Meet the Pirates

AHEAD of tonight’s FA Cup replay with Bristol Rovers at Home Park, we take a closer look at our Westcountry visitors.

Founded: 1883
Home: The Memorial Stadium
Nicknames: The Pirates, The Gas
Rivals: Bristol City, Cardiff City, Swindon Town

Bristol Rovers were founded in 1883 as Black Arabs FC and were also known as Eastville Rovers and Bristol Eastville Rovers before finally changing to its curent name in 1899.

The club's official nickname of the Pirates reflects the maritime history of Bristol, although the local nickname is the Gas, derived from the gasworks next to their former home, Eastville Stadium, which started as a derogatory term used by fans of their main rivals, Bristol City, but was affectionately adopted by the club and its supporters.

Rovers were admitted to the EFL in 1920 and have played there ever since, apart from spending the 2014–15 season in the Conference Premier. Their highest finishing positions were in 1956 and 1959, on both occasions ending the season in sixth place in Division Two, the second tier of English football.

The club's honours include winning the third tier title twice, and the fourth tier play-off final once. Rovers have also been EFL Trophy finalists twice.

Rovers come into tonight’s fixture on the back of nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions, including, of course, the 1-1 draw in the first game of today’s tie at the Memorial Stadium 17 days ago.

Since then, they have beaten Southend United at home, 4-2 and, on Saturday, achieved a notable 2-1 triumph at Sky Bet League One high-flyers Ipswich Town.

The win over Southend was the second game in succession that the Pirates had scored four, having also won away 4-3 at Shrewsbury Town.

Still in the Trophy, after drawing with Argyle in the group stages, Rovers have reached the League One play-off positions after ten wins, four draws and five defeats.

Sky Bet League One: 4th
Emirates FA Cup: Second round, Argyle H, D 1-1
Carabao Cup: Second round, Brighton H, L 1-2 Trophy: Group stage, Argyle A, D 1-1 (lost shoot-out); Chelsea U-23s H, W 2-1; Swindon H, W 1-0 

Argyle wins 58
Draws 41
Bradford wins 42

Barry Hayles