11th January 2014 Exeter City
January 17, 2014
compiled by Ken Masters
Welcome all to a very important ‘regional derby’ as Rovers entertain our old rivals from Devon and one that I sincerely hope is being played on the day intended. Following the frosts and snow of last season this time round we have been the victims of the terrible gales and heavy rain that has so badly affected the south of England over the holiday period. If you were with us a week before Christmas at that awful night in Crawley, as Rovers tried to make it through to the 3rd Round of the F.A. Cup at the second attempt, you probably would have expected the tie to have been just a memory by now! However, that game had to be abandoned as the pitch gradually disappeared under water and, at the time of writing this column last Monday, we still await an outcome with last Wednesday night’s rearranged fixture remaining under threat because of the continuing rains.
At least the local forecast is improving as I write so hopefully we’ll see some action here today. Meantime Rovers have ‘progressed’ into Round 4 with a home draw against Premiership Swansea City, provided of course we defeat higher-rated opposition away from home at both Crawley and Birmingham. By the time you read this we could still be trying to complete round 2, facing a very difficult round 3 at St. Andrews or out of the competition altogether. There is never a dull moment with Rovers and the Supporters Club will be providing transport to every game, wherever or whenever it is. Don’t forget that every trip is insured and in the event of a postponement or abandonment, as at Crawley, members can get their money back or have a free trip to the rearranged game. Let’s hope we shall be looking forward to entertaining the ‘Swans’ again in the next week or so.
Back to today and what was supposed to be the second of four home League games this month. Unfortunately the postponement of our New Year’s Day fixture here against Cheltenham, yet to be rearranged of course because of the Cup chaos, has already put us behind our relegation rivals just at the time we could have made up some real ground with home advantage. With comprehensive victories in our last two home League games against Wimbledon and Portsmouth there was a feeling that the return of some of the many early-season injury victims was at last beginning to bear fruit and we could certainly do with that Memorial Stadium form continuing today against the ‘Grecians’.
This is because our results ‘on the road’ continued to be disappointing to say the least, right up to the end of the old year with a draw at Torquay on Boxing Day followed by defeat at Rochdale. Only one win and just seven goals scored on our travels to date tells its own story and we simply have to improve our away form if the dreaded ‘drop’ is to be avoided. Form-wise, as Manager John Ward has stated, we are not bad and having witnessed every game this season I must say that I agree with him. However my main concern is that in five of the last six away matches, (York cup, Burton and Morecambe before the two above-mentioned), we have totally outplayed the home sides in the first half only to fall away badly in the second ’45’. You would have been hard-pressed to imagine Rochdale winning after our opening half display at Spotland but us regulars could just see it coming as we failed in front of goal again. Hopefully the lads will ‘click’ on our travels, perhaps with the aid of a new signing or two, as the New Year develops. At least next week’s scheduled long trip back to York bodes well with Rovers scoring three times in each of our three games against the ‘
Minstermen’ so far this term.
Enjoy a great game today and three much-needed points for the ‘Pirates’.
50/50 Draw Tickets Unclaimed
The Cheltenham postponement was a blow because a well-attended bank holiday fixture will likely now become a winter night match with the resulting loss in income. This applies to the Supporters Club’s 50/50 half-time draw which we were hoping would have a bumper start for our first draw with a 2nd prize of£100 that will now happen today instead.
Thankfully we signed-off our one-prize only regime with a massive £1,094 in the last match played here against Portsmouth but sadly this big prize was unclaimed and remains so up to the time of writing. Not only that but the £890 prize for the draw at the Wimbledon match also remains unclaimed and it’s odd that the two best home performances have both left us with money still to be paid out! It won’t be wasted of course and we keep it on hand at least until the season has ended so please check your numbers if you are still holding tickets for those games: Wimbledon Ticket number 09417, Portsmouth Ticket Number 10475.
Crewe Alex Ticket Winner
The Youth team played Crewe here at the Mem on 17th December in the third round of the FA Youth Cup. Volunteer sellers were on hand and the draw served up a nice little take home of £57. The winner was Rhian Greenslade with ticket number 13784 and the seller was committee member Phil Draper; well done to both.
Carbon Footy Print
In an effort to reduce the SC’s carbon footprint (and save the club some money!), we are putting out a request for the return of any unwanted SC or Pirate Leisure shopping bags. So if you have just “bagged” yourself a January sale bargain, or if you have some good quality bags from previous purchases, then please return them to the portacabin and we can then re-use or re cycle them.
Shop and Save
If you hate going to the shops and getting wet and barged by bargain hunters, why not click on line via the SC website “www.bristolroverssc.co.uk”; and get some January sale bargains, while at the same time helping raise money for the SC? With Valentines, Mother Day’s and Easter not too far away there are plenty of chance to buy your loved ones a gift to treasure.
Thanks to all members and friends for staying behind at the Mem after the Portsmouth game on 21st December. A great result was followed up by a great night with singing, tambourine bashing and dancing with, rather than to, BACK2BACK. An extended happy hour till 8 with normal prices till late also went down well. Our regular “joiners in” were well on form and added to the entertainment and the atmosphere. The live duo caught the mood just right; thanks to all for the party.
Weston Away Travel
Weston Gas are planning organised local away travel to the games at Northampton, Portsmouth and Wycombe. Looking at the current League table, these games will be vital and your support will be greatly appreciated; book early to avoid disappointment. Members will be at the far end of the Memorial Room before the game today. Follow Weston-super-Mare Gas on Facebook.
Share Scheme Hospitality
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; thank you to S.S members for your continuing contributions which are so very much appreciated