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Bristol Rovers sign striker Gillespie

Steven Gillespie in his Cheltenham days. Credit: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

Bristol Rovers have signed free agent Steven Gillespie on a short term contract.

The former Cheltenham Town and Bristol City striker has signed until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old is well known to manager John Ward after working with him at both Colchester and Cheltenham.

Rovers Chairman Nick Higgs said on the club's official website: “We are delighted that Steven has joined the club to add some much needed competition up front.

“He is an experienced striker, with a good goal scoring record, which we hope he can replicate here.”

City and Rovers knocked out of the FA Cup

Bristol Rovers' Eliot Richards is tackled by Birmingham City's Hayden Mullins. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

It's been a disappointing night for the West Country's football teams.

Both Bristol clubs have been knocked out of the FA Cup. Rovers lost their third round tie at Birmingham 3-0, while City went down 2-0 in their replay at Watford.

And in League One, Swindon Town were beaten 2-0 at bottom-of-the-table Stevenage.

City & Rovers hope for FA Cup shocks

Tonight's FA Cup 3rd round matches Credit: ITV News West Country

Bristol City play Watford tonight in an FA Cup third round replay. The teams drew 1-1 at Ashton Gate 10 days ago. The winners will face either Manchester City or Blackburn who play tomorrow.

Bristol Rovers are also in third round action this evening. They take on Birmingham City for the right to play Swansea.

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Rovers through to third round of FA Cup - see the goals

Bristol Rovers are through to the third round of the FA Cup after a dramatic win at Crawley last night. Rovers trailed 1-0 going into the closing stages, but late goals from Eliot Richards and John-Joe O'Toole transformed the game.

Rovers will now travel to Birmingham City in the third round on Tuesday, with Premier League side Swansea City awaiting the winners.

Rovers through to FA Cup Third Round

Eliot Richards celebrates his 83rd minute equaliser. Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

John-Joe O'Toole hit a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Bristol Rovers came from behind to clinch an FA Cup third-round tie at Birmingham with a 2-1 win at League One Crawley.

O'Toole edged his side through in the first minute of added time with a low shot at the near post.

Crawley started well and went ahead on 14 minutes when Nicky Adams crossed perfectly and Jamie Proctor headed in at the far post, before Elliot Richards equalised with seven to go.

Rovers travel to Birmingham next Tuesday (14th), and the winners will be at home to Premier League Swansea City in the fourth round at the end of January.

Tom Parkes and Michael Smith celebrate at the final whistle. Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Rovers Chairman denies financial problems

Bristol Rovers Chairman Nick Higgs Credit: Bristol Rovers FC

Bristol Rovers' Chairman Nick Higgs has issued a statement on the club's website denying rumours that the club was facing financial difficulties.

As the team prepared for their twice postponed FA Cup replay at Crawley tonight Mr Higgs told supporters:

“I was surprised at the belated reaction to the last annual accounts approved by the shareholders back in December 2013.

"I should like to reassure the supporters of Bristol Rovers Football Club that the Club retains the full support of its Board of Directors.

"The Board are totally focused on the Club and will provide the necessary resources for it to achieve its aim of sustainability which is contained in the business plan for the new stadium.

"The Board over the last few years has paid down all the Club’s external debt with the exception of the mortgage on the Memorial Stadium, ensuring that the Club’s destiny is secure in the directors’ hands.

"The delays caused by the Judicial Review do mean that the losses will continue in the short term, as the move is delayed, but the Board are committed to supporting the Club during this period.

"I would point out that the these losses were anticipated, and the failure of a decent Cup run in any of the competitions has not helped the overall picture.

"We are like most professional football clubs, we need the benefit of a supportive board, but the move to the new stadium will go a long way to underpinning the finances of the Club.”

Bristol Rovers official website:

http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/

Bristol Rovers derby cancelled due to waterlogged pitch

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With puddles of standing water on the surface & bad weather expected to continue, the ref took the decision to call the game off early.

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Referee Iain Williamson inspected the pitch this morning, and decided that the match should not go ahead.

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