22nd January 2011 Swindon Town
January 1, 2000
BRSC programme notes compiled by Dennis Payter
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
With Rovers playing catch up on all their postponed home fixtures over the Christmas and New Year holiday period we are again writing this Supporters Club column before the last home game.
Whatever the result of last Tuesday’s match against Hartlepool United, this afternoon’s game has taken on the label of a six pointer with Swindon having become one of the teams we need to catch if we are to maintain League 1 status next season!
They say that when you are down things keep going wrong for you, and that was certainly the case last Saturday against Carlisle at Brunton Park. Our longest trip of the season, which looked so promising after 40 minutes, turned into something of a nightmare when the first of three contentious refereeing decisions all went the way of our hosts. A delay free Supporters Club coach trip got me back home from the borders in time to watch Match of the Day and similar incidents from the Premiership that afternoon were dealt with in completely the opposite way from those that condemned Rovers to another big defeat at Brunton Park.
There were a couple of ball to hand penalty appeals turned down on the box when Gary Sawyer seemed unable to escape giving away the vital spot kick that set the home side on the road to victory just before the break. Manchester United’s Raphael only received a booking for a foul that looked far worse than Danny Coles’ ball winning tackle which earned him an immediate red card and four match suspension just as we are so thin on the ground for defenders.
I’ll have to go along with Mr.Tierney’s second penalty award at Brunton after viewing Gary Sawyer’s tackle second time around on the Football League show, but by then Rovers were a well beaten team. I have to say that in my 50 years of watching Rovers I have never seen such a Jeckyll & Hyde team in the quartered shirts. During the first half, against a gale force wind as well, we played some great football and could have scored three or four goals. However, once we fell victim to that first penalty award just before the interval there was nothing else at all to cheer despite the gale being in our favour in the second half. Similar spells of great play have interspersed some truly dire and ineffective football by the Pirates this term and the one good thing to come out of it is that our new manager has truly seen us at our best and worst in the short time since he took over. Dave has promised signings and, even by the time of writing, he has been true to his word with the capture of Leicester City’s Cian Bolger on loan for a month from the Foxes. Judging by Cian’s stature alone we seem to have acquired a giant of Devon White proportions so he should bring a welcome presence to the back line.
I really don’t want to be negative about the club’s present situation and whatever view you might have on recent events and the appointment of the new manager, at the very least Dave Penney is proven at this level and he has half of the season to turn things round. We know this team can play great football but we have not, at the time of writing, won a game for three months so a big turn around is required. We supporters have a big part to play by getting behind the boys no matter what the circumstances on the day. There was some great support for the team up at Carlisle despite everything going against us. Dave and the boys need that type of support in every game so please let’s hear it against the Robins this afternoon.
Up the Pirates!
Jim Chappell, BRSC Chairman
Ivor Maggs won £534 in Tuesday’s 50/50 draw, with ticket number 63102 and is seen in the photo above receiving his winnings from Jim Chappell.
There was also a second prize of a Peters Pies Hamper, which was won by Dave Taylor, with ticket number 61332.
PLAY OUR PART
Good afternoon and welcome to all at the Memorial Stadium for today’s encounter with near neighbours Swindon Town.
In the past few seasons the fixture has marked a top half game as was the case in the promotion season for both clubs from League Two and more recently in League One. Both sets of supporters will be disappointed that the game today will been seen as a relegation battle, even though we have only just marked the mid point in the season and there is still a lot of football to be played between now and early May.
Swindon supporters will be especially concerned given that last season saw their club on the brink of promotion to the Championship. The departure of a couple or so of their key players from last season will undoubtedly be seen as a major contributing factor. Charlie Austin was a big find for them from non league football and is still scoring a good number of goals in spite of the clubs failure to bring in a replacement for the departed Billy Paynter; even with those goals Swindon have struggled to find the consistency required to mount a challenge so far this season and find themselves at the wrong end of the table.
The weather up at Carlisle last Saturday was atrocious, with very heavy rain and a strong wind. Many of us were surprised to find the game on. Travelling up to Cumbria was difficult, and so was the return journey down as far as Manchester. All credit to our supporters at the game. The singing was massive as we tried to keep our spirits up in the second half of the game. It was so good to see Dave Penney lead the team over to acknowledge that after the final whistle was blown; fair play to him.
The Severn Vale Branch again raised local transport to maintain their one 100% record for away travel this season. I travelled up from Keele Services on the Supporters Club coach which picked up at the Mem, Eastville and Kingswood. I was proud and privileged to be part of such great support for our club in the circumstances. If we stick together we will get out of this. Hard work, commitment and desire will pull us through. We cannot be divided in any way, shape or form.
The first team needs our total support. I know them and I do not believe any of them wish to play badly and to lose football matches. Many of them are comparatively young and inexperienced in this situation. We can play our part in pulling them through. A couple of wins will make all the difference.
Today is an important a game and we are up against a group that can win away at Charlton and yet lose at home to Yeovil. On the other hand we know we can play as we did in the away fixture up at Huddersfield where we came home with three excellent points.
I accept that these notes represent a rallying cry and I do not apologise for that. We all pay our money and we are all entitled to our say but for ninety plus minutes this afternoon we are The Gas; supporters, directors, staff and players. Come on you Blues, wear the guarters with pride, together we can do this.
Ken Masters, BRSC director.