6th March 2013 Exeter City
March 7, 2013
This game was postponed from 19th January 2013
Pirate volunteer – Ray Exon
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
‘WE’VE GOT OUR ROVERS BACK’ WAS THE CHANT AT THE END OF LAST SATURDAY’S MATCH AT FLEETWOOD AND THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I SAW IT, AS OUR INJURY RAVAGED TEAM PICKED UP THREE INVALUABLE AND UNEXPECTED POINTS AT THE HOME OF OUR LATEST PROMOTION CHASING OPPONENTS,
It is a very long time since I saw a Rovers team tear into the opposition and we certainly did not do that during the reign of either our previous two permanent managers!
My thinking is that if players are not good enough then there is little you can do bar replace them, but lack of effort is unforgivable in fan’s eyes. I can tell you there was no lack of effort or indeed skill as the boys turned in our best performance of the season to date.
The young front players constantly turned Fleetwood’s defenders all over the place, the midfield tackled and chased ferociously supported by a solid back four and a ‘keeper who took everything calmly in an organised fashion. A ‘clean sheet’ away from home is always welcome but three good goals scored, and it could easily have been six, underlined Rovers’ dominance.
John Ward is clearly having a great effect on the team and it is a pity that we have been unable to get off the bottom rung thanks to all the others around us picking up wins. However, we are having some tough opponents on our fixture list at the moment, and it is vital that we keep in touch so that the table can be climbed if similar performances are turned in when lesser mortals are faced in future weeks.
Anyone who knows me will be well aware that I have long been
advocating the inclusion into the first team squad the likes of Ellis Harrison and others from our burgeoning Youth Scheme. Unfortunately our perilous League position has meant that, whilst quite a few of the younger lads have been ‘bench warming’ recently, none have had much of a chance under previous management. The twenty minutes or so shown by Alefe Santos when Rovers were already 4-0 down at Port Vale was probably better than most other individual performances on our travels this season but the little winger has not been seen since.
It is true that Alefe is a major player in the high flying U-18 team and therefore required therein especially whilst we are doing so well in the FA Youth Cup. But, my view is that if you don’t play them then you’ll never know how good they are – or indeed if they are good enough!
I’m not advocating playing a team of teenagers or anything approaching it but who was it that told Alex Ferguson that you’ll never win anything with youth? Anyway, I was chuffed when more injury woe perhaps forced the inclusion of Ellis and did he let us down? Man of the Match in my view and only substituted when he had run and tackled himself into the ground. Hopefully we’ll see some more of him this afternoon. Meanwhile Ken, Brian and myself were scheduled to be at Solihull last night for the fourth round FA Youth Cup tie against Birmingham City.
Another tough game this afternoon then but, the rare chance of a ‘double’ as well so get behind those quarters and perhaps the first rung on a long ladder will be climbed by 5.00pm.
Up the Pirates!
RAY EXON HAS BEEN SUPPORTING BRISTOL ROVERS FOR OVER SIX DECADES, SINCE HE WAS A BOY OF JUST EIGHT YEARS OF AGE.
Ray lives in Knowle, Bristol and started volunteering in 1996 by selling 50/50 draw tickets outside the Blackthorn End before taking his place on the East Terrace to watch the game and to cheer on the team.
Ray says that his first game was so long ago that he can’t remember but knows it was enough to make him into the Rovers fan that has been his lifelong gift. What Ray does remember very well was the 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United in the FA Cup third round tie at Eastville in season 1955/56. Ray was there with the 35,872 and rates the game as his best memory over the years. Ray’s fond memories of Eastville are being able to walk
around the ground from one end to the other at half time to watch the Rovers goals go in. Ray also remembers the first game at the Mem for a very good reason. Along with Sam Congdon, other Supporters Club members, and a dog, he patrolled the ground through the night to make sure nothing would jeopardise the game going ahead.
Ray has no comments to make about the current situation but just prays that we stay in the League and are able to push on next season; and so pray all of us.
On behalf of Bristol Rovers, thank you Ray for all of your support and volunteering work over the years; all the very best for a good many years to come.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PETER BROOM WHO WAS THE WINNER OF THE SHARE SCHEME SIGNED SHIRT AT THE DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE GAME, AND TO GORDON ROGERS AND RAY BARTHOLOMEW WHO WERE WINNERS AT THE PLYMOUTH ARGYLE AND GILLINGHAM GAMES RESPECTIVELY.
Thank you to all Share Scheme members past and present for your very valuable contributions.
50/50 HALF TIME DRAW
THE DRAW AT HALF TIME DURING THE PLYMOUTH ARGYLE GAME PRODUCED A VERY HANDSOME £850 TO THE WINNER PETER BRIGHTON.
Peter Brighton, who won the 50/50 draw at the Plymouth game, with Jim Chappell and Brian Seymour Smith
Sandra Jaques was the seller in and around the J&G West Stand. The Gillingham game did even better with the prize of £920 going to John Keyes. Sandra Jaques was again the seller so well done Sandra.
Thank you to everyone who buys 50/50 tickets on match dayl