February 10, 2019
Welcome all to a truly vital match in Rovers’ season here at the Memorial Stadium where, it is fair to say, we have had to date one of the worst campaigns ever in terms of results at home, certainly in my long years of supporting the club.
Thankfully the appointment of Graham Coughlan along with the supporting roles of Chris Hargreaves and Lee Mansell have galvanised the playing squad in the last couple of months to such an extent that last Saturday’s fine win at Southend, which was much more comprehensive than the scoreline suggests, has finally dragged the club out of the League 1 relegation places. The terrible arctic weather being suffered here in the west country was simply nowhere to be seen in deepest Essex where a brilliant sunny day greeted a much reduced army of ‘Gasheads’ at Roots Hall.
The Rovers, boosted by welcome new signings Abu Ogogo and Johnson Clarke-Harris tore into United from the start and we should have been at least two goals ahead before Liam Sercombe and Gavin Reilly did the business. Unfortunately one bad ‘giveaway’ of a pass presented the ‘Shrimpers’ with a goal and a possible route back into the match but the lads seem to be made of sterner stuff under Graham and rode the game out well, even hitting the bar (yet again this season) as they strove for another goal to clinch the points. So a highly valuable win, even if it was made much harder than it should have been, and only that one narrow defeat at Sunderland before four victories and a draw on the road since ‘D.C.’ left.
But now it’s back to home soil where Rovers desperately need to improve our points return and a win today against another struggling opponent would be so important. The all-round improvement under Graham has been such that I’m sure it will happen but please get behind the boys to make sure that it does this afternoon.