30th November 2013 AFC Wimbledon
November 29, 2013
Ken at the end of his walk from Cheltenham to the Mem.
More on that next time…
After three consecutive matches ‘on the road’ it’s back to the good old ‘Mem’ for another difficult game against the ‘Wombles’.
I am writing this before our short trip up the M5 to Cheltenham, so I can only comment on the first two of that awayday trio and the mixed fortunes that resulted from them. Whilst a few of long list of injured players have started to return to action we were still missing, amongst others, the influential Will Packwood and Seanan Clucas as we attempted to make good our F.A. Cup progress in the first round replay at York. And make good we did as Rovers swept into a three goal lead with some fine strikes leaving the ‘Minstermen’ to make a triple substitution at half-time.
However, a confident march into Round two came to an abrupt halt as a penalty was given for a shove by someone apparently in the six-yard box whilst Steve Mildenhall had the ball in his hands. It was impossible to see from the visitors’ enclosures ( wouldn’t it be nice if the paying customers could be made aware of what the officials were doing!). We didn’t have a clue but the spot-kick was duly put away and, in no time at all, a fantastic strike by the same player set the panic bells ringing. Fair play to Rovers though as I thought we quite quickly regained control and finished back on top at the final whistle. I guess it was easier to watch live than to listen to it on the radio! Some real progress then, despite a continually depleted squad, and another home tie to come against Crawley, (a big League One club!), next week.
Five games unbeaten, then, and I sensed some optimism amongst the travelling faithful at Burton last Saturday. But, this is Rovers and the ‘Pirates’ don’t do anything easy it seems! Mildenhall was forced into some great saves but the back four in front of him also played well and at least a point seemed likely as our high-flying hosts struggled to break Rovers down until on loan Chris Beardsley received an ‘early bath’ for an over-the-top challenge.
It was another sensational long range strike that put Burton in front but Rovers stayed in touch and battled hard for an equaliser that so nearly came in the dying minutes before another dismissal, for John Joe O’Toole, left us with just nine men against Burton’s ten. I’m sure most travelling supporters will agree with John Ward that we have been playing well on the road, at least until last Tuesday, despite the continual changes in personnel, now made so much worse by suspensions for Beardsley and O’Toole. However, it is results that count and I’m sure the majority of you here today, who are unable to travel away with the side, are desperate for a home win as am I.
It is no less than three months now since we secured a victory in Horfield and it would be a great boost if Rovers can get three points on the board today. Please stay behind the lads as you have done all season and perhaps we’ll get our just reward come 5 o’clock!
Christmas Party Night
Appearing in the Memorial Room on the evening following the Portsmouth game on Saturday 21st December are BAK2BAK, a musical duo that has been established for over ten years with Linda on vocals and John on guitar and vocals.
A good number of members have asked for post match entertainment in the clubhouse after Saturday games; BAK2BAK have been booked to give us a really good Christmas do. We hope that as many possible will stay with us for live music, a late bar and party atmosphere. Please find posters around the Bristol and Memorial rooms. Your support for this event would be very much appreciated. Non members are welcome so please bring a friend or three. A win in the afternoon would be nice but we will dance the evening away anyway; see you there.
The Weston Gas AGM took place on Thursday 14th November in the function room at the Windsor Castle at 7.45pm.
After the formal business, Head of Academy Tom Curtis gave members an in depth insight into the Bristol Rovers Academy and Youth Scholars programmes. Marcus Stewart and Alan Walsh also attended along with Jim Chappell and Brian Seymour Smith. Many thanks to all who gave up their time to be with us and to all members for a very good turn out.
The Christmas dinner will take place on Saturday 21st December at the Windsor Castle. Look out for a booking form and menu which is being sent out to all members. Bookings are also being taken for the away trip to Torquay on Boxing Day. A trip to Portsmouth is also in the pipe line for our game there on Saturday 19th April. A visit to the dockyard in the morning could make it a double Victory (sorry)! Please find Weston-super-Mare Gas on Facebook.
50/50 Draw Winner
Janet Wooster from Frenchay, pictured left collecting her winnings from Jim Chappell, was the lucky winner at the Bury game last time out on November 16th.
Janet picked up a lovely £768 to spend on all of her Supporters Club Executive friends this Christmas. The number of Janet’s winning ticket was 07918 and was sold to her by Jackie Hawkins in the Clubhouse; very well done Jackie and congratulations Janet. Thank you to all who bought a ticket and for contributing to our highly successful Youth Academy Programme. BRSC are proud sponsors of Bristol Rovers Youth.
Dave Hewett, pictured right, serves on the Executive Committee as Social Secretary and can be seen most conspicuously working the world famous annual tombola at the pre season Fun Days in July.
To be fair Dave does his bit on match days too! Programme selling, 50/50 half time draw ticket selling, post match 50/50 ticket organising, race night book making and a whole host more. Dave comes from Staple Hill and does his stuff on match days round by the Wellie, the Vic, and pitchside too.
Dave first came to a game in 1981. Rovers were taking on Preston North End at Eastville and won the game by two goals to nil. Dave recalls Gary Mabbutt getting on the score sheet that day and two international Williams running the midfield with Geraint and David both playing for Wales. Dave rates Gary as his most favourite player along with Archie Stephens, Gary Penrice, Vitas Astafjevs and Rickie Lambert.
Dave’s best memory was the 2nd of May 1990 at Twerton. Oh yes! Three goals to nil against Bedminster with Devon White (2) and a Hollie pen doing the damage, nice one.
Dave has another special memory; meeting his partner Julie and becoming a step granddad; another nice one. Dave is pleased to see a good number of young players being given a chance in the first team at present and looks forward to a successful team at the UWE full of home grown talent.
Well done Dave and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the cause.
Share Scheme Hospitality
A number of members are enjoying hospitality at the game today. Thank you very much indeed for your valuable and continuing support which is so very much appreciated.
The following games have been allocated for our Share Scheme members to take advantage of their Complimentary Carvery Meal entitlement in the New Year.
Accrington Stanley – 28th January 2014
Oxford United – 8th February 2014.
Please contact Clare McDonagh on 0117 9524001 to book and enjoy.