A Warm Welcome
January 28, 2016
A Very Warm Welcome to Rory Gaffney And Liam Lawrence.
(This is a section of Jim’s Jottings that appeared in the Plymouth Argyle programme.)
It’s been a whole calendar month since we last prepared a Bristol Rovers Supporters Club column for The Pirate and what a lot has happened during those five weeks.
The loan spell of Rory Gaffney from Cambridge United ran it’s course and the ‘Ginger God’, as he had already been labelled by Gasheads, returned to the Abbey Stadium with his Manager there realizing what an asset he had.
It looked to the outsiders that was that and Rory was immediately reinstalled in United’s first team but Darrell Clarke’s latest star acquisition wanted return to he ‘Mem’ after scoring five goals in seven appearances for the ‘Pirates’ during his loan.
So it was that, after a week or so of tense negotiations behind the scenes, that Gaffney signed for us on permanent terms until the end of next season.
I’m pleased to report that the Supporters Club played it’s part by releasing funds in advance of normal payments due to the Football Club to help conclude the deal before the January transfer window expires.
On the day that Rory played his solitary game back at Cambridge, Bristol Rovers proved just what a difference he had made to us by losing at ‘Mad Dog’s Barnet in a match we had dominated after conceding the only goal in a poor opening spell.
More good news was to come with Darrell signing the experienced midfielder Liam Lawrence until the end of the season and Welsh Under-21 International centre-back Tom Lockyer being named the Football League’s Young Player of the Month.
A belated formal welcome then to both Rory and Liam and hearty congratulations to Tom on his achievements..
It became even better with a win over Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium in front another massive away following. 2,400 Gasheads roared the lads to a Gaffney-inspired victory that lifted BRFC up to 4th place.
Whilst the ‘U’s had plenty of possession and were excellent down the flanks the two Toms at the heart of the Rovers back line turned-in fantastic performances whilst Rory terrorised the Oxford defence with his running and deft touches.
After the game it was a shock to learn on the trip back from Oxford that our other Welsh Under-21 International Ellis Harrison, who had come off the bench to strike the match-winning penalty, was going out on loan to struggling Hartlepool United.
Apparently this was Ellis deciding he needs more game time whilst Gaffney and Taylor are obviously currently claiming the starting places up-front as a result of their goal-scoring exploits.
Best wishes go to Ellis for his spell up in the north-east and let’s hope he can bag a few goals against our promotion rivals and come back in top form to claim a place alongside Matt or Rory.
If it was tough against Oxford last Sunday then it certainly gets no easier with the visit of League leaders and old foes Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.
Then we are on the road to Accrington Stanley, a ground we have never won on and where we always seem to under-achieve.
Up the Pirates.