In Search of Gas is an attempt to track down as many former Rovers players, who are still involved in the game, as possible.
Most will have played first team football for Rovers in the past, while others are still contracted to The Gas, but are away on loan or work experience.
What began as something to do on the opening day of the 2018/19 season, became a little bit of an obsession for former Rovers Head of Media Keith Brookman, as you will see from his weekly updates!
The latest instalment lives on the main page HERE, and the rest of the season will be archived in chunks.
April and May 2019 are being archived below, right in front of your very eyes.
Chapter 35- Week commencing 8th April 2019
The first games involving any Gas representatives took place on Tuesday evening and in the Championship Kelle Roos was between the posts for Derby County, who lost 2-0 at Blackburn Rovers, a result which means they are now three points away from a play off place.
At Ashton Gate Matty Taylor was an 83rd minute substitute for Bristol City who were 3-2 winners against West Bromwich Albion and moved up to fifth place in the league standings.
Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea side that beat Stoke City 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium and McBurnie scored the third Swans goal in the 86th minute by which time Stoke were down to nine men following the dismissals of Bruno Martins-Indi and Tom Edwards.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis saw his side end a run of six straight defeats with a 2-0 away victory against Bolton Wanderers. The win saw his side move within two points of the top six and leaves Bolton eight points from safety with five games remaining.
Wycombe Wanderers lost 1-0 at home against Charlton Athletic, a result that leaves them one point and one place above the relegation places. Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall were both named on the Wycombe bench, with Cowan-Hall being introduced as a 69th minute substitute.
In League Two Exeter City remain in a play off place in spite of their 3-2 defeat at Macclesfield, who moved out of the bottom two for the first time since August. Hiram Boateng started this one for Exeter while Donovan Wilson watched the game unfold from the substitute’s bench.
Newport County played out a goalless draw against Swindon Town at Rodney Parade and while Kyle Bennett completed the 90 minutes for Swindon, Tom Broadbent remained on the bench, as did Newport’s David Pipe.
AFC Fylde recorded a 1-0 National League victory at Gateshead and moved up to fourth place in the table. Andy Bond was a 74th minute substitute for the promotion chasing side.
Leyton Orient moved two points clear of Salford City at the top of the table following their 3-2 win against Eastleigh at Brisbane Road. Matt Harrold was an unused substitute for the new league leaders, but Sam Matthews completed 90 minutes for Eastleigh and Chris Zebroski was an 83rd minute substitute.
Adam Dawson was again named on the AFC Telford United bench for their home game against Altrincham in their National League North game. It ended 1-1 and Dawson went on in the 75th minute and his side scored a 91st minute equaliser from the penalty spot.
Hereford also collected a point from a 1-1 draw at Alfreton Town with Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards both completing 90 minutes.
In the Northern Premier League East Division Cleethorpes Town, with Craig Disley in their starting lineup, were 3-1 winners at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
In the West Division Prescot Cables, with Josh Klein-Davies in their starting lineup, lost 1-0 at home against Leek Town.
In the West Riding County Cup Final Ossett United, with Andy Monkhouse in their side, beat Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley 2-1, while in the Nottinghamshire Senior Cup Final Basford United were 3-0 winners against Carlton Town. Kieran Preston was in the Basford goal for this one.
It was semi final night in the Sussex County Cup and Bognor Regis Town, with Theo Widdrington in their starting XI reached the final with a resounding 5-1 win against Brighton & Hove Albion.
It was also semi final night in the Salisbury Hospital Cup and Salisbury went through to the final courtesy of a 3-0 win against Amesbury Town. Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side for this one.
Wednesday night saw six games played in the Championship and Luke Daniels kept a clean sheet for Brentford who sent Ipswich Town closer to relegation with a 2-0 win at Griffin Park. Ellis Harrison, still suffering with a back injury, was once again missing from the Ipswich squad.
Joe Lumley also kept a clean sheet as he and his Queens Park Rangers side played out a goalless draw at The Den. The result leaves both clubs still looking over their shoulder at those below them. Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side make 41 points, the same as two others, which is only two points clear of the final relegation place. QPR are on the 45 point mark.
One of the other clubs on 41 points are Reading, who managed a creditable 2-2 draw away at Champions elect Norwich City. Sam Walker was once again an unused Reading substitute and watched his side equalise in the 97th minute to clinch a valuable point.
Friday brought news of the death of former Rovers player Lindsay Parsons, at the age of 73 and there were many fine tributes paid to a very popular player who also enjoyed a long managerial/coaching/assistant managerial career much of it spent working alongside his former Rovers team mate Tony Pulis.
In the League of Ireland First Division Paul Heffernan, striker coach at Cabinteely FC saw his side record a 3-2 win against Athlone Town.
Now striker Coach at League of Ireland Division One side Cabinteely FC, Paul Heffernan began his career in Ireland with Newtown before moving over to England and signing for Notts County.
He went on to play for Bristol City and Doncaster Rovers (and scored against us in the 2007 JPT Final) and Oldham Athletic before joining us on loan in February 2010.
He joined Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of that year and has since played for Kilmarnock, Hibernian, Dundee, Queen of the South and Dumbarton
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux side beaten 2-1 at Metz in the French Ligue 2, a result that leaves them in 16th position.
Saturday saw Rovers inch closer to League One safety with a 3-2 home win against Bradford City. Once again, not the best of performances against a Bradford side that didn’t play like a club about to be relegated. Still, three more points on the board which means that one more win should keep us up. I think we should all thank Coventry City for Jonson Clarke-Harris, though, as it’s his goals that have made the difference. Eleven in 13 league appearances tells its own story.
It wasn’t a good day for the two ex Gas players now in the Premier League. Assistant manager at Brighton & Hove Albion, Paul Trollope, saw his side lose 5-0 at home against AFC Bournemouth, while Neil Etheridge was in goal for Cardiff City who lost 2-0 at Burnley.
It looks as though one of those two clubs will fill the one remaining relegation spot, and they play each other on Tuesday; should be interesting even though Brighton are five points ahead of Cardiff.
The race for play off places in the Championship is hotting up and Bristol City, with Matty Taylor in their starting lineup, were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa at Villa Park. Former City player Tammy Abraham, whose side recorded their eighth straight win, scored a penalty against his former club, Taylor was substituted after an hour and City remain in the final play off place!
Kelle Roos kept a clean sheet as Derby County beat troubled Bolton Wanderers 4-0 at Pride Park and only a miracle can now prevent the Trotters from being relegated now, surely.
They will almost certainly join Ipswich Town who became the first EFL team to experience relegation this season following their 1-1 draw against Birmingham City at Portman Road. Once again, a back injury kept Ellis Harrison out of the Ipswich squad.
Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side beat Hull City 1-0 and they seem to have got their aim for a play off place back on track. This was their second consecutive league win, after suffering six defeats on the bounce, and they are now one point and one place behind sixth placed Bristol City.
Joe Lumley kept a clean sheet for Queens Park Rangers as they romped to a 4-0 home win against Swansea City who included Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie in their starting XI.
Two former Gas goalies were on show at the Madejski Stadium where Reading were 2-1 winners against Brentford. Sam Walker, as usual, kept the Reading bench warm, while Luke Daniels started this one for Brentford.
Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side gain a useful point in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, a point that leaves them two points and two places above the relegation zone.
Two former Gas players were in action at Bloomfield Road, Marc Bola for Blackpool and goalkeeper Aaron Chapman for Peterborough United and it was Chapman who came out on top, as his side were 1-0 winners.
A 2-0 defeat for Plymouth Argyle at Doncaster Rovers sent them plummeting down the table to 18th place, just three points above a relegation place. Matt Macey and Gary Sawyer were both in the Argyle side.
Shrewsbury Town reached the 50 point mark with a 2-0 away win at Gillingham and, as is the norm, Ollie Norburn was in their side and Stefan Payne was an unused substitute. Tom Eaves was in the Gillingham side, but fired blanks on this occasion!
Lee Brown and his Portsmouth team mates moved on to 80 points, just two points adrift of second placed Barnsley, with a resounding 4-1 home win against Rochdale at Fratton Park.
Scunthorpe United, again minus Matt Lund, were beaten 3-0 by Burton Albion at Glanford Park, a defeat that leaves them just a point above the drop zone.
Wycombe Wanderers gained three much needed points by winning 2-0 at Southend United. Joe Jacobson was again an unused substitute for the Chairboys, while Paris Cowan-Hall went on as an 81st minute substitute.
In spite of their much publicised off field problems, Bury moved into second place in League Two, with a 2-0 home win against Colchester United, both goals being scored by Dominic Telford; ‘Five minutes after half time Telford nodded home from close range after Nicky Maynard had headed Adams’ corner into his path and Bury wrapped up their victory in the 66th minute when Telford stooped to head home his second goal of the game from Maynard’s accurate cross.’
Byron Moore went on at the start of the second half for Bury, but Harry Pell’s injury once again kept him out of the Colchester squad.
Reggie Lambe started the match for Cambridge United, who were beaten 3-0 by Newport County at the Abbey Stadium, while David Pipe was an unused Newport substitute.
Bottom club Notts County lost again, 3-0 at Crewe Alexandra and again there were no former Gas players in their side.
Exeter City occupy the final play off place in this division and strengthened their play off credentials with a 2-0 home win against Port Vale. Hiram Boateng played, and scored in this one; ‘Boateng made it 2-0 in the 55th minute with a stunner. He chested a long ball over his head, turned and sent an incredible dipping volley over Brown and into the far corner from 20 yards.’
Donovan Wilson was an unused Exeter substitute, while Cristian Montano completed 90 minutes for Vale and also collected a yellow card.
The point gained by Lincoln City from their 1-1 draw against Cheltenham Town at Sincil Bank was enough to see them become the first EFL club to win promotion this season. Unbeaten since Boxing Day, some 20 games ago. John Akinde started for the Imps and Cian Bolger was an unused substitute for the champions elect, while Jordan Tillson started for Cheltenham and Ryan Broom was introduced as a 74th minute substitute.
Keith Curle’s Northampton Town collected a point from a 1-1 draw against Mansfield Town at Sixfields. Andy Williams completed 90 minutes for the Cobblers while Jon-Joe O’Toole was sent on as a 92nd minute substitute. Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney both completed 90 minutes for Mansfield, who dropped down to third place.
Swindon Town took the lead through Kyle Bennett in their game at Oldham Athletic; ‘Bennett hammered a low right foot shot home from 18 yards out.’ However, the Wiltshire Robins had to settle for a point as the game ended 2-2. Tom Broadbent made the bench for Swindon and stayed on it all afternoon.
Joe Martin was in the Stevenage side that beat Carlisle United 3-0 and the Cumbrians, with Tom Parkes in their side won’t be best pleased about that defeat as it leaves them four points off the final play off place.
MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, were beaten 2-1 by Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park and these two sides are now separated by just a point as they occupy fourth (MK) and fifth (Tranmere) places respectively.
Yeovil Town remain in one of the two relegation places following their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Crawley Town. Once again there was no Alefe Santos in the Glovers’ squad.
The top three sides in the National League all won and each has a Gas link, including league leaders Leyton Orient who beat Sutton United 2-1, the winning goal coming from the penalty spot in the 89th minute. Striker Matt Harrold is the ex Rovers player turning out for Orient and he was sent on from the bench in the 59th minute.
Rory Gaffney is our former player with second placed Salford City, 3-0 home winner against Maidenhead United. On this occasion, though, Rory was just a spectator. Named on the bench, that’s where he stayed all afternoon.
In third place are Solihull Moors, 3-2 home winners against Havant & Waterlooville. There are two former Gas players with the Moors, coach/assistant manager James Quinn and striker Nathan Blissett who started the game but didn’t reappear at the start of the second half.
James Quinn’s current official title is First Team Coach at National League side Solihull Moors.
Scored four goals in 50 international games for Northern Ireland, Quinn began his career with Birmingham City and subsequently played for Blackpool, Stockport County, West Bromwich Albion and Notts County before a loan spell with Rovers, in March 2002.
Scored once in six league games for the gas and later played for Willem II, Sheffield Wednesday, Peterborough United, Bristol City, Northampton Town and Scunthorpe United.
Was first team coach at Tranmere Rovers before joining Solihull Moors in July 2018.
[Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town were relegated following their 1-1 home draw against Hartlepool United though they would have gone down even if they had won. Bernard Mensah, Rollin Menayese and Scott Rendell were all in the Shots side, while Luke James was in the Hartlepool lineup.
Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side suffer a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wrexham who are in fourth place and have secured a play off spot.
AFC Fylde will also contest the play offs, even though they were beaten 2-1 by relegated Braintree Town. Andy Bond was an unused substitute for Fylde in this one.
John Still’s Maidstone United are also relegated and are bottom of the table following their 4-1 win defeat at Chesterfield. League Two champions just five years ago, Chesterfield looked in danger of relegation themselves earlier this season but have turned things around and are now 12th in the table, closer to the play offs than the relegation places. The attendance of 4,592 was the highest of the day in the National League.
Eastleigh, who occupy the final play off place, were 1-0 home winners against Gateshead and Sam Matthews and Chris Zebroski both played their part in the victory. Matthews started and was substituted on 72 minutes while Zebroski was on the bench but called on in the 72nd minute (not to replace Matthews, but Paul McCallum).
Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side that won 1-0 at Ebbsfleet United, while Jamie Fullarton’s Halifax Town claimed a point from a 2-2 home draw against Bromley.
Boreham Wood confirmed their National League status with a 1-0 win at Harrogate Town and they did that with Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes in the starting XI.
In National League North Adam Dawson went on as a 72nd minute substitute for AFC Telford United who were 3-1 home winners against Curzon Ashton. Going into the final three games of the season, Telford occupy the final play off place.
Darlington confirmed their safety at this level by inflicting a tenth home defeat of the season on Boston United. They were 2-0 winners at York Street. Alex Henshall started the match for Darlo but didn’t reappear for the start of the second half, while Johnny Burn was an unused substitute.
Bob Harris was again missing from the FC United of Manchester side, beaten 1-0 at home by Kidderminster Harriers, a result that will almost certainly see FC relegated.
Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley shared the points in a 1-1 draw against Ashton United and are the only side that any of the bottom three can overhaul so it’s going to be a nail biting final three games for the Guiseley co manager!
At Southport, in a meeting of two former league sides, Hereford were beaten 1-0, though both sides are safe and will be playing at this level again next season; Port are in 13th place and Hereford in 17th. Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards were both in the Hereford side for this one.
Incredibly there are ten former league clubs playing in the National League North (including those that have reformed) and one of them, league leaders Stockport County, drew a crowd of 5,665 to Edgeley Park. They lost 1-0 and the title race is between them and Chorley.
The champions of National League South were confirmed, as Torquay United moved ten points clear of second placed Woking following their 2-0 home win against Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough. No doubt Torquay’s assistant boss Aaron Downes sunk a few celebratory sherberts on Saturday evening! Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne lineup for this game, watched by a Plainmoor crowd of 4,538.
Jerry Gill and his Bath City side are still in contention for a play off place, though their hopes were dented by one of their play off rivals, St Albans City, who were 3-0 winners at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg were both in the Bath side, though Ryan Brunt again missed out through injury.
Alex Wall was a 55th minute substitute for Concord Rangers in their 1-0 home defeat by Oxford City, while Chippenham Town were 1-0 away winners at Dartford. Will Puddy was back in goal for Chippenham and George Rigg was again in their starting XI.
Hungerford Town lost 3-1 at Dulwich Hamlet and occupy the final relegation place. Cameron Hargreaves and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist started this one for Hungerford, while Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was introduced as a 66th minute substitute.
Mark McKeever led Weston super Mare to a 3-2 away win at East Thurrock United, though their hopes of avoiding the drop seem slim. Jamie Lucas was an unused Weston substitute for this one.
Adam Cunnington was a 72nd minute substitute for play off hopefuls Billericay Town, 4-1 winners at Gloucester City, but Chris Dickson was missing from the Hampton & Richmond Borough side that recorded a 2-1 home win against Wealdstone, who had Jeffery Monakana in their starting XI.
Truro City, with Alexis Andre Jnr in goal, picked up a valuable point from a 1-1 draw at Hemel Hempstead while Harry Warwick was an unused substitute.
Louie Soares was another unused substitute, keeping the Slough Town bench warm in their 1-0 home win against Welling United for whom Bradley Goldberg was a 53rd minute substitute.
In the Northern Premier League Premier Division, Basford United, with Kieran Preston in goal, were held to a 1-1 draw at second placed South Shields whose equaliser came from the penalty spot in the 94th minute.
In the East Division of the Northern Premier League, Cleethorpes Town saw their play off hopes extinguished after their 2-1 defeat at Sheffield FC, the winning goal for the home side arriving in the 93rd minute. Craig Disley started this one for Clee.
In the same division Ossett United, with Andy Monkhouse in their starting lineup, stayed in third place thanks to a 4-0 home win against Marske United.
Prescot Cables of the West Division also recorded a 4-0 home win, against Newcastle Town, and Josh Klein-Davies was named on their bench for this one.
In the Bostik League Premier Division Bishop’s Stortford were 3-0 home winners against Worthing and, needless to say, Jamie Cureton was on the scoreheet, netting twice on the occasion of his 999th first class game. Jamie was scheduled to make his 1,000th appearance on Easter Monday, but now seems likely to reach that milestone a few days before that. ‘Curo’ has now scored 359 career goals and shows no sign of retiring just yet; ‘I want to play still. I’ll be here at Stortford playing and managing next season. The buzz is still there.’ That’s what he told the Non League Paper after this match.
Of his 999 games to date, Jamie played 198 of them for Rovers and of his 359 goals, 79 were for the Gas.
There were three Gas representatives on show in the game between Bognor Regis Town and Harlow Town, which ended 1-1. Theo Widdrington was in the Bognor side, while Tom Hitchcock, who scored the Harlow goal, and Scott Davies, turned out for the league’s bottom club.
Lyle Della-Verde scored both Haringey Borough goals in their 2-0 home win against Kingstonian. The side based less than two miles away from Premier League Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium, attracted a crowd of 511 for this one.
Marcus Law’s Kettering Town side were eventually crowned Champions of the Southern League Premier Central Division following their 1-0 win at Halesowen Town. Craig Stanley was in the side that enjoyed the post match celebrations and this is taken from his Twitter account the day after; ‘What a day it was yesterday, winning my first league title as a player! Great memories never to be forgotten.’ ‘Stanners’ didn’t forget that two of his former clubs were also promoted on Saturday, namely Lincoln City and Torquay United.
Tyler Lyttle and his Rushall Olympic side were also winners, 3-2 against St Neots Town, and though they will finish outside the play off places, they are tenth in the league with a slim chance of a higher finish.
Premier South league leaders Weymouth suffered a 1-0 defeat at Beaconsfield Town, though they remain five points clear of Taunton Town in second place. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie both started for Weymouth.
Jefferson Louis scored a hat trick for Chesham United as they recorded a 7-0 home win against already relegated Staines Town, while Salisbury were 4-1 winners at Dorchester Town and Darren Mullings, who is about to become the Former Players Association latest member, was in the Salisbury side that clinched a play off place with this win.
Hendon coach Scott McGleish was named on the bench for their game at Farnborough, while Danny Greaves watched his Frome Town side confirm their relegation with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Hartley Wintney. Before the match Frome, who included Tom Mehew in their side, observed a minute’s silence in memory of Lindsay Parsons, who played for them in the late 1980’s.
Speaking after the game Frome boss Greaves said, on his Twitter account; ‘Worst feeling I’ve had in football. Apologies to everyone associated with @FromeTownFC.’
Gavin Williams named Ben Swallow in his Merthyr Town side for their match at Gosport Borough, then sat back, lit a cigar, and watched his charges win 3-0!
Swindon Supermarine beat Metropolitan Police 1-0 and managed, once again, without the services of Martin Horsell and Jerel Ifil. The Met Police Twitter account suggested that they were very happy with the theme tune from The Sweeney being played while they warmed up!
Taunton Town recorded a 2-1 home win against Kings Langley with Pierce Mitchell in their lineup, while Kings Langley included Rene Howe in their side.
Tiverton Town, with Liam Armstrong in goal, won 2-1 at Walton Casuals and moved up to the relative safety of 14th place.
The clash of the top two sides in Division One South at Lodge Road saw second placed Yate Town suffer a 4-1 defeat at the hands of league leaders Blackfield & Langley who increased their lead over Paul Britton’s side to four points in front of a crowd of 430. Ollie Mehew and Sam Kamara both started this one for Yate.
Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 1-0 home winners against Highworth Town and Lewis Powell scored the only goal of the game, his 25th of the season. Geraint Bater was also in the Larks’ lineup, as was Jack Camm who I seem to remember was on Rovers books at one time. Neil Arndale was named on the bench.
Trey Anderson was named in the starting lineup for Paulton Rovers and Jay Malpas was left on the bench for their home game against Thatcham Town. It wasn’t a good day at the office, though, for assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell as they saw their side lose 1-0.
Mangotsfield United went goal crazy at Slimbridge, where they were 8-1 winners! Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was named on the Mangos bench for this one.
Windsor were 2-0 home winners against Bishop’s Cleeve in the Hellenic League Premier Division, though there was no sign of Barry Hayles in their squad on this occasion.
In the Western League Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George lost 3-0 at Cadbury Heath, while Ray Johnston’s Hallen went down 2-1 at home to Bradford Town. Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town, though, were 2-1 home winners against Shepton Mallet with the official attendance at that one being given as 50.
Up in Scotland Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side that reached the final of the Scottish Cup following a 3-0 semi final victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
In Scottish League One Airdrieonians, with Darryl Duffy in their lineup, suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stenhousemuir.
In Scottish League two Alan Gow went on as a 77th minute substitute for Queens Park in their 3-0 win at Berwick Rangers while league leaders Peterhead were held to a 1-1 draw by Albion Rovers. Once again there was no David McCracken in their squad.
Lochee United were 4-1 home winners against Glenrothes in their league match and once again Garry Kenneth was in the starting lineup.
Mark McChrystal was missing from the Crusaders side that played out a goalless draw with Linfield over in Ireland, but Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that recorded a 2-1 home win against Institute.
In the Championship Jeff Hughes skippered title winners Larne to a 5-0 away win at Dundela, though he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.
In Wales Barry Town United, with Kayne McLaggon in their side, were beaten 4-0 by The New Saints.
In France Sarre-Union manager Stephane Leoni saw his side win their home game against Thaon 4-1.
Charlie Clough and his Brunei DPMM side were 7-1 away winners at Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League.
On Sunday Celtic won through to the final of the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win against Aberdeen, who had two players sent off. Scott Sinclair was a 75th minute substitute for Celtic and remains on course to face Michael Smith, of Hearts, in the final.
In Holland, Jake Clarke- Salter played, and was yellow carded as he and his SBV Vitesse side played out a goalless draw at Utrecht.
No need to tell you where Mikkel Andersen spent his Sunday afternoon; on the bench for Danish Superliga side FC Midtylland watching them win 2-0 against OB.
In Sweden, Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersund side beaten 2-0 at Malmo, while in the Cypriot First Division Mustapha Carayol went on in the second half of Apollon Limasol’s 2-0 away win at AC Omonia.
Chapter 34 – Week commencing 1st April 2019
I need to begin this week’s bulletin with a correction, as I had failed to report the departure, from Truro City, of assistant manager Michael Meaker who left the club before their away game against Dartford on 30th March.
Truro had also taken on two of Rovers young players until the end of the season, in goalkeeper Alexis Andre Jnr and striker Harry Warwick and both made appearances in the 1-1 draw with Dartford; ‘Caretaker boss Paul Wilkinson gave a debut in goal to midweek loan signing Alexis Andre Jnr and the Bristol Rovers youngster enjoyed a fine match.’
The match report continued; ‘And they (Truro) could easily have gone home with all three points as young substitute Harry Warwick, another midweek loan signing from Bristol Rovers, hit the post after rounding Dartford keeper Bradley Vose.’
News, also, of two more former members of Rovers Development squad (many thanks to Stephen Byrne for tracking these down!). Mo Baghdadi is on the books of Eintracht Norderstedt 03, an amateur club in the Hamburg area. He joined them on 28th January and has played for them already. Also Thomas Jonkermann is, apparently, at FC Lienden in Holland.
On Monday Paul Heffernan, who coaches for Cabinteely in Ireland, saw his side lose 2-1 away at Bohemians in the Second Round of the Republic of Ireland League Cup.
On Tuesday Bristol City won 1-0 at Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough to move back into the Championship play off places. Once again Matty Taylor performed bench warming duties for the other side in Bristol.
Swansea City were also in action and Connor Roberts started for them, while Oli McBurnie went on as a 71st minute substitute in their 3-0 home win against Brentford, for whom Luke Daniels was again in goal.
In League Two Bury suffered a surprise 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Cambridge United. Byron Moore started for the Shakers and Dominic Telford was sent on as a 69th minute substitute, while Reggie Lambe was in the Cambridge side.
Andy Bond was an unused substitute for AFC Fylde’s home game against Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League and they fell behind to Angelo Balanta’s 18th minute goal. They equalised before the break, though, and shared the points as the game ended 1-1.
Leaders Leyton Orient were unable to stretch their lead over second placed Salford City as they were beaten 2-1 at Bromley where they played all but three minutes of the second half with ten men following the red card given to Marvin Ekpiteta. Matt Harrold served the final game of his suspension for this one.
Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side register a 3-0 away win at Eastleigh who played for 50 minutes with ten men following the red card picked up by Danny Hollands. Sam Matthews started the game for Eastleigh and was replaced by Chris Zebroski after 62 minutes.
In National League North Marcus Bignot saw his Guiseley side lose 3-2 at Spennymoor Town, while in National League South Torquay United assistant manager Aaron Downes watched his side increase their lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 home win over Chelmsford City.
In the Southern League Premier South Division Frome Town manager Danny Greaves saw his side lose 1-0 at home against Beaconsfield Town. Tom Mehew again completed 90 minutes for Frome.
In the same league, top of the table Weymouth were 4-0 home winners against Metropolitan Police, a win that saw them move five points clear of second placed Taunton Town. Abdulai Baggie started this one for Weymouth and Josh Wakefield went on as an 84th minute substitute. Baggie tweeted this out after the match; ‘What a night and what a win!! What a shift by everyone! The Bob Lucas Stadium was bouncing tonight. Great turnout. 5 games to go.’
Windsor were also in action and won their Hellenic Premier League match against Brackley Town Saints 3-0, though they managed it without the services of Barry Hayles who was, no doubt, watching from the sidelines.
In the Liverpool Senior Cup Final Prescot Cables were beaten 4-3 in a penalty shootout by Southport after a goalless draw. A crowd in excess of 1,200 watched the match and, unfortunately, saw Josh Klein-Davies, who started the game on the bench, miss one of the Prescot penalties.
Airdrieonians were in action in Scottish League One and Darryl Duffy scored their third goal in a 3-3 draw at Dumbarton.
In Holland Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Vitesse side held to a 2-2 home draw by AZ Alkmaar.
Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side lose 3-0 at Chelsea in a Wednesday evening Premier League match and they remain five points above the one remaining relegation place.
With Huddersfield Town and Fulham already relegated, that one place is occupied by Cardiff City and they lost again 2-0 at Manchester City with Neil Etheridge again in goal for them.
In the JW Hunt Quarter Final, Highgate United were 1-0 winners at Wellington Amateurs and there was a former gas player on the scoresheet; ‘@JordanGoddardJG 88th minute free kick sees us through to the @JWHuntCup semi final. Report to follow.’
In the Scottish Premiership, once again I have to repeat this well used phrase; Peter Hartley was again an unused substitute for Motherwell. On this occasion they lost 3-1 at Aberdeen.
Heart of Midlothian, again minus Michael Smith, were beaten 3-0 at Rangers. To be fair to Smith, he tore a thigh muscle and damaged a tendon in a cup game against Auchinleck Talbot on 10th February and was expected to be out of action for at least eight weeks.
Another player not involved on this particular evening was Scott Sinclair who watched on from the bench as Celtic won 2-0 at St Mirren. The win, though, means that Celtic could clinch to title as early as this weekend.
In the Danish Cup semi final Mikkel Andersen was again on bench warming duty for FC Midtjylland who beat OB 4-0.
There was no Mustapha Carayol in the Apollon Limassol side that lost 2-1 to AEL in the Cypriot Cup semi final first leg.
Saturday saw the first FA Cup semi final played at Wembley and Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side lose 1-0 against Manchester City at Wembley.
There were no ex Gas representatives involved in the three Premier League matches played, at least not to my knowledge, so we move straight on to the Championship.
Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley had a day to forget as he and his team mates were on the end of a 4-0 scoreline at league leaders Norwich City. While the Canaries need only a maximum of 11 more points to clinch promotion to the Premier League Rangers, who sacked manager Steve McLaren in the week, have won just one of their last 16 league games and could still be dragged into the battle to avoid relegation.
Bottom club Ipswich Town recorded a 2-1 win against the club just above them, Bolton Wanderers, though both clubs must surely be resigned to relegation to League One and Bolton in particular will simply want to survive given all of their off field troubles. Ellis Harrison was again conspicuous by his absence from the Ipswich squad for this game.
Luke Daniels was again in goal for Brentford, against Derby County at Griffin Park, and although he conceded three times his side came from behind on all three occasions to earn a point from a 3-3 draw. There was another Gas goalie at the other end of the pitch as well, a certain Kelle Roos!
At Ashton Gate Matty Taylor started, and scored, in Bristol City’s 2-2 draw against Wigan Athletic. The point gained sees City remain in the final play off place.
Goalkeeper Sam Walker was again an unused substitute for Reading, whose3-1 defeat at Hull City leaves them just a point and a place above the relegation places.
The Royals are on the same number of points as Millwall, 2-0 home winners against West Bromwich Albion and their coach Adam Barratt, who is being tipped by many as the next Southend manager, would have been a relieved man on the touchline at The Den.
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis saw his side lose their sixth consecutive game at Swansea City, where the home side won 3-1. Connor Roberts, who completed the 90 minutes for the Swans, scored their third goal in the 71st minute, while Oli McBurnie was an unused substitute.
In League One leaders Luton Town made it 28 league games unbeaten with a 2-2 home draw against Blackpool. Marc Bola was again in the Blackpool starting lineup, though their chances of making the play offs have all but disappeared as they are in eighth place and eight points behind sixth placed Doncaster Rovers.
Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough United, 2-0 home winners against Gillingham, but although they are in seventh place, the Posh also appear to have blown their chances of a play off place as they are five points adrift of Doncaster. Tom Eaves completed the 90 minutes for the Gills.
Plymouth Argyle, with Matt Macey and Gary Sawyer in their lineup, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic and remain just four points above the relegation places, even though they are 15th in the league standings.
Shrewsbury Town and Scunthorpe United played out a 1-1 draw at the New Meadow, or whatever it’s called these days, and they both are still hovering around the relegation places. COllie Norburn was again in the Shrewsbury side and Stefan Payne again remained a spectator on the bench, while Matt Lund was still missing from the Scunthorpe side.
Not Rovers related, but another League One manager was sacked on Saturday evening. Walsall dispensed with the services of Dean Keates following their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Oxford United, who ended the game with nine men.
Wycombe Wanderers were beaten 3-2 by Portsmouth at Adams Park and are anxiously looking over their shoulders as they are down in 19th place. Paris Cowan-Hall started for the Chairboys, while Joe Jacobson was an unused substitute. Needless to say, Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side who are now just two points behind second placed Barnsley.
In League Two, Bury slipped to their third successive defeat, and out of the automatic promotion places, as they were beaten 3-2 at Carlisle United. The home side, with Tom Parkes in their side, played the whole of the second half with ten men following the red card shown to Mike Jones in first half stoppage time and scored the winning goal in the 89th minute. Byron Moore completed the 90 minutes for Bury and Dominic Telford was introduced as a 63rd minute substitute.
Cheltenham Town and Exeter City played out a 1-1 draw at Whaddon Road. Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham side, though Jordan Tillson was missing from the squad; possibly as a result of a clause inserted in his loan agreement when he signed for the Robins from Exeter. The Grecians, who introduced both Hiram Boateng and Donovan Wilson from the bench in the second half, had goalkeeper Christy Pym sent off in the 100th minute.
Harry Pell’s injury has certainly cost Colchester United. He was missing again as they slipped to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic and they are now two points off of a play off place.
Joe Martin was back in the Stevenage side for their game at Grimsby Town, which saw them win 2-0, though he did manage to pick up a yellow card.
Mansfield Town, with Conrad Logan in goal and Ryan Sweeney introduced at the start of the second half, were 1-0 home winners against Cambridge United for whom Reggie Lambe completed the 90 minutes. The win saw the Stags move back into second place.
MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, slipped to third place following their 2-0 home defeat by league leaders Lincoln City. Cian Bolger was an unused substitute for the Imps, but John Akinde played and scored…. from the penalty spot, naturally!
David Pipe was again an unused substitute in Newport County’s goalless home draw against Tranmere Rovers.
In spite of seeing goalkeeper Ryan Schofield red carded a minute into the second half, Notts County managed a point from a 2-2 draw against Keith Curle’s Northampton Town at Meadow Lane. There were no ex Gas representatives in the County side (what’s happened to Daniel Jones and Elliot Ward?) while John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams were both on the bench for the Cobblers. While Williams was sent on in the 57th minute, O’Toole simply had a watching brief!
Cristian Montano played, and was yellow carded, in Port Vale’s 1-0 home win against Crewe Alexandra, while Swindon Town and Yeovil Town drew 1-1 at the County ground. Kyle Bennett started for Swindon and was replaced by Tom Broadbent in the 89th minute. Yeovil, with Alefe Santos again missing from their squad, equalised in the 91st minute to keep alive their hopes of remaining in the league.
Moving on to the National League, and AFC Fylde were 4-2 home winners against Eastleigh. Andy Bond was sent on as a 71st minute substitute for Fylde, while Chris Zebroski (78 mins) and Sam Matthews (68 mins) were both sent on by Eastleigh who remain in the final play off place five points behind fifth placed Fylde.
Boreham Wood, with Ricky Shakes in their side and Danny Woodards an unused substitute, suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Sutton United.
With only four games remaining, Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town are 11 points from safety in spite of their 2-2 draw at Bromley. Scott Rendell, Bernard Mensah and Rollin Menayese were all in the starting lineup for the Shots.
Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side held to a goalless draw by Barrow and they are now just a win away from securing National League survival with four games left to play.
Luke James was in the Hartlepool United side beaten 1-0 at home by Solihull Moors. The Moors’ coach/assistant manager James Quinn saw his side, with Nathan Blissett in the side, remain in third place.
Leyton Orient were knocked off top spot following their 2-2 home draw against Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town. Matt Harrold, returning from suspension, came off the bench in the 77th minute and scored Orient’s 94th minute equaliser.
The O’s are a point behind new leaders Salford City with a game in hand. Salford, with Rory Gaffney used as a 79th minute substitute, were 2-0 winners at John Stlll’s already relegated Maidstone United.
Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side win 1-0 at Maidenhead United.
Marcus Bignot, co manager of National League North side Guiseley, saw his side lose 2-0 at Brackley Town. In the same league AFC Telford United, with Adam Dawson an unused substitute, drew 1-1 away at league leaders Chorley.
Hereford United also collected a point, from a 2-2 draw against second placed Stockport County at Edgar Street. Danny Greenslade completed 90 minutes for the Bulls, while Eliot Richards went on at the start of the second half.
Darlington were 2-0 home winners against FC United of Manchester and sent on Alex Henshall as an 80th minute substitute though there was no sign of Johnny Burn in their squad and Bob Harris was missing from the FC United squad.
In National League South Billericay Town were beaten 3-1 at home by Hampton & Richmond Borough who were missing the services of Chris Dickson. There was, though, a familiar face in the Billericay squad as Adam Cunnington has returned to the club following a brief sojourn at Kettering Town and he went on as a second half substitute.
Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne United, without Dave Martin, suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Gloucester City.
Hungerford Town also lost 2-1 at home, to Slough Town. Cameron Hargreaves and Rhys Kavanagh both started for the home side, while Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist was introduced as an 86th minute substitute. Louie Soares was an unused Slough substitute.
Jefferey Monakana was in the Wealdstone side that kept their play off hopes alive with a 3-0 home win against East Thurrock United.
Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side that moved into third place following their 2-1 home win against Bath City, who stay in fifth place. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg were in the Bath starting lineup but the injured Ryan Brunt was still missing.
Mark McKeever’s Weston super Mare, who lost the services of Nabi Diallo in the week leading up to the game, were 3-1 home winners against Dartford. Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute for this one.
Torquay United assistant manager Aaron Downes saw his top of the table side draw 3-3 at second placed Woking in front of a crowd of 4,589 and they now seem destined to return to the National League, as they are seven points clear with just four games to play.
Chippenham Town were beaten 2-1 at home by Dulwich Hamlet. The injured Will Puddy was again missing from the Chippenham side, though George Rigg, cousin of Sean and a former Rovers triallist, was in the side.
There was drama in Cornwall as Truro City’s match against Concord Rangers was abandoned with 13 minutes remaining following a serious injury to the home side’s Michael Herve. After over an hour’s wait for an ambulance, the referee called the game off with Concord winning 1-0. Alexis Andre Jnr was given a Man of the Match rating for Truro while Harry Warwick was an unused substitute. Alex Wall came off the bench for Concord in the 64th minute. The league will now have to rule what happens next, though the most likely outcome is that the sides will meet again, which would mean a long trip for the Canvey Island based Concord squad.
Kieran Preston was again in goal for Basford United, who were 2-0 winners at Stalybridge Celtic in their Northern League Premier Division match.
In the East Division Ossett United remain in third place following their 2-1 home win against Tadcaster Albion. Andy Monkhose looks to be heading for the play offs with Ossett!
However, it looks as though Craig Disley and his Cleethorpes Town side will miss out. They went down to a 1-0 home defeat against Belper Town. Disley was named on the bench for this one but was called on in the 75th minute.
In the West Division Prescot Cables won 2-1 at Clitheroe. Josh Klein-Davies was on the Prescot bench and stayed there for the 90 minutes.
In the Bostik League Premier Division, Bishop’s Stortford were 2-1 home winners against Margate. The winning goal arrived in the 88th minute, scored by a certain Jamie Cureton! ‘43 year old Cureton struck a glorious volley over the keeper and into the net for his 18th goal of the season, adding another strike to a goalscoring career tally that appears to be never ending.’
The striker tweeted that it was his 20th goal of the season (presumably that’s in all competitions) and also picked up the sponsor’s Man of the Match Award.
Theo Widdrington was on the spot (literally!) for Bognor Regis Town but his 66th minute penalty wasn’t enough to stop his side losing 2-1 at home against Brightlingsea Regent.
Tom Hitchcock scored a 48th minute goal for Harlow Town and Scott Davies also started for them, but they slipped to a 5-2 home defeat against Potters Bar Town and are now bottom of the league.
Lyle Della-Verde was in the Haringey Borough side that picked up a point from a 2-2 draw at AFC Hornchurch and they remain in second place, though they are 13 points behind Champions Dorking Wanderers.
Kettering Town will have to wait to be crowned champions of the Southern League Premier Central Division, as they were surprisingly beaten 2-1 at home by Alvechurch. Craig Stanley was in the Kettering side and scored a rare goal on 53 minutes; ‘Congrats to @Staners6 on his MoM award. Needless to say, he was pretty happy with his goal.’ Said the Kettering Twitter feed.
In the same division Rushall Olympic, with Tyler Lyttle in their side, were 1-0 away winners at Stratford Town and they are safely ensconced in 10th position in the league table.
There were goals a plenty at Basingstoke Town in the Premier South Division, six to be precise as the hosts played out a 3-3 draw against Tiverton Town. Liam Armstrong was in goal for Tiverton.
Jefferson Louis was in the Chesham Town side that won 2-0 away at Harrow Borough while Scott McGleish was named on the bench for Hendon, who played out a goalless draw at home to Dorchester Town.
Rene Howe was in the Kings Langley side beaten 2-1 at home by Swindon Supermarine, but the victors were without the services of Martin Horsell and Jerel Ifil.
Merthyr Town manager Gavin Williams also saw his side go down 2-1 at home against Hartley Wintney. Ben Swallow was named on the bench for the Welsh side.
Darren Mullings was an unused substitute for Salisbury, who slipped to fourth place in the league standings following their 2-0 home defeat by Gosport Borough, and Taunton Town were replaced in second place by Metropolitan Police, the side that beat them 3-1. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton side.
Danny Greaves could only watch on as his Frome Town side were beaten 4-1 at Walton Casuals and with just four games remaining, it looks like relegation for them as they are nine points from safety. Tom Mehew was again named in the Frome side.
There was no slip up by league leaders Weymouth who, in front of a crowd of 996, beat already relegated Staines Town 4-0. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the Weymouth starting lineup and before the match Wakefield was presented with his award for scoring the March Goal of the Month.
In Division One South Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 3-1 home winners against Paulton Rovers. Geraint Bater and Lewis Powell were both on the scoresheet for Larkhall, while Neil Arndale was named on the bench. Paulton assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell named Jay Malpas and Trey Anderson in their starting XI.
Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was named on the Mangotsfield United bench for their game at Thatcham Town and the Mangos pulled off a much needed 2-1 win to pull six points clear of the relegation places.
Yate Town remain in second place following their 3-2 home win against Winchester City but they did it the hard way. A man down, following the sending off of Joe Guest, and losing 2-1, they went on to win the match. Ollie Mehew had given Yate a first half lead with his 23rd minute goal while Sam Kamara was an 80th minute substitute. Next up for Yate is a visit from league leaders Blackfield & Langley – could be a title decider at Lodge Road next Saturday!
Barry Hayles was watching from the sidelines as his Windsor side were 2-0 home winners against Fairford Town.
Highgate United, with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard in their side, suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Ilkeston Town.
Of the three ex Gas players who are now Western League managers only one, Chipping Sodbury Town’s Joe White, avoided defeat as his side drew 1-1 at Bradford Town.
Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George suffered a 7-0 home defeat at the hands of Bitton and Ray Johnston’s Hallen were beaten 4-0 at home by Westbury United.
In Scotland, Michael Smith returned to the Heart of Midlothian side for the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian. Worryingly, he was substituted on the hour mark and his side slipped to a 2-1 defeat. There was crowd trouble at this one, with smoke bombs prominent and a coconut thrown on to the pitch; ‘Yes, a coconut. Perhaps these people think that coins are last month’s missile. Now they are moving into new territory. What next?’ asked the BBC Sport website.
Scott Sinclair again remained on the bench as Celtic were held to a goalless draw by Livingston and they will have to wait to be crowned Champions for the eighth successive season.
In Scottish League One Darry Duffy was in the Airdrieonians side held to a goalless home draw by East Fife while in League two Alan Gow was a 78th minute substitute for Queens Park in their 4-0 win at Albion Rovers. League Two leaders Peterhead, minus the services of David McCracken, drew 3-3 at Clyde but remain six points clear of second placed Edinburgh City.
Lochee United made their exit from the Scottish Junior Cup as they lost the second leg of their semi final 2-0 at Auchinleck Talbot, so no cup final appearance for Garry Kenneth this season!
Barry Town United qualified to play in the Europa League next season, with a 5-2 win at Bala Town and Kayne McLaggon scored two of the goals that secured victory.
In Ireland Mark McChrystal was an unused substitute for Crusaders who lost 2-1 at Glenavon while Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side beaten 2-1 at home by Glentoran.
Larne picked up the Championship Trophy following their 3-0 win against Portadown, so it’s congratulations to Jeff Hughes, a member of the side that clinched a first title since 1972.
In the League of Ireland First Division Paul Heffernan, coach at Cabinteely, saw his side win 1-0 at Cobh Ramblers.
On Sunday, Rovers travelled to the Ricoh Stadium and came away with a point following a goalless draw against Coventry City. Not the best of performances from the Gas, but a welcome point nevertheless.
In the Scottish Premiership, once again Peter Hartley remained on the Motherwell bench, and watched his side lose 3-0 at home against Rangers.
In the Dutch Eredivisie Jake Clarke-Salter was in the SBV Vitesse side that drew 3-3 against PSV Eindhoven.
In the Danish Superliga Play Off Championship match Mikkel Andersen again kept the bench warm for FC Midtjylland as they drew 2-2 against Esbjerg.
In the Cypriot First Division Play Off match, Mustapha Carayol was again missing from the Apollon Limassol side that drew 1-1 against Nea Salamis.
In France, Stephane Leoni’s Sarre-Union suffered a 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Mulhouse. Remaining in France, Oumare Tounkara was missing from the Chateauroux side that drew o-o against Lens.
In the fledgling Singapore League Charlie Clough and his Brunei DPMM side remain in second place following their 2-1 home win against Tampines Rovers. His manager over there, by the way, is Adrian Pennock, the former Forest Green Rovers and Gillingham boss.
In Sweden Charlie Colkett was on the scoresheet for Ostersund, who were 3-2 home winners against Falkenberg.