Bristol Rovers have a golden opportunity to progress to the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday, taking on National League side Boreham Wood at the Memorial Stadium. It is the maiden meeting between the two sides, with Bristol Rovers currently playing two divisions higher than their opponents in League One. After securing automatic promotion to the third tier in dramatic fashion on the final day last season, Bristol Rovers seem to have handled the step-up well, currently 15th in the standings.
There was an initial adjustment period for the Gas, winning just two of their 11 opening games, but they have really managed to kick on since the start of October, and they have now lost just one of their last 13 in all competitions. During this time, Joey Barton’s side progressed to this stage of the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 home victory against Rochdale, with veteran forward Scott Sinclair bagging the only goal of the game.
Rovers have performed well in cup competitions so far, and they secured their place in the last 16 of the EFL Trophy last time out, winning 2-1 away at Colchester United. It appeared as if the game was heading for penalties after a James Connolly opener was cancelled out by a late Freddie Sears effort, but Harvey Saunders struck in injury time to seal the Gas’ spot in the next round.
Boreham Wood are 10th in the National League standings, just two points off the playoff places, with a game in hand on seventh-placed Solihull Moors at their disposal. While manager Luke Garrard will be pleased that his side are still very much in contention, the slump in form that has taken place in recent weeks will be alarming, as they have only really seemed to show up in the FA Cup.
In their last eight games, the Wood have won just twice, with both of these coming in cup ties, defeating Wealdstone 5-3 and Eastleigh 3-1 to reach this point in the competition.
We say: Bristol Rovers 3-0 Boreham Wood
Not only do two leagues separate Sunday’s opponents, but Boreham Wood come into the game in very poor form. As such, Bristol Rovers should progress to the next round in comfortable fashion.
Bristol :- Belshaw, Connolly, Thomas, Gibson, Sinclair, Rossiter, Finley, Gordon, Evans, Saunders, Coburn
Boreham :- Ashmore, Coxe, Evans, Fyfield, Gordon, Ilesanmi, Brunt, Broadbent, Payne, Marsh, Ndlovu
Tip 1 :- Result – Bristol Rovers
Tip 2 :- Both team to goal – No
Tip 3 :- Gibson to score first – Yes
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