One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

November 2, 2005


 Well, after bombing out of the LDV up at Peterborough, despite having chances to take the win, and then added to that the display on the road at Macclesfield last weekend, and life as a Gashead is as frustrating as ever. To compound things further the Gas girls had a 6-0 thumping the previous weekend at home and managed another loss on their travels this  week to Charlton.

Though I was unable to make the trip to Peterborough, I headed to Macclesfield full of optimism we would be heading home with all the points from the bottom side, despite them being at home.

The day started well with me blagging my way into the home fans bar/restaurant. One of the guests for the day entertaining fans with stories from his career in football was the legendary Ron Atkinson. I introduced myself and he started to speak about his memories of Eastville. I was impressed by the man as for one who has been involved in so many games, as a player, manager and pundit, his recollections were very good.


After our chat, I thanked the Macclesfield hospitality people for making an exception to the norm and letting me in and made my way to the away terrace. I was greeted their 50/50 seller and bought a ticket which was the size of a very old £5 note. I also bought a programme, which incidentally, was not a bad read with plenty of copy and not so many adverts.

When the teams came out, we were faced with the wind blowing towards us for the first half. Macclesfield were quick to apply the pressure, hitting the post and bringing out some excellent saves from Rovers ‘keeper Scott Shearer, but as the half progressed I felt we started to play a bit and was happy when we went in at the break with a clean sheet. “We’ll batter them second half”, I predicted.


Following some half time fun involving attempting to kick the ball from the centre circle into an empty goal net against the wind, and meeting 1966 world cup winner Geoff Hurst, I was back on the terrace and looking forward to a Rovers goal-fest. How wrong can you be?

Seven minutes into the second half and the home side took the lead. A ball whipped over from the left cleared all the Rovers defenders and fell to Dutchman Clive Wijnhard who sent a fierce shot into the top corner giving Shearer no chance. Rovers were quick to reply and were level within minutes after Agogo chested down to Disley who powered home the equaliser.

From there, I could see the game coming towards us, but it just wasn’t to be and a further goal came after a moment Shearer will want to forget. A speculative cross came in from the left and Shearer looked to have it covered. Jumping up for it, Shearer flapped and the ball fell for Harsley to tap in from 3 yards and put the home team back into the driving seat. It was a shame for him because up to that point he’d had a very good game, but it is always amplified when a keeper makes a mistake despite how well he’d done for the other 89 minutes.That goal left us with no answers and a long trip home with nothing to show for another jaunt up the M6.


This Saturday sees Rovers away to Grimsby in the FA Cup 1st round proper. It wasn’t the draw we wanted, but who knows, they are the same league as us and with the magic of the FA Cup we might just do it. I will be there, as I’m ever the optimist.

If you are thinking of going, be sure to book your coach seat early, as bookings taken before Thursday will get a seat, but if you decide after Thursday you take your chances. It would certainly be nice to be in the hat for the draw at full time Saturday.


Finally, we still await the name of whoever is going to be the new manager. Will it be a young man making a name for himself that will inspire the fans? Will it be an older chap who brings experience and has all the right contacts? Will he be working with Trollope, or be making his own mind up? The name of the moment seems to be Jim Smith, a wizened old campaigner with bucketloads of experience at pretty much every level.

Nobody is doubting that Paul Trollope is doing the best he can, and lets face it he hasn’t had the luxury of bringing any new faces in to help on that front. The fact is it just feels a little like one step forward two steps backwards at the moment. We are all looking forward to the new appointment and maybe we are now at the stage where it should be sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, it’s Up for the cup!

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