Here we are, in Lockdown three and, having carried out what seemed like a never ending spate of decorating and gardening during Lockdown one, I found myself undertaking a great deal of writing during phase two and have carried that on.
It’s always about Rovers, of course, but I decided I would endeavor to commemorate something club related for every date from the beginning of August for as long as possible and, with the exception of Christmas Eve, have managed it so far!
I’m sure you have all found your own ways of coping during these very difficult times, and my own way has been to write.
And so, I thought I would share a particular anniversary with you today; Until I looked it up, I never would have believed it was 22 years ago today that Rovers beat Reading 6-0 at the Madejski Stadium. A crowd of 13,258 saw Jamie Cureton score four of the goals and Jason Roberts the other two.
In the week leading up to this game manager Ian Holloway had brought in a new coach, Garry Thompson, and also signed central defender Andy Thomson from Portsmouth and both made their Rovers league bow on this day; Thompson in the dugout and Thomson on the pitch.
Thomson helped Rovers keep a clean sheet in a fairly even first half, in which there were no goals and no indication of how ruthless his new side would be after the break.
Cureton opened the scoring on 49 minutes and added his second, from the penalty spot after a foul on Roberts, eight minutes later. He completed his hat trick on 64 minutes and fired in his, and Rovers’, fourth goal of the afternoon six minutes later after being played in by Roberts.
With two minutes to go Roberts netted his first following Cureton’s cross and he added his second in time added on.
Reading goalkeeper Scott Howie would later play for Rovers, while Andy Gurney already had a Rovers career on his CV. Cureton and Roberts would later play for Reading.
Manager Ian Holloway was delighted with the performance and the away support of 2,927, saying; ‘Our fans are really special. I can’t ever remember Rovers taking so many fans to an away league game and I felt they deserved the performance.’