News from the BRSC
April 16, 2010
Bristol Rovers Supporters Club Notes compiled by Dennis Payter
From the Chair
Today’s notes are written before last Saturday’s long trip back up the M5/6 to Oldham. OK, not as far as that the previous weekend to Carlisle but long enough. Let’s hope the result was better at Boundary Park than it was at Brunton Park! Despite the terrible weather forecast for the Border region it was a very pleasant day if you could stay out of the wind but the game was far from pleasant if you were a Gashead! It was the ‘lacklustre Rovers’ who turned up in Cumbria and we offered little threat to Carlisle apart from the excellent final, (for the time being at least), Heffernan goal that followed immediately after the first of two terrible penalties awarded to the home side by a referee who was easily ‘conned’ on several occasions. Apart from the sunshine the best feature of the day was a great turnout by the travelling Gas who made the longest journey of the whole campaign by a variety of transport and in an even greater variety of clothing – nuns, vicars, tango men etc etc. Shame about the result! We suffered a similarly poor refereeing display here on Easter Monday and the team was equally weakened by suspensions and withdrawals but at least Rovers’ battling display won us all the points for the first time ever against the MK Dons. I suppose if Jeff Hughes had not been controversially dismissed at Carlisle and MK had taken a perhaps deserved point we would have had to settle for two draws over the Bank Holiday so, a defeat and a win was a reasonable return bearing in mind the circumstances. Let’s hope we picked up another three points at Oldham!
The members voted on-loan ‘keeper Mikkel Andersen as the Supporters Club’s Man-of-the-Match against the Dons and his little speech in the Clubhouse after the award was well received following his crucial penalty save in that game. Mikkel has become a great favourite with Rovers supporters not just because of his playing performances but also because of his interaction with the fans, especially away from home. He is therefore bound to be amongst the front-runners when our Player of the Season’ awards are given out at the end of the campaign. That brings us nicely to this evening’s vital game against one of our closest rivals for an outside crack at the final play-off place. It’s one away win apiece so far with the Saints knocking Rovers out of the FA Cup here in revenge for our great last-minute League win at St. Marys back in September. I had the privilege of presenting the Football League’s leading goal scorer, (both then and now as it happens), with our Player of the Season trophy last year and it will be great to see Rickie Lambert back at the ‘Mem’ tonight.. Southampton should not be burdened with any points penalty next season so, if they don’t make it up this time round they are bound to be one of the favourites for automatic promotion in 2011 with League One’s most expensive striker still in their ranks.
Meanwhile it is interesting to draw a parallel with our last promotion from League Two in 2007. With Rovers coming from so far behind ‘Lambo’ won that fantastic game at Hartlepool, who only needed a point to lift the Championship, after beating the also-promoted Swindon, (Rickie again!), here the previous Saturday. Swap those two fixtures with this season’s Norwich at home and closing with Leeds away, mix in the current Swindon Manager, (then with Hartlepool), and you can see where I’m trying to draw inspiration this time round! It will be a damn site harder this year, starting tonight, but we can only hope. Get behind those boys in blue and perhaps there might still be chance yet!
Enjoy what should be cracking match this evening!
New Branch for Gloucester
Good evening and welcome to this long awaited clash with Southampton Football Club. Having picked up all three points from our game at St Mary’s and then bowing out of the FA Cup here at the Mem, we can expect a keenly fought contest in this evenings encounter. Saints went out of the competition themselves when the big boys came in, crashing at home big time to Premier League neighbours Portsmouth; such is the gulf between rock bottom of the top tier and the top half of the third.
Welcome to Saints supporters who have made the trip from the South Coast and other parts to be with us this evening. We expect approaching two thousand visiting fans to join us for the game. Enjoy the visit and a safe journey home into the night.
Only last summer Southampton was in administration and their supporters were voicing concerns about the club disappearing altogether. It was difficult to believe that a benefactor would not emerge to save the famous old club and surely they did with Saints now taking the mantle as the big spenders of League 1. Saints suffered the now customary ten point deduction and stared the season very poorly; credit to them for hauling themselves up the League table since and a creditable top ten finish now looks to be on the cards for them.
It would be remiss of us not to welcome Rickie Lambert back to the Mem. We thank every single member of our promotion squad for their efforts on our behalf just three years ago and Rickie is absolutely no exception to that. Rickie has made very good progress since that time and we congratulate him on another fine season at this level.
It was a long haul up to Carlisle and to be fair it was not the best of performances by either side. Maybe the playing conditions were a factor, the pitch was not the best, and so too were the two penalty decisions which ultimately decided the outcome. Thank you to our travelling army for the tremendous support up there. The support was continued into Easter Monday for the visit of MK and we played our full part in that victory. Thank you again.
On the Branch front, organisers are meeting for the first time on the northern side of the City of Gloucester within the next two weeks. A big thank you to David Miller for his work thus far. We will be arranging a wider gathering soon afterwards so please look out on the communication channels for day, time and venue. The new Branch is being set up for members in the Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewksbury and Forest of Dean areas so please watch this space and come along to join us if you live in those parts.
Back to this evening and the prospect of another home win. Let’s make it number fourteen, together we can; come on Rovers, come on you Blues.
Our next Quiz Night is on Thursday, April 22, in the Bristol Room at the stadium (7.30 start). Entry is £1 per person, maximum five in a team. Cash prizes, raffle with all proceeds to the Share Scheme
We are already preparing for the Tombola to be held at the Annual Fun Day. As always their will be a chance to win a home and an away shirt for just £2. As several items are sold for much less than cost value, We rely on donations to keep down costs. So, if you have any old unwanted football items, why not donate them to the club. We are on the look out for football related DVDs, books, games and any other Rovers memorabilia that you may have. Please bring the items to either the matchday sales hut or shop at 199.
Player of the Year
The date for the presentation evening is still being finalised. More details will appear in the Brentford programme and on the website.
Voting slips will be available from the programme sellers around the ground before the Brentford game. Ballot boxes will be situated in the Clubhouse bars, the SC matchday sales hut and Pirate Leisure. We have asked last year’s winner, Rickie Lambert to bring back the trophy tonight, but hopefully he will forget to bring his shooting boots!
Share Scheme Shirt Winner
Stephen Taylor won the shirt draw at the MK Dons match.
50/50 winner v. MK Dons
Jack Whelan of Redland won £926 in our 50/50 draw at the MK Dons match. His winning ticket of 33329 was sold by Sandra Jaques in the DAS Stand.