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April 6, 2013




Ken Masters



The business end has become a less than six game run in. All will be decided over the next couple of weeks. At the mid point in the season very few, if any, would have thought that Bristol Rovers would not have been in a relegation battle at the 40 game stage and many would have thought that it would go right to the wire.It is a total credit to everyone associated with our football club that we have lifted ourselves above that. Let’s be in no doubt, it has taken promotion form to do it. The number of points needed to avoid relegation to non league football this season looks likes being the highest on record; breathe easy.Even a quick glance at the League tables this past week shows that all other West Country clubs are in the promotion or relegation mix in their respective leagues and that includes Dorset’s Bournemouth. If we take in the Conference then even Forest Green come into the picture; quite remarkable. Let’s just look, Torquay and Plymouth at the wrong end of League Two with Cheltenham and Exeter fighting it out at the top. Swindon and Yeovil are well in the mix at the top end of League One, whilst the bottom of the Championship looks dire for the one other West Country club. News and views on the Web is hot stuff if you are a West Country football fan at this time.This from jefftaplin.blogqpot.co,uk• Steve Elliott (former Rovers player) edged Cheltenham closer to the automatic promotion places(with a win over Northampton). Elliott broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the season one minute before the break.

Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd (former Rovers player) was disappointed to lose, but said:

“We were strong in every department so we just have to say well done to our opponents, shake their hands, buy them a beer and move on. It was a good performance, but we just couldn’t break them down.”

 Fair play Aidy and well said but if you keep up the 1 -0 wins yourselves you are in with a great chance; keep off the beer! Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale believes his side are still in a strong position to clinch a play offs place despite two defeats over the Easter weekend. The Grecians lost the Devon derby 1 -0 against Plymouth and suffered a last minute 2-1defeat to Rochdale.“We’ve had two terribly disappointing days, but there’s no point crying over it,” Reported on the Web by BBC Radio Devon.

So, we’ve got one manager talking about beer and another about crying; so long as they don’t cry in their beer come May! Alan Knill was left fuming after Torquay’s 3-1 home defeat to Bradford left them just a point above the drop zone. This from Footba11365:

“That is probably as poor as we have been since 1 have been here,” he said. “We looked flat from start to finish. All the things you work hard to build up go out the window if you perform like that.”It’s pretty difficult to take any positives when you lose 3-1 at home.”

 Understood Alan but come on you Gulls, we must keep our stock of West Country League clubs intact. Another angry Devon manager; Plymouth Argyle’s John Sheridan, was highly critical of his team’s performance after their defeat at York City on Easter Monday, widely reported on the Devon press webs and on the local BBC.After the Bank Holiday fixtures Plymouth find themselves one point and one place above the League Two relegation zone, and Sheridan believes the relegation battle will go down to the wire.

” The points tally requiredis going to be higher thanin previous years because everyone is picking up points. It’s very tight.”

Not wrong there John.He added: “We just need to look forward to Cheltenham on Saturday which is a massive game and another must win game.”

For the Robins too, John; tasty game. tasty outcome.The Wiltshire Robins were another unhappy outfit having taken just one point from the Easter weekend. This from the Evening Advertiser Web:

“There was no anger, no bite, no verve, no enthusiasm- the qualities that have defined Swindon’s performances away from home this season. 667 travelling fans were not even given the courtesy of a shot on target, such was the utter ineptitude of Town’s attacking play.”

 667 sounds good but I can’t help thinking, pretty much five hundred travelling to Dagenham & Redbridge to cheer us on to 55 points. Dare I say a lot more than that!

Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson tells BBC Somerset their 2-1 win over Notts County was ‘crucial’ in their push for a play off place. Talking about support, home or away, if the Glovers make it to the Championship they will need a whole lot more. Something tells me it is just not there, an unsolvable problem.

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