April 29, 2015
These are the notes I was hoping I would not have write but, with Barnet holding their nerve last Saturday evening to claim the Conference Championship and the sole promotion place that went with it, Rovers are left having to fight it out with our neighbours from Nailsworth over two legs for a day out at Wembley with either Grimsby of Eastleigh.
I can only report on what has been a fantastic finish to the regular season with just those two vital points so crucially dropped two minutes from time on that concrete-hard, wind-swept Crabble pitch a couple of weeks back. Otherwise it’s been victories all the way for Darrell Clarke’s men throughout April and I think he deserves a fourth ‘Manager of the Month’ award for that.
The crushing of an outclassed Alfreton Town last Saturday in front of a record Conference crowd here proved not to be enough at the end of a long first season in non-League football and ‘Mad Dog’s ‘Bees’ have to be congratulated on regaining their composure just in time to hold on to what looked like theirs for most of the campaign.
I am old enough to have seen Rovers both promoted and relegated under the old system of just 2 points for a win and, on checking the table, I see that had that applied still today then WE would have taken the title with 66 points, 2 ahead of Barnet. But there are ‘if’s and maybe’s all the time in football and we must live with what we have today.
We face a Forest Green side that has long been many a ‘Pirate’s ‘second team’, (I’ll bet they aren’t any longer), as they have climbed rapidly over the last couple of decades from the Gloucestershire County League to the verge of the Football League under a wealthy owner who is backing his club to the hilt.
We now need victories if this great club is to regain it’s status. We have the best fans by a mile and I reckon we now have the best team also in the Conference. Together we can do it so get behind the boys in blue and I’ll see you in London.
Up the Pirates!
(This is a small section of Jim’s Jottings from the FGR Pirate Programme on Sunday 3rd May 2015.)