Wycombe Wither Under Gas Attack

April 2, 2006

[image1] Rovers fans travelled home yesterday delighted at not only being witness to a sterling performance of the season, but also able to celebrate so many other results that brought more good news for the Pirates play offs hopes.

As I entered the away stand yesterday the mood amongst Gasheads was like a promotion party. A very good turnout looked like well over 1000 and the positive mood spread like a fever. The stand was aptly named the Dreams stand, and who was to predict how the day would end with us all still having great dreams for the rest of the season.To complete the party atmosphere, the teams walked out onto the pitch to ‘Singin the blues’, a Memorial Stadium favourite.

As the match started, Rovers were under pressure quite quickly and an early shot from Griffin hit both posts before being scrambled away to safety. After that, the game turned and the positive vibe from the stands had clearly made its way down to the pitch as the Pirates started to take control. Disley looked up for the match and got Walker away, only to fall just before getting an effort away. Both Hunt, Walker and Igoe then went close and the Chairboys were on the ropes, or so it seemed.

The home side then broke at pace with Betsy, a player who caused all sorts of problems at the Mem in December, but his shot went well over the bar. Shortly after, Betsy again broke through the Rovers back line and Shearer had to be brave and blocked his effort with him clean through.

Ironically enough, despite all the good football Rovers have played since Trollope has taken over, it was a long ball over the top that put Rovers in front. Agogo picked up the ball on the edge of the box and saw his shot go in off the post for a 1-0 lead. Wycombe had a good shout for a goal waved away as Shearer jumped to catch and it appeared he may have carried across his own line, but the officials were having none of it.This was followed up by a near miss for Hunt and then the rain poured down. This proved to make things very difficult and with just moments left before half time Shearer spilled and appeared to let the ball cross the goal line for a second time, but the officials saw nothing to convince them a goal should be awarded. Many would probably agree that if the linesman had been up with the play it might have been a different story.

[image2] With a good heavy shower at half time, it looked like we were in for a treat in the second half on a slippery pitch.

The first incident of note in the second half was a super turn and run into the Wycombe penalty box by Craig Disley which resulted in a crude poorly timed challenge by the defender and a penalty to Rovers. Top scorer Richard Walker struck the ball home confidently  to double the visitors lead. Shortly after, Walker got on the end of a great ball from Ghanain hopeful Agogo, but couldnt quite find the purchase neccessary to find the back of the net.

Helping to really run Rover’s game plan was the ever green Sammy Igoe whose vision and positioning showed just why boss Paul Trollope wanted to take him on loan so much. He had a goal ruled out for offside after a good ball  across the area from Agogo which he put past Talia in his stride.He made some great defence splitting passes, none more so than the one which found Agogo who beat his man and slotted home for Rovers third goal and comprehensive winner on 74 minutes.

There was still work to do for the Rovers defence though, and Shearer had to be alert to once again come off his line to paw away a Mooney run and shot  and a great save where he clawed a shot past the post, not knowing the effort was ruled out for offside.

On 81 minutes, substitute Easter found the net for the home side, but it was to prove a mere consolation, as despite  the Rovers defence having to keep concentration for the remaining 10 or so minutes, Wycombe never looked like getting back into the game and it was sweet revenge for Rovers for earlier in the season.

Injury Update

Fan’s worried after seeing Carruthers stretchered off late into the game have been reassured with the news he has just sustained a bruised buttock and should be fit for our next match at home to Rushden and Diamonds next Saturday.

Gasheads Talk Back

After the match, I spoke with Gasheads to get their opinions of how they saw the game unfolding.

Gary from Horfield said;

I thought at the end it was a deserved win, but if the officials had given them the two goals I think they probably should have, one of which came within the first five minutes, then I think it might have been a different game. Having said that, it was great to see Agogo back to his best, with two class goals. Igoe was man of the match for me with great vision and passing, what a shame about his fitness, though any number of Rovers players were deserving of the man of the match award.

Paul from Chipping Sodbury added;

Rovers were rampant today and it was a fantastic day, with emphasis on FAN. The crowd made a real difference today with fantastic support and this dominant performance from us shows we still could make it to the play offs. As we left the ground they were announcing the other results and it got even better, with all our rivals losing we couldnt have planned it any better. We just have to keep our concentration and not under-estimate Rushden next week or all today’s good work will have been for nothing. My man of the match was James Hunt who put in a real captain’s performance, including pulling away Haldane when he was clearly frustrated by the booking he received and could have so easily received more than just a yellow.

Ben from Hanham saw it this way;

The disappointment of two weeks ago seems a distant memory now after a good home showing last week and a brilliant result today. The table shows we have beaten all the teams above us except Lincoln and Northampton, an encouraging statistic. What we did well today was to dig in and do the basics well. Add to that the pace of Agogo and the vision of Igoe and we had a great formula out there today. Scott Shearer’s performance should be recognised today too, with some fine saves and one on one blocks. My man of the match was Disley who put himself about and looked the player I had hoped was joining us from Mansfield when he did. He was great both coming forward and in defence, I just wish he did it more often. Now we must build on this and get a home win next week to set up the best finish we have had in recent years.

Steve from St George said;

Despite feeling elated at all today’s events and how well everything has gone for us today, the players have plenty to do to both convince all the fans and themselves we can still get into the play offs. At times we were sublime today, but there were times we took liberties but were lucky enough to get away with it. It’s great to have Junior back, my man of the match, and he’s straight back to scoring goals like he hasn’t been away. What a shame he has! I can’t wait for next Saturday and really hope we can start getting a home crowd getting behind the boys in a fantastic way like we did today, I am convinced we made the difference.

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