25th January 2014 Newport County
January 27, 2014
compiled by Ken Masters
Welcome all to what promises to be a very entertaining ‘Severnside derby’ against the team who are now our closest geographical League rivals from Newport. Hopefully Rovers’ recent home form will prevail and we can pick up another valuable three points this afternoon.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I wrote for the Exeter programme and we finally sorted this season’s F.A. Cup, unfortunately terminally in the end but certainly not in disgrace. First up the 2nd Round tie against Crawley did get played on a bog of a pitch but those of us who travelled to Sussex for a second time in awful conditions got our just rewards when, in a fantastic finish, Rovers came from behind to snatch a last-gasp winner thanks to John-Joe O’Toole. No player could have deserved it more in what was a very determined team performance that was well worthy of progressing to Round 3.
The day had in fact started badly for me when I awoke to my radio alarm, set to Radio Bristol, telling me that Rovers were in severe financial trouble and in danger of going out of business! Shock was not the word to describe it as I thought, as Supporters Club Chairman and attendee at the Football Club AGM a few weeks before when the Balance Sheet was presented and accepted by the shareholders, that I might have had some warning of our forthcoming demise! However, by listening carefully to subsequent interviews with Financial Director Toni Watola followed by one with Chairman Nick Higgs, it soon became apparent that the whole story was weeks out of date and frankly a total load of rubbish; a bit of lazy journalism to my mind and an article that set to make out a story that didn’t really exist. It meant though that I spent the rest of the day reassuring fans, friends and family that Rovers were going to survive and I was very upset with Radio Bristol presenting the financial position in the way they did.
After the long drive back from Crawley I took some pleasure in texting RB to inform them that we were still very much in business and had just picked up some useful prize money thanks to a fine team performance. Later our friends from south of the river announced their huge loss, ten times that of Rovers, but little was made of it by the media.
Our only game here in the last four followed on the Saturday and again it was that man ‘JJ’ with another last-minute winner to make it a full nine points from our last three home matches. Let’s hope the run continues today.
It was back to a more normal away game last Saturday with yet another long trip back up to York for ours second visit this season. Yet again Rovers’ lack of fire-power on our travels was evident but I must agree with Manager Ward that the ‘Minstermen’ provided much stiffer opposition than in our earlier Cup meetings and a goal-less draw was probably the right result after a very hard-fought game. Certainly Rovers gave as good as they got, having a goal disallowed and hitting a post but it’s disappointing that despite much improved recent form we have not made any progress up the League. Still, two home games to come and with a new striker promised by the time you read this let’s hope we’ll be climbing soon.
Supporters Club members and all fans are sad that our former full-back Trevor Jacobs has passed away. Jim Chappell writes:
“‘Jake’ s became a great favourite with Rovers despite having played long-term with City before ‘crossing the river’. His ferocious tackling was just what was needed to complete Don Megson’s 1973/4 promotion-winning team and he was deservedly an ‘ever-present’ in that great Eastville side. R.I.P. Trevor and thank you.
Our thoughts are with Trevor’s family at this time.
Exeter 50/50 11th January
Two prizes to report with Chris Bartley from Bradley Stoke picking up a cool £864 with ticket number 10032 and Neil Merrick from the stadium staff collecting the second fixed prize of £100 with ticket number 11791. The sellers were Hannah Hawkins at the Main Gate and Sandra Jaques in the J and G Stand respectively. Well done to all.
As we strive to move away from the lower echelons of League 2, clearly your continuing support over the coming months is critical. No one can doubt what brilliant supporters we have. Together, with those Rovers supporters in corporate hospitality at St Andrews, over 3,000 Rovers fans made their way to Birmingham for our FA Cup 3rd Round tie. I wonder how many other clubs in The Championship, League 1 or 2 could ever boast the same. That was absolutely brilliant and the club cannot thank you enough for making your way up the M5 on a very wet January evening to support our boys.
There were several issues which arose from that game which I have already raised with the Chairman and will be bringing to the next board meeting. Firstly, I received several messages after the game about racial abuse from one or two of our supporters which caused offence to others. This football club finds racial abuse totally repulsive and will continue to do all it can to stamp out this kind of mindless behavior. My I offer our sincere apologies to anyone who may have been offended and ask you to get in touch with either me or the club as soon as possible with details.
There were also other issues such as suggestions of mistreatment to our fans by the Police. Again if proven we will be taking action over this. I understand there is a video link which supports these claims. If so, please could you forward this link to me on [email protected] and I will forward to the club accordingly.
The club were also greatly concerned about the time it took Birmingham to allow our supporters into the ground. The club made it perfectly clear to Birmingham in advance that possible 2,000 plus supporters were expected but unfortunately that advice was overlooked and problems arose because of this. Again, may I offer my sincere apologies to anyone who may have been inconvenienced.
Returning to this afternoon’s vital game, your support is even more important. I know there will be an excellent crowd at the Mem today and with Accrington on Tuesday, the next two games are crucial and so is your support. Our record in recent weeks has been excellent and we must keep the run going. I know you will get right behind the lads once again this afternoon to ensure that happens!
Share Scheme member Peter Stock
collects his signed shirt
from Brian Seymour-Smith
Fun Day Tombola
Although the Fun Day is still some way off, we are still making early plans the tombola prizes. The tombola is a good way of selling old stock, but with the star prizes of new home and away shirts of offer, and other great Gas gifts, the event would make a loss without donations of items from supporters. If you are thinking of having a clear out to make space, don’t forget that any old DVDs, CDs, toys, games, books, Rovers related merchandise or anything football related in general, that is in good condition, will be more than welcome.
Support St Peters
If you have any unwanted clothing don’t forget the collection point for clothes at the top of the Mem car park, which goes towards making valuable contributions to the St Peters Hospice.
Share Scheme Hospitality
The following games have been allocated for our Share Scheme members to take advantage of their Complimentary Carvery Meal entitlement.
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