on the end of a massive shock last year, but that’s the beauty of the FA Cup isn’t it?

“This might surprise a few people but I didn’t have a go at the players in the changing rooms after we lost to Chesham.

“We had 40-odd attempts at goal it was just one of those days. Nine times out of ten you are going to win a game you have created 40 chances in.

“It is always a competition I want to do well in. I don’t think I have ever taken a game lightly or prepared any different regardless of the competition.”

This will be Crawley manager Dermot Drummy’s first ever match as a manager in the FA Cup and he told the Crawley website that he is looking for to the occasion.

“It’s very exciting for me as it’s a great competition.

“Crawley have played a part in it too with the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United and it just shows you how well the club have done in it.

“If we can emulate Steve Evans’ side then that will be fantastic.”

Team News for Rovers is that they will be without goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall who has been ruled out for four months with a knee injury. Rovers will also be without another goalkeeper in Will Puddy who is ineligible after featuring for Braintree in the fourth qualifying round.

Crawley will have new signings Conor Henderson and Sanchez Watt available after they both penned short-term deals with the club.

Stats

The last meeting at the Broadfield Stadium came in November last year with Crawley winning 2-1 thanks to two Rhys Murphy goals in the space of a minute.

Rovers however won the reverse fixture 3-0 later that season.

Crawley striker Matt Harrold spent three years at Rovers, scoring 27 goals in 76 games.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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