The 2007–08 season was the 125th season of football played by Bristol Rovers, and their 81st in the Football League. During this season Rovers played in Coca-Cola League One of the Football League, the third level of football in England, and had a remarkable cup run which saw them equal a club record by reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The Pirates were newcomers to League One this year, having been promoted from League Two at the end of the previous season via the Playoffs. Although the season began slowly, much like the last season, a fine run of results in January and February saw them within touching distance of the playoffs. Unfortunately, the good form evaporated following elimination from the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage, at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. Doncaster Rovers were the only team to beat the Gas between Christmas 2007 and the FA Cup defeat on 9 March 2008, but after that game they wouldn't win again for another month and a half. After the FA Cup defeat they would win just once more in the remainder of the season, resulting in a 16th place finish in the league.
The club's run of one win in their last 16 games saw them drop from a position where they would be in a play-off position if they won their games in hand to finishing 23 points below 6th place.
Thirty-six players were in the first-team squad during the course of the 2007-08 season, three of whom were loanees. Of the thirty-six, twenty-six of them made it onto the pitch for at least one first-team match. Ten players made their Rovers debuts this season, these were Andy Williams, David Pipe, Danny Coles, Anthony Pulis, Tom Parrinello, Matt Groves, Josh Klein-Davies, Charlie Reece, Wayne Andrews and Charlie Clough.
|No||Nat||Name||Pos||League||FA Cup||Carling Cup||JP Trophy||Total|
The team kit for the 2007-08 season was manufactured by Errea, and the main sponsor was Cowlin Construction. The secondary shirt sponsor was Blackthorn, having replaced ALD Automotive on the backs of the players jerseys.
The away kit consisted of green shirts and black shorts, and no third kit was used.
|20 July||Bath City||Away||5-2||1,233||Igoe (2), Lescott, Walker, Rigg|
|24 July||Dunfermline Athletic||Away||2-2||1,118||Lambert, Walker (pen)|
|26 July||Cowdenbeath||Away||2-1||293||Rose (trialist), Walker|
|28 July||Airdrie United||Away||2-2||1,646||Walker, Lambert|
|31 July||West Bromwich Albion||Home||3-3||3,221||Lambert (3)|
|4 August||Plymouth Argyle||Away||3-7||4,180||Lescott, Pipe, Hinton|
Five matches were also arranged featuring a Bristol Rovers XI, consisting of reserves, youth players and trialists, all of which were played away from home. The opponents, results and scorers were as follows: Chippenham Town (lost 2-0), Weston-super-Mare (drew 1-1, Adam Mahdi), Newport County (won 4-2, Josh Klein-Davies (penalty), Sean Rigg (2), Danny Rose (trialist)), Bridgwater Town (lost 4-2, Josh Klein-Davies (pen), Charlie Clough) and Clevedon Town (won 2-0, Craig Hinton, Andy Sandell).
The match against Newport County was officially an away fixture, but was played at Clevedon Town's Hand Stadium. The game was originally due to be held at Gloucester City's Meadow Park, but had to be moved after the pitch was flooded.
|Sat 11 August||League One||Port Vale||Away||1-1||Williams|
|Tue 14 August||Carling Cup||Crystal Palace||Home||1-1|
|Sat 18 August||League One||Crewe Alexandra||Home||1-1||Disley|
|Sat 25 August||League One||Oldham Athletic||Away||1-0||Jacobson|
|Tue 28 August||Carling Cup||West Ham United||Home||1-2||Williams|
|Sat 1 September||League One||Nottingham Forest||Home||2-2||Anthony, Walker (pen)|
|Sat 8 September||League One||Luton Town||Away||2-1||Lambert (2)|
|Fri 14 September||League One||Leeds United||Home||0-3||-|
|Sat 22 September||League One||Carlisle United||Away||1-1||Elliott|
|Sat 29 September||League One||Leyton Orient||Home||2-3||Walker (2 pens)|
|Tue 2 October||League One||Southend United||Home||1-1||Walker (pen)|
|Sat 6 October||League One||Brighton & Hove Albion||Away||0-0||-|
|Tue 9 October||Johnstone's Paint Trophy||AFC Bournemouth||Home||0-1||-|
|Fri 12 October||League One||Hartlepool United||Away||0-1||-|
|Sat 20 October||League One||Yeovil Town||Home||1-1||Elliott|
|Sat 27 October||League One||Gillingham||Away||2-3||Lambert, Pipe|
|Sat 3 November||League One||AFC Bournemouth||Home||0-2||-|
|Tue 6 November||League One||Northampton Town||Away||1-0||Lambert|
|Sat 10 November||FA Cup||Leyton Orient||Away||1-1||Lambert|
|Sat 17 November||League One||Millwall||Home||2-1||Lambert (pen), Haldane|
|Tue 20 November||FA Cup||Leyton Orient||Home||Postponed - Waterlogged pitch|
|Sat 24 November||League One||Swindon Town||Away||0-1||-|
|Tue 27 November||FA Cup||Leyton Orient||Home||3-3|
|Hinton, Lambert (pen), Disley|
|Sat 1 December||FA Cup||Rushden & Diamonds||Home||5-1||Williams, Disley, Hinton, Lambert (2)|
|Wed 5 December||League One||Cheltenham Town||Home||Postponed - Waterlogged pitch|
|Sat 8 December||League One||Swansea City||Home||Postponed - Waterlogged pitch|
|Sat 15 December||League One||Huddersfield Town||Away||1-2||Pipe|
|Sat 22 December||League One||Leeds United||Away||0-1||-|
|Wed 26 December||League One||Luton Town||Home||1-1||Lambert|
|Sat 29 December||League One||Carlisle United||Home||3-0||Williams (2), Hinton|
|Tue 1 January||League One||Southend United||Away||1-0||Williams|
|Sun 6 January||FA Cup||Fulham||Away||2-2||Coles, Hinton|
|Fri 11 January||League One||Tranmere Rovers||Away||2-0||Williams, Lambert|
|Wed 15 January||FA Cup||Fulham||Home||Postponed - Dangerous playing conditions|
|Sat 19 January||League One||Walsall||Home||1-1||Disley|
|Tue 22 January||FA Cup||Fulham||Home||0-0|
|Sat 26 January||FA Cup||Barnet||Away||1-0||Lambert|
|Tue 29 January||League One||Crewe Alexandra||Away||1-1||Ben Williams (og)|
|Sat 2 February||League One||Port Vale||Home||3-2||Coles, Lines, Lambert (pen)|
|Tue 5 February||League One||Cheltenham Town||Home||2-0||Hinton, Lambert|
|Sat 9 February||League One||Doncaster Rovers||Away||0-2||-|
|Tue 12 February||League One||Oldham Athletic||Home||1-0||Disley|
|Sat 16 February||FA Cup||Southampton||Home||1-0||Lambert|
|Sat 23 February||League One||Tranmere Rovers||Home||1-1||Disley|
|Sat 1 March||League One||Millwall||Away||1-0||Disley|
|Tue 4 March||League One||Doncaster Rovers||Home||0-1||-|
|Sun 9 March||FA Cup||West Bromwich Albion||Home||1-5||Coles|
|Wed 12 March||League One||Northampton Town||Home||1-1||Rigg|
|Sat 15 March||League One||Cheltenham Town||Away||0-1||-|
|Tue 18 March||League One||Swansea City||Home||0-2||-|
|Sat 22 March||League One||Huddersfield Town||Home||2-3||Klein-Davies, Lines|
|Mon 24 March||League One||Swansea City||Away||2-2||Lambert, Disley|
|Sat 29 March||League One||Yeovil Town||Away||0-0||-|
|Sat 5 April||League One||Hartlepool United||Home||0-0||-|
|Tue 8 April||League One||Nottingham Forest||Away||1-1||Elliott|
|Sat 12 April||League One||AFC Bournemouth||Away||1-2||Lambert|
|Tue 15 April||League One||Walsall||Away||1-0||Lambert|
|Sat 19 April||League One||Gillingham||Home||1-1||Elliott|
|Tue 22 April||League One||Swindon Town||Home||0-1||-|
|Sat 26 April||League One||Brighton & Hove Albion||Home||0-2||-|
|Sat 3 May||League One||Leyton Orient||Away||1-3||Lambert|
Eight players had been added to the first-team squad at the end of the 2006-07 season, with the promotion of seven scholars from the Bristol Academy of Sport, as well as former Bristol City youth player Josh Klein-Davies joining the club. Three more players were to join the club before the season kicked off. Joe Jacobson, who had been on loan at Rovers the previous season, made the switch permanent with a free transfer from Cardiff City. Some money was splashed out on Andy Williams and David Pipe, who joined from Hereford United and Notts County. All three of these newcomers signed three-year contracts, and shortly after the start of the season former England schoolboy international James Fraser also signed for the club.
Former Bristol City player Danny Coles joined Rovers on loan from Hull City before making the move permanent during the transfer window in January, and three more players arrived on loan before the end of the season – Anthony Pulis, Wayne Andrews and Jeff Hughes. All three of these players headed back to their parent clubs before the end of their loans however with season-ending injuries.
|5 July||Joe Jacobson||Wales||Cardiff City||3 years||Free|
|5 July||Andy Williams||England||Hereford United||3 years||Undisclosed|
|10 July||David Pipe||Wales||Notts County||3 years||£50,000|
|14 August||James Fraser||England||Worthing||6 months||Free|
|1 November||Danny Coles||England||Hull City||3 months||Loan|
|8 January||Danny Coles||England||Hull City||2.5 years||Undisclosed|
|8 February||Anthony Pulis||Wales||Stoke City||3 months||Loan|
|27 March||Wayne Andrews||England||Coventry City||2 months||Loan|
|27 March||Jeff Hughes||Northern Ireland||Crystal Palace||2 months||Loan|
|6 June||Jeff Hughes||Northern Ireland||Crystal Palace||3 years||£120,000|
During the course of the 2007-08 season six players left the club permanently and six were loaned out. Andy Sandell and James Palmer both went out on loan early in the season, to Salisbury and Tiverton respectively, and the same two players both parted company with the club shortly afterwards. Sandell stayed on at Salisbury, signing a three-year contract, and Palmer was released, later signing for Weston-super-Mare. Three of the younger members of the squad went out on loan later on, Josh Klein-Davies, James Fraser, Matt Groves and Sammy Igoe, who had already been told that he was to be released at the end of the season. When the season came to a close Chris Carruthers joined Igoe in being released at the end of his contract. Two more players were also released at the end of the season before ever making their debuts for the club; Tom Godsell and Ryan Paddock.
|17 August||Andy Sandell||England||Salisbury City||1 month||Loan|
|17 August||James Palmer||England||Tiverton Town||1 month||Loan|
|31 August||Andy Sandell||England||Salisbury City||3 years||Undisclosed|
|10 November||James Palmer||England||Weston-super-Mare||Unknown||Released|
|16 November||Josh Klein-Davies||Wales||Yate Town||1 month||Loan|
|28 December||James Fraser||England||Tiverton Town||3 months||Loan|
|7 March||Matt Groves||England||Chippenham Town||2 months||Loan|
|27 March||Sammy Igoe||England||Hereford United||2 months||Loan|
|30 June||Chris Carruthers||England||Oxford United||Released|
|30 June||Tom Godsell||England||Released|
|30 June||Sammy Igoe||England||AFC Bournemouth||1 year||Released|
|30 June||Ryan Paddock||Wales||Weston-super-Mare||Released|
In addition to the players listed, coach Kevin Hodges was released from his position as Head of Youth at the club at the end of the season. The club cited Hodges' unwillingness to relocate to the Bristol area as a contributing factor in the decision.
The top goalscorer so for in the 2007-08 season is Rickie Lambert, who has a total of 18 goals in all competitions, and is the only player in double figures for the season
|Own goal by opposition||1||0||1|
The final table for Coca-Cola League One is given below. Rovers finished the year in 16th position.
|7||Brighton & Hove Albion||46||19||12||15||58||50||8||69|
**Leeds United deducted 15 points.
Player of the yearEdit
Young player of the yearEdit
- For full details of the women's team's season, see 2007-08/Women.
The women's team played in the FA Women's Premier League National Division, the top flight of women's football in England, and they ended the season with their best ever league placing in fourth. The majority of their success in the past has come in cup competitions, and this season saw disappointing performances as far as cup competitions go, falling at the first hurdle in the FA Women's Cup and losing at the second time of asking in the Premier League Cup. They did not enter the Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup this season, a competition that they had only failed to win on one occasion since the team's formation.
- For full details of the reserve team's season, see 2007-08/Reserves.
The reserves played this season in the Football Combination, Wales & West division. The team finished in eighth place out of ten teams, with five wins, four draws and nine defeats. At the end of the season the club decided to withdraw the reserve team from the league, and will only play friendly matches in future.
- ↑ One of Andy Williams's goals in the Carlisle United home game was originally credited to Chris Lines. Williams was the official goalscorer however.
- ↑ Rovers' goal in the away game against Nottingham Forest was scored by Steve Elliott, although it was initially credited to Rickie Lambert by the Press Association.
- ↑ Andy Williams was transferred for an undisclosed fee, which is known to have been a six-figure sum.