11th February 2014 Cheltenham Town
February 12, 2014
compiled by Ken Masters
These notes were compiled for New Year’s Day, when this fixture was due to be played.
A very happy and prosperous new year to all as we begin another twelve months, (hopefully!), of League action here at the Memorial Stadium.
I guess most ‘Gasheads’ will agree with me in saying that none of us really expected to be fighting another relegation battle for a third consecutive Christmas holiday period. So what is it that makes Rovers such poor starters in this basement division? Even Paul Trollope’s promotion play-off winners were down in 17th place when 2007 opened and we really cannot continue to rely on management changes and new-year surges to safety!
In all fairness John Ward has had an unbelievable injury crisis to deal with this time and there are still several long-term victims yet to re-appear at the time of writing. The likes of Broghammer, Woodards, Kenneth and Paterson are virtually ‘forgotten men’ on the terraces so long have they been missing and McCrystal, Clucas and Brunt will also seem like new signings when they once again don the quartered shirt. Every one of those mentioned would be in the first team squad if fit and, whilst John Ward has never even mentioned it as an excuse, there is no doubt that our injury list has been a debilitating factor this season.
Having said that a stream of young former Academy players have come in and done a great job, so much so that lads like Tom Lockyer would be terribly unlucky to lose their place in the team when the others eventually return. The defence has generally been good and there is no doubt that biggest problem as we go to print before the Christmas printer’s deadline is the lack of goals. The most frustrating thing is that with our deadliest rivals and closest competitors from ‘south of the river’ having such a torrid time of their own, Rovers are losing the opportunity to gain the upper hand in Bristol for the first time in several years!
With a new stadium on the horizon we need to start making progress in this respect very soon. As fifty thousand students are making the area their temporary home, many of them attending the very University that will be Rovers’ partners in the new development, we have to start making real progress back up the Football League. Hopefully that climb will already have begun with a decent Christmas behind us. Next week we go either to Birmingham in the Cup or Scunthorpe in the League. Either game will be both difficult and very important so I’m sure we will have a big following whichever is the venue. The Supporters Club will be running coaches of course and you can get full details on the travel page of this programme. See you there!
This afternoon we have the nearest thing to a local ‘derby’ so I hope you all enjoy a great game and three valuable points for the boys in blue!
The New 50/50
Today we are making a change to our very successful 50/50 Draw for the first time.
The Draw, that has been running ever since we returned to Bristol back in 1996, has only ever featured one prize that is 50% of the ticket sales. This afternoon we are also going to present a second prize of £100
and will continue to do so as long as the total winnings exceed £400. Hopefully having two prizes will encourageeven more sales and therefore more income for Rovers’ Youth Academy
You will recall in a previous blog I asked if you would kindly support Ken Masters, Adam Tutton and the Community team in their bid to raise cash for the Fans4Life programme at the club.
You have no idea how much work went on behind the scenes to seek a successful bid and raise further cash sums for this programme. Like you, I was disappointed to learn that on this occasion we were unsuccessful. John Moody worked very hard on writing the bid with Adam and Ken. Adam worked so hard on the publicity and Ken trained for hours in the gym and out on the roads to get himself up for the long walk from Cheltenham to the Mem over just two days.
May I put on record my sincere thanks to Ken, Adam and all the community team for the work they put in to try to win this bid. Also to you and many more fans who took the trouble to vote in support. It is disappointing that such a worthwhile cause should be overlooked but I know the team will continue with the programme and to examine funding from other sources.
As you are aware, Ken and I have been working hard to ensure that when you come to the Mem, you have an all-round positive experience. To improve this experience further, almost immediately in the New Year, our aim is bring back a host of former players. I know judging by the response around the ground at half time, in and around the bars both before the game that this is very popular and I thank the Supporters Club and Football Club for actively supporting this over the past two years.
Once again, my sincere New Year best wishes and many thanks for all your ongoing support!
Norton Radstock Gas
Our Branch in North East Somerset are working hard to arrange meet ups at the Crown at Clapton near Norton Radstock on Thursday evenings. Organisers are also keen to arrange away transport to games in the second half of the season. Carolyn and Sally are true Gasheads and really do deserve your support.
Gloucester Gas members are still in touch with each other.
Arranging an evening meet up at Longlevens is proving difficult. We wonder if meeting up in the Memorial Room on match days would be a good alternative; it works very well for Weston members. Please let David or Ralph know if you think this could be a good idea.
Coast to Coast
A Weston Gas coast to coast road cruise is on the chart table for the Pirates game at Pompey on Saturday 19th April.
With a visit to the Portsmouth dockyard in the morning you could make it a double Victory (sorry, not that joke again)! Please find Weston-super-Mare Gas on Facebook and meet up at the far end of the Memorial Room on match days from 1.30 onwards with members of our Weston-super-Mare SC branch.
General Knowledge Quiz
The next quiz will be held on Thursday 13 February 2014 and we will be actively encouraging more new teams to take part.
If you are a young brainbox why not take a note of the date and raise a team of friends, family or workmates and see how you get on against our resident egg heads. The quiz is open to everyone and all profits help raise funds for the share scheme.