In Search of Gas – April & May 2019

 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.

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Chapter 41 –  Week commencing 13th May 2019

The week began of a former Gas man losing his job. Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope left Brighton in the wake of the sacking of manager Chris Hughton.

The second leg of the League Two play off semi final ended 1-1 between Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers so it’s Tranmere who go through to the Wembley final where they will play Newport County. Disappointment, therefore, for former Rovers player Ian Weston who heads up the medical team at Forest Green.

On this day it was revealed that former Gas loanee Joe Martin had left Stevenage and joined Northampton Town in a two year deal effective from 1st July.

On Tuesday Swedish side Ostersunds FK followed up Saturday’s 1-1 draw against BK Hacken with a 4-0 defeat against Hammarby Charlie Colkett played in both matches.

In the second leg of the Championship play off final between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa the winner was decided in a penalty shootout. Villa won that 4-3 after the tie had ended all square at 2-2. They were indebted to goalkeeper Jed Steer for their win in the penalty kick lottery as he saved the first two penalties taken by Albion.

And he is the first tenuous Gas link to this match as he played against Rovers in the season just ended. One of his 19 games during a loan spell at the Valley was the league match against Rovers on 24th November 2018 which Charlton won 3-1 with the aforementioned Joe Martin scoring for the Gas.

Joe Martin - Photo Credit JMP
Joe Martin has joined the growing contingent of former Rovers players at Northampton Town, penning a two year deal with the Cobblers.
[Photo Credit – JMP]
The second tenuous Villa link is Tyrone Mings who came on trial to Rovers as a 15/16 year old but was released without being offered terms.

Wednesday evening saw the Championship semi final second leg between Leeds United and Derby County and it was County who came out on top, winning 4-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate. Goalkeeper Kelle Roos must have improved an awful lot since he was with us on loan just a few short years ago; he’s now in a play off final for Derby, who will face Aston Villa, and is just 90 (or 120) minutes away from reaching the Premiership. Football is, indeed, a funny old game!

Transfer news sees Chris Lines sign for Northampton Town, a deal that takes effect on 1st July. He becomes the fifth former Gas man at Sixfields and joins manager Keith Curle, Andy Williams, Jon-Joe O’Toole and Joe Martin.

Yeovil Town announced their retained list and it’s goodbye to Hewish for Alefe Santos, who leaves the Glovers after two years and 43 appearances in all competitions.

The play offs continued on Thursday evening with Portsmouth and Sunderland meeting in the second leg of their League One semi final at Fratton Park. Lee Brown took his place in the Pompey lineup, but although the sides played out a goalless draw it’s Sunderland who will go through to next weekend’s Wembley final courtesy of their 1-0 win in the first leg.

Lee Brown - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Although he won a Checkatrade Trophy winners medal for Portsmouth this season, Lee Brown missed out on promotion to the Championship and we can expect to see him back at the Mem for Pompey again next season.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Another former Gas player left his club on Friday as Middlesbrough and manager Tony Pulis parted company.

In France, Oumare Tounkara played the final six minutes of the Chateauroux game against Clermont Foot which ended 2-2.

The second leg of the League One play off semi final between Charlton Athletic and Doncaster Rovers ended with Charlton going through to meet Sunderland in the Wembley final following their 4-3 win on penalties. So, it’s another long trek to Doncaster for Gasheads next season.

On Saturday, in the Scottish Premiership, Peter Hartley was missing from the Motherwell squad that clinched seventh place with a 3-2 home win against Livingston.

In the League of Ireland First Division Cabinteely coach Paul Heffernan saw his side suffer a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Drogheda United. In spite of such a heavy defeat, Cabinteely still top the league with 26 points from their 13 games.

In France, Sarre-Union FC manager Stephane Leoni saw his side lose 3-1 at Strasbourg Alsace, while in Germany Keenan Dunwald remained on the bench for Wuppertaler SV as they suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Koln II.

Sunday saw two former Rovers players in opposition in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley, watched by a crowd of 42,962. AFC Fylde were making their second trip to the National Stadium in eight days, having lost the National League play off final to Salford City the previous weekend. This time, though, they were winners, beating Leyton Orient 1-0.
Andy Bond was in the Fylde side and completed the 90 minutes, while Matt Harrold went on as a 68th minute substitute for Orient.

There were also two former Gas players in opposition in the Scottish Premiership. Scott Sinclair skippered Celtic to a 2-1 win against Hearts, for whom Michael Smith completed 56 minutes. The two sides meet again next Saturday in the Scottish FA Cup Final.

This chapter brings the curtain down on this season’s In Search of Gas, something that began out of boredom on the opening day of the 2018/19 campaign, but which became a bit of an obsession as the season progressed.

It’s been an interesting journey, charting the progress of players who have appeared in the blue and white quarters and those still with the club but out on loan, not to mention the former Gas men who are now managers or coaches and I hope it’s been a relatively interesting read.

Of course, the season isn’t over as next weekend sees the EFL play offs at Wembley where there is Rovers interest in the shape of David Pipe, who retires after Newport County’s game against Tranmere Rovers, and Kelle Roos who looks certain to be in goal for Derby County as they take on Aston Villa.

In addition, Scott Sinclair and Michael Smith are scheduled to face each other in the Scottish FA Cup Final as Celtic take on Heart of Midlothian.

Good luck to those four and to the former Gas players who now play in other countries and whose campaigns are not yet over.

Enjoy your summer!

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Chapter 40 –  Week commencing 6th May 2019

Monday afternoon saw Yate Town clinch promotion with a 3-1 play off victory against Cinderford Town at Lodge Road. Ollie Mehew scored two of the Yate goals in front of a crowd of 1,091. Sam Kamara was introduced as a 72nd minute substitute for Yate.

This is how Mehew’s second goal, which arrived after 40 minutes and put them two goals up, was described on the club’s Twitter account; ‘Great composure from the striker who sidefoots home and Lodge Road erupts again.’

Tuesday evening saw Bognor Regis Town lift their first trophy for 30 years when they beat Burgess Hill Town 2-1, after extra time, in the Sussex County Cup Final at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium. Theo Widdrington, who has spent time on loan with the winners this season, wasn’t involved in the final but tweeted this after the game; ‘Well deserved @rocks1883 huge thank you for having me this season! A great club run by great people and an unreal group of lads.’

On Wednesday Rovers boss Graham Coughlan announced his retained list and ten players have been released, which means they will be mentioned in these articles if they resurface for the 2019/20 campaign!

The ten are; Adam Smith, Sam Slocombe, Tom Lockyer, Daniel Leadbitter, Alfie Clarke, Stuart Sinclair, Chris Lines, Connor Jones, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and James Spruce. In addition, Jack Bonham and Alex Jakubiak, who have spent the season on loan in BS7, will be returning to their parent clubs, Brentford and Watford.

Bristol Rovers v Torquay United 010115
Released by Rovers last week, Daniel Leadbitter has already joined the Rovers Former Players Association and we will be keeping an eye on his career after Gas!
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Thursday evening saw the first of this season’s play off semi finals take place and in their home leg against Mansfield Town, Newport County drew 1-1. Once again David Pipe was named on the Newport bench and that’s where he stayed. Will his retirement come after Sunday’s second leg, or will he go out on a high after a Wembley final?

Mansfield had two former Gas players in their lineup, Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney. Logan made some outstanding saves for his side and was then deemed to have given away a penalty when he was penalised for clipping Newport forward Azeez. The keeper saved Padraig Amond’s 83rd minute spot kick but could only push the ball back to the striker who gratefully slotted home to set up an intriguing second leg tie.

On Friday morning Walsall announced their new manager and next season will see former Gas Darrell Clarke boss in the dugout at the Bescot. To the best of my knowledge Darrell becomes the second person with Rovers and Walsall connections to manage both clubs, Ray Graydon being the other.

Friday evening saw the second League Two semi final and whilst there was no Gas representation out on the pitch, there was one in the dugout as two sides called Rovers met at Prenton Park Tranmere and Forest Green were the sides and the former beat the latter 1-0. Forest Green played all but 15 minutes with ten men following the red card picked up by Gavin Gunning. Oh, the Gas man watching would have been Ian Weston, who is Forest Green’s physio/medical man.

In Scotland Heart of Midlothian slipped to a 2-1 defat at Aberdeen. Although he wasn’t in the Hearts starting lineup, Michael Smith was sent on as an 80th minute substitute.

In France in a Ligue 2 game, Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux side that won 2-1 at Ajaccio.

On Saturday there was a Gas representative in one of the two Championship play off semi finals and that was in the shape of Kelle Roos, who was in goal for Derby County who took on Leeds United at Pride Park. He ended up on the losing side, though, as Leeds won 1-0 and they take that slender lead into next week’s second leg.

Sunderland beat Portsmouth 1-0 in the League One semi final played at the Stadium of Light to set up an interesting second leg. One of these two sides, possibly both, will remain at this level for at least another season. Injury prevented Lee Brown from playing for Pompey and he faces a race against time to be fit for the second episode of this semi final.

There were two former Gas players involved in the National League play off final at Wembley and it was Rory Gaffney who was celebrating at the end as his Salford City side were 3-0 winners against AFC Fylde who had Andy Bond in their starting lineup. Gaffney was named on the bench for Salford and went on in the 78th minute. The Wembley non league showpiece was watched by a crowd of only 8,049.

Bristol Rovers v Chesterfield 180317
Rory Gaffney ended his first season with Salford City in style, winning promotion to League Two via the National League play off final at Wembley.
 [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In the Scottish Premiership Peter Hartley again remained on the Motherwell bench as they went down 2-0 at St Johnstone.

In the League of Ireland First Division Cabinteely coach Paul Heffernan saw his side win 1-0 at Longford Town and took over from them at the top of the table. Cabinteely have 26 points from their 12 games, Longford have 24 from 11.

Over in France Stephane Leoni saw his Sarre-Union side win 2-0 at Strg Pierrots Vauban while Charlie Clough was in the Brunei DPMM side that beat Geylang International to open up a nine point lead at the top of the Singapore League.

The final round of fixtures in the Premier League took place on Sunday – probably the first time this season that all teams have played on the same day! Former Gas representatives in the top flight had a mixed afternoon. Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side lose 4-1 at home against Manchester City and no doubt had to watch their title winning celebrations out on the Amex pitch.  A few days later Trolls was then relieved of his duties when the Seagulls sacked their manager, Chris Hughton.

Neil Etheridge and his Cardiff City side went out of the top flight in style, though, winning 2-0 against Manchester United at Old Trafford. According to reports, Etheridge put in a Man of the Match performance; ‘Cardiff had Etheridge to thank for keeping them in the game as the keeper’s rapid reactions kept out a Marcus Rashford bullet header just moments after the second goal, before stopping a powerful Paul Pogba effort with 20 minutes to go.’

In the second leg of the League Two play off semi final Newport County went through after beating Mansfield Town 5-3 in a penalty shootout. The teams were goalless after 90 minutes and extra time, leaving the tie all square 1-1 on aggregate. Incredibly, there were 45 goal attempts in the 120 minutes that preceded the penalties! Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were in the Mansfield side while David Pipe, who will now end his career at Wembley, was an unused substitute for Newport.

There was no joy for Bradley Goldberg in the National League South play off final as he and his Welling United side were beaten 1-0 at Woking who are promoted to the National League.

In the Scottish Premiership Rangers came out on top on the Old Firm derby, beating Celtic 2-0 at Ibrox. Scott Sinclair was again named on the Celtic bench and it wasn’t until the 66th minute that he was called on, three minutes after his side had gone two goals down.

In the Dutch Eredivisie SBV Vitesse, with Jake Clarke-Salter in their starting lineup, were 6-1 winners against De Graafschap.

There was a rare start for Mikkel Andersen who was in the FC Midtjylland side that beat Kobenhavn 4-0.

Bristol Rovers v Chesterfield 180317
Jake Clarke-Salter (right) who is currently playing in the Dutch Eredivisie for SBV Vitesse, pictured with another former Rovers player Johnny Burn, who ended the season with National League North side Darlington
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]

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Chapter 39 –  Week commencing 29th April 2019

I’ll begin this week’s article with apologies for an omission from the last one.  Charlie Clough and his Brunei DPMM side were 3-2 winners against Hougang in Sunday’s Singapore League, and they are currently top of the league with 20 points from their opening eight games.

Monday saw Tyler Lyttle and his Rushall Olympic team mates lose 3-0 against Stafford Rangers in the final of the Staffordshire Senior Cup.

In Sweden also on Monday, Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersunds FK side that beat Helsinborg 3-0, though he failed to get on the scoresheet.

In the Danish Superliga FC Midtylland were 2-1 winners at Nordsjaelland and Mikkel Andersen was again on the bench, as he has been for most of the season.

On Tuesday there was one game in the Championship where Adam Barratt, Millwall coach, saw his side suffer a home defeat against Bristol City. Matty Taylor was a 62nd substitute for City.

In League One Portsmouth’s 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Peterborough United and Sunderland’s loss at Fleetwood Town means that Luton and Barnsley are promoted and it’s between those two for the title. Should make Rovers home game against Barnsley on Saturday interesting!

Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side for their game, while Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough who still have hopes of clinching the final play off place.

Newport County, in League Two, moved above Exeter City and into the final play off place thanks to a 2-0 home win against Oldham Athletic. David Pipe was called on in the 91st minute for Newport.

The point gained by Bury in a 1-1 draw at Tranmere Rovers was enough to clinch an automatic promotion spot. It’s their third promotion to the third tier in nine seasons! Dominic Telford started the game for Bury, while Byron Moore was an unused substitute.

Dominic Telford - Photo Credit JMP
A member of the Bury side that finished League Two runners up, Dominic Telford is pictured here with Johnny Burn, who was with Darlington last season and Rory Gaffney who will be in the Salford City squad when they take on AFC Fylde at Wembley in the National League play off final.
[Photo Credit – JMP]
In the Northern Premier League East Division play offs Ossett United were beaten at the semi final stage, losing 3-1 against Pontefract Collieries in front of a crowd of 486. Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett side that were on level terms at 90 minutes but conceded twice in extra time.

Wednesday night saw one game in the Championship, between Swansea City and Derby County. The game finished 1-1 with Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie in the Swansea side and Kelle Roos in goal for Derby.

AFC Fylde beat Harrogate United in their National League play off eliminator and will now play Solihull Moors in the semi final on Saturday. Andy Bond was in the Fylde lineup and scored their second goal in the 15th minute of the game; ‘Danny Rowe sized up an effort from almost 35 yards and Belshaw lacked any conviction in saving it.

‘Instead, he palmed it on to the onrushing Andy Bond who had followed up and steamed in superbly to nestle it beyond Belshaw who was scrambling on the floor.’  The game was watched by a crowd of 1,560.

In the National League South play off eliminator, Bath City lost 3-1 against Wealdstone at Twerton Park in front of a crowd of 2,201. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt started for Bath while Sean Rigg was introduced as a late first half substitute and Jeffrey Monakana was in the Wealdstone side.

All four former Gas players were heavily involved in the action. Clarke let in three goals and Brunt was red carded after stretching to reach a through ball ended with him connecting with the head of visiting goalkeeper Jonathan North who left the game on a stretcher.  Rigg, the substitute, was substituted in the 88th minute and Monakana scored Wealdstone’s second goal in the 64th minute.

Photo Credit - Jeff Davis
Sean Rigg, who ended the season with Bath City, has announced his retirement.
Sean is pictured with another former Rovers player, Craig Disley who spent most of last season with Cleethorpes Town.
[Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
In the Southern League Premier Division South play off final Salisbury lost 3-2 at Metropolitan Police. Darren Mullings started the game for Salisbury and was yellow carded in the 91st minute.

In the other play off semi final in this division, Taunton Town were also beaten, 4-3 in a penalty shootout against Poole Town. It was 1-1 after 90 minutes and there were no further goals in the 30 minutes of extra time. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton lineup for this one.

Yate Town, though, are through to the Southern League Division One South play off final following their 5-4 win against Moneyfields in a penalty shootout. It was goalless after 90 minutes and both sides scored in extra time to take it to penalties.

Ollie Mehew scored Yate’s extra time goal, and converted one of the penalties in the shootout, while Sam Kamara entered the fray from the bench in the second half of normal time. Yate will now meet Cinderford Town in Monday’s play off final at Lodge Road.

Thursday evening saw the second National League eliminator, Eastleigh were 1-0 winners at Wrexham, the winning goal coming in extra time following a goalless draw after 90 minutes. Chris Zebroski and Sam Matthews were both named on the bench for Eastleigh and both were called on, Zebroski in the 79th minute, Matthews in the 100th. The crowd of 6,723 saw Wrexham’s stay in the fifth tier extended to 12 seasons.

In the Bostik League Premier Division play offs Haringey Borough, with Lyle Della-Verde in their side, lost 2-1 against Tonbridge Angels.

On Friday, in the League of Ireland First Division, Cabinteely coach Paul Heffernan watched his side win 1-0 against Shelbourne.

In France, Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux starting lineup for their game against Auxerre, which they won 2-1.

On the same day former Rovers player Sean Rigg announced his retirement after playing in Bath City’s play off semi final. He will concentrate on his business and his family he said after announcing his decision on Facebook.

Also on Friday Aldershot Town, relegated from the National League, parted company with manager Gary Waddock by mutual consent.

Gary Waddock - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
His second spell as Aldershot Town manager ended with their relegation from the National League and him being sacked, so what now for Gary Waddock?
[Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
On Saturday evening (all League One games kicked off at 5.30pm), Alex Rodman scored twice as Rovers came from behind to beat already promoted Barnsley 2-1 at the Mem and finish in 15th place.

In the Premier League Cardiff City, with Neil Etheridge in goal, were relegated back to the Championship after one season at the top table, following their 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace.

There was high drama in the remaining League One fixtures, both at the bottom of the table and in the fight for the final available play off place at the other end.

At Bloomfield Road, though, there was only pride at stake and Blackpool suffered a final day 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Gillingham. Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side while Tom Eaves scored twice for the Gills, which took him to 21 in the league for the season.

Peterborough United went into the final round of fixtures hoping to clinch the final place in the play offs and, at one point in the afternoon they had made it as they led Burton Albion 1-0 at London Road (and went on to win 3-1). However they had to hope that Doncaster Rovers would slip up at home against Coventry City but they didn’t, beating the Sky Blues 2-0 to claim sixth place. Aaron Chapman was in goal for the Posh and faces another season of League One football with his side.

Match of the day came at Home Park, Plymouth, where Argyle met Scunthorpe United. Both sides needed to win to escape the bottom four, but they also had to hope that other teams, most notably Southend United, would slip up.

Argyle won 3-2 and were in and out of the bottom four on more than one occasion during the course of the 90 minutes, but an 87th minute goal for Southend saw them beat Sunderland 2-1 at Roots Hall to preserve their League One status. That meant relegation for Plymouth and Scunthorpe. Matt Macey started the game for Argyle but an injury saw him substituted on 63 minutes while Gary Sawyer was also in the side. Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe lineup.

Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side held to a draw by Accrington Stanley at Fratton Park and they will now face Sunderland in the play off semi finals in a repeat of their Checkatrade Trophy Final encounter.

Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side that played out a goalless draw against Walsall and Stefan Payne was again an unused substitute (will he return to Rovers for next season, as he is still a Gas player?). The result saw Walsall relegated to League Two.

Joe Jacobson was back in the Wycombe Wanderers side for their game against Fleetwood Town at Adams Park and he scored the only goal of the game, direct from a corner, as the Chairboys were 1-0 winners. Paris Cowan-Hall was an unused Wycombe substitute.

Joe Jacobson - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Joe Jacobson scored direct from a corner for Wycombe Wanderers on the final day of the season. Joe has now made over 200 league appearances for the Chairboys.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In League Two Bury clinched second place with a 1-1 draw against Port Vale at Gigg Lane. Byron Moore and Dominic Telford were both named on the Bury bench and were both called on, Moore after 26 minutes and Telford on 66 minutes. Cristian Montano was a 45th minute substitute for Vale.

Exeter City face another season in this division as their goalless draw at Forest Green Rovers saw them miss out on a play off spot. Hiram Boateng was in the Grecians starting XI and Donovan Wilson was introduced as a 70th minute substitute.

Champions Lincoln City were beaten 3-0 by Colchester United at Sincil Bank, though the result wasn’t quite enough to see the U’s clinch a play off spot as they finished in eighth place, just a point short of the final place in the end of season lottery. Cian Bolger and John Akinde were both in the Lincoln side, while Harry Pell still wasn’t fit enough to take his place in the Colchester lineup.

Reggie Lambe was missing from the Cambridge United side held to a 1-1 draw by Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose, a result that means both sides will face each other again in League Two next season.

MK Dons beat Mansfield Town 1-0 at Stadium MK to claim the final automatic promotion spot and to leave Mansfield to slug it out in the play offs. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK and Conrad Logan between the posts for Mansfield and both picked up yellow cards. Ryan Sweeney was also in the Mansfield side. The game was watched by a crowd of 20,718.

Newport County’s 1-1 draw at Morecambe, gained win an 87th minute equaliser, saw them clinch the final play off place. David Pipe, who spent the game on the Newport bench, will have to delay his retirement for another two games at least!

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town ended the season in style, with a 5-2 win against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Andy Williams scored two of those goals, but Jon-Joe O’Toole was again missing from the Northampton squad.

At the County Ground, Swindon Town’s 3-1 win against Notts County confirmed the relegation of the League’s oldest club to a season at least of non league football after having featured in the league in every season since its formation in 1888.

Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett were both in the Swindon lineup, but there were no former Gas players in the County squad.

Already relegated Yeovil Town and Carlisle United played out a goalless draw at Huish Park and Alefe Santos started this one for the Glovers, while Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side.

Solihull Moors face another season of non league football following their 1-0 home defeat by AFC Fylde in the National League play off semi final. Fylde, with Andy Bond in their lineup, will now play at Wembley on consecutive weekends, in the play off final and the FA Trophy final. No joy, then, for Moors coach/assistant manager James Quinn or Nathan Blissett who was an 81st minute substitute.

Andy Bond - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Now playing for AFC Fylde, Andy Bond will be playing at Wembley in consecutive weeks – in the National League play off final and the FA Trophy final
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Marcus Law’s Kettering Town and Weymouth met in the Southern League Premier Shield, with Weymouth winning 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the 90 minutes. Craig Stanley was in the Kettering side while Abdulai Baggie started for Weymouth and Josh Wakefield was sent on as a substitute and scored from the spot in the shootout.

In Scotland Scott Sinclair was a 92nd minute substitute for Celtic who beat Aberdeen 3-0 to clinch their eighth successive league title.

Heart of Midlothian, with Michael Smith in their side, were beaten 1-0 by Kilmarnock and Motherwell, with Peter Hartley again an unused substitute, were held to a 1-1 draw by St Mirren.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was a 69th minute substitute for Airdrieonians, who were 4-1 winners at Stranraer, while in League Two Peterhead, minus David McCracken, were 2-0 winners at Queens Park for whom Alan Gow was a 65th minute substitute.

Lochee United who, earlier in the week were beaten 5-2 by Carnoustie Panmure in the East Region Cup, bounced back to move closer to a league title triumph with a 4-0 win against Fauldhouse United. Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee side for both games.

In Ireland, Crusaders were 3-0 winners against Ballinmallard United in the Irish Cup Final but there was no medal for Mark McChrystal, who was missing from their squad.

In the Singapore League Charlie Clough was in the table topping Brunei DPMM side that won 2-0 against Home United, while in France Stephane Leoni saw his Sarre-Union side lose 2-1 at home against Saint-Louis Neuweg.

Apollon Limassol, of the Cypriot First Division, were beaten 3-0 at Apoel Nicosia, but Mustapha Carayol was again missing from their squad.

In Sunday’s Premier League fixtures Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side draw 1-1 against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

There was a full programme of matches in the Championship, with three clubs vying for the final play off place, a race eventually won by Derby County thanks to their 3-1 home win against West Bromwich Albion who had already booked their play off spot. Kelle Roos was again in goal for Derby, who will face Leeds United in the play off semi final.

The clubs to miss out and who face another season at this level were Middlesbrough, whose boss Tony Pulis saw them win 2-1 at Rotherham and Bristol City, who introduced Matty Taylor as a 58th minute substitute in their 1-1 draw at Hull City.

Oli McBurnie and Connor Roberts were in the Swansea side that drew 2-2 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park and McBurnie scored the second Swansea goal in the 35th minute.

Luke Daniels kept a clean sheet for Brentford, who beat Preston North End 3-0 at Griffin Park, which saw them finish in 11th place, while Ellis Harrison returned to the Ipswich Town squad and was an unused substitute for their 3-2 home win against Leeds United.

Ellis Harrison - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Ellis Harrison returned to the Ipswich Town squad for the final game of the season.
An injury hit campaign in his first season with the club he signed for last summer. Their relegation means we might see him back at the Memorial Stadium next season playing against us!
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Sam Walker again warmed the bench for Reading, who played out a goalless draw against Birmingham City while another former Gas goalie, Joe Lumley, was on the winning side as his Queens Park Rangers side were 2-1 winners at Sheffield Wednesday.

Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side lose their final game of the season 1-0, at Wigan Athletic, a result that left them safe, just four points above the relegation places.

Salford City won through to the National League play off final with a 4-3 penalty shootout win against Eastleigh. The game had ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and there had been no further goals in extra time. Chris Zebroski and Sam Matthews both missed penalties for Eastlleigh (both saved by Salford keeper Chris Neal).

Zebroski and Matthews had both been named on the Eastleigh bench with Zebroski entering the fray in the 75th minute and Matthews in the 87th minute. Rory Gaffney was one of the Salford substitutes and he was sent on in the 115th minute.

The National League South Final will be played between Welling United and Woking. Welling, in front of a crowd of 1,912, beat Chelmsford City 3-2 and although he didn’t score, Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling side.

Woking, who were two goals down to Wealdstone at one stage, hit back to win 3-2, the winning goal arriving in the 92nd minute.  Jeffrey Monakana was in the Wealdstone side for a game played in front of a crowd of 2,917.

In Sweden Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersunds side that drew 1-1 at Kalmar FF while in the Danish Superliga FC Midtjylland, with Mikkel Anderson again on the bench, lost 3-1 at OB in the Danish Superliga.

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Chapter 38 –  Week commencing 22nd April 2019

Well, it wasn’t a Happy Easter for Rovers who took just the one point from their two holiday games. Going into Easter Monday’s home game against Rochdale, they knew a win would secure their League One status, but a truly awful game saw the visitors take all three points with an 83rd minute goal.

I still think the 50 points we have will be enough to stay up, but it’s going to be tight and there needs to be a major overhaul if we are to compete at this level next season.

In the Championship Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side lose 1-0 at Villa Park where Aston Villa recorded a tenth straight win to secure their place in the play offs. Millwall, though, are one place above the relegation places and three points better off than Rotherham. Looks like a straight fight between those two to see who stays up.

There were two former Gas goalies involved in the game between Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at Pride Park. Derby’s Kelle Roos kept a clean sheet as they won 2-0 while QPR’s Joe Lumley was beaten in the 94th minute by a penalty and again in the 101st minute!

Ipswich Town, again minus the services of Ellis Harrison, have had a truly dreadful season and have won only four games.  They lost again on this Bank Holiday Monday, 1-0 to Swansea City at Portman Road in front of a crowd of 17,247. Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea side.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis saw his side lose 3-0 at Nottingham Forest and, as a result, drop out of the play off places. After the game Pulis said; ‘We’ve still got a chance. We’ve got to dust ourselves down and we need all the players to be together and try and get a result Saturday.’

A goalless draw between Reading and West Bromwich Albion all but secured Reading’s Championship survival and confirmed Albion’s place in the play offs. Goalkeeper Sam Walker again kept the Reading bench warm.

Bristol City’s play off hopes took a turn for the worse as they lost 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday who still have an outside chance of being involved in the end of season lottery themselves. Matty Taylor was an unused substitute for the red side from Bristol.

Luke Daniels kept a clean sheet for Brentford who dealt Leeds United’s hopes of an automatic promotion place a tremendous blow by beating them 2-0 at Griffin Park.

Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their side, kept their hopes of automatic promotion from League One alive with a 2-1 home win against Coventry City. Pompey are now third, two points behind second placed Barnsley with a game in hand. Brown had a hand in Pompey’s first goal; ‘It took until 24 minutes from time for the south coast side to get back on level terms when Tom Naylor headed in a Lee Brown cross.’

Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side that beat Fleetwood Town 2-1 to claim bragging rights in their derby match and Fleetwood ended the game with ten men following the 72nd minute red card picked up by Nathan Sheron. Perhaps that’s good news for Rovers, who face Fleetwood on Saturday!

Already relegated Bradford City ended a run of seven straight defeats with a 1-1 draw against Gillingham at Valley Parade. Tom Eaves was an 83rd minute substitute for the Gills.

Matt Lund returned to the Scunthorpe squad for their game against Charlton Athletic at The Valley and was sent on as a 74th minute substitute. By then his side were losing 4-0 and that’s how it stayed, a result that saw Scunthorpe drop into the bottom four.

Peterborough United played out a 1-1 draw against Sunderland at London Road, their equaliser arriving in the 91st minute. Aaron Chapman was again in goal for The Posh who are three points away from securing a play off spot.

Plymouth Argyle, with Gary Sawyer in their side and Matt Macey on the bench, are in deep trouble following their 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Barnsley. They are just a place and a point above Scunthorpe who occupy the final relegation place.

Shrewsbury Town are on the same 50 point mark as Rovers after their 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Oxford United who played with ten men from the 36th minute following Ahmed Kashi’s red card. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side and scored a 17th minute goal from the penalty spot, while Stefan Payne was nowhere to be seen.

Wycombe Wanderers are another team on 50 points after winning 1-0 against Walsall at Adams Park. Paris Cowan-Hall was an 85th minute substitute for the Chairboys while Joe Jacobson again watched events unfold from the bench.

In League two Bury moved back into second place following their 3-1 win against Keith Curle’s Northampton Town side at Gigg Lane. Dominic Telford started for Bury and Byron Moore went on as a 62nd minute substitute. Andy Williams had given Northampton a 27th minute lead in this game, while Jon-Joe O’Toole was again missing from their squad.

Bottom club Notts County sent on Elliot Ward as a 56th minute substitute in their 1-1 draw at Crawley Town but with only two games to go things are looking bleak for the Meadow Lane outfit.

Reggie Lambe was an unused substitute in Cambridge United’s 2-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers, a result that assured the Gloucestershire side of at least a place in the play offs.

Grimsby Town scored in the 90th minute to record a 1-0 home win against Carlisle United and deal the Cumbrians play off hopes a huge blow. Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side that now sits two points outside the play off places.

At Sincil Bank Lincoln City were crowned League Two champions despite only drawing 0-0 against Tranmere Rovers. Cian Bolger and John Akinde both completed 90 minutes for the Imps.

MK Dons dropped to fourth following their 1-1 home draw against Port Vale. Lee Nicholls was in goal for the hosts while Cristian Montano was in the Vale side.

Cheltenham Town, their League Two status confirmed for another year, lost 4-0 at Morecambe and Jordan Tillson and Ryan Broom both completed 90 minutes for the Robins who conceded all four goals in the second half.

Mansfield Town lost 3-2 at Oldham Athletic and dropped down to third place. Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney both started this one for Mansfield.

Joe Martin was in the Stevenage side that drew 1-1 against Exeter City, who still hang on to that final play off place. Hiram Boateng was an 80th minute substitute for the Grecians, while Donovan Wilson watched proceedings from the bench.

Swindon Town, with Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett both starting, lost 2-1 against Crewe Alexandra at the County Ground, while Yeovil Town and Colchester United played out a 1-1 draw at Huish Park where Alefe Santos was missing from the Yeovil squad and Harry Pell from the Colchester party that travelled to Somerset.

Macclesfield Town and Newport County played put a goalless draw at Moss Rose, where David Pipe was an unused Newport substitute.

It was a dramatic day in the race for the National League title and Leyton Orient, by virtue of their goalless draw at third placed Solihull Moors, need just a point to return to the EFL as champions of the fifth tier. Matt Harrold was a 64th minute substitute for Orient in this game against a side coached by James Quinn and who sent Nathan Blissett on as a 73rd minute substitute.

Salford City look to have missed the boat as far as the title is concerned, as they lost 1-0 at home against AFC Fylde who have themselves sealed a play off place. Rory Gaffney was a 46th minute substitute for Salford while Andy Bond completed 90 minutes for Fylde.

Already relegated Aldershot Town registered what was their third win in 26 league games with a 2-1 win over fellow relegated side Havant & Waterlooville. Bernard Mensah played, and scored, for the Shots and manager Gary Waddock also selected Rollin Menayese and Scott Rendell for this game.

Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side draw 1-1 against Bromley at The Hive and Luke James was in the Hartlepool United side that lost 1-0 at Barrow.

Conrad Logan and Danny Senda - Photo Credit keith Brookman
Conrad Logan has been mentioned many times in this season’s series. The Mansfield Town goalkeeper and former Rovers loanee is hoping to achieve promotion with the Stags, either automatically or through the play offs.
Danny Senda is now the coach at Barnet in the National league and he has also featured on a number of occasions as the season has progressed.
[Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Angelo Balanta, though, was missing from the Dagenham & Redbridge side that lost 2-0 at Braintree Town while Danny Woodards started and Ricky Shakes was an 83rd minute substitute for Boreham Wood, who lost 3-2 at Chesterfield in front of a crowd of 4,384.

Eastleigh confirmed their place in the play offs with a 2-0 home win against Maidenhead United and both Sam Matthews and Chris Zebroski joined the fray from the bench in the second half, Zebroski in the 76th minute, Matthews two minutes later.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town were 2-1 winners over another side, Wrexham, who will be involved in the play offs, while John Still’s Maidstone United drew 2-2 at Sutton United, both of their goals arriving from the penalty spot and the equaliser coming in the 95th minute.

In National League North AFC Telford and Alfreton Town played out a goalless draw which means they have to better Bradford Park Avenue’s result in next Saturday’s final home game to make the play offs. Adam Dawson was again named on the Telford bench and got a taste of the action in the second half.

Hereford also drew, 1-1 at Altrincham, with Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards again in their starting lineup though Richards had to come off injured during the second half.

FC United of Manchester’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Blyth Spartans meant they were relegated for the first time since they formed, in 2005. Once again, though, there was no sign of Bob Harris in their squad.

Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley secured their National League North status with a 1-0 home win against Darlington who named Johnny Burn and Alex Henshall on their bench.

Bath City, in National League South, were 1-0 home winners against Oxford City and that clinched a place for them in the end of season play offs. Ryan Clarke, Sean Rigg and Ryan Brunt all started for Jerry Gill’s side.

Jeffrey Monakana was named on the bench for Wealdstone, who were 3-0 away winners at Chelmsford City.

Concord Rangers recorded a 2-1 home win against St Albans City and are back in the play off places. Alex Wall started and scored his side’s second goal on 17 minutes.

Billericay Town lost 2-1 at Dartford and must win next Saturday to secure a play off place. Adam Cunnington started this one for Billericay but failed to get on the scoresheet.

Welling United, already guaranteed a play off place, lost 4-1 at East Thurrock United. Bradley Goldberg was in the side that clinched third place.

Chippenham Town, with Will Puddy and George Rigg in their side, lost 3-2 at Gloucester City, while Truro City drew 2-2 at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

Andre Alexis Jnr and Harry Warwick started this game for Truro and their National League South survival hangs by a thread. Chris Dickson may, or may not, have played for the home side. No lineup found on their social media site.

Louie Soares was again named on the Slough Town bench for their home game against Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough. Both sides scored after the 90 minute mark and it ended 1-1. Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne side.

Champions Torquay United were beaten 1-0 at home by Hungerford Town for whom Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist came off the bench and scored a 90th minute winner. Not a good day for Torquay assistant boss Aaron Downes, but a good one for Leigh-Gilchrist who played alongside Cameron Hargreaves and Charlie Ten-Groutenhuis.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division Basford United moved up to seventh place courtesy of a 1-0 away win at Mickleover Sports, so it was a clean sheet for goalkeeper Kieran Preston.

Cleethorpes Town, of the East Division, were 4-1 winners at Lincoln United. Craig Disley was named on the Cleethorpes bench for this one and went on as a 77th minute substitute.

While Cleethorpes have no chance of making the play offs, Andy Monkhouse and his Ossett United team mates do and they drew 1-1 at home against Pontefract Collieries and it was Monkhouse who scored the Ossett equaliser.

Prescot Cables, of the West Division, were 5-0 home winners over Skelmersdale United though they were without Josh Klein-Davies for this one.

Harlow Town’s relegation from the Bostik Premier Division was confirmed following their 3-0 defeat at AFC Hornchurch. Once again Tom Hitchcock and Scott Davies were in the Harlow lineup.

Jamie Cureton 1000 - Courtesy of Bishop’s Stortford + Nathan Cracknell
Jamie Cureton’s 1000th game [Photo Courtesy of Bishop’s Stortford / Nathan Cracknell]
Pride of place in this division though goes to Bishop’s Stortford and striker Jamie Cureton in particular. ‘Curo’ played his 1,000th senior game and scored twice as his side were 3-2 home winners against Brightlingsea Regent to maintain their place in a play off position.

The man himself tweeted this after the match; ‘Well what can I say about today and making my 1,000th appearance in football. First it was a great performance by the boys and another win which keeps us in the play offs with one to play. Would like to thank @BSFCThe Blues for putting on such a great day.’

He went on to add; ‘Would also like to thank all the fans that came along, my family and friends that made the long trip to share this special moment with me. Thank you to all the players for putting in a shift to help us win. I’m so proud of this group. @BSFCTheBlues.’

In what was described as a feisty Sussex derby, Bognor Regis Town and Whitehawk played out a goalless draw and once again Theo Widdrington was missing from the Bognor squad.

Haringey Borough, with Lyle Della-Verde in their starting XI, are still in a play off place in spite of their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wingate & Finchley.

Moving on to the Southern league Premier Central Division and champions Kettering Town recorded a 1-0 away win against local rivals Rushden & Diamonds. Craig Stanley was restored to the Kettering lineup for this one and he tweeted this afterwards; ‘What a win. Nothing better than a 1-0 professional performance by the boys and a clean sheet tops off a great weekend @KTFCOfficial.’

Tyler Lyttle and his Rushall Olympic side played out a goalless draw against Stourbridge and will end the season just above the midway point in the league.

In the Premier South Division Scott McGleish was again on the bench for Hendon, who drew 2-2 at Chesham United. As far as social media is concerned, Chesham report a few problems so, at the time of writing I’m not sure if Jefferson Louis was involved or not, though I do know that he wasn’t among the goalscorers!

Tiverton Town and goalkeeper Liam Armstrong are still not out of the woods in terms of relegation just yet and their 6-0 defeat at Dorchester Town leaves them in a group of six clubs battling to avoid relegation in Saturday’s final round of league fixtures.

Danny Greaves saw his already relegated Frome Town side pick up a point from a goalless draw against high flying Salisbury. Tom Mehew was in the Frome side and Darren Mullings completed 90 minutes in a Salisbury shirt. The game was watched by a crowd of 467, one short of double Frome’s season average.

League leaders Weymouth remain a point ahead of second placed Taunton Town following their 1-1 draw at Poole Town. Abdulai Baggie started for Weymouth while Josh Wakefield was named on the bench.

Taunton Town kept up the pressure on Weymouth with a 3-2 home win against Gavin Williams’ Merthyr Tydfil side. Taunton were 2-0 down at one point in the game and either they or Weymouth will clinch the title on Saturday. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton starting XI while Ben Swallow was named on the Merthyr bench.

Swindon Supermarine had Martin Horsell back in goal for their final home game of the season, which ended 1-1 against Hartley Wintney, but Jerel Ifil was again missing from the squad.

Kings Langley, with Rene Howe wearing the number nine shirt, lost 1-0 at Walton Casuals but a win in their final game on Saturday might yet see them make the play offs.

In Division One South Mangotsfield United’s recent good form came to an abrupt end with a 6-1 defeat at Cirencester Town whose goal tally for the season reached 109 with this result. Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was again among the Mangotsfield substitutes.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic won their final home game of the season 2-0 against Bristol Manor farm. Neil Arndale and Geraint Bater were on the bench for the Larks and a certain Jack Camm started. I’m pretty sure it’s the same Jack Camm who was a Rovers scholar until his release in around 2011.

Paulton Rovers miserable run continued with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Bideford and assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell will be pleased that the two relegation places have already been determined!  Trey Anderson started this one for Paulton and Jay Malpas and Powell were both named on the bench.

Yate Town’s 3-2 home win against Melksham Town confirmed a home semi final of the end of season play offs. Ollie Mehew came off the bench for Yate to score what proved to be the winning goal, from the penalty spot, for Paul Britton’s side while Sam Kamara was named in the starting XI.

In the Hellenic League Premier Division Windsor introduced Barry Hayles as a 78th minute substitute, though they were beaten 1-0 by title winners Wantage Town.

In the Midland League Premier Division Highgate United, with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard in their side, drew 1-1 at Stourport Swifts.

Closer to home there was a unique hat trick of wins for the three former Gas players who are now managing at this level. Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town were 2-0 home winners against Hengrove Athletic, Ray Johnston’s Hallen also won at home, 2-1 against Buckland Athletic, and Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George were 2-0 winners at Odd Down.

FC Midtylland, with Mikkel Andersen again on the bench, lost 2-1 at home against Brondby in the Danish Superliga.

On Tuesday, over in Ireland, Seanan Clucas was named on the bench for Dungannon Swifts who were beaten 1-0 at Ards. Crusaders, meanwhile, with Mark McChrystal on the bench lost 4-2 at Coleraine.

In the Dutch Eredivisie SBV Vitesse were beaten 4-2 at Ajax, Champions league semi finalists, a great experience for Jake Clarke-Salter, who was in the Vitesse side.

In France Oumare Tounkara was again missing from the Chateauroux squad that played out a goalless draw against Sochaux.

Wednesday’s Salisbury Hospitals Cup Final between Bemerton Heath Harlequins and Salisbury was postponed.

On Thursday evening Gareth Taylor, Manchester City’s U-18 manager, saw his side take on their Liverpool counterparts in the final of the FA Youth Cup. Unfortunately, though, his side were beaten 5-3 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time. It’s the first time Liverpool have won the competition since 2007.

Gareth Taylor - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
Gareth Taylor, the current Manchester City U-18 manager, began his career with Rovers and, at various times, was loaned out to Gloucester City and Weymouth before he joined Crystal Palace.
Later played for Sheffield United, Manchester City, Port vale, Queens Park Rangers, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Crewe Alexandra, Tranmere Rovers, Doncaster Rovers, Carlisle United and Wrexham.
Taylor won 15 full international caps for Wales and has been with Manchester City as a coach since 2011.
[Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
Friday night’s Welsh Premier League action saw Barry Town United suffer a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Newtown. Kayne McLaggon was in the Barry side and scored their consolation goal, from the penalty spot, in the 90th minute.

In the League of Ireland First Division Paul Heffernan’s Cabinteely FC, who are in second place, drew 1-1 against Bray.

In France Oumare Tounkara was missing from the Chateauroux side that registered a 1-0 home win against Le Havre FC.

Rovers travelled to face Fleetwood Town on Saturday and came away with a goalless draw, enough to preserve their League One status for another season. Results elsewhere also helped, as you will see if you read on.

Our two ex Gas in the Premier League, Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope and Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, met with mixed fortunes. Brighton gained a point from a 1-1 home draw against Newcastle United while Cardiff lost 1-0 at Fulham and now look to be favourites to drop back down to the Championship while Brighton cling to safety, four points better off than Cardiff with a superior goal difference. Two games to go, but it’s a big ask for the Welsh side to win them both to have a chance of survival.

Moving on to the Championship and Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side gain a point from a goalless home draw against Stoke. That point and Rotherham’s defeat West Bromwich Albion, means that Millwall preserved their Championship status.

Matty Taylor was an unused substitute for Bristol City, who lost 2-0 to Derby County at Ashton Gate and their play off hopes appear to have been extinguished. Kelle Roos was in goal for Derby.

Tony Pulis saw his Middlesbrough side win 2-1 against Reading and they remain on course for a play off place, sitting one place away but on level points with sixth placed Derby. Sam Walker was again an unused Reading substitute.

Queens Park Rangers, with Joe Lumley in goal, lost 1-0 at home against Nottingham Forest while Ipswich Town lost again, 2-0 at Sheffield United, who all but secured their promotion to the Premier League. Ellis Harrison was again missing from the Ipswich squad.

The two goals scored by Swansea City’s Oli McBurnie took him to 22 for the season, but it wasn’t enough to give his side victory as Hull City also scored twice as both sides had to be content with a point. Connor Roberts was also in the Swansea lineup.

In League One Matt Macey and Gary Sawyer were in the Plymouth Argyle side thrashed 5-1 at Accrington Stanley, a result that saw them drop into the bottom four with one game to go. It was an unhappy return to Accrington for Macey, who played four games on loan for them during a loan spell in 2015.

Wycombe Wanderers lost 2-1 at AFC Wimbledon and again Joe Jacobson remained on the bench while Paris Cowan-Hall was sent on as a 91st minute substitute.

Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side that lost 2-1 at Barnsley, a result that saw the Yorkshire side move on to the same number of points as league leaders Luton Town. Barnsley’s last opponents of the season? Rovers at The Mem; should be interesting!

Tom Eaves was sent on at the start of the second half for Gillingham but couldn’t find his shooting boots as his side suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Charlton Athletic who made it nine wins from their last twelve.

Matt Lund was a 31st minute substitute for Scunthorpe United in their 3-2 home defeat by Bradford City. His side conceded three goals in the opening 15 minutes and could only score twice in a determined second half fightback. The result leaves them in the bottom four and their final game is away to Plymouth Argyle on Saturday. One of them is almost certain to go down to League Two.

Lee Brown and his Portsmouth team mates remain on course for an automatic promotion spot following their 1-1 draw at Sunderland in front of a crowd of 41,129. Both sides have two games to play and Pompey are only four points behind the top two. Brown, hoping his side wins both of their games, sent a text message to Rovers skipper Tom Lockyer after the game urging Rovers to beat Barnsley next Saturday!

In League two Reggie Lambe was missing from the Cambridge United side as they lost 2-1 at home against Morecambe while Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle United side that beat Crawley Town 3-2 at Brunton Park.

Cheltenham Town, with Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson on the bench, beat Swindon Town 3-2 at Whaddon Road. Broom stayed on the bench, while Tillson went on in the 86th minute. Kyle Bennett completed 90 minutes for Swindon, but Tom Broadbent was missing from their squad.

The injured Harry Pell was again missing from the Colchester United lineup as they beat automatic promotion hopefuls MK Dons. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK who remain in fourth place.

Exeter City, 1-0 home winners against Oldham Athletic, remain in the final play off spot. Hiram Boateng went on as a 41st minute substitute for the Grecians while Donovan Wilson went on in the 91st minute.

Mansfield Town remain in third place in spite of a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Stevenage, the winning goal arriving in the 92nd minute. Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were in the Mansfield side and Joe Martin played for Stevenage.

David Pipe, who announced his retirement earlier in the week, was again an unused substitute for Newport County who were 1-0 home winners against champions Lincoln City. Cian Bolger and John Akinde were both in the Lincoln side.

Paul Trollope + John Akinde - Photo Credit Keith Brookman
Two former Gas players who have featured prominently in this season’s series. Paul Trollope, assistant manager at Brighton & Hove Albion, will be hoping his side can avoid relegation to the Championship while John Akinde has won a League Two Championship medal with Lincoln City
[Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Keith Curle’s Northampton Town drew 2-2 against Yeovil Town at Sixfields, a result that means the Glovers are relegated to the National League after 16 years as a Football League club. Andy Williams, a former Yeovil player as well as an ex Gasman, was in the Northampton side, though Jon-Joe O’Toole was again missing from the squad. Alefe Santos wasn’t included in the Yeovil squad.

Notts County, again without any former Gas players in their side, were 2-1 home winners against Grimsby Town, though they remain in the bottom two and must win their final game and hope that Macclesfield lose if they are to avoid relegation to the National League.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side beaten 1-0 by Macclesfield Town at Vale Park. There was no game for Bury’s Dominic Telford or Byron Moore as their game at Tranmere Rovers was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

In the National League AFC Fylde, already assured of a play off place, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town. Andy Bond was an unused Fylde substitute.

Boreham Wood and Eastleigh shared six goals and Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes both started for Boreham, while Sam Matthews and Chris Zebroski both completed the 90 minutes for Eastleigh.

James Quinn, Solihull Moors coach/assistant manager saw his side clinch second place with a 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge. Nathan Blissett was in the Moors side and Angelo Balanta in the Daggers lineup.

Luke James scored on of Hartlepool United’s goals as they beat Salford City 3-2; ‘Luke James’ deflected shot made it three with 15 minutes remaining.’ The result saw Salford, who played the entire second half with ten men, finish in third place. Rory Gaffney was missing from the Salford squad.

Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side win 2-0 at Havant & Waterlooville while Leyton Orient’s home goalless draw against Braintree Town meant they finished as champions. Matt Harrold was an 84th minute Orient substitute in a game watched by a crowd of 8,241.

Matt Harold - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Matt Harold has also featured this season, and he has also won a championship medal with Leyton Orient, who are returning to the Football League as National League Champions.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
John Still’s Maidstone United’s 2-1 home defeat by Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town means they finish bottom of the table. Bernard Mensah scored the second Aldershot goal, after 86 minutes, and Scott Rendell and Rollin Menayese were also in the Shots’ lineup.

In National League North FC United of Manchester, again without the services of Bob Harris, lost their final match of the season 1-0 at Brackley Town.

Darlington’s final game saw them draw 1-1 at home against Leamington, though they managed it without Johnny Burn and Alex Henshall. Darlo also lost their manager, Tommy Wright after this game and are already advertising the vacancy on Twitter!

Hereford were beaten 2-0 by Boston United at Edgar Street and finished the campaign in 17th place. Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards both started this one for Hereford.

Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley ended the season with a 2-1 win at Kidderminster and finished one place and nine points above the bottom three.

Spare a thought, though, for AFC Telford United, whose 1-0 defeat at York City cost them a play off place as they finished the season in eighth place on the same number of points as seventh placed Bradford Park Avenue but with an inferior goal difference. Adam Dawson was missing from the Telford squad for this one.

For the record, Stockport County were the National League North Champions and will play in the National League next season.

We already know that they will be joined at that level by National League South Champions Torquay United who, with assistant manager Aaron Downes watching from the sidelines, won their final match of the season, 4-0 at St Albans.

Bath City finished in fifth place thanks to their 2-0 win at Billericay Town, who miss out on a play off place thanks to this result. The two Ryans, Clarke and Brunt, were in the Bath starting XI but there was no sign of Sean Rigg, while Adam Cunnington was in the Billericay side.

Chippenham Town, with Will Puddy and George Rigg in their side, lost 1-0 at home against Chelmsford City and finished in 13th place.

Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough lost 2-1 at home against Concord Rangers but avoided relegation by three points. Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne side while Alex Wall was named on the Concord bench. Although they finished in sixth place and in a play off place, Concord are not permitted to take part in them because their ground is not up to the standard required for the National League.

Hungerford Town also finished three points above the relegation places and they drew 1-1 at home against East Thurrock United. Cameron Hargreaves, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis were all in the Hungerford starting XI.

Truro City, having looked to be out of the relegation battle were sucked back into it in recent weeks and, in spite of a 3-3 draw at home against Slough Town, they have been relegated, finishing third from bottom with 39 points. Andre Alexis Jnr was in goal for Truro and Louie Sores was named on the Slough bench.

Jeffrey Monakana was a substitute for Wealdstone, who beat Hemel Hempstead Town 2-0 to finish in the final play off place and they now face Bath City at Twerton Park on Wednesday evening.

Bradley Goldberg was named on the Welling bench for their home game against Hampton & Richmond Borough. They won 4-0 and by finishing third will face Chelmsford City in the play offs. Not sure if Chris Dickson was in the Hampton side.

Weston super Mare’s final game at this level following their relegation saw them gain a point from a 1-1 home draw against Dulwich Hamlet. Mark McKeever selected Jamie Lucas on the bench for this one and he entered the fray on 75 minutes.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division Basford United, with Kieran Preston in goal, ended the season on a high with a 7-3 home win against Nantwich Town, who are already assured of a play off place.

In the West Division Ossett United, with Andy Monkhouse in their starting XI drew 1-1 against Stocksbridge Park Steels to end the campaign in fifth place and earn themselves a play off game against Pontefract Collieries.

In the same division Cleethorpes Town ended their campaign with a 6-0 home win against Stamford. Craig Disley played the final game of his loan spell for Cleethorpes and presumably he now returns to his parent club, Alfreton Town. This is what he tweeted after the game; ‘So that’s another season done and dusted, thanks to @CleeTownFC for having me this season when I didn’t know where I was heading. A brilliant set of lads and great people around.’

West Division side Prescot Cables were 3-2 winners at Droylesden and even though he started for them, Josh Klein-Davies failed to get on the scoresheet.

Moving on the Bostik Premier League and it turned out to be a day of heartbreak for Jamie Cureton and Bishop’s Stortford. They lost 2-1 at Carshalton Athletic, a result that saw them finish outside the play off places in seventh. ‘Curo’ who played game number 1,001 had this to say afterwards; ‘Absolutely devastated with the result but so proud of what this young group of players has achieved this season. Thank you to all our fans for your great support @BSFCTheBlues home and away. Enjoy your summer and will be back stronger and ready for another promotion push.’

Lyle Della-Verde was on the bench for Haringey Borough, who lost 2-0 at Dorking while Theo Widdrington was missing from the Bognor Regis Town side that lost 2-0 at Folkestone Invicta, a result that sees them finish in 14th place.

Scott Davies and Tom Hitchcock were both on the scoresheet for relegated Harlow Town, who were beaten 4-3 at home by Margate.

Southern League Premier Central champions, Marcus Law’s Kettering Town, ended their successful campaign with a 5-1 home win against Stratford Town and Craig Stanley was amongst the goalscoers and he got an apology from the club as the photographer captured only four of the five goals; ‘And here are four of the five goals scored today. SORRY to @Staners6 – the photographer was still busy in the tea queue when you scored!!!

All I can say it must have been a long tea queue, because his goal arrived eight minutes into the second half!

In the same division Rushall Olympic signed off with a 1-0 win at Biggleswade Town, though they managed it without the services of Tyler Lyttle.

In the Premier South Division Weymouth’s 3-0 home win against Farnborough meant they finished as champions and there was a crowd of 2,676 to see them clinch the title. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the Weymouth starting XI. On Sunday Baggie Tweeted this; ‘Promoted yesterday and 27th Birthday today. What a weekend @theterras.’

Abdulai Baggie Photo courtesy of Weymouth’s Twitter feed
Another Champion! Abdulai Baggie, now playing for Weymouth, Champions of the Southern League Premier South Division.
[Photo courtesy of Weymouth’s Twitter feed]
Weymouth’s victory means that Taunton Town, who won 2-1 at Basingstoke Town, finished as runners up, just a point behind the champions. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton lineup for this game.

Scott McGleish was on the Hendon bench and saw his side win 1-0 against Swindon Supermarine. Martin Horsell was in goal for Supermarine who were again without the services of Jerel Ifil.

Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side were beaten 2-0 at Kings Langley. There was no Tom Mehew in the Frome side, but Rene Howe played for Langley.

Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side ended the season with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Walton Casuals. Ben Swallow was named on the Merthyr bench for this one.

Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side thrashed 6-0 at home by Harrow Borough and yet they still finished in fourth place and face Metropolitan Police in the play offs.

Tiverton Town, with Liam Armstrong in goal, drew 1-1 at home against Beaconsfield Town and thus guaranteed their survival in this league, finishing two points above the relegation places.

Jefferson Louis was named on the Chesham United bench for their final game of the campaign, a goalless draw at Wimborne Town.

In Division One South Yate Town ended their league season in disappointing fashion with a 3-0 defeat at Street, a result that saw them finish in third place which means a play off game against fourth placed Moneyfields. I can only assume that Ollie Mehew and Sam Kamara were in the Yate squad as, unfortunately, could find no trace of the their lineup!

Paulton Rovers secured their first win in 11 games as they were 2-1 winners at Bristol Manor Farm. Relief, then, for assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell. Trey Anderson was in the Paulton starting lineup, while Powell was named on the bench.

Mangotsfield United were 3-0 home winners against AFC Totton but on this occasion there were no former Gas players in the Mangos squad.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 1-0 winners at Moneyfields FC, a result that saw them finish in 13th place. Jack Camm was in the Larkhall side, while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were on the bench. No Lewis Powell in the Larks lineup, though he did collect the club’s Golden Boot Award at their presentation evening.

Highgate United, with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard on the bench, won 3-0 at Worcester City in their final game of the season. Goddard went on in the 77th minute, but Oji stayed on the bench.

In the Western League Ray Johnston’s Hallen were 2-1 winners at Bridport, Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town drew 3-3 at home against Plymouth Parkway in front of a crowd of 140 and Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George also drew 3-3, against Bradford Town.

In Scotland Celtic, with Scott Sinclair in their lineup, were 1-0 home winners against Kilmarnock while Peter Hartley again kept the Motherwell bench warm during their 4-3 home win against Dundee.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was missing from the Airdrieonians side that won 3-0 against Arbroath and in Scottish League Two Alan Gow was an unused substitute in their 3-0 defeat at Clyde. Peterhead, minus David McCracken, drew 1-1 against Stirling Albion.

Lochee United, with Garry Kenneth in their side, went six points clear at the top of their league with a 4-0 away win at Carnoustie.

In Ireland, Crusaders, with Mark McChrystal back in their side, were 3-0 winners at Ballymena United while Seanan Clucas was an unused substitute for Dungannon Swifts who beat Newry City 1-0.

Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side that finished the campaign with a 5-0 away win at Ballinamallard.

Jeff Hughes - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
His photo has already featured in this series, but congratulations are in order for Jeff Hughes, who has won a medal with Larne Football Club, Champions of the Northern Ireland Championship
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
On Sunday, in the Edinburgh derby, Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian drew 1-1. Michael Smith was in the Hearts side and picked up a yellow card during the match.

In League One Shrewsbury Town ensured that they avoided relegation with a 1-1 draw at Coventry City. Ollie Norburn was missing from the Shrewsbury side, while Stefan Payne was an unused substitute.

There was one managerial casualty on Sunday and, after watching his side lose heavily at Accrington on Saturday Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams found himself out of a job.

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Chapter 37 –  Week commencing 15th April 2019

On Monday evening Boreham Wood were in action against Cheshunt in the Hertfordshire County Cup semi final and won through to the final with a 2-0 win, with Ricky Shakes on the bench.

In Tuesday night’s crucial Premier League clash Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side suffer a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of relegation rivals Cardiff City. Neil Etheridge was in goal for Cardiff, who are now just two points behind Brighton, and it looks as though one of those two sides will be playing Championship football next season.

Truro City faced Concord Rangers in their rearranged National League South game and were beaten 3-1. Andre Alexis Jnr was in goal for the Cornish side and Harry Warwick was an unused substitute. Alex Wall was in the Concord side and opened the scoring just before the half hour mark reported in the following manner by the club’s Twitter account; ‘And there’s the opening!!!! @Ashford_Sam crosses first time from the right perfectly on to @wall_9 head to mark his return to the starting 11 with a goal! Come on boys!’

Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side were in Southern League Premier South action and came away from Beaconsfield with a point gained from a 1-1 draw. Ben Swallow was again in the Merthyr starting lineup.

In the Hellenic League Premier Division Windsor took on Flackwell Heath and won 6-0 to record their sixth straight win and five of those have been won without conceding a goal. Barry Hayles came off the bench in the 80th minute, scored the sixth goal in the 88th minute and was yellow carded in the 89th minute!

Highgate United won through to the final of the JW Hunt Cup with a 4-3 win on penalties against Atherstone Town following a goalless draw. Jordan Goddard and Sam Oji were both in the Highgate starting XI and Goddard scored one of their penalties in the shootout. Their opponents in the final, to be played at Molineux on 13th May, will be Tividale or Sporting Khalsa.

On Thursday, in the Danish Superliga, FC Midtylland were beaten 3-0 at FC Copenhagen. No prizes for guessing that Mikkel Andersen was again on the bench for the losing side.

Good Friday saw Rovers travelling to face AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow and they earned another valuable point from a 1-1 draw. Once again, the point took preference over performance, but they battled hard, especially after three second half substitutions and a tactical change, plus a goal from Ollie Clarke, to inch closer to EFL 1 safety.

In the Championship Bristol City introduced Matty Taylor as a 79th minute substitute but they could only draw 1-1 against Reading at Ashton Gate and dropped out of the top six. James Walker was again an unused Reading substitute.

Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side draw 1-1 against Brentford at The Den. The Bees, with Luke Daniels again in goal, played 65 minutes of the match with ten men following the red card picked up by their captain Henrik Dalsgaard.

Kelle Roos was in goal for Derby County, who drew 2-2 at Birmingham City to keep their play off hopes alive. There were no Gas representatives involved in the game between Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa, unless you count Garry Thompson who was commentating on the game for BBC Radio WM. However, Villa’s 2-0 win relegated Bolton and, with a bit of luck, they will be visiting the Mem again next season!

Tony Pulis saw his Middlesbrough side move back into the play offs with a 1-0 home win against another of his former clubs, Stoke City and he said afterwards; ‘It’s all about results as a manager. If you don’t get results you don’t hang around long.’

One of his managerial colleagues, Paul Lambert was more forthcoming about relegated Ipswich Town’s 4-0 defeat at Preston North End; ‘We were really, really poor. We got what we deserved. That’s the worst game we’ve had since we came to the club.’ Ellis Harrison was again missing from the Ipswich squad.

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley and his team mates were beaten 2-1 by Blackburn Rovers at Loftus Road.

In a high scoring game at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea were 4-3 winners against Rotherham United. Oli McBurnie’s two goals saw him reach 20 for the season. Connor Roberts also lined up for the Swans.

In League One Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury Town lineup as they went down 2-1 at Barnsley. There was, though, no sign of Stefan Payne in the Shrews’ squad.

Portsmouth scored a 92nd minute goal at Burton Albion to keep their hopes of automatic promotion alive. Lee Brown, who was in the Pompey starting XI and his team mates remain in fourth place, two points off of second place.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough United in their 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town, the hosts equaliser arriving in the 94th minute.

Gillingham’s 3-1 home win over Plymouth Argyle inched them closer to League One safety but left Argyle looking anxiously over their shoulder as they dropped to 19th place. Tom Eaves played the first half for the hosts but didn’t reappear for the start of the second half, while Gary Sawyer was in the Argyle lineup and Matt Macey was an unused substitute.

Rochdale did their hopes of avoiding relegation a power of good with a 1-0 home win against Wycombe Wanderers who are still embroiled in the battle to avoid the drop. Paris Cowan-Hall was a 70th minute substitute for Wycombe while Joe Jacobson remained on the bench for the 90 minutes.

Scunthorpe are just one place outside the bottom four following a goalless home draw against Blackpool. No Matt Lund again for the hosts, but Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side whose slim chances of reaching a play off spot were finally extinguished.

Even though they lost 3-1 at home against Crawley Town, Exeter City remain in the final play off spot. Hiram Boateng was in the Exeter lineup for this one, while Donovan Wilson was introduced as a 69th minute substitute.

Cambridge United, by virtue of their goalless draw against Swindon Town at the Abbey Stadium, all but confirmed their League Two safety but the result left Swindon four points off a play off spot. Reggie Lambe was in the Cambridge starting XI while Kyle Bennett completed 90 minutes for Swindon and Tom Broadbent was an unused substitute.

Kyle Bennett - Photo Credit JMP
Currently on loan from Rovers at Swindon Town, Kyle Bennett joined The Gas a day after the transfer deadline in January 2018, having been released by Portsmouth.
Previously played for Bury, Doncaster Rovers, Crawley Town and Bradford City.
His loan at Swindon lasts until the end of the season. What happens after that remains to be seen!
[Photo Credit – JMP]
Lincoln City’s championship champagne will have to go on ice following their 1-0 defeat at Carlisle United. They lost skipper Jason Shackell to a red card after 30 minutes and will now hope to clinch the title on Easter Monday. Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side while John Akinde completed 90 minutes for Lincoln and Cian Bolger went on as a 34th minute substitute.

Cheltenham Town, with Jordan Tillson starting and Ryan Broom going on as a 77th minute substitute, played out a goalless draw against Oldham Athletic at Whaddon Road while Colchester United, still missing the injured Harry Pell, were 1-0 home winners against Grimsby Town.

Jordan Tillson - Photo Credit Keith Brookman
Jordan Tillson was released by Rovers without a professional contract after graduating through the Academy, Jordan joined Exeter City in 2012.
Whilst at St James’ Park he enjoyed loan spells with Gloucester City, Chippenham Town and Weston super Mare.
Appeared in 108 league games for the Grecians before going Cheltenham Town, on loan, in January of this year.
[Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Yeovil Town remain in the bottom two following their 2-0 defeat at Crewe Alexandra. They finished the game with ten men following Adel Gafaiti’s 58th minute red card. Alefe Santos returned to the Glovers squad for this one but spent the 90 minutes on the bench.

Mansfield Town, with Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney in their side, moved into second place thanks to their 4-0 home win against Morecambe.

Bury dropped to fourth place following their 3-1 defeat at Newport County. David Pipe was an unused Newport substitute, while Dominic Telford and Byron Moore both started for Bury but both were substituted during the second half.

David Pipe - Photo Credit Keith Brookman
Currently with Newport County, David Pipe began his career with Coventry City before moving on to Notts County.
Joined Rovers in the summer of 2007 and signed for Cheltenham Town in November 2009.
Served a prison sentence for assault and on his release joined Newport but then had spells with Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh before rejoining Newport in January 2017.
[Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Keith Curle’s Northampton Town were 3-1 home winners against Macclesfield Town. Andy Williams was a 65th minute substitute for the Cobblers, but Jon-Joe O’Toole was missing from their squad.

Notts County slipped closer to relegation to the National League as they lost 2-1 at home against MK Dons who moved into third place. No Gas representation in the County side, but Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side beaten 4-1 at home by Stevenage and he scored their consolation goal in the 67th minute. Joe Martin was missing from the visitors lineup.

The race for the one automatic promotion spot from the National League is relentless and the top five sides all claimed maximum Good Friday points.

AFC Fylde made sure that they are guaranteed at least a play off spot as they were 1-0 home winners against Barnet. Andy Bond played, and collected a yellow card, for the hosts while Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side play out all but 34 minutes with ten men following the red card picked up by Dan Sweeney.

Second placed Salford City were 3-2 winners at Boreham Wood, their winner arriving in the 88th minute. Rory Gaffney was sent on as a 75th minute substitute for the winners, while Ricky Shakes was in the Wood side. There was no sign of Danny Woodards in their squad, though.

James Quinn, coach/assistant manager at Solihull Moors, saw his side win 2-0 at Bromley. Nathan Blissett was in the Moors side, who remain in third place.

With two games to go, Eastleigh remain in the final play off spot in spite of their 2-0 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge. Angelo Balanta was in the Daggers’ side while Sam Matthews started for Eastleigh and Chris Zebroski went on as a 78th minute substitute.

Already relegated Aldershot Town were beaten 1-0 at Dover Athletic and Gary Waddock’s side conceded the only goal of the game in the 88th minute. Rollin Menayese and Bernard Mensah were in the Shots starting XI, but Mensah came off on 47 minutes. Scott Rendell was missing from the Aldershot squad.

Luke James was on the scoresheet for Hartlepool United in their 2-1 home win against Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town; ‘Pools equalised on the half hour mark when Luke James flicked the ball past Sam Johnson from a right wing cross.’

League leaders Leyton Orient, watched by a crowd of 6,665, were 2-0 home winners against Harrogate Town. Matt Harrold, on as a 64th minute substitute, scored their second goal in the 92nd minute.

John Still’s Maidstone United remain bottom of the league following their 2-0 home defeat by another of the relegated sides, Braintree Town.

In National League North, Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley were beaten 2-0 at Blyth Spartans and with two games remaining are one place and four points above the drop zone.

Darlington were 1-0 home winners against Bradford Park Avenue. Alex Henshall was missing from the Darlo squad for this one, while Johnny Burn was on the bench.

In National League South, a crowd of 1,906 saw Chippenham Town beat champions Torquay United 2-1 to become the only side to complete the double over the Gulls. Will Puddy was in goal for Chippenham and George Rigg wore the captain’s armband while there was an Alex Ferguson on the bench…surely not! Torquay assistant manager Aaron Downes probably won’t be losing any sleep over this defeat and is almost certainly preparing for next season’s National League campaign.

Bath City’s goalless draw sees them remain in fifth place and on course for a play off spot. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg were in the Bath starting XI while Ryan Brunt was named on the bench and went on in the 55th minute. Cameron Hargreaves, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist all started for Hungerford who are one place and one point above the final relegation spot.

Bradley Goldberg scored both Welling United goals in their 2-0 home win against Chelmsford City and Alex Wall scored the first of the two goals netted by Concord Rangers in their 2-1 win at Woking. Welling are in third place and guaranteed a play off spot, while Concord moved into a play off place but can’t afford any slip ups in their final two games.

Windsor, with Barry Hayles in their starting lineup, lost 2-0 at Lydney Town in their Hellenic League Premier League match.

It was a good Friday for two of the local former Gas players who are now managing Western league sides. Joe White saw his Chipping Sodbury Town side win 4-0 at Shortwood United in front of 97 paying spectators and Ray Johnston’s Hallen were 2-1 winners at Clevedon Town where there was an attendance of 108. The only loser was Andy Gurney, whose Roman Glass St George side lost 2-0 at home to Cribbs watched by 69 fans.

In France, Oumare Tounkara was missing from the Chateauroux lineup for their 2-1 home win against Niort.

Charlie Colkett was introduced as a second half substitute for Ostersunds over in Sweden and helped his side take a point from a 1-1 draw against IF Elfsborg.

The second day of Easter fixtures saw some joy, at last, for Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope whose side played out a goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. The point gained saw Brighton move three points clear of Cardiff City in the battle to avoid relegation and they also have a superior goal difference to the Welsh side.

Paul Trollope - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Paul Trollope, the current Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager, joined Rovers as a player in the summer of 2004, having previously played for Torquay United, Derby County, Grimsby Town, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Coventry City and Northampton Town.
Capped nine times by Wales, he was named caretaker manager and then manager, the permanent appointment coming in November 2005.
Led Rovers to the JPT Final and promotion via the play offs in 2007 and since leaving the club has worked as first team coach at Birmingham City, managed at Cardiff City, and coached the Welsh National side before joining Brighton in November 2016.
[Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
In National League North Hereford and AFC Telford United played out a 1-1 draw at Edgar Street in front of a crowd of 2,863. Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards both started for Hereford while Adam Dawson was an unused substitute for Telford who remain in the final play off place with two games to go.

Billericay Town, in National League South, also moved into a play off place following their 2-1 win against Hemel Hempstead Town. Adam Cunnington was a 54th minute substitute for the Essex based side.

Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough gave their chances of avoiding relegation a tremendous boost with a 6-0 home win against Dartford and although Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne lineup, he failed to get on the scoresheet.

Louie Soares was an 81st minute substitute for Slough Town, 3-1 winners at Oxford City, while Truro City suffered a potentially damaging 2-1 home defeat against Gloucester City. Alexis Andre Jnr was in the Truro side and Harry Warwick was sent on in the 75th minute, but defeat leaves them in a relegation place and their destiny not in their own hands.

Wealdstone, safely ensconced in mid table with 60 points, were beaten 3-1 at home by Dulwich Hamlet. Jeffery Monakana completed the 90 minutes for the home side.

Mark McKeever’s Weston super Mare became the first side to be relegated from this division, a 2-0 home defeat against Hampton & Richmond Borough sealing their fate. Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute for Weston but Chris Dickson was missing from the Hampton side.

Moving on to the Northern Premier League Premier Division and Basford United played out a goalless draw at home against Marine. So, it was a clean sheet for Basford goalkeeper Kieran Preston, though the result ended his side’s slim hopes of a play off place.

In the East Division Ossett United remain in a play off position in spite of their 3-2 away defeat at Belper Town. Andy Monkhouse was again in the Ossett starting XI.

Cleethorpes Town recorded a 2-1 home win against champions Morpeth Town and they did it with Craig Disley in their lineup.

Prescot Cables, of the West Division, were 4-1 winners at Chasetown in spite of playing for much of the second half with ten men. Josh Klein-Davies started this one for the winning side.

Bognor Regis Town lost 1-0 at champions Dorking Wanderers in the Bostik league Premier Division, and they were missing Theo Widdrington for this one.

Lyle Della-Verde was in the Haringey Borough side that suffered a comprehensive 4-0 defeat at Folkestone Invicta.

Although not quite relegated yet, Harlow Town’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Enfield Town leaves them perilously close to the trapdoor. They were unlucky not to draw, as their visitors scored goals in the 90th and 93rd minutes. Harlow, who had Tom Hitchcock and Scott Davies in their side, must win their last two games to have any chance of staying up.

Bishop’s Stortford’s sixth successive win, 3-1 at Lewes, saw them move into a play off spot and they did it without the services of Jamie Cureton. Saving himself for his 1,000th senior game on Easter Monday, perhaps?

Southern League Premier Central Division champions Kettering Town, managed by Marcus Law, suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Barwell in front of a crowd of 1,039. Craig Stanley was named on the bench for this one and although he didn’t get on the pitch, he was happy to show off his medal on his Twitter account at the end of the game.

Rushall Olympic, with Tyler Lyttle in their side, were 3-1 away winners at Royston Town and moved up to ninth place in the league standings.

In the Premier South Division already relegated Frome Town were beaten at Basingstoke Town. Danny Greaves’ side, with Tom Mehew completing another 90 minutes, lost 4-1.

Second placed Taunton Town were 3-2 winners at Hendon and are now three points adrift of league leaders Weymouth. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton side for this one, while Scott McGleish was named on the Hendon bench.

Weymouth could only manage a 1-1 draw at home against Chesham United in front of a crowd of 1,545. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie completed 90 minutes for Weymouth, while Jefferson Louis was an unused substitute for the visitors.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side play out a goalless draw against Farnborough. Ben Swallow was again named in the Merthyr starting lineup.

Third placed Salisbury, with Darren Mullings in their starting XI, were 4-2 home winners against Walton Casuals but will have to settle for a play off place.

Liam Armstrong was in goal for Tiverton Town as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Harrow Borough and they still need two more points to guarantee playing at this level again next season.

Martin Horsell and Jerel Ifil were again missing from the Swindon Supermarine side that lost 1-0 at Wimborne Town.

In Division One South Blackfield & Langley clinched the title with a 4-0 home win against Evesham United and were helped by the fact that second placed Yate Town were beaten 5-1 at Cinderford Town. Sam Kamara and Ollie Mehew both started for Yate.

Tyrone Tucker Dixon was named on the Mangotsfield bench for their game against Paulton Rovers and saw his team mates record. 4-1 win. Paul Tovey and Gary Powell, assistant managers at Paulton saw their side capitulate in front of a crowd of 184. Trey Anderson and Jay Malpas started for Paulton.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were beaten 3-1 at Thatcham Town. Neil Arndale was in the starting lineup for the Larks, who were missing Lewis Powell and Geraint Bater.

Neil Arndale - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Neil Arndale made five league appearances for Rovers after graduating through the ranks.
Currently with Larkhall Athletic, Neil has also played for local non league sides Clevedon Town, Cirencester Town and Mangotsfield United.
[Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard were in the Highgate United side that recorded a 3-0 home win against Shepshed Dynamo in their final home game of the season in the Total Motion MFL Premier Division.

In Scotland, Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side that slipped to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Rangers.

Once again Peter Hartley found himself an unused substitute for Motherwell, who drew 1-1 away at Hamilton Academical.

Peter Hartley - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Currently with Scottish Premiership side Motherwell, Peter Hartley began his career with Sunderland but appeared in only one game for the club.
He went on to play for Chesterfield, Hartlepool United, Stevenage and Plymouth Argyle before joining Rovers in June 2016.
Joined Blackpool in June 2017 and signed for Motherwell, on loan, just two months later having played just two cup games for the Bloomfield Road outfit.
[Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Airdrieonians, of Scottish League One, and with Darryl Duffy in their side, lost 2-1 at Montrose while League Two leaders Peterhead were 2-1 winners at Elgin City. Once again, though, David McCracken was missing from the Peterhead lineup. Also in League Two, Alan Gow was an unused substitute for Queen’s park who were beaten 3-0 at home by Annan Athletic.

Lochee United, with Garry Kenneth again in their side, beat Whitburn 1-0 to go top of the East Region Super League.

In Wales Barry Town United, with Kayne McLaggon in their side, drew 1-1 against Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Over in Ireland Dungannon Swifts, with Seanan Clucas in their starting XI, were beaten 5-3 at Warrenpoint while Mark McChrystal warmed the bench for Crusaders, beaten 2-0 at Cliftonville.

Larne, winners of the Irish Championship by some distance, were 2-1 home winners against H & W Welders which means they completed the campaign unbeaten at home. Jeff Hughes was again in the Larne starting lineup.

Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Vitesse side that recorded a 4-1 home win against Zwolle in the Dutch Eredivisie.

In the Singapore League Charlie Clough was in the Brunei DPMM side that recorded a 4-2 win against Warriors FC and they currently top the league.

Sunday saw Cardiff City in Premier League action and, with Neil Etheridge in goal, they slipped closer to the relegation trapdoor as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

In Scotland Scott Sinclair was a 71st minute substitute for Celtic in their goalless draw at Hibernian, a result that still leaves them needing four points to clinch the Scottish Premiership title.

In the Cypriot First Division Apollon Limassol drew 1-1 against AEL though they were without the services of Mustapha Carayol.

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Chapter 36 –  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.

Donovan Wilson - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Donovan Wilson graduated through the ranks at Rovers but decided to join Wolverhampton wanderers before making a first team appearance for the club.
Was loaned to Port Vale January 2018 and in August of last year he, along with eight Wolves team mates, were loaned to Spanish club Jumilla.
He returned to these shores in January this year and joined Exeter City on loan until the end of the season.
His four first team appearances for Wolves to date include a substitute appearance against Rovers in last season’s EFL Cup tie at Molineux.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.

Paul Heffernan - Photo Credit Neil Brookman

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.

Byron Moore - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
The scorer of Rovers’ quickest ever league goal, Byron Moore is now playing for League Two side Bury.
He began his career with Crewe Alexandra and played for Port Vale before joining Rovers in the summer of 2016, staying in Bristol for two years before signing for Bury in the summer of 2018.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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 - Photo Credit Alan Marshall

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.

Gary Waddock - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
A Republic of Ireland international at U-21 level, Gary Waddock also won one ‘B’ cap and one U-23 cap, along with 21 full caps.
Currently on his second spell as manager of Aldershot Town, he has also managed Queens Park Rangers, Wycombe Wanderers and Oxford United and been caretaker boss of Portsmouth.
As a player he turned out for Queens Park Rangers, Charleroi, Millwall and Swindon Town before joining Rovers in 1992.
Ended his playing career with Luton Town.
[Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
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.

Pierce Mitchell - Photo Credit JMP
Now playing for Taunton Town, Pierce Mitchell completed a scholarship with Bristol City before going to Rovers in the summer of 2014.
Spent time on loan with Bath City and Weston super mare and also played for Truro City and Frome Town before joining Taunton.
[Photo Credit – JMP]
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 354 –  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.

Josh Klein-Davies - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Bristol born Josh Klein-Davies was on the books of Bristol City before joining Rovers
Scored once in ten league games for the Gas and, after a substitute appearance for Luton Town, began a tour of most of the local non league clubs. Currently turning out for Prescot Cables, he has previously played for Lewes, Weston super Mare, Weymouth, Brislington, Hastings United, Clevedon Town, Mangotsfield United, Paulson Rovers, Frome Town, Shortwood United and Taunton Town though there is no guarantee that I’ve listed all of his previous clubs!     
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.

Darryl Duffy - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Darryl Duffy played one game for Rangers before turning out for Brechin City, Falkirk, Hull City, Hartlepool United and Swansea City.
Joined Rovers from Swansea in July 2008 and scored 16 goals in 76 league games for us.
Has also played for Carlisle United, Hibernian, Cheltenham Town and St Mirren before signing for Airdrioinians, his current club, in January 2018.
Between 2013 and 2017 Darryl played his football in India.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.

Mikkel Andersen - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Danish goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen is now back in his homeland and playing for FC Midtylland in the Danish Superliga.
Started out with AB Copenhagen before joining Reading in January 2007.
Was loaned to Torquay United, Rushed & Diamonds, Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Joined Rovers, also on loan, in September 2009 and remained at the club until January 2011, appearing in 58 league games.
Has since played for Portsmouth and Danish side rangers on loan.
Currently in his second spell with FC Midtylland following a spell with Lyngby B.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.

Aaron Chapman - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Currently playing for Peterborough United, Aaron Chapman joined Chesterfield from Belper Town in the summer of 2013.
Failed to make a league appearance for the Spirits, and was loaned to Chester, Accrington Stanley and Rovers.
Played five games for the Gs in August/September 2015 before returning to Accrington in a permanent deal.
Joined Peterborough in May 2018.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.

Sam Oji - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Sam Oji played five league games for Rovers when on loan from Birmingham City between February and April 2007.
Had previously played for Doncaster Rovers, also on loan.
Went on to play for Leyton Orient, Hereford, Ljungskile SK in Sweden, Tamworth, Limerick and Galway United.
Has also played for Hednesford Town and Worcester City before signing for his current club, Highgate United, where he is a team mate of Jordan Goddard
[Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
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!

Garry Kenneth - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Scottish international, with caps at U-19 level (12), U-20 (3), U-21 (8) and full (2) Garry Kenneth played his club football for Dundee United and Cowdenbeath before signing for Rovers in July 2012.
There was one goal in 18 league games before he left the club in July 2014.
He has since played for Brechin City, Carnoustie Panmure,  Adamstown Rosebud, Skonto Riga (in Latvia), Forfar Albion, Selkirk and Douglas Amateurs and he’s now playing for Lochee United.
[Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
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.