September 10, 2018
Today we welcome our old friends from Devon for what has become known as a local ‘derby’ although both clubs have much closer and fiercer neighbours who they would like to put one over!
Adding to the ‘spice’ this afternoon is the poor start made by Argyle and Rovers that sees both clubs sitting in the relegation zone after half-a-dozen matches. The ‘Pilgrims’ made a similar start to their latest League 1 spell last season and we have been slow starters for several seasons now so it is certainly no time to panic. I have to admit though to be being very disappointed with our showing here at the ‘Mem’ losing all three League games and only narrowly defeating basement division Crawley in the Carabao Cup – a competition we have already said ‘goodbye’ to for another campaign since we last gathered here.
A ‘Gashead’ friend of mine told me that Rovers last lost three consecutive home games in 1961 and I checked Stephen Byrne and Mike Jay’s ‘Definitive History’ to prove that as correct. I am old enough to remember the first and last of that trio although I can’t remember the other one despite being present. That turned out to be the start of Rovers first relegation from Division 2, (now the Championship of course), and those opponents were: Liverpool 0-2, Bury 0-1, (completing a very early double following a loss at Gigg Lane), and (worryingly) Sunderland 2-3 – Brian Clough and all!
Fortunately this time round Rovers are in somewhat better shape on their travels and picked-up our 4th point with a hard-fought draw after finishing with ten men at Shrewsbury last Saturday. It was good to recover from defeat at Q.P.R. the previous Tuesday and I was impressed by our new ‘keeper, Jack Bonham, who looked extremely assured in goal, made a couple of good saves and had no chance with Danny Leadbitter’s spectacular own goal. Joe Martin ‘had a mare’ by comparison and got sent off for a couple of fouls so presumably will not be seen today! A vital game is on the cards this afternoon then with Argyle even more desperate for points as they sit looking up the table at the rest. Give the boys in blue an extra cheer and let’s get our home form up and running!