October 2, 2017
The hectic start to the ‘new’ season is already nearly a quarter complete with a third game inside eight days for what seems like the umpteenth time this campaign and we welcome our old foes, the ‘Pilgrims’, back in competition with ‘Pirates’ again following our consecutive promotions from the basement division. This column is again being prepared before our last match which was another tough trip to Portsmouth who of course came up with Argyle last time round. I must admit to travelling to Fratton Park more in hope than expectation as the ‘other’ naval base has been something of a graveyard rather than a dockyard for Rovers in the recent past! In several visits I have never seen us avoid defeat at Pompey apart from once back in the 70’s when Millwall were banned from playing at the Den because of persistent crowd trouble and Rovers triumphed 3-1 at the neutral venue. However, my spirits were certainly raised for this difficult week by that excellent ‘come-back’ performance here seven days ago against high-flying Blackpool. Being a goal down so early into a match against the ‘in-form’ team in our division presented a very stiff challenge to Rovers’ inconsistent squad but they certainly rose to that challenge in fine style. The previous much-improved showing at Championship leaders Wolves in the Carabao Cup four days before was eventually replicated against the ‘Tangerines’ as Rovers came good towards the end of the game, scored three fine goals and claimed all those much-needed points. Let’s hope the trick was repeated at Pompey and will be again this afternoon!
The recent trip to Wigan brought about a chance meeting in the away end with the Supporters Club’s auditor, Clive Farquhar. From that and a subsequent conversation with him here last Saturday I am pleased to report that our accounts for last season have now been brought up to date and therefore we are on time to go ahead the Annual General Meeting on the 19th October. We will advise members via this column and of course on the our website when the accounts are ready for inspection but it should be very soon. Allied to that meeting we will also be inviting the Board and management of the Football Club to attend another forum with fans that will follow on from the A.G.M. It is now a requirement of the Football League that two such meetings take place every season with club’s supporters and I’m sure we will have an interesting get-together. We will publish full details as soon as we can.
Because much of last week’s column for the Blackpool game was given over to Brian’s piece on his standing-down from the Board of Directors we left out any mention of our aforementioned trip to Wigan. I guess just about every ‘Gashead’ who travelled north by road that day was likely to have been slightly inconvenienced on their return by the aftermath of that terrible accident on the M5 just north of Bristol which took place as Rovers were undergoing the pre-match warm-up. All worries about the result, performance and future prospects should really pale into insignificence compared to that real disaster and our belated sypathies go to everyone affected, especially those hopefully still recovering in Bristol’s hospitals, one of which is just a stone’s throw from here this afternoon. It’s only a game as they say but, enjoy it just the same!
Up the Pirates!