The Daggers View
July 29, 2015
The Daggers View
(The Dagenham & Redbridge Official website offers this preview of Bristol Rovers.)
Bristol Rovers Manager: Darrell Clarke
Stadium: The Memorial Stadium (Capacity 11,916).
Distance from Victoria Road: 130 miles.
Last Season: A titanic struggle with Barnet for the Conference title saw Rovers come up just a single point short in their first ever season of non-league football.
The play-offs followed, and after a convincing two leg victory over Forest Green Rovers in the semi-finals, Grimsby Town awaited the Gas at Wembley. Despite a slow start in front of a Conference record crowd of 47,029, Rovers regrouped and levelled the match at 1-1 through Ellis Harrison.
That’s how it stayed until the conclusion of extra-time, where it was the Mariners who blinked first, allowing Rovers to secure a 5-3 win on penalties to become the first side to make an immediate return to the Football League in 10 years.
Key Player: Mark McChrystal. The veteran defender and Bristol Rovers captain amassed 37 appearances last season and provides a wealth of experience in what remains a fairly youthful back-line.
Aside from Mark McChrystal, Rovers’ oldest defender is only 24 years of age showing a relative lack of experience at League Two level.
Key Signing: Former Rovers midfielder Chris Lines has re-joined the club permanently after a four year spell playing in the North of the country. Chris Lines made 190 appearances in his first spell with Rovers spanning seven years, and most recently helped them to promotion having joined late on loan last season.
In the absence of Andy Monkhouse, Chris Lines will provide not only experience, but vital knowledge of the club and its rapport with the fans. Former Dagger Cristian Montano has also linked up with Darrell Clarke at the Memorial Stadium.
Last Two Meetings:
Bristol Rovers 1-2 Dagenham & Redbridge (Azeez x2).
Dagenham & Redbridge 2-0 Bristol Rovers (Ogogo, Howell).
When do we play them?
19th December 2015 (H)
07th May 2016 (A).