Our U18 side face Bristol Rovers at Velodrome Way this Saturday, looking to pick up their second consecutive league victory for the first time this season and continue to move up the league table.
We preview Rovers’ last five matches, previous fixtures between the two sides and a lowdown on the backroom staff ahead of our important fixture against Johnathan Henderson’s side.
The most recent meeting between Rovers and County didn’t quite go to plan – County lost 5-1 to Bristol Rovers at Chipping Sodbury on Friday 22nd September with Goals from James Spruce, Josh Brace, Lucas Tomlinson and a double from Harry Warwick all contributing to the defeat. Forward Michael Cook got the only goal of the game for County.
Our last win against Bristol Rovers in the 16/17 season was a defining point of last season, as County came from behind to win 2-1 away from home – with goals from Rhys Kavanagh and Lewis Collins sealing the victory.
A week later the Young Exiles sealed the Merit League 1 title after a win against Gillingham, with Modou Touray scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory.
We have had a reasonable amount of success in fixtures against Bristol Rovers, with other matches including a 2-2 draw and a 5-0 win against Rovers last season.
Bristol Rovers academy manager is currently Jonathan Henderson who took up the role in November 2014.
Their head of academy coaching is Gerard Jones, who joined Rovers in June 2017 – he has previously acted as an academy coach for Rochdale and an assistant coach for Bradford U23’s.
They currently have two PDP coaches, (Professional Development Phase) Tom Parrinello and Lee Mansell – Parrinello has been in association with the club for over 17 years and is currently Head PDP coach. Lee Mansell has previously played for Bristol Rovers before he retired from professional football and joined as an academy coach.
Rovers’ goalkeeping coach Dan Bevan also works with the Wales Women’s first-team, previously working during their European Championships qualifiers against Israel and Kazakhstan. He joined the Gas in 2016 having left Cardiff City after three years working with various age groups at the club.
Last Five Fixtures
The Pirates have struggled lately – only picking up three points from a possible fifteen in their last five matches with their only win coming against Swindon Town, narrowly beating them 1-0.
A 2-1 and 4-0 loss against Oxford United, coupled with a 6-0 defeat at Portsmouth and a 3-0 defeat at home to Exeter City has seen Bristol slide down the table into 6th place.
The Young Exiles face Bristol Rovers’ U18 side on Saturday 2nd December at Velodrome Way – with Byron Anthony’s side looking to pick up their third win in a row for the first time this season. (10:30AM Kick-Off)
Looking for a football fix this Saturday?
The team will be playing at Dragon Park Pitch 2, located behind the Velodrom (next to the 3g pitch). Post code: NP19 4RA. Why not come along and support the future of the Club in their vital fixture against Bristol Rovers.
If you can’t attend the fixture, you can follow match updates on the official academy Twitter @Youth_County as the Young Exiles look to beat Rovers for the first time this season.