The business end

January 1, 2000

Ken Masters’

Web Watch

From now until the first week of May we are very much involved what is commonly known as the business end of the season.

Hopes and dreams will be realised as the fixtures rapidly progress to a conclusion. Our own hopes, of course, rest with avoiding the dreaded drop to League Two. If we do that we will be in a position to push upwards to where we want to be; this is Bristol and Championship football is not a dream but more a level where we believe we could, and should, be at.

My web watching activity over the past week or so has concentrated on League One web sites so as to get a take on what is going on around us and to get the views and opinions of our rivals and those in the same position as us.

John Still’s Dagenham & Redbridge continue to enjoy a late surge and look forward to a number of games in hand over the coming weeks. The Daggers made it three wins from their last four games with a comfortable victory over an out of form Charlton Athletic side, writes Billy Taylor on the official club site. Billy reports that goals in each half from fans favourite Jon Nurse and man of the match Danny Green were enough to secure another vital three points in the fight for League One survival, though Frank Nouble’s tap in late into stoppage time ensured a nervy finish. The 2-1 scoreline, however, was not a true reflection on a game which John Still’s side were in complete control.

The Dagenham manager hailed his side’s victory over Charlton as “the best result we’ve ever had.” Thanks John, very well played indeed but enough is enough, time to revert to business as usual which means dropping a good number of points in the weeks ahead!

Before last Saturday’s games I admit to thinking that Yeovil would come a cropper at Exeter. However in the event the official Glovers official site reports: ‘Yeovil produced one of their best away performances of the season as they twice came from a goal behind to beat Exeter City 3-2 at St James Park this afternoon. Jamie Cureton had given the Grecians a 2-1 half time lead with a goal either side of a Sam Williams header but a double from top scorer Dean Bowditch in the space of six second half minutes earned the Glovers a well deserved three points. The report goes on to say that although the results at other games weren’t particularly helpful to Terry Skiverton’s men, at least his squad are back to winning ways after an entertaining encounter at Exeter. Could they have been referring to the outcome at Meadow Lane, I wonder, with just a little glimpse over their South Somerset shoulder? I think they could have been.

The signs from the West Midlands at half time looked like defeat for Walsall with Hartlepool gaining at 2-0 advantage. Against all the odds, Emmanual Ledesma inspired the home side to a stunning comeback. Darren Byfield has joined the chorus of praise for Ledesma’s performance. The Argentine entered the action ten minutes into the second half and turned the game on its head to help Walsall1 half time lead with a goal either side of a Sam Williams header but a double from top scorer Dean Bowditch in the space of six second half minutes earned the Glovers a well deserved three points.’ The report goes on to say that although the results at other games weren’t particularly helpful to Terry Skiverton’s men, at least his squad are back to winning ways after an entertaining encounter at Exeter. Could they have been referring to the outcome at Meadow Lane, I wonder, with just a little glimpse over their South Somerset shoulder? I think they could have been. run out 5-2 winners and land himself the Man of the Match prize.

“We see his ability every day in training,” said Byfield, adding ” He was absolutely fantastic on Saturday and gave us a big lift.”

 Well Darren, let’s hope his ability stays on the training field over the remaining nine games so that the Saddlers, when down, stay down. No hard feelings Saddlers fans, just the reality of the situation!

Swindon can’t seem to buy a win at the moment and goals are in short supply following the move of Charlie Austin to Burnley in the January transfer window. A draw away at Huddersfield was a creditable result, but a three point haul is the serious reguirement for clubs in the bottom four at this time. BBC Sport guoted Robin’s manager Paul Hart:

“We made it very difficult for them and I’m delighted at how the players got stuck in. They put their bodies on the line.”

Sounds good, but not good enough to find the back of the net Mr Hart and I see that as being the main problem in North Wilts for the remainder of the campaign.

We were all delighted to see how our Bristol Rovers players got stuck into a Notts County outfit fresh from a decent away win at Sheffield Wednesday. On top of that Will Hoskins scored the vital goal to secure a second consecutive win on the road.

 

 

 

In addition, the best bit of news to break on the web site on Monday was that Rovers have extended the loan deal with Leicester for keeper Conrad Logan until the end of the season. Conrad’s penalty save up at Meadow Lane was excellent and capped another fine performance between the sticks.’ Having Conrad available for the duration is good business at this time of the season when business is the operative word.

 

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