FA Cup Replay: Bristol Rovers v Crawley Town Match Preview

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By Simon Gray

A place in the FA Cup second round is at stake as Bristol Rovers entertain Crawley Town at the Memorial Stadium.

The two sides met just over a week ago as a Billy Clifford goal cancelled out Lee Brown’s opener for the Gas.

Although Rovers manager Darrell Clarke likes to make numerous changes match by match, his hand may be forced this week as injuries, illness and suspensions take over the camp.

Steve Mildenhall, James Clarke, Billy Bodin are all injured, while Byron Moore missed training with illness on Monday morning. Daniel Leadbitter is also facing a one-game suspension after being dismissed at Millwall on Saturday and Will Puddy is cup-tied.

When talking to the Bristol Post, Clarke said, “I don’t see there being too many changes, but everyone is under consideration.

“They all have to be the best they can be regardless of whether they are in the team or not because they never know when an opportunity may arise.

“As soon as they dip below those standards they will be out of the club. I know it is frustrating for them and I make sure that I don’t distance myself from those who are not playing.

“They still have to go about things in the right way because it is more of a squad game than it has ever been.”

Crawley manager Dermot Drummy has insisted that his side must perform better than they did in their last game if they are to progress but knows that Tuesday’s match will be a very difficult match.

“I think it will be a very tough encounter”, he told Crawley Town’s website.

“We’ll be up against a strong support and we know that we will have to manage the game.”

Speaking about Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Cambridge Drummy said, “You can’t give goals away like that at this level”

“We have to show a real team spirit, a club spirit to put on a good performance.”

Team News for Crawley is that Andre Blackman is serving a two-match ban after being sent off in the first meeting with Rovers, while Joe McNerney underwent knee surgery on Monday and is set to be out for up to three weeks.

Mark Connolly, meanwhile, is a doubt after suffering a blow to his windpipe during Saturday’s loss to Cambridge.

The winner of the match will be home to either Barrow or Taunton Town, those two sides meet on the same night.

Stats

The last time these two sides met at the Memorial Stadium Rovers won the match 3-0.

Crawley striker Matt Harrold is expected to feature against his former club as he continues to return to full match fitness.

Should Rovers win the match, their next round opponents (Barrow or Taunton) will visit the Memorial Stadium on Sunday December 4th at 14:00.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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