Bristol Rovers v Oldham Athletic Match Preview

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers entertain Oldham Athletic this week without a first team goalkeeper available.

Rovers had Sam Slocombe sent off in the win over Walsall at the weekend and with Adam Smith injured, Alexis Andre Jr, a Frenchman signed to the club’s development squad in the summer, had to come on to make his first team debut.

The 20-year-old made a string of saves to deny Walsall from taking the lead at 1-1 before Ollie Clarke netted the winner for Rovers late on.

Rovers manager Darrell Clarke praised the young shot stopper after the game but in usual Clarke fashion, declined to state the young keeper will be the one to start between the sticks on Tuesday night.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Clarke told the club’s website.

“I don’t like giving stuff away but like you said Alexis did very well on Saturday when he came on so we’ll see.

“You can never rule anything out with me.

“What I will tell you is you will know by half past six tomorrow who is in goal.

“Fair play to the lad [Andre Jr], he hasn’t been at the club long. He’s done well and the fans were fantastic with him, the fans really got behind the lads when we went down to 10 men and we’ll need a bit more of that Tuesday night.”

Rovers could also be without midfielder Chris Lines after he limped off in the win over Walsall and with Stuart Sinclair likely to miss the game through injury, it means Clarke has just two natural central midfielders available in the form of Ollie Clarke and Liam Sercombe. Rovers are also without defenders James Clarke and Johnny Burn for the match.

Oldham go into the game having gained their first point of the League One campaign away at Fleetwood at the weekend.

The Latics were very impressive in the 2-2 draw having led twice only to concede a stoppage time penalty but manager John Sheridan is convinced that his side’s last two performances have shown that they are able to compete in League One.

“It’s another tough game, they’re going well, it’s a hard place to go,” Sheridan told the club’s website.

“At the start of the season we’ve played teams in and around the top of the table, Fleetwood and Charlton, I don’t think there’s too much between the teams in the division.

“We’ve shown in the last two games, against Charlton, who I think will be up there, and Fleetwood who are a good footballing side, we’ve proved we can match teams and we just have to believe in ourselves.

“I feel as though if we give a performance like against Charlton and Fleetwood then we’ve got a good chance of getting something.

“We have to try and take the last two performances into Bristol and see where it takes us.

“It’s difficult when you’re not winning, but the most important thing is to stick together as a group, try to get through it and hopefully we turn a corner and we go to a tough game against Bristol Rovers believing we can get our first win.

Oldham have Ousmane Fane back from suspension.

Abdelhakim Omrani could make his debut for John Sheridan’s men, while defender Rob Hunt (hamstring) needs to be checked over.

Ryan Flynn, Paul Green and Courtney Duffus all look likely to be missing once more for the match.

Stats

Last season, in the two matches these two sides played, Rovers came out on top on both occasions, 2-0 at Boundary Park and 1-0 at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers have beaten Oldham in eight of their last 10 meetings, drawing once and losing once.

Rovers defender Johnny Burn spent a period of the 2015-16 season on loan at Oldham, scoring once in 12 appearances.

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.

One Response to “Bristol Rovers v Oldham Athletic Match Preview

  • andrew snell
    3 months ago

    Thanks Simon
    Do we know what exactly is wrong with Smith, and how he sustained the injury ?
    Or is there more in the back ground here that we do nt know, as he has a bit of a checkered history.
    I saw him up here at Charlton and thought he looked competent and commanding.
    Personally would like a little more football on the ground, Rovers at both Charlton & Fulham seem to play “long Ball “, although I dont get an opportunity to get to the Mem
    Regards

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