Bristol Rovers are still searching for their first victory of the New Year as their draw with Norwich was sandwiched between two League One defeats away against Wycombe Wanderers and Barnsley, losing 2-1 to the latter last weekend.
Chris Martin scored midway through the second half, his fifth league goal in his last three matches, to cancel out an opener from Devante Cole, but Barnsley restored their advantage just five minutes later through Corey O’Keeffe to condemn the Pirates to their ninth league defeat of the campaign.
Matt Taylor has won four, drawn two and lost four of his first 10 games in charge of Bristol Rovers, who sit 11th in the League One table, 11 points above the relegation zone and 13 points behind the playoff positions.
Bristol Rovers now shift their focus to Wednesday’s clash with Norwich and will endeavour to progress to the FA Cup fourth round for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they reached the quarter-finals.
The Pirates will welcome a return to the Memorial Stadium where they are unbeaten in their last nine matches across all competitions, including six wins, while they have advanced from both of their previous two FA Cup ties against Norwich, albeit back in 1912-13 and 1963-64.
After drawing their opening two games of 2024 by a 1-1 scoreline, including the aforementioned FA Cup clash with Bristol Rovers, Norwich claimed their first victory of the New Year away against Hull City last Friday, winning 2-1 in the Championship.
Jonathan Rowe scored his 12th goal of the season to open the scoring before Christian Fassnacht doubled Norwich’s lead two minutes from time, and although Hull pulled one back through Tyler Morton in stoppage time, the Canaries held on to claim maximum points and end a three-game winless league run.
David Wagner’s men have climbed up to 11th place in the Championship table and they remain firmly in contention to claim a playoff spot, as they only sit two points behind sixth-placed Coventry City with 19 games still remaining.
Norwich enter Wednesday’s clash with Bristol Rovers seeking to progress to the FA Cup fourth round for the fourth time in the last five seasons, while they have won their last two visits to the Memorial Stadium by an aggregate score of 5-0.
However, it is fair to say that the Canaries are not fanatics of an FA Cup replay as they have been eliminated from their last five such matches in the competition, with all five taking place in the third round between 2007-08 and 2017-18