August 9, 2017
It was not a good start to the new season with plenty to disappoint the loyal ‘Gashead’ up to and including last Saturday’s trip to the capital. The news that Rovers’ owners, Dwayne Sports, had not been able to agree terms to build a new stadium on land owned by the University of the West of England was disappointing. I understand after many months of negotiation it was unfortunate that an understandable deadline came just a week or so before a very difficult ‘opener’ at Charlton.
The mood amongst fans by the news that, right on the eve of the season, ‘DC’ and the club had pulled-off not only the return of fans favourite Ryan Sweeney but also, as a big bonus, his Stoke City squad-mate Dom Telford as well, both on season-long loans. Unfortunately neither player became available for the Charlton game thanks to an administrative error by their parent club and we had to go without but more on that anon.
So to what was already a very tricky start at the Valley – a ground I have been going to with Rovers since we were effectively relegated there way back in 1962, and I’ve have never seen us pick up a point there to this day! It went without saying I suppose that Rovers would come back empty-handed again but this time it was made worse by a very poor decision by the officials to award a goal when all the two-thousand-plus Gasheads behind the net could see the ball had not crossed the line, later confirmed by video evidence.
However, I agree with the Boss that we never really threatened a goal with a less than convincing attacking performance – it just would have been nice to start with a point for a change! The one ‘highlight’ for me was that we didn’t after-all miss ‘Sweens’ as his presumed stand-in, Tom Broadbent, had an outstanding debut, hardly put a foot wrong and created probably Rovers’ best chance with a ferocious dipping volley that the ‘Addicks’ ‘keeper had to shovel over the bar. Just how does ‘DC’ find them? I saw most of his pre-season games and I reckon Tom is in line to be another brilliant signing.
Let’s hope that our bad start was ended with a win here last Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup and let’s hope we can pick up our first three points this afternoon. It won’t be easy as ‘Posh’ had a winning start at London Road last Saturday and will be looking for further improvement after a less than successful campaign last season. Get behind those boys in blue!