1st March 2011 Colchester United
January 1, 2000
BRSC programme notes compiled by Dennis Payter
(This game was originally due to be played on 18th December 2010)
FROM THE CHAIRMAN
This afternoon not only do we welcome back our popular former manager from Twerton days, John Ward, we also continue an extraordinary sequence of fixtures against another of the division’s top sides in Colchester United.
Had the Bournemouth match here not been frozen off Rovers would have faced, in descending order at the time of playing, every one of the top five teams in League One. As it is we have played three of them consecutively in our last three games, all of them away from home.
After taking an early lead at Hillsborough, thanks to another fine goal by Will Hoskins, hopes were raised that perhaps a shock win might be on the cards but we were totally undone by the pace and power of Wednesday’s attack. Having said that it was, if you were not one of us in the Leppings Lane end, not as one sided a game as the score suggests with Rovers scoring two great goals and forcing the Owls ‘keeper into several fine saves.
On the way home my son and I listened in to Radio Sheffield who reported that it was the best game they had seen at Hillsborough all season, (well I suppose they would, wouldn’t they) thanks mainly to the fact that Rovers came out and attacked unlike all previous visitors!
All I can say is that both Hoskins and Mikkel Andersen must have been candidates for any impartial Man of the Match Award so that shows where our problems lay – everywhere in between those two!
Let’s hope that our inconsistent team can today get back to the standards set at the Withdean and the Valley.
It was great to see such fantastic support for Rovers at all the three matches mentioned above, especially at Sheffield where we took more coaches than for any previous game this season. As well as the usual coaches from Kingswood, Eastville and Horfield we ran another of our ‘meal coaches’ an hour earlier so that lunch or (more likely), extra drinking could be got in before the match.
Those Bristol vehicles were joined by others from Weston super Mare, Midsomer Norton and Sodbury Vale branches and congratulations are due to all those who put so much effort into arranging support for the team in what will probably turn out to be our most difficult trip of the season!
Hillsborough is one of the best football grounds in the country, let alone League One, and I guess that level of support will be hard to replicate but well done to all who made the effort for such a disappointing result.
We have played only one home game since the end of October so the income has been minimal and now the lads have to play catch up if there is to be any tangible success this season. A big effort is needed today by players and supporters alike if we are to climb the table so please get right behind the boys in blue this afternoon. Up the Pirates!
Jim Chappell, BRSC Chairman
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER
Good afternoon and a special welcome to Colchester United supporters who have travelled the long distance from East Anglia and other parts to follow the U’s on the road. Enjoy your time with us, and a safe journey home after the game.
We again welcome John Ward back to Bristol. John is well respected here at Rovers and he has maintained many links, and friends, in our part of the world. John has made a difference wherever he has managed and he especially did a sterling job at our near neighbours Cheltenham Town during his time there; all the very best John, but not so much today of course.
We had a massive following at Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday. Thank you to all members and supporters who made trip up to Yorkshire for the game. Money is tight in these times and especially at this time of year. In addition to our organised transport from Bristol, our branches were out in force with a record number travelling with us from Severn Vale; a great many thanks to our organisers and to all those that were there with us at Hillsborough.
Looking at the final score, it is difficult to relay that we had good chances ourselves and that their goalkeeper pulled off a string of fine saves during onespellinthesecond half to prevent us from making any inroads and getting closer to Wednesday’s first half blitz. What was difficult to take was looking at other results as they came in and reading the league table.
In the situation we now find ourselves in, the only helpful and productive position is to rally round, stick together and to show our opponents over the coming weeks a collective resolve to win football matches and to climb back up the table.
The season is still less than half gone, after all. We have shown at Huddersfield, Brighton and Charlton that we can compete well and take something from teams who are currently at the top of this division and on their own patches too. We need points and we will stand a better chance of picking them up, home and away, if we show that we are all Bristol Rovers to the last and not prepared to give up or lie down in front of anyone.
A number of our players are very young. They need us to stand shoulder to shoulder.As a Supporters Club we are doing all we can to support young players and Youth Development at the football club. It is good to have progressed to the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup and to have been drawn to entertain Premier outfit Aston Villa at the Memorial Stadium. The game will now be played on Wednesday 12th January. Please come along and support the boys in what, for all of them, will be the biggest game in their young and fledgling football careers.
The Supporters Club are the official sponsors of Bristol Rovers Youth and are pleased to back the investment being put into the future of the football club; thank you again to all of those who purchase 50/50 draw tickets on matchdays. This being the last Saturday before Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you the very best of Seasons Greetings and all good wishes for a very Happy Christmas.
Ken Masters, BRSC Director
ORGANISED JUNIOR MATCHDAY PARTIES
Today we welcome Ichthus Football Club, from the Salvation Army, whose organiser Peter Belcher is a regular at the Mem. The team of U-12’s is a church based team providing competitive Saturday football for boys who cannot play on Sundays because of church commitments. Home matches are played in Bromley Heath.
Ichthus started life four years ago as The Salvation Army U-9’s FC and picked up friendly Saturday games against Sunday league teams. Looking for more regular fixtures, they put an ad in the Evening Post’s ‘Kick it!’ supplement and, through the hard work of Steve Murray of Ingleside FC, the Bristol Saturday Youth League was born. This is now the third season of league football for Ichthus and they are going from strength to strength, just like the League. Peter Belcher highly recommends The Bristol Saturday Youth league to any club interested. See the FA’s Full-time website for details.
Director and Share Scheme Chairman