First blog: Myself and the last week

As this is the first of hopefully many posts to this website, it seems fair to introduce myself. I’m sixteen, have watched Rovers all of my life and have held a season ticket for fourteen of those years. I am as passionate as any gashead and my greatest ‘achievement’ to date was attending all bar six games in our promotion winning 2014/15 season. I hope to better that this term. My greatest moment watching the gas? I struggle to whittle it down to just one but the feeling of ecstasy when Lee Mansell’s penalty kissed the Wembley net is one I doubt I will ever feel again. It meant everything!

If I’m honest I stood no chance growing up! My Great-Uncle, much like my Grandad and Dad, was a Tote End boy. My Mum, Dad, Great-Uncle, Grandad and other Uncle all watched the Rovers through the Twerton Park days. Dads greatest claim to fame is being at the front of the 1990 Blackpool pitch invasion and tripping over, causing many behind him to follow suit! I was always going to be a gashead with my upbringing and that is something I am very proud of.

Back to the present day, and I was like many others listening to BBC Bristol and constantly refreshing my twitter feed from my sixth form cafeteria, awaiting news on what we believed to be a huge takeover. I was elated when this did indeed materialise, things like this just don’t happen to Bristol Rovers! So, to the Al Qadi family, and the new chairman Steve Hamer, welcome to our club. Personally I was impressed with the first interviews and how Wael Al Qadi presented himself. He certainly said all the things I wanted to hear about us being his “First and last club,” And how we are “A sleeping giant.”

I’m sure many others felt a similar buzz of excitement around The Mem on Saturday and it was fantastic to see the new owner up in box 1 for the first time. I’m sure he was also thrilled by the Bristol weather! The chorus of Goodnight Irene at half time is one that I have watched back a few times now and it makes the hairs on my neck stand up like so many other of my favourite Rovers moments. Let’s hope it turns out to be one of them! Second half goals from Rory Gaffney and Billy Bodin turned the game on its head and after the lacklustre showing in the first half I did wonder where they would come from, but we proved once again that we have the ability to win ugly which is the hallmark of any good team. The three points were much needed after two successive defeats and below-par performances at other promotion hopefuls Accrington Stanley and Portsmouth.

Our trip to Wycombe on Saturday looks very tricky with our hosts, and quartered counterparts, occupying eighth place and just one point behind ourselves. At the time of writing there are just 450 tickets left in the away end which I am almost certain will sell out. We have history against Wycombe to say the least, the lightning incident springs to mind as well as the fact that their result at Torquay on the last day of the 13/14 season was one of three that sentenced us to a season in the abyss of non-league football. The events on that day all the more crueller considering that just a week earlier we had beaten Wycombe and invaded their pitch chanting “We are staying up!” Oh well, such is the nature of football fans and at least following our promotion back to the exulted 92 we can look back on the irony with a smile! Wycombe are a very good side and Gareth Ainsworths’ men were twice on the brink of promotion in their own play off final last season, eventually being beaten by Southend United on penalties. Our recent form has been good against Wycombe, wining our three most recent games and scoring seven goals, three of which came from a Matty Taylor Hat-trick in December, and conceding only one. All of this counts for nothing come three ‘O’ clock on Saturday and the boys will be relying once again on our ever excellent support.

It is an interesting time to support Bristols’ oldest club. Whilst it does appear that we have a lot of cash, only time will tell how much the new owner will invest and what fruits it will bear. For now, we have another massive game on Saturday and are chasing a second successive promotion, I suggest we do what we do best and give the boys ninety minutes of ultimate support to hopefully bring back another important three points. Up The Gas!


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