February 25, 2018
This afternoon brings one of the division’s ‘high-flyers’ back to the Memorial Stadium with both teams surely looking to improve on last Saturday’s results. For Rovers our last-gasp defeat at the Kingsmeadow was a big disappointment coming on the back of two excellent victories, all three games happening since we last prepared this column.
The victory at Oxford was as comprehensive as it could have been – incredibly the ‘Pirates’ fifth in succession at the Kassam. We had to fall behind to a ‘howler’ of a defensive mistake of course as is now seemingly customary but that merely served to spur the team on and the ‘U’s had no answer to the rampaging Rovers thereafter. So it was again the following Tuesday when we fell behind yet again to a battling Rochdale side that belied their lowly position in the League table. The Pirates were not at their best as Darrell Clarke was quick to admit afterwards but we scored three cracking goals with Chris Lines’ matchwinner surely a candidate for the Supporters Club’s ‘Goal of the Season award come the end of the campaign.
In both of those matches the fantastic support from the ‘Gas’ was a major factor in helping to turn defeat into victory but I have to say that was not the case in Kingston-on-Thames where a rather tepid performance on and off the pitch resulted in a second defeat in ten. It seemed as if both fans and players were each waiting for the other to get themselves going; a very strange game that seemed to be petering out until that late scrappy decider. Rovers’ latest back four played very well until that last minute but us in the seated area behind the Dons’ goal had such a poor view that we could not make out even if a goal had been scored let alone who was at fault for it! Pitch-level with a bright low sun right into our eyes and a hundred yards from the action made for a difficult afternoon all-round to say the least and best ‘put to bed’ as far as the coming week is concerned!
It has been mentioned elsewhere on these pages in recent matches and has of course been put on our website for a while but the big prize of £1,275 for our 50/50 Draw in the final home game of last year, 23rd December, against Doncaster has still not yet been claimed at the time of writing. As the winning ticket was sold by Dave Bean in the car park it is just possible that it was purchased by a visiting supporter so we have been in touch with ‘Donny’ to see if anyone from Yorkshire might possibly still be holding it – long shot though this may be. Because of this possibility we have extended the claim time so please have a look in your pockets and see if you have ticket number 029869. Should you be so lucky you can call into the Club Shop at 199 Two Mile Hill Road, Kingswood, or call into our matchday cabin in the car park. If the prize remains unclaimed the money will be added to the next ‘superdraw’ that will probably take place towards the end of the season.
While we were going under in south-west London last Saturday our visitors this afternoon had to come from behind twice in order just to gain a valuable point from the ‘Cobblers’ at Glanford Park. So ‘Scunny’ will be desperate for a win today to boost their promotion chances and they have eight away victories already so it is going to be another testing game for Rovers. The support has been fantastic here so far and the lads will need that to continue this afternoon in order to claim all the points so please get behind those boys in blue. Up the Pirates!