Carabao Cup: Bristol Rovers v Cambridge United Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers will be looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat when Cambridge visit the Memorial Stadium in the newly named Carabao Cup.

Rovers go into the first round fixture having lost to 10 man Charlton in their first league match, which was surrounded by controversy and assistant boss Marcus Stewart admitted his side cannot wait to get back onto the pitch.

“Yes, we can’t wait,” Stewart told the Bristol Post.

“We’re a bit frustrated about the weekend because the decision didn’t go for us – a frustrating day.

“Everyone’s got a bit of anger – a bit of anxiety about them.

“It’s nice to get a training session out of the way, and a game with hopefully a win.

“If we had to wait another week for a game, it would be the longest week ever. A game straight away will be good for everyone.

“There were things we could have done better, but we did pile on lots of pressure, we did make the right runs, they defended very well.

“Against ten men you expect to come away with a result but that didn’t happen, that’s the frustrating thing.”

Rovers will be without Daniel Leadbitter and James Clarke for the match, with Joe Partington also a doubt. Leadbitter missed the Charlton match through injury, Clarke picked up an injury at the Valley and Partington was deemed not fit enough to replace Clarke due to him still coming back from a hamstring problem.

New signings Ryan Sweeney and Dominic Telford will be available though after an administration error kept them out of contention on Saturday.

Cambridge began their League Two campaign with a frustrating defeat of their own, losing 1-0 away at Exeter City.

Manager Shaun Derry has insisted that other League Two clubs are starting to take notice of them.

“You can’t legislate for that start, unfortunately,” Derry told Cambridge News.

“That was an error that was completely out of the blue, a moment of madness that cost us the first goal.
“But as disappointed as I was with the initial handball, I was equally disappointed we didn’t react from Fordey’s good penalty save.

“We became a little bit disjointed in the following 10 to 15 minutes and it took a couple of substitutions at half time to completely change the dynamics of the game.”

The match may come too soon for Brad Halliday, who is still recovering from an appendix operation so Leon Davies is likely to continue his role at right back.


Rovers Striker Rory Gaffney moved to Rovers from Cambridge in January 2016.

Rovers completed the league double over Cambridge in the 2015/16 League Two season.

Cambridge have only beaten Rovers once in their last 14 visits to Bristol.

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