December 28, 2014
(To read the full and lengthy article just look in your Macclesfield PIRATE programme later today.)
I hope that you all had a great Christmas, (including three points at Plainmoor of course!), and you are ready for another vital top-of-the-table clash here at the Memorial Stadium.
It is of course that time of the season when a hectic fixture list overtakes the programme team and we contributors are having to write before the last game – that aforementioned trip to the English Riviera on Boxing Day.
It’s always like this at Christmas but to be honest it seems like every other week in the Conference and we are well into the second half of the season already.
Not to grumble and it’s a pleasure to be writing on the back of a great home win such as that last Friday week when Rovers opened their holiday schedule here against Gateshead.
In my notes for that game I commented on our lack of goals recently and how I wanted more and, lo and behold, my wish was granted in style. Mind you, I couldn’t see it coming after half an hour or so when we were deservedly a goal down in front of the nation’s TV cameras, hadn’t mustered a single shot and Manager Darrell Clarke had already made his first tactical switch.
The latter turned out to be a master-stroke though as substitute Ollie Clarke powered home another of his blockbusters. The ‘Heed’ were no pushovers and got back in front almost immediately so I guess we all feared the worst but, Rovers’ spirit is certainly not lacking as a superb Lee Mansell free-kick was soon followed by the goal of the night.
I might be wrong but I reckon the ‘Bearded Wonder’ enjoyed blasting home the winner as Rovers over-ran the previously superior ‘Heed’ defence and three more valuable points were in the bag.
There was a worry that Stuart Sinclair’s ‘victory run’ might turn into a ‘fly-past’ as he clearly operates on Duracell batteries but luckily the stadium gates were locked! The ‘Man-of-the-Match’ is truly a human dynamo and we like him – quite a lot!
One final mention on the Gateshead 50/50 is to say a big ‘thank you’ to all our sellers and helpers but, on a night when we were short of numbers due to Christmas works parties and the like, especially to Sandra and also Mark Smith who both had to fill in on ‘office duties’.
Likewise it was great to welcome back all four members of the Hawkins/Rudman family following the terrible loss of Hannah and James’ baby Benjamin who sadly died just a couple of weeks before Christmas and was buried only four days previous to the match.
Janet Wooster, Phil Draper and I were proud to represent the Supporters Club at a packed funeral service in Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel on a day when football didn’t really seem so important at all. R.I.P. Benjamin, destined to have been a ‘Gashead’ but taken so young!
Hopefully the momentum built up in that fine win here over Gateshead was carried on down at Torquay and will continue today with another important match against promotion-chasing opponents. The ‘Silkmen’ are of course another ex League club desperate like us to return to former glories so again it won’t be easy. Get behind the boys in blue and let’s pick up one more vital win!
Up the Pirates!