Match Report – View From The West Stand

August 27, 2006

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Sorry Shrewsbury were sent home with nothing yesterday after a confident home team took all the points with a fine goal from Lewis Haldane, his first of the season. With the news that referee Dermot Gallagher was replaced for the match, Gasheads could have been forgiven for thinking it just might be their day!

The visitors, surely brimming with the confidence of a 5-0 thrashing of Boston last match, were rightly to be faced with a degree of caution, though the Gas bet had Rovers down as favourites to win!

Once again, first team coach Paul Trollope decided to change the starting line up, leaving Elliott, Carruthers and Campbell on the bench, despite them all turning in good performances midweek against Luton Town.

Young Pirates mascot 7 year old Thomas Derrick proudly led the teams out. Thomas lives in Yate and attends Raysfield Junior School. His hobbies are football, fishing and playstation and he plays football for his after school football club. He can play in any position, but likes going in goal. 
He also loves swimming and has tried some golf and tennis, which he enjoyed. His best mate is his big brother Luke, and they do most things together. His favourite players are Craig Disley and Sammy Igoe.

Shrewsbury had the first meaningful chance on the Rovers goal, but it was high wide and handsome, giving the home support optimism Rovers could offer better. Rovers then started to put together a good run of chances, with Walker heading inches wide, Haldane seeing a shot saved by the keepers legs and Sandell having an effort scrambled round the post for a Rovers corner.

The barrage continued as Rovers confidence visibly grew, and on 22 minutes the home side took the lead. Haldane, playing on the shoulder of the last man for the whole first half, finally beat the offside trap to put a super through ball into the back of the net for Rovers to take a deserved lead.

As the half started to come to a close, with Rovers still applying pressure and looking good for a second goal, in the final minute of the first half, the ball bounced tantalisingly in front of Asamoah, offering a shot from nothing. Phillips, who had little to do for the half, had to be quick and dived out to smother what looked like a certain goal, hurting himself in the process. After attention from Phil Kite he was fine and the half was then ended.

The second half began much as the first had ended, with Rovers looking for the initiative straight from the whistle. It was never going to be a classic though, as the very changeable weather closed in, offering the four seasons in weather with some very strong winds and heavy rain.

Despite fewer chances, Shrewsbury worked hard trying to find an equaliser, with Davies and Cooke both testing Phillips well. Asamoah also went close late on, but at the final whistle it was Rovers who took the points to leave the pitch to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

The hardest thing to do on the day was probably to decide who was man of the match, as there were top performances all over the pitch. After very long match midweek, the team did very well to see the match through and take the points. BRSC decided that Ryan Green was the man of the match and he was invited over to the bar to collect his award and along with Andy Sandell, the mom for the Tuesday game. Both looked proud and those who had waited to see them greeted both appropriately. It seems the re-introduction of the man of the match award in the bar after the match is becoming popular again, with good fan participation.

To conclude this report, I would say we put out a team who gave everything yesterday. All 14 of the players who got onto the pitch really looked like they were playing to get a start next match, and that has to be good news. I would observe caution though in the strike force. We look a little lightweight and I think we need to recruit in this area and fast. Hopefully, the Agogo situation will be sorted out sooner rather than later, giving us a chance to get a replacement in. (or maybe 2?)
That said, if we continue to play with the conviction shown yesterday, things look much more rosy than a couple of games ago.

Next up is the trip to Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County. We won with a flukey penalty there last year and after this performance should hope to come away with all the points this time too. Don’t forget the match has been moved to Sunday and kicks off at 2pm! This means travel departure times have been effected, so check before travelling.

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