In Search of Gas – Feb & March 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.

February and March 2019 are being archived below, right in front of your very eyes.

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Chapter 33 –  Week commencing 25th March 2019

It was another big international night and England were 5-1 winners in Montenegro in their second European Championship qualifier with goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson looking on from the sidelines.

There was one match played in the EFL on Tuesday night and in a League One battle of the Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium Doncaster were 4-1 winners. Three goals to the good at the break, Donny scored again straight from the restart and Graham Coughlan’s sides’ only response was a Jonson Clarke-Harris penalty.

In the European Championship Qualifiers, the Republic of Ireland, with assistant manager Terry Connor watching on from the sidelines, were 1-0 winners against Georgia.

Meanwhile England U-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd saw his side lose 2-1 against Germany in a friendly fixture.

In the National League Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side record a 2-0 home win against Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town. Once again Rollin Menayese, Bernard Mensah and Scott Rendell were in the Aldershot lineup.

Nathan Blissett opened the scoring for Solihull Moors in their 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood, which would have pleased coach/assistant boss James Quinn, though he won’t have been happy that his side could only manage a point. Still, they remain in second place. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes started this one for Boreham Wood.

Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side that suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Dover, a result that saw them move eight points above the relegation places.

Meanwhile FC Halifax Town manager Jamie Fullarton saw his side take a point from a home goalless draw against Ebbsfleet United.

The two FA Trophy finalists, Leyton Orient and AFC Fylde, met at Brisbane Road and league leaders Orient recorded their eighth straight win in all competitions. Matt Harrold, sent off last Saturday, was obviously missing from the Orient squad and Andy Bond was again missing from the Fylde side.

Adam Dawson was named on the bench for AFC Telford’s away game against Bradford Park Avenue in National League North and that’s where he remained, watching his side win 2-1.

Marcus Bignot must have been a relieved man as he saw his Guiseley side register a 1-0 home win against Curzon Ashton, a result that edged them a little bit further from the drop zone.

Hereford, though, with Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards in their lineup suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Brackley Town.

Prescot Cables, of the Northern Premier League West Division, were 1-0 winners at Colne and a certain Josh Klein-Davies had a hand in their goal; ‘Some class footwork from JKD sees a brilliant ball to Matty Hamilton who crosses into the box and Kirky slots in home to make it 1-0.’

In the Southern League Premier South Division Tiverton Town, with Liam Armstrong in goal, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chesham United. Jefferson Louis was named on the Chesham bench for this one.

In Division One South of the Southern league, Melksham Town, with Nuno Felix and Neikell Plummer in their starting XI, were beaten 1-0 at Cinderford Town.

In the Somerset Cup semi finals, Taunton Town and Weston super Mare won through and will meet in the final. Taunton were 2-1 winners against Danny Greaves’ Frome Town. Tom Mehew was in the Frome side, while Pierce Mitchell and Lucas Tomlinson were both in the Taunton starting XI.

Weston beat Paulton Rovers 2-1 at the Woodspring Stadium to reach their third successive final. Jamie Lucas was named in their starting lineup while Nabi Diallo was on the bench. Jay Malpas was in the Paulton Rovers side, watched by assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell.

Jamie Lucas Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Currently with Weston super Mare, Jamie Lucas made three first team appearances for Rovers.
He has also played for Gloucester City, Boreham Wood, Woking, Bath City and Brackley Town.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In the Western League Premier Division Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town were 3-0 winners at Cribbs.

On Wednesday Rory Gaffney started for Salford City in their National League fixture at Harrogate Town. His side were 1-0 winners and moved into third place after extending their unbeaten run to six.

Darlington suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Chester in National League North. Alex Henshall was named on the bench for this one but Johnny Burn, who was on the bench last Saturday, was missing from the squad.

In the Western League, and in front of a crowd of 187, Ray Johnston’s Hallen were beaten 4-2 at Plymouth Parkway.

I hope you will forgive me mentioning an event, rather than a game, because Thursday night belonged to the Bristol Rovers Former Players Association who held their third Annual Dinner at the Memorial Stadium, an event that was a sellout and attended by 27 former players. It was a marvellous evening in the presence of so many who have graced the blue and white quarters.

Saturday saw Rovers in action again at the Mem where we suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Luton Town. All the goals arrived in the first half, including another stunning strike from Jonson Clarke-Harris. He’s only played 11 league games for the club and already has nine goals to his name!

In the Premier League there was no joy for Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope, who saw his side slip to a 1-0 home defeat against Southampton which means that those two clubs are now level on points, just five points above the final relegation place.

Ipswich Town are closer to dropping into League One following their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Hull City in their Championship game.  Ellis Harrison was again missing from the Ipswich squad.

Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side lose 3-2 at Leeds United, a result that leaves them one place and one point above the relegation places.

Swansea City took a 76th minute lead through Connor Roberts at Nottingham Forest but lost 2-1. Oli McBurnie was also in the Swansea lineup.

At Loftus Road there was a meeting between the Championship’s most out of form sides as Queens Park Rangers met Bolton Wanderers. The teams had mustered just 13 points between them this calendar year and it was Bolton who took the points on this occasion, winning 2-1 in spite of the best efforts of QPR keeper Joe Lumley.

QPR boss Steve McLaren said afterwards; ‘We had 60% possession, 33 crosses, 21 shots and did enough to win two games of football. But we didn’t.’ (it proved to be his last game in charge!)

Reading, with Sam Walker again an unused substitute, eased their relegation fears with a 2-1 home win against Preston North End, while Matty Taylor also remained on the bench, watching his Bristol City team mates win 3-2 against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Luke Daniels was again in goal for Brentford and he kept a clean sheet as they played out a goalless draw against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Tony Pulis saw his side lose 1-0 at home against league leaders Norwich City. It was their fourth consecutive defeat, a run that has seen them drop out of the play off places and down to eighth.

In League One Blackpool and Plymouth Argyle played out a 2-2 draw at Bloomfield Road. Two goals down with six minutes to play, Blackpool scored through Marc Bola and netted a 92nd minute equaliser. Matt Macey and Gary Sawyer were in the Argyle lineup.

Gillingham, with Tom Eaves in their side, played out a 1-1 draw against Rochdale at the Priestfield Stadium and, just for once, the striker failed to score!

Oxford United were 2-1 home winners against Wycombe Wanderers at the Kassam Stadium and scored the winning goal in the 94th minute. Joe Jacobson missed a first half penalty for Wycombe and Paris Cowan-Hall was sent on as a 79th minute substitute.

AFC Wimbledon also missed a penalty in their 2-1 win at Scunthorpe United. It was the home side’s first game since they sacked manager Stuart McCall and they were once again without the services of Matt Lund.

Southend were also playing for the first time since parting company with their manager, Chris Powell, and they too slipped to a home defeat. Shrewsbury Town were 2-0 winners at Roots Hall and they did it with Ollie Norburn in their starting lineup (though he didn’t reappear for the second half) and Stefan Payne remained on the bench throughout.

Bury slipped down a place to third in League two, as they lost 3-1 to Swindon Town at Gigg Lane. Byron Moore was sent on as a 61st minute substitute for the Shakers, but there was no sign of Dominic Telford in their squad. Kyle Bennett started for Swindon and was replaced by Tom Broadbent in the 93rd minute.

Colchester United, again without the services of Harry Pell, scored a 96th minute goal to win 1-0 at Cambridge United who were missing Reggie Lambe.

Cheltenham Town were 3-1 winners at Crewe Alexandra, a result achieved with Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson in their side. The win moved them on to 51 points and almost guarantees League Two football at Whaddon Road again next season.

Exeter City remain in the play off places even after suffering a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town. Hiram Boateng and Donovan Wilson both started for the Grecians while Conrad Logan was in goal for Mansfield although Ryan Sweeney was missing from the squad.

MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, were 2-1 winners at Forest Green Rovers. They moved up to second place while Forest Green remained in sixth.

League leaders Lincoln City were held to a 1-1 draw by Macclesfield Town at Sincil Bank, though results elsewhere meant that they increased their lead over the chasing pack to eight points. Cian Bolger and John Akinde both completed 90 minutes for the Imps.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town lost 2-1 against Port Vale at Sixfields. Vale played the second half with ten men following the red card picked up by Leon Legge late in the first half. Andy Williams started for Northampton, while Jon Joe-O’Toole went on as a 73rd minute substitute. Cristian Montano was a 65th minute substitute for Vale.

Joe Martin was missing from the Stevenage lineup as they were beaten 3-0 at home by Notts County who lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with the three points. Once again there were no ex Gas representatives in the County side.

Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle United side that lost 3-0 against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. Rovers recorded their seventh straight league win and are in fifth place.

Yeovil Town, also missing the services of any former Gas players, lost 3-1 at home against Newport County and are now only out of the bottom two because they have a better goal difference than Notts County. David Pipe was an unused Newport substitute in this game.

Moving on to the National League and Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town played out a goalless draw against AFC Fylde. Rollin Menayese, Bernard Mensah and Scott Rendell were all in the Aldershot side while Andy Bond started for Fylde.

Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side collect a point from their goalless draw against league leaders Leyton Orient at the Hive. Matt Harrold was again missing from the Orient side through suspension.

Boreham Wood, with Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes in their side, boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win at Barrow.

Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side that lost 2-0 at Chesterfield and Luke James was also on the losing side as Hartlepool United were beaten 3-2 at Eastleigh where Sam Matthews started for the home side and was replaced by Chris Zebroski in the 76th minute.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town lost 1-0 at home against Maidenhead United, while John Still’s Maidstone United drew 2-2 at Harrogate Town.

Rory Gaffney was a 63rd minute substitute for Salford City in their 2-1 home win against Bromley, who opened the scoring in the 85th minute only for the home side to score two late goals. The winner came in the 94th minute and moved Salford up to second place.

James Quinn, coach/assistant manager of Solihull Moors, who had started the day in second place, saw his side draw 2-2 at home against Dover. Nathan Blissett was in the Moors’ side but failed to score on this occasion.

Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley remain one place above the bottom three in National League North following their 1-1 home draw against York City.

Adam Dawson was in the AFC Telford squad for their home game against Blyth Spartans and was named on the bench. That’s where he stayed all afternoon, watching a 1-1 draw.

FC United of Manchester are in a serious relegation battle and lost further ground when, with Bob Harris in their side, they lost 4-0 at home against bottom club Nuneaton Borough.

Hereford, with Danny Greenslade in their lineup and Eliot Richards used as a 58th minute substitute, were 2-0 winners at Spennymoor, while Alex Henshall was a 73rd minute substitute for Darlington and Johnny Burn remained on the bench in Darlington’s 2-0 defeat at Stockport County.

Bath City drew a crowd of 1,710 to Twerton Park for their big National League South game against second placed Woking and drew 1-1.  Ryan Clarke was in goal for Jerry Gill’s side, but there was no sign of Sean Rigg or Ryan Brunt.

Alex Wall was an unused substitute for Concord Rangers, 3-0 home winners against Mark McKeever’s Weston super Mare. Nabi Diallo and Jamie Lucas both started for Weston.

 

Michael Meaker, assistant manager of Truro City, saw his side pick up a useful point from a 1-1 draw against Dartford while Chippenham Town, with George Rigg in their side but still missing the injured Will Puddy, were beaten 2-1 at East Thurrock United.

Gloucester City, missing the services of Luke Russe who had been recalled by Rovers and was on their bench for our home game against Luton Town, lost 1-0 at home to Welling United and remain in the relegation places. Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling starting XI.

Hampton & Richmond Borough, with Chris Dickson in their side, were beaten 3-0 at home by Hungerford Town who fielded three current Gas players. They were Cameron Hargreaves (who rated a nine out of ten for his performance from the Non League Paper), Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist who was an 85th minute substitute and Rhys Kavanagh, who entered the fray on 69 minutes.

Hemel Hempstead Town were 3-2 home winners against Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough who sent on Dave Martin in the 75th minute.

Louie Soares was an unused substitute for Slough Town in their 2-2 home draw against St Albans City, while Torquay United assistant manager Aaron Downes watched his side pull four points clear at the top of the table with a 3-2 home win against Wealdstone watched by a crowd of 2,934. Jeffrey Monakana was in the Wealdstone side and scored their opening goal.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division there was no Kieran Preston in goal for Hednesford Town because he had been recalled from his loan spell by his parent club Basford United who play in the same league. They were 1-0 home winners against Bamber Bridge and Kieran was between the posts for them, keeping a clean sheet on his return.

Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett United side that won 2-1 at Spalding United, a result that lifted them up to third place in the table.

In the same league Craig Disley was back in the Cleethorpes Town side that drew 2-2 at Brighouse Town. They are now seventh in the table and probably need five wins from their last six games to make the play offs.

In the West Division, Josh Klein-Davies was in the Prescot Cables side that won 2-1 at home against Widnes.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Harlow Town remain one place off the bottom of the league following their 3-1 defeat at Tonbridge Angels. Tom Hitchcock and Scott Davies were both in the Harlow side.

Scott Davies - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Scott Davies is currently playing for Harlow Town, the third side he has played for this season, after Slough Town and Kingstonian.   Scott played for Watford’s youth team before joining Wycombe Wanderers and then Reading, for whom he made four first team appearances.
Played on loan at Yeading, Aldershot Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Yeovil Town and was signed, on loan, by Rovers then boss Dave Penney in January 2011 and appeared in seven league games during his time in BS7.
Has also played for Oxford United, Dunstable Town, Oxford City and Chelmsford City.
Has written about his gambling addiction and estimates he lost over £200,000 in his career.
Now helps other players who develop a gambling habit.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Bishop’s Stortford, with Jamie Cureton in their side, but not on the scoresheet, were 2-0 winners at Whitehawk in a game that kicked off half an hour late. This is what ‘Curo’ said after the game on his Twitter feed; ‘Another win and clean sheet with two of the young boys getting our goals. This was after getting to the ground at 3.00pm and kicking off at 3.30pm. Really proud of everyone involved.’

Bognor Regis Town, with Theo Widdrington in their lineup, were 2-0 winners at Wingate & Finchley, a result that leaves them in ninth place.

Haringey Borough, with Lyle Della-Verde in their side, were 2-1 home winners against Lewes.

Marcus Law’s Kettering Town are 13 points ahead of the chasing pack in the Southern League Central Division following their 1-0 win at Leiston and, barring any serious lapses in form, must surely clinch the title (possibly as early as next weekend). Looks like Craig Stanley, who was again in the Kettering side, might end the season with a medal following his move from Lancaster City.

Tyler Lyttle was on the losing side as his Rushall Olympic side suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Needham Market.

In the Premier South Division second placed Taunton Town were 1-0 winners at Chesham United. Jefferson Louis was a 67th minute substitute for the home side, while Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton side.

Danny Greaves saw his Frome Town suffer a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Farnborough, the winning goal arriving in the 88th minute from the penalty spot. Tom Mehew was in the Frome side for this one.

League leaders Weymouth were 3-0 winners at Hartley Wintney, with Abdulai Baggie in the starting XI and Josh Wakefield named on the bench.

Abdulai Bell-Baggie - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Abdulai Bell-Baggie was born in Sierra Leone, played for Southampton and Reading at Youth Team level.
He enjoyed loan spells with Rotherham United, Port Vale and Crawley Town.
Was also on the books of Yeovil Town, Hayes & Yeading United, Salisbury City and Tranmere Rovers before signing for the Rovers of Bristol in March 2015, though he never made a first team appearance and was released at the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Went on to play for Stockport County and Poole Town before joining his present club, Weymouth, in October 2017.     [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side, lose 2-0 at Metropolitan Police though there was no Ben Swallow in the squad. Williams named himself on the bench for the Welsh side.

Salisbury, now down in fourth place, went goal crazy at already relegated Staines Town, running out 7-1 winners. Darren Mullings was a 79th minute substitute for Salisbury.

Swindon Supermarine were 2-1 home winners against Walton Casuals and managed it without the services of Martin Horsell and Jerel Ifil.

Liam Armstrong and his Tiverton Town side suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Kings Langley and, by all accounts, Rene Howe was the start of the show for the visitors. The headline in the Non League Paper read ‘Rene shows Tivvy just Howe it’s done’ and the report added; ‘It was the Hertfordshire side who took the lead on 18 minutes when Howe received the ball, advanced to the penalty area and blasted past Liam Armstrong into the corner of the net.’

In Division One South, in spite of Ollie Mehew’s goal, league leaders Yate Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Barnstaple Town, a result that saw them drop to second in the table behind Blackfield & Langley who won 4-1 against Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic.

Sam Kamara was also in the Yate side, while Lewis Powell scored Larkhall’s goal from the penalty spot though it’s not known if Geraint Bater or Neil Arndale were involved in the game.

Following their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Bideford, Mangotsfield United are only one place above the relegation zone. Tyrone Tucker Dixon was in the Mangos side for this one.

Windsor were 1-0 home winners Lydney Town and included the evergreen Barry Hayles in their lineup, though he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.

Barry Hayles - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
Still playing, for Windsor, Barry Hayles joined Rovers in Stevenage Borough, having previously played for the delightfully named Willesden Hawkeye.
Went on to play for Fulham, Sheffield United, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town, Truro City, St Albans City, Arlesey Town and Chesham United.
Now aged 46, there’s no sign of him stopping playing any time soon!  [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
Highgate United, minus the suspended Sam Oji, but including Jordan Goddard, played out a goalless draw against South Normanton Athletic.

In the Western League Ray Johnston’s Hallen were 3-2 winners at Brislington, while Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town were 3-0 home winners against Wellington and Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George were 3-1 home winners against Shepton Mallet. A rare hat trick for our local Gas managers!

Jordan Goddard - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Jordan Goddard made his Rovers debut in an FA Cup tie against Corby Town in November 2011 but was released without having made any further appearances in 2012.
Has played for a number of non league clubs, including Gloucester City, Leamington, AFC Telford United, Sutton Coldfield Town and Halesowen Town and is currently turning out for Highgate United.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In the Scottish Premiership Heart of Midlothian were 2-0 home winners against Aberdeen, a result that guarantees them a top six finish. Still no sign of Michael Smith in the Hearts lineup, though.

Peter Hartley was again an unused substitute for Motherwell, who were 3-0 home winners against St Johnstone.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was in the Airdrieonians side that recorded a 3-0 away win against Brechin City while in Scottish League Two David McCracken was an unused substitute for league leaders Peterhead who were 2-1 home winners against Cowdenbeath and Alan Gow was an unused substitute for Queens Park who played out a goalless draw against Stirling.

In the first leg of the Scottish Junior Cup Semi Final Lochee United, with Garry Kenneth in their side, suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Auchinleck Talbot.

In another semi final, in Wales, Barry Town United, with Kayne McLaggon in their side, lost to The New Saints, the final score being 2-0 in their favour.

In yet another semi final, this time in Ireland, Crusaders were 2-0 winners at Coleraine, though there was no sign of Mark McChrystal in their lineup.

In Denmark Mikkel Andersen again spent 90 minutes on the bench, watching his FC Midtylland side play out a goalless draw against Nordsjaelland.

In Holland, Jake Clarke-Salter was back in the SBV Vitesse side that drew 3-3 against Den Haag.

Neil Etheridge was in Premier League action for Cardiff City on Sunday and ended up on the losing side as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Chelsea, the winning goal arriving in the 91st minute.

At Wembley, a crowd of 85,021 saw Portsmouth and Sunderland battle it out in the Checkatrade Trophy Final, with Pompey winning 5-4 in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw at the end of extra time. Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side and, for the second time in his career, scored in a Wembley penalty shootout.

Lee Brown - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Now at Portsmouth, Lee Brown began his career with Queens Park Rangers and played on loan at Salisbury City and Hayes and Heading before joining Rovers in the summer of 2011.
Went on to enjoy seven years in BS7, scoring a penalty in the Conference play off final in 2015 and scoring the goal that saw Rovers promoted to League One just 12 months later.
Joined Portsmouth in the summer of 2018.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In the Scottish Premiership Celtic beat Rangers, who ended the game with nine men, 2-1. Scott Sinclair didn’t start the game for Celtic but went on at the start of the second half.

Over in Ireland. Larne played a friendly match against Huddersfield Town’s U-19 side and ran out 5-1 winners. Jeff Hughes was named on the bench for this one, but whether or not he got on is anyone’s guess as substitutions weren’t recorded on the club’s official website.

In the Cypriot First Division Apollon Limassol slipped to a 2-1 defeat at AEK Larnaca and were again without the services of Mustapha Carayol.

Meanwhile in Sweden, Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersund side that played out a goalless draw at AIK.

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Chapter 32 –  Week commencing 18th March 2019

There was just one league game on Monday, and it was the League Two encounter between fourth placed Mansfield Town and league leaders Lincoln City at Field Mill. It ended 1-1 and the point was enough to see Mansfied move into third place and for Lincoln to extend their lead over second placed Bury to six points.

Conrad Logan was in goal for the Stags and Ryan Sweeney at the heart of defence, while Cian Bolger and John Akinde were in the Lincoln side and it was Akinde who scored Lincoln’s equaliser. From the penalty spot, of course! Unfortunately, it was Logan’s foul on Harry Anderson that led to the spot kick.

Tuesday night saw an international game played at Salford City’s ground when England ‘C’ team played their Welsh counterparts. The result was 2-2 but there was a former Gas player on each side. Luke James was in the England side, while Kayne McLaggon turned out for Wales and scored their first equaliser (they trailed 1-0 and 2-1 in the match).

Interestingly, while England select a number of non league U-23 players, the Welsh side select solely from the Welsh Premier League, irrespective of age.  A crowd of 709 saw the game.

The one game played in the National League saw Barnet, coached by Danny Senda, record a 1-0 home win against Harrogate Town. In what was only their second win in 2019, the three points moved them up to 17th, seven points above the relegation places.

In the Northern Premier League East Division Cleethorpes Town, with Craig Disley in their starting lineup, were 3-1 home winners against Wisbech Town.

Craig Disley - Photo Credit Cleethorpes Town
Craig Disley has featured in these articles in the past, pictured in action for the Gas.  Last Saturday he received the Player of the Month Award for February for his February form for Cleethorpes Town. It’s great to see that he’s still playing.    [Photo Credit – Cleethorpes Town]
Merthyr Town were due to be in action at Beaconsfield Town in the Southern League Premier South Division but didn’t play for the reason given on their Twitter account; ‘This evening’s game against Beaconsfield Town has been called off due to the team coach breaking down en route to the game.’

In Scotland League Two leaders Peterhead were beaten 2-0 at Berwick Rangers, though still head the table five points ahead of second placed Edinburgh City. Once again David McCracken was missing from the Peterhead lineup.

In Ireland, Mark McChrystal returned to the Crusaders lineup for their game at Warrenpoint which was won 3-1. Dungannon Swifts were also in action and lost 1-0 at Glenavon with Seanan Clucas in their lineup.

It’s international week and on Wednesday Wales beat Trinidad & Tobago 1-0 in a friendly game played at the Racecourse, home of Wrexham, in front of a crowd of 10,326. Tom Lockyer, who is with the Welsh squad, was expected to add to his caps tally in this game wasn’t involved due, it was said, to illness.

On Thursday Belgium were 3-1 home winners against Russia in a European Championship qualifier and although there are no former Gas players in the Belgian squad, there is one on the bench. Richard Evans was watching from the sidelines in his capacity as a member of the medical backroom team.

In the same group Scotland, with Oli McBurnie in their lineup, were beaten 3-0 in Kazakhstan and there was stinging criticism from all quarters; ‘Hapless Scotland suffered one of the most abject defeats in their history in their first Euro qualifier against Kazakhstan, ranked 117 in the world.’

Another former Gas player, Aidy Boothroyd, was involved in an international friendly match. The England U-21 manager saw his charges draw 1-1 against their Polish counterparts at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate.

Andy Boothroyd - no photo credit as not sure who took it!
The current England U-21 manager, Aidy Boothroyd, played 16 games for Rovers after joining us from Huddersfield Town
He later played for Heart of Midlothian, Mansfield Town and Peterborough United.
At club level he’s managed Watford, Colchester United, Coventry City and Northampton Town and managed England at U-19 and U-20 level before taking on his current role

Former Gas loan goalkeeper Martyn Margetson, now England’s goalkeeping coach, saw the national side beat the Czech Republic 5-0 at Wembley in a European Championship qualifying match.

In Ireland, Dungannon Swifts suffered a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Linfield. There was no sign of Seanan Clucas in their lineup, and he’s probably relieved that he wasn’t involved!

On Saturday the international programme continued, and the Republic of Ireland managed a 1-0 win against Gibraltar.  Their assistant manager is Terry Connor who, once upon a time, was Rovers reserve team manager (1996/97) so there is a tenuous Gas link to another international side!

Terry Connor - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
As a player Terry Connor turned out for Leeds United, Brighton & Hove Albion, Portsmouth, Swansea City, Bristol City and Yeovil Town, and also won one England U-21 cap.
He worked as a coach under John Ward at Rovers and was reserve team manager in 1996/97.
Also worked with Ward at Bristol City and Wolves and had a spell as manager at Molineux following the sacking of Mick McCarthy.
He later followed McCarthy to Ipswich Town, working as his assistant as he had done at Wolves and the duo are currently in charge of the Republic of Ireland national side.    [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
Back in the real world, Rovers picked up what could be a valuable point from a 2-2 draw against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park. Gavin Reilly’s 91st minute goal earned them a share of the spoils, but it was worth being there just to see our first equaliser, scored by Jonson Clarke-Harris.

Matt Macey, in the Plymouth goal, was rooted to the spot as the striker’s effort flew past him and the other former Gas representative in the Argyle side, Gary Sawyer, could only watch and admire!

It was quite a day for reunions, as Rovers management team of Graham Coughlan and Chris Hargreaves are both former Argyle players and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis enjoyed a loan spell at Home Park in 2015.

Elsewhere in our league, Tom Eaves scored his 19th goal of the season for Gillingham as they recorded a 4-2 win at AFC Wimbledon. Marc Bola was back in the Blackpool side for their 4-1 away win against Bradford City, a result that leaves them two points off of a play off place and their opponents rooted to the bottom of the table, six points from safety.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough United as they beat Southend United 2-0 at London Road to move into the final play off place. Southend, meanwhile, remain outside of the relegation places on goal difference only.

Scunthorpe United, again without the services of Matt Lund, lost 3-1 at Rochdale while Shrewsbury Town suffered a 2-0 home defeat against Portsmouth. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side, while Stefan Payne was an unused substitute. Lee Brown was one of five Portsmouth players to pick up a yellow card.

In League Two Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side that drew 2-2 against Cambridge United at Brunton Park, though there was no sign of Reggie Lambe in the Cambridge squad.

At Whaddon Road, Cheltenham Town were 3-1 winners against Keith Curle’s Northampton Town. Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson were in the Cheltenham lineup, while Jon-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams both completed 90 minutes for the Cobblers.

Colchester United appear to be missing the influence of Harry Pell in their side and the midfielder was again missing as they slipped to a 2-0 home defeat against Tranmere Rovers who registered a sixth consecutive league win.

League leaders Lincoln City go marching on and there was a rare goal for Cian Bolger in their 3-0 win at Crawley Town; ‘The Imps sealed victory with five minutes from time when defender Cian Bolger headed in a corner from Pett for his first goal for Lincoln.’ John Akinde was also in the Lincoln side but, just for once, failed to get on the scoresheet.

Second placed Bury played out a goalless draw at Grimsby Town and are now eight points behind Lincoln. Byron Moore was introduced as a 64th minute substitute for the Shakers, while Dominic Telford remained on the bench for the 90 minutes.

Once again there was no sign of Joe Martin in the Stevenage side as they played out a 2-2 draw at Macclesfield Town. I assume he’s still with them, though he does appear to have slipped off the radar!

Mansfield Town dropped out of the automatic promotion places following their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Crewe Alexandra. Goalkeeper Conrad Logan was back on the bench for the Stags, but Ryan Sweeney completed the 90 minutes.

MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, were 2-0 home winners against Yeovil Town and moved into third place. Yeovil, though, are deep in the mire and facing the very real prospect of dropping into the National League. Alefe Santos, who has featured for the Glovers in recent weeks, wasn’t in their squad for this one.

Exeter City played with ten men for all but 23 minutes of their game at Notts County following Ryan Bowman’s red card. However, they still managed to beat the bottom club 1-0 thanks to a 93rd minute goal. Hiram Boateng played the first 64 minutes for Exeter before being replaced by Donovan Wilson.

Port Vale, with Cristian Montano in their side, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers, who remain in a play off place, while Swindon Town were 4-0 home winners against Morecambe. Tom Broadbent was an unused substitute for the Robins, but Kyle Bennett started, picked up a yellow card and scored their fourth goal; ‘And Bennett completed the rout nine minutes from time with a long range strike that took a cruel bounce before passing Halstead and into the back of the net.’

In the National League, Wayne Brown was missing from the Sutton United side that lost 3-0 at Chesterfield and will be for the next nine months. He’s recently undergone an operation and it will take that long before he’s fit to return. His Twitter account doesn’t specify the nature of the injury, but by the look of his photos, it seems to suggest ligament damage.

Wayne Brown - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Wayne Brown is currently a Sutton United player, but will miss the next nine months due to injury.
Wayne started his career with Fulham where he made just one league appearance and spent time on loan at Brentford and Finnish side TPS Turku.
Joined Rovers in February 2010, initially on loan, and stayed in BS7 until January 2013, scoring three goals in 55 league games.
Retuned to TPS Turku on leaving Rovers and joined another Finnish side, SJK in June 2014.
In May 2016 he signed for Australian club Newcastle Jets before returning to these shores, and Sutton United, for the start of the current season.    [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Boreham Wood, with Danny Woodards in the starting XI and Ricky Shakes a 66th minute substitute, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town. Scott Rendell scored Aldershot’s second goal from the penalty spot ten minutes from time and Rollin Menayese and Bernard Mensah were both in the Shots side.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town were 2-0 home winners against Solihull Moors, so there was disappointment for Moors striker Nathan Blissett who completed 90 minutes, and coach/assistant manager James Quinn, though they remain in second place.

Luke James was a 76th minute substitute for Hartlepool United in their 1-0 home win against third placed Wrexham and Rory Gaffney was sent on as a 65th minute substitute for Salford City in the goalless home draw against Barnet, so it was a satisfying day for Bees coach Danny Senda.

The second leg of the FA Trophy semi finals took place and Leyton Orient will play AFC Fylde in the Wembley Final as both clubs clinched victories.

Orient won 2-1 at AFC Telford United (3-1 on aggregate) and Matt Harrold was both hero and villain for the O’s, scoring after only six minutes and red carded after 26; ‘Home defender Ross White looked to nod the ball back to his keeper, Andy Wycherley, but hadn’t reckoned on Wycherley coming to collect the ball. White’s header rolled towards an empty net and Harrold gleefully raced in to score.

‘Scorer Harrold caught Sutton with a clear elbow and was immediately dismissed by referee Peter Wright.’

AFC Fylde beat Stockport 3-2 after a goalless first leg. Andy Bond was missing from their squad, though, as they sealed victory in a crazy final five minutes when three goals were scored. It was 1-1 on 85 minutes and then Fylde edged in front. The home side equalised in the 88th minute and Fylde scored the winner a minute later.

In National League North, Hereford were 1-0 home winners over Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley who remain just three points above the relegation places. Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards were both in the Hereford side.

Darlington recorded a 2-1 away win at bottom club Nuneaton with Alex Henshall in the side and Johnny Burn on the bench.

There was a change in the leadership of National League South where overnight leaders Woking suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Slough Town, for whom Louie Soares was an 86th minute substitute.

This allowed Torquay United to take over at the top as they were 1-0 winners at Concord Rangers. So, it was a good day for United’s assistant boss Aaron Downes. Alex Wall was missing from the Concord side.

Cameron Hargreaves was the only Gas representative in the Hungerford Town side that scored two goals in the final three minutes to record a 2-1 away win at Billericay Town.

Chris Dickson was on the scoresheet for Hampton & Richmond Borough who claimed a point from a 2-2 draw at Dartford.

Bath City, in third place going into the days’ fixtures, dropped to fifth after their goalless draw against Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough. Ryan Clarke was the only ex Gas player in the Bath squad, while Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne side.

Luke Russe was in the Gloucester side that recorded a 2-1 away win at St Albans, a result that saw them move above Truro City who suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Chelmsford. Worrying times for them and assistant manager Michael Meaker as they are only one point above Hungerford Town who occupy the final relegation place.

Jeffery Monakana was an unused substitute for Wealdstone in their 1-0 home win against Chippenham Town who were again without the services of the injured Will Puddy, though George Rigg was in the side.

Mark McKeever’s Weston super Mare were beaten 1-0 at home by Welling United, the only goal of the game being scored by Bradley Goldberg from the penalty spot six minutes from time. Nabi Diallo and Jamie Lucas were both in the Weston side.

In the Northern Premier league Premier Division Kieran Preston was in goal for Hednesford Town who squandered a two goal lead at Lancaster City and had to settle for a point from a 2-2 draw.

Kieran Preston - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Kieran Preston joined Rovers from Derby County but never got to make a first team appearance for us.
Has since played non league football for Stafford Rangers, Grantham Town, Basford United and is currently playing for Hednesford Town.
Capped by Scotland at U-19 level.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In the East Division there was a 4-2 win for Cleethorpes United, against Carlton Town. Craig Disley was presented with the award for Player of the Month for February and then dropped to the bench for this game!

In the same division Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett United side that recorded a 4-0 home win against Wisbech Town, a result that sees them in fourth place in the league standings.

In the West Division Josh Klein-Davies was in the Prescot Cables lineup for their match at Ramsbottom United where they suffered a 2-0 defeat.

Moving on to the Bostik League Premier Division, and there was a 1-0 away win for Bishop’s Stortford at AFC Hornchurch. No prizes for guessing that it was Jamie Cureton who scored the only goal of the match!

Theo Widdrington was in the Bognor Regis Town side beaten 4-0 at home by Leatherhead though he came off just after the hour mark.

Lyle Della-Verde, who played two games for Kingstonian following his release by Braintree Town, made his Haringey Borough debut against Enfield Town and was on the winning side as they won the match 3-1 and remain in second place.

There was no away day joy for Tom Hitchcock and Scott Davies, though. Both were in the Harlow Town side beaten 5-1 at Merstham.

In the Southern League Premier Central Division Marcus Law and his Kettering Town side are nine points ahead of the chasing pack with just six games to go. Craig Stanley was in the side that recorded a 2-0 home win against St Neots Town watched by a crowd of 894.

Tyler Lyttle was also on the winning side as Rushall Olympic recorded a 4-2 away win at Lowestoft Town.

Moving on to the Premier South Division and Tiverton Town, with Liam Armstong in goal, were beaten 3-2 at Farnborough Town.

Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side were 2-1 away winners at Harrow Borough, but they remain in a relegation place six points from safety with games running out. Tom Mehew was again in the Frome starting lineup, while Greaves named himself on the bench.

It was a watching brief only for Hendon coach Scott McGleish, who saw his side slip to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Hartley Wintney, but there was a former Gas man on target in the game between Kings Langley and Wimborne Town. Rene Howe scored the only goal of the game, in the 54th minute, for Kings Langley who are up to sixth place and vying for the final play off spot with Poole Town.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town team go goal crazy, as they beat already relegated Staines Town 9-0 and although he played, Ben Swallow didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.

Salisbury are now in fourth place and could only draw 1-1 against Chesham United. Darren Mullings was an unused substitute for Salisbury, while Jefferson Louis completed the 90 minutes for Chesham.

Taunton Town are second and were 1-0 home winners against Poole Town, the only goal of the game arriving in the first minute! Pierce Mitchell started for Taunton while Lucas Tomlinson was introduced as a 90th minute substitute.

League leaders Weymouth were 2-1 home winners against Swindon Supermarine. Abdulai Baggie was in the Weymouth Starting XI and Josh Wakefield went on as an 88th minute substitute, but there were no ex Gas representatives for Supermarine. Martin Horsell was still suspended, and Jerel Ifil wasn’t involved.

Yate Town are the new leaders of Division One South following their 3-0 win against Paulton Rovers at Lodge Road. Ollie Mehew scored Yate’s third goal in the 82nd minute, while Sam Kamara picked up the Man of the Match Award. Not a good day for Paulton’s assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell, who had Jay Malpas in their starting lineup and Trey Anderson on the bench and he entered the fray in the 58th minute.

Mangotsfield United picked up a valuable point from a 1-1 draw at Highworth Town and Tyrone Tucker-Dixon started this one for the Mangos.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic slipped to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Winchester City. Geraint Bater and Lewis Powell started this one for the Larks while Neil Arndale was named on the bench. Nuno Felix and Neikell Plummer were in the Melksham Town side that won 3-1 at Slimbridge and Plummer scored their second goal in the 65th minute.

Barry Hayles started for Windsor who won 2-1 at Longlevens while, under the heading of ‘An Afternoon of Shame’, the Highgate United website reported on their 3-0 defeat by Sporting Khalsa. Highgate, with Jordan Goddard and Sam Oji in their side, had four men sent off one of whom was Oji.

Two out of three of our local managers were on the losing side. Ray Johnston’s Hallen was the winner, as his side beat Shortwood United 3-0. There were 53 spectators at that one and just seven more at Brislington to see the home side beat Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George 1-0. Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town attracted a crowd of 106 but they would have been disappointed with a 4-2 home defeat inflicted by Willand Rovers.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was in the Airdrieonians side that beat Forfar Athletic 1-0 and in League Two Alan Gow was an 82nd minute substitute for Queens Park in their goalless draw at Cowdenbeath.

There was also a goalless draw between second placed Edinburgh City and leaders Peterhead. David McCracken returned to the Peterhead squad and was an unused substitute for this one.

Lochee United went out of the Signature Signs Cup, beaten 12-11 on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Garry Kenneth scored their first goal in normal time; ‘Garry Kenneth, stealing in at the back post, headed home.’ And also converted his spot kick. All to no avail!

In Wales, Barry Town United were 4-0 home winners against Caernarvon, one of their goals being scored by Kayne McLaggon after only two minutes.

In Ireland Mark McChrystal was in the Crusaders side held to a 2-2 draw at Ards and in the Championship there was a blank Saturday for Jeff Hughes and his Larne team mates.

Stephane Leoni’s Sarre-Union side were 2-1 home winners against Biesheim in CFA 2 in France.

In the league of Ireland SSE Airtricity League First Division, Cabinteely FC were beaten 2-1 at home by Limerick FC. The striker coach for Cabinteely is none other than former Rovers loan striker Paul Heffernan and I hope to have more about him next week.

Sunday’s European Championship Qualifying matches saw Tom Lockyer again missing from the Welsh squad as they beat Slovakia 1-0, though Connor Roberts was again in the starting lineup. Oli McBurie, meanwhile, was an unused substitute for Scotland who won 2-0 in San Marino.

Belgium, with Richard Evans again a member of the backroom medical team, were 2-0 winners in Cyprus.

Richard Evans - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
The son of a former Welsh international, Brian, Richard Evans was on the books of Cardiff City, Weymouth and Newport County before joining Rovers.
Scored twice in 17 league games for the Gas and then spent time with Exeter City and Yeovil Town.
Took a Sports Science degree on his retirement as a player and, then studied a Physiotherapy BSc Honours course at Brunel University on a day release basis whilst working as Head of Physiotherapy at Swansea City.
He used to travel to his courses with Phil Kite, the Rovers physiology, who was on the same course.
Worked under Roberto Martinez at Swansea and followed him to Wigan Athletic, Everton and, more recently to Belgium.     [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]

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Chapter 32 –  Week commencing 11th March 2019

On Monday night Rushall Olympic were in Southern League Premier Division Central action and, with Tyler Lyttle in the side, won their third consecutive game 2-0 against AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

Tuesday night saw Rovers on the road again and they secured a second 1-0-win, courtesy of Jonson Clarke-Harris, at Gillingham thus securing their first win at the Priestfield Stadium since 1999.

In the Championship, Matty Taylor was an 83rd minute substitute for Bristol City in their 1-1 draw against bottom club Ipswich Town at Ashton Gate. His former Rovers team mate, Ellis Harrison, was an unused Ipswich substitute.

Luke Daniels was in goal for Brentford who were beaten 2-0 at Sheffield United who played for 55 minutes with ten men following Gary Madine’s first half red card. Another Gas goalkeeper, Sam Walker, spent the evening on the bench watching his Reading side lose 3-0 against Leeds United.

Yet another Gas goalie spent the night as an unused substitute in League One. This time it was Aaron Chapman, who saw his side go down 1-0 at AFC Wimbledon.

The injured Marc Bola was still missing from the Blackpool lineup as they drew 1-1 against Doncaster Rovers at Bloomfield Road.

Four former Gas players started the match at Home Park, where Plymouth Argyle were 2-1 winners against Shrewsbury Town. Matt Macey and Gary Sawyer completed 90 minutes for Argyle while Ollie Norburn did the same for Shrewsbury and scored their goal on the hour mark; ‘Former Argyle midfielder Ollie Norburn scored following a penalty he won after being fouled by Graham Carey. Although goalkeeper Matt Macey saved Norburn’s spot kick, the Shrews skipper followed up to level.’ Stefan Payne also started for the Shrews but was substituted in the 53rd minute.

Matt Macey - Photo Credit Keith Brookman
Matt Macey first joined Rovers as a teenager in 2009 and signed for Arsenal in October 2013 following a trial period with the Gunners. 
Has made two first team appearances for the North London side, neither of which have been in the Premier League.
Enjoyed loan spells with Accrington Stanley and Luton Town before agreeing to a season long loan with Plymouth Argyle in July 2018.  [Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Matt Lund was still missing from the Scunthorpe United side, but they somehow beat Southend United 4-1 at Glanford Park. Quite a good turnaround for them as, in their previous game they struggled to find a shot, let alone a goal, against Rovers.

Lee Brown and his Portsmouth side were 3-2 winners at Walsall and remain in fourth place. In fact, he inadvertently provided an assist for their opening goal; ‘Lee Brown’s 13th minute cross appeared to be drifting out of play when Morgan Ferrier needlessly shoved Nathan Thompson and Brett Pitman converted the resulting penalty.’

Wycombe Wanderers lost 3-1 at home against Accrington Stanley, in spite of taking the lead through Paris Cowan-Hall.  Joe Jacobson was missing from the Wycombe side that conceded two penalties, both converted by Billy Kee, and they slipped down to 13th place and could get drawn into a relegation battle.

In League Two Cambridge United played out a goalless draw against Crewe Alexandra at the Abbey Stadium. Reggie Lambe started for the home side but didn’t complete the 90 minutes as he was substituted after 83 of them.

Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle United side beaten 3-1 at Brunton Park by Notts County who were again without any Gas representatives in their squad.

Harry Pell is still injured and missed Colchester United’s 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers who are now sixth in the table.

Mansfield Town, with Conrad Logan in goal, but missing Ryan Sweeney, played out a goalless draw at CrawleyTown; ‘Recalled Mansfield keeper Conrad Logan made a double save from Ollie Palmer and Lewis Young to thwart Crawley…’

League leaders Lincoln City stretched their lead over second placed Bury to five points with a 2-0 home win over Oldham Athletic.  John Akinde and Cian Bolger were both in the Lincoln lineup.

Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls remained on the bench for MK Dons, beaten 4-2 at Morecambe, but Keith Curle’s Northampton Town recorded a 1-0 home win over Newport County to post a fourth successive league victory.  Andy Williams and Jon-Joe O’Toole started for the Cobblers while David Pipe was an unused substitute for Newport.

There was no sign of Joe Martin in the Stevenage squad as they recorded a 2-0 home win against Swindon Town who selected Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett in their starting XI.

Port Vale eased their relegation fears, and increased Yeovil Town’s, with a 3-0 win against the Glovers at Vale Park.  Cristian Montano was an 83rd minute substitute for Vale while Alefe Santos was in the Yeovil starting XI but never reappeared for the second half.

There was no game for Exeter City duo Donovan Wilson and Hiram Boateng as their scheduled match against Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

In the National League AFC Fylde, missing the services of Andy Bond, moved into fourth place with a 4-2 home win over Hartlepool United who had Luke James in their lineup.

Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town lost again, 2-1 at home against league leaders Leyton Orient. Rollin Menayese, Bernard Mensah and Scott Rendell were all in the Shots’ side and it was Rendell who scored their goal, from the penalty spot, in the 72nd minute.  Matt Harrold started the game for the O’s.

Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side play out a 1-1 home draw against Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town while Boreham Wood, with Ricky Shakes a 60th minute substitute and Danny Woodards remaining on the bench, also drew 1-1 at Dover Athletic.

Ricky Shakes - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Currently playing for Boredom Wood in the National League, Ricky Shakes joined Rovers, on loan from Bolton Wanderers, in February 2005. His one month stay at The Mem saw him appear in just two games.
He has since played for Bury, Swindon Town, Brentford, Ebbsfleet, Kidderminster Harriers and has been at ‘The Wood’ since the summer of 2013.
A dual international, with one appearance for Trinidad and Tobago to his name, he has also appeared 14 times for Guyana.  [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Eastleigh, with Chris Zebroski playing, and scoring a 43rd minute goal, were 2-0 home winners against John Still’s Maidstone United.  Angelo Balanta started for Dagenham & Redbridge but his side were well beaten, 3-0 at Havant & Waterlooville.

Solihull Moors assistant manager/coach James Quinn saw his side move up to second place following a 1-0 home win against Gateshead and it was another former Gas player, Nathan Blissett, who scored the all important goal.

Hereford United’s home match against Brackley Town, in National League North, was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Bath City, though, were 1-0 home winners against Hampton & Richmond Borough at Twerton Park and moved up to third place. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt both started for the Romans, while Chris Dickson was in the visitors’ starting XI.

Weston super Mare lost 2-0 at St Albans City with Nabi Diallo and Jamie Lucas both in their starting lineup.

In Scotland Heart of Midlothian, still missing the services of Michael Smith, beat Partick Thistle 2-1 to reach the semi finals of the Scottish Cup.

In Scottish League Two Queens Park, without the suspended Alan Gow, were 2-1 winners at Berwick Rangers.

In the Southern League Premier South Division Frome Town’s home game against Beaconsfield Town was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, as was the game between Kings Langley and Hartley Wintney.

Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side did get to play, though. They probably wish their game had been called off as, with Ben Swallow in their side, they suffered a 7-1 home defeat at the hands of Dorchester Town.

Salisbury were 3-2 home winners against Farnborough Town and Darren Mullings scored two of their goals, including a late winner.

In Division One South, Melksham Town saw their game at Cinderford Town called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

In Ireland Crusaders retained the County Antrim Shield by beating Linfield 4-3, their last two goals arriving very late in the game. Mark McChrystal, though, wasn’t in the Crusaders squad.

In the Championship on Wednesday evening Kelle Roos was back in goal for Derby County and he kept a clean sheet in their goalless draw against Stoke City.

Adam Barrett would have been a happy man watching from the sidelines at St Andrews. The Millwall coach saw his side win 2-0.

Tony Pulis won’t have been best pleased, though; his side slipped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Preston North End and he wasn’t pleased, either, when Daniel Ayala was sent off on 61 minutes.

Goalkeeper Joe Lumley and his Queens Park Rangers side lost 2-1 at home against Rotherham United, who scored the winning goal in the 95th minute.

Managerless West Bromwich Albion were 3-0 home winners against Swansea City and while Connor Roberts turnout for the Welsh side, Oli McBurnie was not involved as he was still recovering from illness.

On Thursday Weston super Mare issued a statement which said that they had made a decision that a change of management was required, and that the decision had been a mutual agreement between the Board and manager Mark McGregor. The statement went on to add that although he was stepping down as manager, they were in discussions with him to offer him another role within the club. The upshot was that another former Gas player, Mark McKeever was handed the role of caretaker manager and is to assist the club in looking for a full time manager.

Friday’s player news saw Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist go out on loan again, and to another club he’s been before. Following a loan stint at Yate Town, he has signed on for Hungerford Town until the end of the season and so joins Cameron Hargreaves and Rhys Kavanagh, Development Squad team mates, and former colleague Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis.

In Friday night’s League Two encounter, Newport County were 1-0 home winners against Cheltenham Town. David Pipe was again an unused substitute for Newport, while Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson were both in the Cheltenham side. Newport boss Mike Flynn wasn’t impressed with what he saw, though; ‘That was one of the worst games of football I’ve ever seen in the first half. It was disgusting…I don’t want to be associated with that.’

In the Singapore League Charlie Clough picked up a yellow card as his Brunei DPMM side picked up a point from a goalless draw at Albirex Niigata (S). His side are third, and unbeaten with seven points, after the first three games of their new season.

In France Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux side beaten 1-0 at home by Paris FC.

Saturday matchday saw Rovers and Charlton Athletic play out a goalless draw at the Mem in awful conditions. The points meant that Rovers have taken seven in a week and are up to 13th in the league but still not clear of a relegation battle!

In the FA Cup sixth round Swansea City, with Connor Roberts in their side, were leading Manchester City 2-0 until the 69th minute and then conceded three to bow out of the competition.

Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side remain in the Championship play off places, but only just following their 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa, who are now in sixth place one place and one point behind the team they beat. Pulis said afterwards; ‘Villa have had five shots and scored three goals. That’s something that wasn’t happening when we were doing well.’

Ex Gas Goalkeeper Luke Daniels was on the losing side as Brentford suffered a 1-0 home defeat against West Bromwich Albion while another former Gas goalie, Joe Lumley, conceded twice as his Queens Park Rangers side took a point from a 2-2 draw at Hull City.

Ellis Harrison was again missing from the Ipswich Town lineup as they recorded a 1-1 home draw against Nottingham Forest. Goalkeeper Sam Walker was an unused Reading substitute in a goalless draw at Stoke City, a result that keeps them a point above the relegation zone.

In League One, Blackpool’s play off hopes suffered a blow as they lost 3-0 at Burton Albion. Marc Bola returned to the Blackpool squad after injury, though, and was an unused substitute.

Rovers’ next opponents, Plymouth Argyle, lost 2-0 at Fleetwood Town with goalkeeper Matt Macey and defender Gary Sawyer both in their lineup.

Tom Eaves was on target for Gillingham, who took a point from their 2-2 draw against league leaders Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Aaron Chapman was again on the bench as Peterborough United were beaten 2-1 at home by fellow play off hopefuls Coventry City while Lee Brown and his Portsmouth side consolidated their play off place with a 2-0 win against Scunthorpe United at Fratton Park. Matt Lund was still missing from the Scunthorpe lineup.

Shrewsbury Town were 2-1 home winners against Wycombe Wanderers and Ollie Norburn was again on the scoresheet, converting a 93rd minute penalty to seal victory for the Shrews who had trailed until the 87th minute. Stefan Payne was an unused substitute for Shrewsbury while Paris Cowan-Hall and Joe Jacobson were both in the Wycombe side.

Exeter City moved back into the League Two play off places with a 3-0 home win against Colchester United with Hiram Boateng in their starting lineup and Donovan Wilson being introduced as a 90th minute substitute. Harry Pell was still missing from the Colchester squad.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town, with John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams in their side, played out a goalless draw at Grimsby Town while Lee Nicholls returned to the MK Dons side for their 1-1 home draw against Stevenage. Goodness knows where Joe Martin was, though, as he was again absent from the Stevenage squad.

Carlisle United, with Tom Parkes in their side, drew 1-1 at Forest Green Rovers, while another draw was played out at the County Ground where Swindon Town and Port Vale couldn’t manage a goal between them. While Kyle Bennett was in the Swindon side, Tom Broadbent remained on the Swindon bench all afternoon. Cristian Montano was introduced as an 87th minute substitute for Vale.

Tom Parkes - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Tom Parkes began his career with Leicester City and played for Burton Albion and Yeovil Town on loan before joining Rovers, also on loan, in January 2012. 
Signed for the gas in a permanent deal in August 2012 and remained at the Mem until June 2016 when he signed for Leyton Orient.
After one year at Brisbane Road he joined his current club, Carlisle United, in July 2017.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Yeovil Town, with Alefe Santos in their starting XI slipped closer to the relegation trap door as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat against 23rd placed Macclesfield Town who are now just three points behind them with a game in hand.

Moving into the National League, Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town side are ten points from safety at the bottom of the table following their 1-0 home defeat by Salford City, who registered a fourth consecutive win.  Rollin Menayese, Bernard Mensah and Scott Rendell were all in the Aldershot side and Rory Gaffney was sent on as a 77th minute substitute for the visitors.

Barnet coach Danny Senda saw his side play out a goalless draw against Hartlepool United who had Luke James in their side, but Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Dover Athletic. Jamie wasn’t at all happy with the outcome, though; ‘Furious FC Halifax Town boss Jamie Fullarton refused to talk to the press after a heated post match debate with referee Simeon Lucas following his side’s defeat at Dover.

‘Fullarton was left raging that Alfie Pavey’s 25th minute opener was allowed to stand when the ball appeared to strike the hand of Jai Reason in the build up.’

Jamie Fullarton - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
Jamie Fullarton, the current FC Halifax Town manager played for St Mirren, SC Bastia, Crystal Palace, Bolton Wanderers, Dundee United, Brentford, Southend United and Chesterfield and won 18 caps for Scotland at U-21 level.
He ran his own coaching Academy in Spain before joining Rovers as Academy Coach in 2011. One year later he moved on to Bolton Wanderers as their U-21 coach. Also coached at Nottingham Forest, from where he took on his first managerial appointment just across the River Trent, at Notts County.
He lasted 70 days and just 12 games, one of which was against Rovers, before being sacked.
Became manager of FC Halifax Town in February 2018.  [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Eastleigh, with Chris Zebroski in their lineup, lost 1-0 at home against Barrow but remain in the final play off spot but Boreham Wood, with Ricky Shales in their side and Danny Woodards again left on the bench, lost 3-2 at Ebbsfleet United.

Solihull Moors coach/assistant manager James Quinn saw his side maintain their push for promotion (they are in second place) with a 3-2 home win against Braintree Town. Nathan Blssett played for the Moors but wasn’t on the scoresheet.

John Still’s Maidstone United look to be heading for relegation following their 1-0 loss at Wrexham and they are now 13 points from safety with eight games to play.

It was FA Trophy semi final day and in the first leg of their match against AFC Telford United, Leyton Orient beat AFC Telford 1-0 at Brisbane Road. Matt Harrold was in the Orient starting XI for a game played in front of a crowd of 3,622. Adam Dawson didn’t feature for AFC as, I think, he is cup tied.

The other semi final, between AFC Fylde and Stockport County, remained goalless. Andy Bond was missing from the Fylde lineup for the game, played in front of a crowd of 2,505.

There were only three league games played in National League North. Six were called off because of waterlogged pitches and of the games that did take place, none featured former Gas players.

It was a different story in National League South, though, where there was a full league programme and not one postponement.

Bath City remain in third place following a 1-1 draw against Wealdstone at Twerton Park, watched by a crowd of 966. The two Ryans, Clarke and Brunt, were in the Romans side selected by Jerry Gill.

Chippenham Town also shared the spoils, taking a point from a home goalless draw with St Albans and while George Rigg played in this one, Will Puddy was nowhere to be seen!

Mark McKeever got his temporary managerial role off to a decent start as his Weston super Mare charges played out a 2-2 draw at fifth placed Chelmsford City. They remain anchored at the foot of the table, though. Nabi Diallo and Jamie Lucas both started for the Seagulls.

Mark McKeever - Photo Credit Jeff Davis
The current Weston super Mare caretaker manager, Mark McKeever, made five Premier League appearances for Sheffield Wednesday following a big money move from Peterborough United in 1997.
He was loaned to Rovers, Reading and Rovers again before signing a permanent deal at The Mem in March 2001.
On leaving BS7 he played locally, for Weston super Mare, Gloucester City, Bath City, Mangotsfield United and Weston super Mare again.
Won 12 Republic of Ireland caps at U-19 level and four at U-21 level.  [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Michael Meaker, Truro City’s assistant manager, saw his side go down 3-2 at Dulwich Hamlet where they had two players sent off.

Luke Russe completed another 90 minutes for Gloucester City, who drew 1-1 at home against Hemel Hempstead Town and so gained a valuable point in their battle against relegation.

Two former Gas strikers were in opposition when Hampton & Richmond Borough met Concord Rangers, Chris Dickson for Hampton and Alex Wall for Rangers. Dickson converted a 33rd minute penalty for his side, but Wall’s side ran out 4-1 winners and are within sight of a play off place as they currently lie in seventh place.

There was a Gas explosion at Hungerford Town, who were 2-0 winners against Eastbourne Borough. Rhys Kavanagh scored for the home side and was in a side that also saw Cameron Hargreaves start and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist introduced as a 72nd minute substitute. Not a good day for Eastbourne boss Mark McGhee or for Dave Martin, who was included in his starting lineup.

Louie Soares was an unused substitute for Slough Town, 2-1 home winners against Billericay Town, while Torquay United assistant manager Aaron Downes saw his side register a 2-0 home win against Dartford in front of a Plainmoor crowd of 2,284. The Gulls remain in second place, a point behind leaders Woking with a game in hand.

Speaking of Woking, they played out a 3-3 draw against Welling United, who had Bradley Goldberg in their lineup.

Northern League games were also hit by the weather, though goalkeeper Kieran Preston did manage a game for Hednesford Town in the Premier Division though he won’t be happy that he conceded four goals. His side played out a 4-4 home draw against Nantwich Town.

Andy Monkhouse also got some game time under his belt as in the East Division his Ossett United side were 3-1 winners at Frickley Athletic, a result that saw them take over the final play off place.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Bishop’s Stortford recorded their first league win in over a month, as they beat Haringey Borough 2-0. Jamie Cureton was in the starting XI for Stortford but wasn’t on the scoresheet on this occasion.

Theo Widdrington did get on the scoresheet, though, as his Bognor Regis Town side claimed a point from a 3-3 draw at Enfield Town.

It wasn’t a good day for Harlow Town, though, as they slipped to a 7-2 home defeat against Wingate & Finchley. Tom Hitchcock and Scott Davies were both in the Harlow side.

There was a surprise defeat for Southern Premier league Central leaders Kettering Town, Beaten 1-0 at Biggleswade Town. However, Marcus Law’s side remain eight points clear at the top of the table. Craig Stanley was again in the Kettering lineup, but Adam Cunnington was still missing.

Rushall Olympic, with Tyler Lyttle in their side, played out a goalless home draw against Halesowen Town.

There was a surprising result in the Premier South Division, as Frome Town recorded a 2-0 home win against Taunton Town. Danny Greaves’ side took three much needed points with the help of a goal from Tom Mehew, who scored their second with only seven minutes on the clock. Pierce Mitchell started for Taunton, while Lucas Tomlinson was named on the bench.

There were no goals for Chesham United or Jefferson Louis, as their 14 match unbeaten run came to an end, beaten 1-0 at home by Farnborough.

Rene Howe was also on the losing side as Kings Langley were beaten 1-0 at Metropolitan Police who moved into third place.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side, with Ben Swallow starting, lose 3-1 at Poole Town, but Scott McGleish would have been a happy man. The Hendon coach saw his side record a 5-2 away win against Staines Town.

Ben Swallow - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Released by Cardiff City after failing to be awarded a pro contract Ben Swallow spent two years at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College before joining Rovers. 
Ben was released by the Gas in January 2012 after he’d made a total of 40 league appearances and also spent time on loan at Taunton Town, Bridgwater Town, Chippenham Town, Mangotsfield United and Bath City.
Joined York City in February 2012 and has since played for Newport County, Bromley, Dartford, Havant & Waterloovilee,, Margate and Weston super Mare. Currently on loan to Merthyr Town from Weston.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Swindon Supermarine, without the services of the suspended Martin Horsell and also missing Jerel Ifil, were 4-0 home winners against Beaconsfield Town, a result that sees them sitting comfortably in ninth place, nine points off the play off places and eight points above the relegation zone.

There was a clean sheet for Liam Armstrong, who was in goal for Tiverton Town against Salisbury; ‘A clean sheet for Liam Armstrong, a deserved reward for a fine performance.’ Tiverton’s 2-0 win dented Salisbury’s title hopes. Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side for this one.

League leaders Weymouth, with Abdulai Baggie in their lineup, but not Josh Wakefield, took a point from a goalless draw at Wimborne Town.

In Division One South Yate Town were 2-1 winners at Cirencester Town, a result that still sees them in second place but, crucially, just one point behind leaders Blackfield & Langley. Hero for Yate was goalkeeper Alexis Andre Jnr who saved a last minute penalty to preserve Yate’s lead. Also in the starting lineup was Ollie Mehew while Sam Kamara, who was named on the bench.

Mangotsfield United picked up three points with a 4-3 home win against Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic with Tyrone Tucker-Dixon in their starting lineup and Lewis Ellington on the bench. For Larkhall, Lewis Powell started and Geraint Bater was named on their bench.

Paulton Rovers assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell could only look on as their side suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Evesham United. Jay Malpas was named on the Paulton bench for this one.

In the Total Motion MFL Premier League Highgate United with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard in their side, played out a goalless draw against third placed Westfields.

In the Toolstation Western League Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George were 3-1 home winners (their first victory in 15 games) against Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town. Ray Johnston’s Hallen were without a game.

In the Scottish Premiership Heart of Midlothian slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Hamilton Academical and Michael Smith was again missing from the Hearts squad.

Motherwell suffered a second defeat in nine games as they went down 2-0 at Hibernian and Paul Hartley was again an unused Motherwell substitute.

Alan Gow returned to the Queens Park squad for their Scottish League Two match against Elgin City, which was comfortably won 4-1, and he was sent on as an 80th minute substitute.

In Wales Kayne McLaggon, who has been called into the Welsh ‘C’ squad for their international against England ‘C’, was in the Barry Town United squad that suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Bala Town.

Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that lost 1-0 at Glenavon in the Northern Ireland Premier League.

Last week they clinched the Championship title but this week Larne, with Jeff Hughes in their side, suffered a 1-0 defeat at second placed Carrick Rangers.

In the Danish Superliga Mikkel Andersen took up his customary place on the FC Midtylland bench and watched his side win 2-1 against SonderjyskE. FC are currently in second place in the league standings.

On Sunday two former Gas players were in opposition on the bench and on TV! Millwall’s coach Adam Barrett and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Paul Trollope saw their sides play out a 2-2 draw and a goalless period of extra time before watching a dramatic penalty shootout unfold, with Brighton winning that 5-4. They now head to Wembley to face Manchester City in the semi final.

In the Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic, with Scott Sinclair in the side, scored a 96th minute goal to record a 1-0 away win at Dundee and extend their lead at the top to ten points.

Jake Clarke-Salter was missing from the Vitesse side beaten 3-2 at Heracles and they are now in fifth place in the Dutch Eredivisie.

In France, Stephan Leoni saw his Sarre-Union side take a point from a goalless draw at FCA Troyes and they are currently top of the National 3 table.

I’ll end with news of an experiment being trialled in Step 5 and Step 6 levels next season. Sin Bins are to be introduced after a pilot scheme showed that ten-minute sin bins, in lieu of a yellow card, had been a success with a 38% reduction in dissent across the 31 leagues involved in the trial. So, look out, there could be a sin bin arriving near you very soon!

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Chapter 31 –  Week commencing 4th March 2019

This week’s edition begins with news of an omission from Saturday’s games as I forgot to include goalkeeper Kieran Preston, currently at Hednesford Town and he played in their 2-1 home win against Grantham Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, so I’ll be name checking him from now on!

On Monday night Marcus Bignot, Guiseley’s assistant manager, saw his side slip to a 1-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton in National League North so they remain three points above the drop zone.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Harlow Town were beaten 2-0 at Carshalton Athletic and remain in the relegation places. Tom Hitchcock was in the starting lineup but was substituted on 82 minutes.

In Scotland, the final Scottish Cup quarter final tie, between Partick Thistle and Heart of Midlothian, ended all square at 1-1 and the clubs will now need a replay to determine which one of them goes through to the semi final. There was no Michael Smith, again, in the Hearts lineup.

In the Danish Superliga FC Midtjylland played out a 3-3 home draw against FC Nordsjaelland and, once again, Mikkel Andersen was on the bench.

Tuesday night saw Rovers play Sunderland in the semi final of the Checkatrade Trophy at the Memorial Stadium. The visitors, just as they did ten days before, again ran out 2-0 winners, so no Wembley trip for Gasheads this season. However, Rovers put in a much better performance than they did then and must now prepare for the run in to the end of the season. The message has to be; avoid relegation at all costs!

In the Championship Kelle Roos was on bench warming duty for Derby County, who beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 at Pride Park to move level on points with sixth placed Bristol City.

The one game in League One saw Blackpool win 2-1 at Accrington Stanley, but the injured Marc Bola was again missing from their squad.

There were four ex Gas players on view at Cheltenham Town, as they played out a 1-1 draw against Bury at Whaddon Road. Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson were in the Cheltenham lineup while Byron Moore and Dominic Telford both started for Bury.

In the National League, Leyton Orient moved into second place following their 2-1 win at Barrow. Matt Harrold was an unused substitute for this one.

Bottom club Braintree Town lost 3-1 at home against Chesterfield. They sent on Lyle Della-Verde in the 89th minute, far too late to make an impact, and are now 14 points from safety.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town were 3-1 home winners against Barnet, so a disappointing evening for their coach Danny Senda.

Alfie Kilgour was in the Maidenhead United side that played out a 1-1 home draw against Dagenham & Redbridge and he scored the 90th minute goal that earned his side a point; ‘With five minutes of time added, Kilgour found the net to claim a point for the Magpies.’ Angelo Balanta was back in the Daggers’ squad for this one but spent the 90 minutes on the bench.

Rory Gaffney was a 73rd minute substitute for Salford City, who recorded a 2-0 home win against Sutton United, in front of a crowd of 1,686.

AFC Telford United recorded a 3-1 home win against Darlington in National League North. Adam Dawson was named on their bench, while Alex Henshall was a Darlo substitute. Once again, no sign of Johnny Burn in the Darlington squad.

Luke Russe scored for Gloucester City in their 2-1 home defeat by Concord Rangers in National League South; ‘Luke Russe with an outrageous effort from 30 yards, it flies over Beasant’s head and puts City 1-0 up.’ The visitors, though, scored two controversial second half goals, the winner coming in the final minute of the game. Alex Wall was in the Concord side for this game.

Torquay United’s home match against Chelmsford City was called off because of a waterlogged pitch, while Weston super Mare suffered a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Wealdstone. Nabi Diallo completed the 90 minutes, while Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute.

There was a surprise home defeat for Kettering Town, Southern League Premier Division Central league leaders, who lost 3-2 to Coalville Town. Craig Stanley was in the Kettering starting XI but there was no sign of Adam Cunnington.

In the Premier South Division Kings Langley, with Rene Howe in their lineup, suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Metropolitan Police, while Tiverton Town’s home match against Chesham United was postponed, presumably because of a waterlogged pitch.

In the Hellenic League, Windsor’s home match against Flackwell Heath did get under way but was abandoned after only seven minutes due to floodlight failure, so it was an early night for Barry Hayles!

In the Western League, an attendance of 72 was recorded for the game between Cribbs and Hallen, whose manager Ray Johnston saw his side take a point from a 1-1 draw.

In Scottish League Two Peterhead, again missing the services of David McCracken, were 3-1 winners at Cowdenbeath and now head the table with a five point lead over second placed Edinburgh City.

Wednesday evening saw another 1-1 draw in the Western League, as Roman Glass St George manager Andy Gurney saw his side take a point from their game at Hengrove Athletic. The official attendance for this game was 61.

Thursday saw Rovers defender Alfie Kilgour recalled from his loan spell with National League side Maidenhead United, which seems to imply that he might be needed for Saturday’s trip to face Scunthorpe United as cover for Tom Lockyer and Tony Craig or even play in place of one of them (is there an injury we aren’t aware of?). Alfie has scored three goals in 18 appearances for Maidenhead.

One of Rovers’ promising youngsters, Lucas Tomlinson was also on the move, joining Taunton Town in a work experience deal until the end of the season.

There was one game in the Championship on Friday night and Connor Roberts was in the Swansea City side that lost 1-0 at Norwich City. Oli McBurnie’s absence was explained by his manager; ‘Oli fell ill when he came down here, there was a bit of a fever and he was driven home today.’

In Denmark Mikkel Andersen took up his usual place on the FC Midtylland bench as his side recorded a 2-1 away win at Hobro.

In France, though, Oumare Tounkara was on the losing side as his Chateauroux side lost 1-0 at Troyes in their Ligue 2 fixture.

League Two leaders Lincoln City were 1-0 home winners against Yeovil Town and they did it with John Akinde in their starting lineup and Cian Bolger going on as a 42nd minute substitute. Alefe Santos started for The Glovers but was substituted after 76 minutes.

Alefe Santos - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Alefe Santos made 24 league appearances for Rovers before joining Derby County’s academy in July 2014. Made one substitute appearance in a League Cup tie for The Rams.
Loan spells with Notts County and Eastleigh preceded a permanent move to Yeovil Town in July 2017 and, at the time of writing, he had appeared in 28 league games for The Glovers. [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
On Saturday Rovers moved out of the bottom four with a 1-0 win at Scunthorpe United. The all important goal was scored by Jonson Clarke-Harris, his fifth in a Rovers shirt. Alfie Kilgour was on the bench but still awaits his first team debut!

In the Premier league Brighton & Hove Albion manager Paul Trollope saw his side win away from home, 2-1 at Crystal Palace and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was also on the winning side as Cardiff City were 2-0 home winners against West Ham United.

In League Two Millwall coach Adam Barrett saw his side lose 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers, a result that leaves them one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Matty Taylor was a 58th minute substitute for Bristol City who were beaten 1-0 by Leeds United at Ashton Gate and dropped out of the play off places.

Tony Pulis saw his Middlesbrough side lose 2-1 at home to Brentford, though they remain in the top six. Luke Daniels was missing from the Brentford lineup and had he played he would have got some game time, as the Bees had to make a goalkeeper substitution on 75 minutes.

Joe Lumley kept a clean sheet at Loftus Road, where Queens Park Rangers and Stoke City played out a goalless draw.

Reading, with goalkeeper Sam Walker again on the bench, were 3-2 home winners against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic. Both teams are now on 36 points, three above the drop zone.

Ellis Harrison was missing from the Ipswich Town side that drew 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion. Sadly, for Ipswich, they now need snookers, not draws, to avoid playing League One football next season! West Brom, who are fourth in the league, sacked manager Darren Moore three hours after the end of the game; looks a bit harsh to me!

Blackpool, playing their first home game since they were rid of the Oyston family, drew 2-2 at Bloomfield Road against Southend United in front of a crowd of 15,871. Marc Bola, still recovering from a hamstring injury, was unable to be part of the Blackpool celebrations.

Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was again left on the Peterborough United bench as they lost 3-1 against Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Tom Eaves played, but didn’t score, for Gillingham who were 1-0 home winners against Oxford United, while goalkeeper matt Macey was back in the Plymouth Argyle side. He kept a clan sheet in a goalless draw against Luton Town at Home park and Gary Sawyer was also in the Argyle lineup. Incredibly, Luton extended their unbeaten run to 23.

Managerless Rochdale recorded a 2-1 home win against Shrewsbury Town, who had Ollie Norburn in their starting XI and sent on Stefan Payne as a 71st minute substitute.

Wycombe Wanderers conceded against Sunderland in the 94th minute of their home game and had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side and Paris Cowan-Hall was an unused substitute. Three players were red carded in stoppage time. Wycombe’s Nathan Tyson and Sunderland’s George Honeyman, who had both been substituted earlier in the game, were dismissed in the 98th minute and the home side’s Marcus Bean followed them down the tunnel two minutes later.

Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their lineup, were beaten 2-1 by Charlton Athletic at The Valley and those clubs are now fourth and fifth respectively in the league standings.

In League Two, Keith Curle’s Northampton Town side were 2-1 home winners against Exeter City. John-Joe O’Toole was in the Cobblers starting XI while Andy Williams went on as a 34th minute substitute and scored Northampton’s second goal in the 56th minute. Donovan Wilson was missing from the Exeter side while Hiram Boateng was introduced at the start of the second half.

Reggie Lambe played, and was yellow carded, in Cambridge United’s 1-1 draw against Oldham Athletic at the Abbey Stadium, while Carlisle United moved back into the play off places with a 2-1 home win against Swindon Town. Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett were in the Swindon side and Bennett scored their goal, in the 39th minute.

Cheltenham Town, with Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson in their lineup, were 4-1 home winners against bottom club Notts County. The injured Harry Pell was again missing from the Colchester United lineup as they were 3-0 home winners against Newport County. David Pipe was an unused substitute for the visitors.

Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was an unused substitute for MK Dons, 3-1 winners at Macclesfield Town, while Joe Martin was again an unused substitute for Stevenage in their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Bury. The winning goal for the second placed Shakers was scored in the 95th minute. Dominic Telford was sent on as a 67th minute Bury substitute and Byron Moore, who went on six minutes earlier, look to be heading for League One as their side are five points clear of third placed Mansfield Town.

Lee Nicholls - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls is currently with MK Dons.
Joined Wigan in 2009 and was sent out on loan to Hartlepool United, Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield Wednesday, Accrington Stanley and Northampton Town before his loan spell with Rovers.
He was at The Mem from September – December 2015 and made 15 league appearances for us.
Signed for MK Dons in August 2016. [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Speaking of Mansfield, they went down 2-1 at Port Vale who introduced Cristian Montano as an 87th minute substitute. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield starting XI and Conrad Logan was on the bench.

Leyton Orient are the new leaders of the National League following their 1-0 home win against former leaders Wrexham. Matt Harrold was an 84th minute substitute for The O’s.

Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town lost 2-1 at Barrow. Rollin Menayese and Bernard Mensah were both in the Aldershot side who were eventually beaten by a Barrow penalty in the 96th minute.

Boreham Wood, with Ricky Shakes introduced as a 70th minute substitute and Danny Woodards remaining on the bench, drew 1-1 at home against AFC Fylde who had Andy Bond in their starting XI.

Danny Woodards - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Danny Woodards’ career began at Chelsea and he appeared in 80 reserve team games while at Stamford Bridge.
On his release he joined Exeter City and went on to play for Crewe Alexandra and MK Dons before arriving in BS7 in August 2011.
Scored four goals in 70 league games for Rovers and spent a year with Tranmere Rovers after leaving the Gas in July 2014.  Currently playing for National League side Boreham Wood.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Bottom club Braintree Town, who dispensed with the services of Lyle Della Verde on Friday, suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Harrogate Town while Eastleigh, with Chris Zebroski in their side, were 3-2 winners at Chesterfield.

Angelo Balanta was back in the Dagenham & Redbridge side that beat Bromley 3-0 and it took him just three minutes to get on the scoresheet; ‘Jack Munns was the provider for the opening goal in the 3rd minute, another set piece delivery being met by Angelo Balanta on his return to the side.’

The game between Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town and Ebbsfleet United was called off because of a waterlogged pitch, while Gateshead extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 2-1 home win against Barnet whose coach Danny Senda could only watch on as his side played the second half with ten men following Shaq Coulthirst’s red card in first half stoppage time.

Luke James, who has been named in the England ‘C’ squad for their game against Wales on 19th March, was in the Hartlepool United side that were 3-2 home winners against Dover Athletic. Pool, who were 2-0 down at one point in the game, scored twice from the penalty spot to draw level and won the game with a 91st minute goal!

Maidenhead United, without the services of Alfie Kilgour for the first time in 18 games, were 2-1 home winners against Sutton United and are now 11 points clear of the relegation places.

Salford City, who sent on Rory Gaffney in the 89th minute, were 2-0 home winners against Solihull Moors, so no joy for Moors coach assistant manager James Quinn or striker Nathan Blissett who completed the 90 minutes.

John Still’s Maidstone United are still ten points from safety, even though they were 2-0 home winners against Havant & Waterlooville.

There was a home defeat for AFC Telford United in National League North. They were beaten by FC United of Manchester 3-1 and while Adam Dawson went on as a 58th minute substitute for the home side there was no sign of Bob Harris in the FC United squad.

Hereford, with Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards in their side, were 4-2 home winners against Darlington. Alex Henshall started this one for Darlo but, once again, Johnny Burn was missing from the squad.

Guiseley co manager Marcus Bignot was left with a blank Saturday as his side’s away match at Spennymoor Town was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

National League South leaders Torquay United, with assistant manager Aaron Downes watching from the sidelines, were 2-0 winners at Billericay Town.

Aaron Downes - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Australian born Aaron Downes signed for Chesterfield in August 2004, though he had made brief appearances for both Hampton & Richmond and Frickley Athletic on arriving in this country.
He spent eight years at Chesterfield before joining Rovers, on loan, in January 2012.
Signed for Torquay United in July 2012 and, in July 2015, signed for Cheltenham Town.
Returned to Plainmoor in December 2018 as assistant manager to his former Cheltenham boss, Gary Johnson. [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Alex Wall netted one of the Concord Rangers goals in their 2-2 draw against Slough Town for whom Louis Soares was an unused substitute.

Luke Russe, though, was on the losing side as Gloucester City went down 2-0 at Dartford while Eastbourne Borough manager Mark McGhee saw his side draw 1-1 at home against Chelmsford. Dave Martin was again selected for the starting lineup by McGhee.

Bath City are just two points off of third place following their 3-0 win at Hemel Hempstead Town. Ryan Clarke, Sean Rigg and Ryan Brunt all started this one, though Rigg was injured and came off in the 33rd minute. The man who replaced him, Ross Stearn, scored a hat trick!

Hampton & Richmond Borough were 5-3 winners at Oxford City, with Chris Dickson scoring twice, one of them from the penalty spot.

Truro City, who announced that they have been purchased by rugby club Cornish Pirates, were beaten 3-1 at home by East Thurrock. Not sure how, or if, that will affect assistant manager Michael Meaker in any way.

Bradley Goldberg scored a 50th minute goal for Welling United in their 3-1 away win at Wealdstone, while Will Puddy and George Rigg were in the Chippenham Town side beaten 2-0 at Woking.

The bottom two clubs, Weston super Mare and Hungerford Town, played out a goalless draw at the Woodspring Stadium. Nabi Diallo started for Weston and Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute, while Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was a 78th minute substitute for Hungerford.

There was no game for Northern Premier League Premier Division side Hednesford Town or their goalkeeper Kieran Preston, though there was news, in the shape of an advert in the Non League Paper, that their ground was for sale or available for lease!

Cleethorpes Town, of the East Division, lost 3-1 at Marske United, though Craig Disley was again in their starting lineup.

Meanwhile Ossett United, with Andy Monkhouse in their lineup, scored a 94th minute equaliser to take a point from a 1-1 home draw against AFC Mansfield.

In the West Division Prescot Cables also drew, 0-0 at Glossop North End and Josh Klein-Davis managed some second half game time from the bench.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Bishop’s Stortford, with Jamie Cureton named on the bench, drew 1-1 at Corinthian Casuals.

It was a good day for Tom Hitchcock and Harlow Town. He scored twice as his side were 3-1 home winners against Kingstonian, though they remain in the final relegation spot. Hitchcock has now scored ten goals for Harlow this season. Playing alongside Hitchcock was Scott Davies who was making his debut after signing following a very short time with the day’s opponents and he was voted as Harlow’s Man of the Match. Not quite sure how Davies has managed to play for three clubs this season; Slough Town, Kingstonian and now Harlow – perhaps someone will enlighten me!

Theo Widdrington was in the Bognor Regis Town side beaten 1-0 at Margate in front of 503 fans, which was a blow to their play off hopes. They are now in ninth place three points off of that final play off spot.

Moving on to the Southern League Premier Central Division and Marcus Law’s Kettering Town are now 11 points ahead of second placed Stourbridge at the top of the table. In front of a crowd of 760 they were 3-0 home winners against Banbury United. Craig Stanley was again in the starting XI but, once again, there was no sign of Adam Cunnington.

It was the Tyler Lyttle show at Rushall Olympic, 2-1 home winners against Kings Lynn Town. This is what the match report in the Non League Paper had to say about his performance; ‘The home side eventually drew level 18 minutes from time when Joe Hull swept home Tyler Lyttle’s low cross and nine minutes later they went ahead when Lyttle smashed home a free kick.’

In the Premier South Division Swindon Supermarine were beaten 2-0 at Basingstoke Town and although goalkeeper Martin Horsell started the match he didn’t finish it. The club’s Twitter account had this to say in the 72nd minute; ‘@mhorsell has been sent off for an incident in the box. There was a foul on Horsell and it looks like he’s lashed out at the perpetrator and he’s off.’ Jerel Ifil was named on the Supermarine bench for this one.

Martin Horsell - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Martin Horsell was given a pro contract by former Rovers boss Ian Atkins, who later signed him for Torquay United.  He failed to make the first team at Rovers and appeared in six league games for Torquay, one of them against Rovers at The Mem.
Has also played for Yate Town, Salisbury City, Dorchester Town, Tiverton Town, RRFC Montegnee, Weymouth and Hereford United.
Signed for Swindon Supermarine in January this year. Sent off on his debut, he was red carded again last Saturday!  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Jefferson Louis was on the scoresheet for Chesham United, 5-1 home winners against Poole Town while goalkeeper Liam Armstrong was on the winning side, and kept a clean sheet, in Tiverton Town’s 1-0 win at Gosport Borough.

Gavin Willams, Merthyr Town manager, saw his side drop two points as his side drew 1-1 at home against Harrow Borough. Ben Swallow was again in the Merthyr side.

Salisbury slipped to a surprise home defeat at the hands of Kings Langley, going down 2-1. Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side, while Rene Howe opened the scoring for Kings Langley on 19 minutes. They scored the winning goal in the 89th minute.

Danny Greaves saw his Frome Town side lose 1-0 at already relegated Staines Town. Tom Mehew was in the Frome lineup.

Taunton Town’s 2-2 draw at home against Hartley Wintney means they are no longer in pole position in the league. Pierce Mitchell was named on the bench for this one and went on in the 70th minute. Lucas Tomlinson was also named on the bench and made his Taunton debut when going on in the 90th minute.

Weymouth are the new league leaders following their 3-0 home win against Hendon. A crowd of 759 saw them return to the top of the table and Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in their starting lineup. Presumably Scott McGleish had a watching brief for Hendon, as he wasn’t in their squad.

The top two sides in Division One South both lost on their travels, which was good news for Yate Town. Leaders Blackfield & Langley lost 2-1 at Cinderford Town, while Yate were beaten by the same score at Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic. Ollie Mehew gave Yate a first half lead when he collected the rebound from his saved penalty to slot home, but Lewis Powell scored two second half goals to seal victory for the Larks.

Lewis Powell - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
The son of former Rovers striker Wayne Powell, Lewis Powell has also been a prolific goal scorer at non-league level, and is currently playing for Larkhall Athletic,
Since leaving Rovers, without making a first team appearance, he has played for Chippenham Town, Late Town, Weston super Mare, Mangotsfield United, Taunton Town and probably quite a few others.   He has had more than one spell at some of the aforementioned clubs.
Scored twice against one of his former clubs, Yate Town, last weekend.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Alexis Andre Jnr and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist were in the Yate starting XI while Sam Kamara was named on the bench. Geraint Bater was on the Larkhall bench and the attendance of 196 was the division’s largest of the day.

Mangotsfield United lost 2-0 at home against Bristol Manor Farm. Lewis Ellington was in the starting lineup, while Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was named on the bench.

Paulton Rovers also lost at home, 3-0 against Cirencester Town and they finished the game with nine men having collected two red cards. Assistant managers Gary Powell and Paul Tovey could only watch from the sidelines. The same applies to Jay Malpas, who was named on the bench.

Windsor, with Barry Hayles in a watching role, reached the Hellenic League Cup Final with a 3-0 away win against Almondsbury and they will now play Ascot United in the final on Monday 6th May.

Highgate United, with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard in their side, were 3-2 winners at Wolverhampton Sporting Community in their Total Motion MFL Premier Division match.

Locally, in the Toolstation Western League there appeared to be no games for our local managers, Ray Johnston (Hallen), Joe White (Chipping Sodbury Town) or Andy Gurney (Roman Glass St George).

In the Scottish Premiership Celtic and Aberdeen played out a goalless draw. Scott Sinclair started for the Glasgow side, but was substituted at half time. Heart of Midlothian, still missing the services of Michael Smith, were 1-0 winners at Dundee.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was in the Airdrieonians side that lost 1-0 at Raith Rovers, while in Scottish League two Alan Gow was in the Queens Park side beaten 2-0 at Edinburgh City. He didn’t last the 90 minutes, though, as he collected a second yellow card after 58 minutes. League leaders Peterhead, still without David McCracken, were 2-1 home winners against Annan Athletic.

Garry Kenneth was without a game as Lochee United’s away game at Faulkhouse United was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

In Wales, Barry Town United with Kayne McLaggon in their lineup, were beaten 3-0 at Newtown. As for Haverdfordwest County, and Kaid Mohamed. The side lost 3-0 at home against Cwmamman, while the player seems to have disappeared off the radar!

The Northern Ireland Premier League game between Crusaders and Warrenpoint was postponed, so no game for Mark McChrystal but Dungannon Swifts, with Seanan Clucas in their lineup, were 2-1 home winners against Newry City.

One league down, FC Larne clinched the Championship title with a 3-0 home win against Ballinamallard United and Jeff Hughes was able to celebrate at the final whistle!

Jeff Hughes - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Last weekend Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side that clinched the Irish Championship title.
Born in Larne, he played for Ballymena United and his hometown club before heading over to England in 2005 and joining Lincoln City.
Played against Rovers in the 2006/07 play off games and signed for Crystal Palace in July 2007. Loaned to Peterborough United in November that year and to Rovers in March 2008.
Jeff joined Rovers in a permanent deal in June 2008.
Moved on to Notts County in July 2011, Fleetwood Town in May 2013, Cambridge United in July 2015 and Tranmere Rovers in January 2016.  He rejoined Larne in April 2018.
Along the way he has won seven Northern Ireland U-21 caps as well as two full caps for his country [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In Cyprus, Mustapha Carayol was missing from the Apollon Limassol side that won 3-0 at AEL.

Charlie Clough was on the winning side, though, playing for Brunei DPMM who beat Geylang International in the Singapore League.

Ostersunds FK were without a game, so a blank weekend for Charlie Colkett. In fact, their next game doesn’t appear to be until 31st March.

On Sunday Jake Clarke Salter was missing from the SBV Vitesse side that drew 1-1 against Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie, so he didn’t get the chance to play against Robin van Persie!

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Chapter 30 –  Week commencing 25th February 2019

Monday night and Kelle Roos was on TV again! The Nottingham Forest game against his Derby County side was the Monday night football match on Sky. However, he was on the losing side, as Forest scored the only goal of the game after just 74 seconds.

In National League South Wealdstone played out a 1-1 home draw against Billericay Town. Jeffrey Monakana was named on the bench for the home side and was sent on in the 74th minute.

In the Southern League Division One South Melksham Town hosted Bideford AFC and were 2-1 winners in front of a crowd of 348. Nuno Felix was in the Melksham Town starting XI.

On Tuesday night, in the Premier League, Neil Etheridge and his Cardiff City side were again losers, this time suffering a 3-0 home defeat by Everton.

Paul Trollope was also on the losing side; Brighton & Hove Albion’s assistant manager could only watch from the sidelines as they were beaten 2-1 at Leicester City whose newly appointed manager Brendan Rogers also had a watching brief for this one.

In the Championship, Matty Taylor was a half time substitute for Bristol City who suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Birmingham City, but remain in the final play off spot.

Millwall assistant coach Adam Barratt saw his side also lose 2-1, at Hull City, but Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley was on the winning side at last. His side beat Leeds United 1-0 at Loftus Road to end their run of seven straight league defeats.

There appears to be a little bit of an injury crisis at Griffin Park, as Brentford were only able to name six substitutes at Sheffield Wednesday, where they were beaten 2-0 and goalkeeper Luke Daniels wasn’t one of them!

The only game in League One ended with a 2-0 win for Shrewsbury Town, against promotion hopefuls Doncaster Rovers. Ollie Norburn was suspended for this game, but Stefan Payne was sent on as a 64th minute substitute.

There was also one game in League Two and that saw league leaders Lincoln City draw 1-1 against Exeter City at Sincil Bank. John Akinde scored the Lincoln equaliser in the 96th minute and Cian Bolger went on as an 83rd minute substitute for The Imps. For Exeter, Donovan Wilson started and there was a return to the squad, after injury, for Hiram Boateng, who was sent on as an 82nd minute substitute.

Hiram Boateng - Photo Credit JMP
Now playing for Exeter City and back in the side following long term injury, Hiram Boateng started out at Crystal Palace and was loaned out to Crawley Town and Plymouth Argyle before arriving at Rovers, also on loan, in August 2016.
January 2017 saw another loan move, to Northampton Town and, ironically, he made his debut for them in a match against Rovers at The Memorial Stadium on 7th January 2017 when Rovers were 5-0 winners.
Joined Exeter, in a permanent deal, in August 2017.  [Photo Credit – JMP]
In the first of the Checkatrade Trophy semi finals, Portsmouth clinched their place at Wembley with a 3-0 win against Bury at Gigg Lane. Lee Brown was in the Pompey side, while Byron Moore was in the Bury starting XI and Dominic Telford went on as a 69th minute substitute.

In the FA Trophy fourth round replay, John Still’s Maidstone United were beaten 3-0 by Stockport County, while two former Gas players who are now assistant managers in National League South met with mixed results.

Aaron Downes saw his Torquay United side win 2-1 at East Thurrock United, but Michael Meaker saw his Truro City side lose at home, 1-0 to Woking.

In Scottish League Two, Alan Gow was missing from the Queens Park side that drew 2-2 at Elgin City, while in the same division Peterhead, again without the services of David McCracken, moved to the top of the league following their 1-0 home win against Cowdenbeath.

In the Southern League Premier South Division, Chesham United were 1-0 home winners against Gosport Borough and Jefferson Louis was named on the Chesham bench for this one.

Scott McGleish was again on the bench for Hendon, who suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Weymouth who moved into second place. Abdulai Baggie started for Weymouth and Josh Wakefield was a 56th minute substitute.

In the Southern League Division One South, Paulton Rovers went down 5-2 at AFC Totton which probably didn’t make for good watching for assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell. Jay Malpas was in the Paulton starting lineup for this one.

At the top of the table Yate Town played their game in hand over leaders Blackfield and Langley but were unable to close the three point gap as they were beaten 2-1 at Fleet Town. In the absence of a match report and a team lineup on Twitter, will have to assume that Alexis Andre Jnr, Ollie Mehew, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Sam Kamara were all involved.

In the Western League Premier Division, in front of a crowd of 88, Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town were 3-2 winners at Bitton.

Ben Morgan and Darren Mullings were in the Salisbury starting XI for their quarter final of the Salisbury Hospital Cup and they were on the winning side as The Whites beat Shaftsbury FV 8-7 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw after extra time. Salisbury will face Amesbury Town in the semi final.

Darren Mullings - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Now playing for Salisbury, Darren Mullings made four substitute appearances for Rovers before his release in the summer of 2007.
Has since played for many local non-league clubs, including Clevedon Town, Torquay United, Tiverton Town, Weston super Mare, Gloucester City, Oxford City, Paulson Rovers and Chippenham Town.   [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Six matches in the Premier League on Wednesday and no former Gas players involved; one day there will, hopefully, be more than one former player involved at that level!

In Scotland Heart of Midlothian and Celtic met in the Premiership, with Celtic running out 2-1 winners. While Michael Smith was missing from the Hearts lineup, Scott Sinclair was in the Celtic starting XI.

Peter Hartley was again on the bench for Motherwell for their game at Kilmarnock but didn’t see the end of the game; neither did anyone else for that matter, as the match was abandoned at the start of the second half because of fog!

In the Southern League Premier South Division, league leaders Taunton Town played out a home 1-1 draw against Swindon Supermarine. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton side, while Martin Horsell was in goal for the Wiltshire outfit.

Highgate United were 1-0 winners at Coventry United in the Midland League Premier Division, with Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard in their lineup.

On Friday night, Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side beaten 5-3 after extra time in the Irish Cup by Coleraine.

In France, Oumare Tounkara scored for Chateauroux in their French Ligue 2 match against Brest, which ended 2-2, leaving his side in 14th place.

Saturday match day saw Rovers record a 4-0 home win against Blackpool, with Jonson Clarke-Harris scoring a hat trick and Liam Sercombe also getting on the scoresheet. A good win, but Rovers remain in the bottom four yet are still only four points off of 13th place – that’s how tight it is!

In the Premier League, Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was again on the losing side as the Welsh club lost 2-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope was able to celebrate a win as his side were 1-0 home winners against Huddersfield Town.

In the Championship Brentford were 3-0 home winners against local rivals Queens Park Rangers. Luke Daniels was missing from the Brentford squad, but Joe Lumley was in goal for QPR.

Kelle Roos was probably glad that he was left out of the Derby County side for the trip to play Aston Villa. He was on the bench as his side suffered a 4-0 defeat, which has put a massive dent in their play off aspirations.

Ellis Harrison was again missing from the Ipswich Town squad that conceded a 90th minute goal at Portman Road which meant a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Reading. Sam Walker was again on the Reading bench.

Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side lose 3-1 at home against Norwich City, while Matty Taylor was an unused substitute for Bristol City in their 1-1 draw against Preston North End at Deepdale.

You
Now a coach at Millwall, Adam Barrett began his career with Leyton Orient although he never made a first team appearance before he moved to Plymouth Argyle and then Mansfield Town.
Arrived at Rovers in 2002 and spent two years at The Memorial Stadium in 2002.
A popular player who skippered the side, his stay would undoubtedly have been longer had it not been for the fact that there was a delay in offering him a new deal.
Joined Southend United and stayed at Roots hall for six seasons before playing for Crystal Palace, Leyton Orient (at last!), Bournemouth, Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon before returning to finish his career with Southend United.    [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Oli McBurnie saw his first half penalty saved by Bolton Wanderers’ Remi Matthews, but scored from open play in the 80th minute, the first of two Swansea City goals that saw them take all three points against a Bolton side that ended the match with nine men.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis saw his side pick up a point from a goalless draw against Wigan Athletic, a result that sees them remain in fifth place.

In League One a Tom Eaves goal earned Gillingham a point from a 1-1 draw at Fleetwood Town, but Matt Lund was missing from the Scunthorpe United side beaten 2-1 at Oxford United.

Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was on the Peterborough United bench and saw his side win 4-2 against Wycombe Wanderers. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side, while Paris Cowan-Hall was an unused substitute.

Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side that thrashed Bradford City 5-1 at Fratton Park, while Ollie Norburn returned to the Shrewsbury Town side, after suspension, for their goalless home draw against AFC Wimbledon. Stefan Payne was an unused substitute for The Shrews.

Plymouth Argyle were beaten 2-0 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and goalkeeper Matt Macey was called into action in the 80th minute when he replaced the injured Kyle Letheren. He was beaten for Sunderland’s second goal on 87 minutes. Gary Sawyer was also in the Argyle lineup.

League Two Bury kept up the pressure on league leaders Lincoln City with a 3-0 home win against Macclesfield Town at Gigg Lane. It was their fourth successive league victory and two former Gas men were second half substitutes, Dominic Telford in the 68th minute and Byron Moore in the 80th minute.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town were 2-0 winners at Crewe Alexandra. John-Joe O’Toole scored for the Cobblers on 32 minutes while Andy Williams was a 76th minute substitute.

Exeter City remain in the play off places in spite of a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Tranmere Rovers. Hiram Boateng was a 68th minute substitute for The Grecians. Donovan Wilson started for the home side but was forced off through injury after only 26 minutes.

Leaders Lincoln City were 2-1 winners at Forest Green Rovers, both goals being scored by John Akinde, the second of which came from the penalty spot. Cian Bolger was an unused Lincoln substitute for this one.

Reggie Lambe was in the Cambridge United side that won 2-0 at Grimsby Town, while there were four former Gas players on view at Field Mill where Mansfield Town beat Cheltenham Town 4-2. Ryan Sweeney was in the Stags’ lineup and Conrad Logan was on the bench, while Ryan Broom and Jordan Tillson both started for Cheltenham.

Lee Nicholls was again an unused substitute for MK Dons, 1-0 home winners against Crawley Town and David Pipe also failed to get off the bench for Newport County’s 2-0 home win against Carlisle United. Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side.

There were no former Gas players in action for bottom club Notts County who drew 0-0 against Port Vale at Meadow Lane, though Cristiano Montano was an unused substitute for Vale.

Joe Martin was another unused substitute, for Stevenage, who drew 1-1 against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park.

Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett were in the Swindon Town side that beat Colchester United 3-0 at the County Ground, and Bennett scored his first goal for the Wiltshire side. The injured Harry Pell was missing from the Colchester lineup.

Alefe Santos, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier in the week, was recalled to the Yeovil Town starting lineup and picked up a yellow card in their 3-2 home win against Morecambe.

In the National League Andy Bond was an unused AFC Fylde substitute in their 2-1 home win against Maidenhead United. Alfie Kilgour was again in the Maidenhead side.

Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town remain in deep trouble and they are now seven points from safety following their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Gateshead. The Shots were missing the suspended Scott Rendell, but Rollin Menayese and Bernard Mensah both completed the ninety minutes.

Barnet first team coach Danny Senda saw his charges register a 3-1 home win against Barrow while Ricky Shakes was a 75th minute substitute for Boreham Wood in their 2-0 win at Bromley and Danny Woodards was an unused substitute.

Chris Zebroski was in the Eastleigh side beaten 1-0 by Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town. He was substituted in the 73rd minute and Halifax scored their winner four minutes later!

Salford City returned to winning ways, and they registered a 1-0 away win at Ebbsfleet United where Rory Gaffney was introduced as an 81st minute substitute.

Leyton Orient were also winners on the road, beating Havant & Waterlooville 2-1. Matt Harrold was a 75th minute substitute for the O’s.

Luke James started and scored a rare goal in Hartlepool United’s 2-2 draw against Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.

Solihull Moors coach/assistant manager James Quinn saw his side register a 5-0 home win against John Still’s Maidstone United. Nathan Blissett was in the Moor’s side but didn’t get on the scoresheet but his side remain in second place, just two points behind leaders Wrexham, 1-0 home winners against Chesterfield.

Moving on to National League North now and, for the second week running, news of Adam Dawson. Given that he’s unable to play for Macclesfield Town this season, he has been loaned back to AFC Telford United and went on as a 77th minute substitute in their 2-2 draw at Boston United.

Darlington also drew, 1-1, at home against Chorley and while Alex Henshall went on as an 85th minute Darlo substitute, there was still no sign of Johnny Burn in their squad.

Yet another side to draw were Hereford, who took a point in a game that ended 2-2 against FC United of Manchester. Bob Harris turned out for FC while Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards were in the Hereford side.

Guiseley assistant manager Marcus Bignot must be a worried man, though, as his side were beaten 1-0 at home by Southport and are now just three points above the relegation places.

In National League South Bath City drew a crowd of 1,408 to Twerton Park for their game against Truro City. It ended 1-1 and was a better result for Truro assistant boss Michael Meaker than for Jerry Gill and his Bath side. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg started this one for The Romans, while Ryan Brunt went on at the start of the second half.

Alex Wall started, and scored, for Concord Rangers who drew 2-2 at Chelmsford, but Chippenham Town with Will Puddy and George Rigg in their side went down to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Oxford City.

Luke Russe was in the Gloucester City side that took a point from a goalless home draw against Wealdstone for whom Jeffrey Monakana was a 56th minute substitute.

Chris Dickson and his Hampton & Richmond Borough side were also firing blanks in their home game against Mark McGhee’s Eastbourne Borough, another game that ended goalless. Dave Martin was in the Eastbourne lineup for this one.

Dave Martin - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Dave Martin is now back with Eastbourne Borough after a loan spell with Margate.
One of life’s footballing nomads, Dave Martin started out with Slade Green and moved on to Dartford, Crystal Palace and Millwall before a move to Derby County.
Then played for Notts County, Walsall, Southend United, Luton Town and Dartford before joining Rovers, on loan from Luton and appeared in 15 Conference games before moving on to Stevenage, Whitehawk, Bromley, Margate and Eastbourne Borough whom he originally joined, from Margate, in 2018.   [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Hungerford picked up a welcome home point from a 1-1 draw against second in the table Woking. Rhys Kavanagh was in their lineup and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was an unused substitute, as was Louie Soares for Slough Town in their 1-0 win against Hemel Hempstead Town.

Torquay United assistant manager Aaron Downes saw his side lose their first home game since his appointment. They lost 2-1 to bottom club Weston super Mare who had Nabi Diallo in their starting lineup and introduced Jamie Lucas as an 87th minute substitute.

Welling United, with Bradley Goldberg in their side, took a point from a 2-2 home draw against St Albans.

There were away wins for Cleethorpes Town and Ossett United in the Northern Premier League East Division and both were by the same 2-0 scoreline.

Craig Disley was in the Cleethorpes side that moved up to seventh place in the league with their victory at Pickering Town, five points off of a play off place, while Andy Monkhouse was named on the Ossett bench for their game at Stamford. Ossett are one place above Cleethorpes and four points better off.

In the West Division Prescot Cables, with Josh Klein-Davies in their side, were beaten 2-1 at Mossley who scored the winning goal in the 90th minute.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Jamie Cureton was in the Bishop’s Stortford side beaten 2-1 at home by Potters Bar while Bognor Regis Town, with Theo Widdrington in their starting XI drew 2-2 at home against Worthing in front of the division’s biggest crowd of the day, 1,137.

Looking at the Harlow Town Twitter feed, it directed me to their website with these words; ‘The match report from this afternoon’s instantly forgettable 1-1 draw away to @Brightlingsea is now on the website.’ Harlow, with Tom Hitchcock in their side and winning their Player of the Match award took part in ‘an insipid draw…’ said the website!

Kettering Town, leaders of the Southern League Premier South Division, are now eight points clear at the top of the table following their 1-0 away win at Lowestoft Town. Marcus Law’s side, with Craig Stanley in their side now look odds on favourites for the title. No sign of Adam Cunnington for this one but victory no doubt helped Stanley’s 36th birthday celebrations 24 hours later!

Rushall Olympic, with Tyler Lyttle again starting, were also away winners, 1-0 at Hitchin Town.

In the Premier South Division Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side lost 2-0 at home against second placed Weymouth. Tom Mehew completed 90 minutes for Frome while Abdulai Baggie and Josh Wakefield were in the Weymouth side, with Wakefield scoring their second goal in the 83rd minute; ‘… Goodship took on a brilliant run forward, playing a ball to Wakefield who smashed it into the top corner to surely wrap up the match for the Terras.’

Danny Greaves - photo Credit - Jeff Davis
Danny Greaves graduated through the ranks at Rovers, though never made a first team appearance for the club.
Went on to appear in over 400 non-league games for Forest Green Rovers, Mangotsfield United, Cirencester Town, Clevedon Town and Bridgwater Town.
Had two spells as manager of Bradford Town before taking over as boss at Frome Town in May 2018.  [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Leaders Taunton Town, though, slipped to a 1-0 defeat away at Harrow Borough. Pierce Mitchell was in their side who must now be looking over their shoulder as they are only one point ahead of Weymouth, who have a game in hand.

Third placed Salisbury are only three points behind Taunton, also with a game in hand and they strengthened their claim for the title with a 4-1 away win at Wimborne Town. They were missing the injured Ben Morgan, but Darren Mullings, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Sunday, completed the 90 minutes.

Scott McGleish, who has been on the bench for the last couple of Hendon games, was missing from the squad for their 1-0 home win against Basingstoke Town. Obviously concentrating on his coaching duties from the sidelines!

Also watching from the sidelines was Merthyr Town boss Gavin Williams, who saw his side lose 1-0 at Kings Langley. Ben Swallow was in the Merthyr side, while; ‘Presented by Glenn Dundon, today’s ‘Heatfix’ Man of the Match Award for Kings Langley goes to Rene Howe.’

Martin Horsell was in goal for Swindon Supermarine and Jerel Ifil named on the bench for their goalless home draw against Chesham United, while Jefferson Louis was on the bench for the visitors.

Liam Armstrong was in goal for Tiverton Town as they were 2-1 home winners against fourth placed Metropolitan Police, the winning goal coming in the 90th minute.

Moving on to Division One South, and second placed Yate Town were 3-0 home winners against Slimbridge in front of a crowd of 236. Alexis Andre Jnr was in goal for Yate, Ollie Mehew and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist started and Sam Kamara was on the bench and got a taste of the action in the second half.

Mangotsfield United went down 3-0 at league leaders Blackfield & Langley. Tyrone Tucker-Dixon and Lewis Ellington were named in the Mangotsfield squad, that travelled but, according to the club’s Twitter feed; ‘Unfortunately there won’t be any live updates today. Hopefully normal service will be resumed next weekend.’  There was no teamsheet published on the Mangotsfield or Blackfield & Langley websites, so I’m afraid I don’t know if either of the former Gas players started or were on the bench.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 2-1 away winners at Fleet Town. Once again, I’m struggling to find any lineups for this game, so have no idea if Geraint Bater, Wayne Powell and Neil Arndale were involved!

I can tell you that while one of the Paulton Rovers assistant managers, Paul Tovey, watched from the sidelines the other, Gary Powell, was on the bench. Jay Malpas started this one, but Paulton lost 1-0 at Highworth Town.

Melksham Town also kept their lineup under wraps, and all I can tell you about them was that they lost 2-1 at home against Thatcham Town!

Barry Hayles is still playing and still scoring! He was in the Windsor lineup for their 2-1 win against Ardley United and scored what turned out to be the winning goal in the 83rd minute.

Local managers with Gas connections didn’t do too well, either, with Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George losing 2-0 at Plymouth Parkway and Ray Johnston’s Hallen going down 6-1 at Willand Rovers. Oh, and Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town made it a hat trick of losses as they were beaten 3-1 by Buckland Athletic.

In the Scottish Premiership, Kilmarnock and Motherwell played out a goalless draw in their rearranged game after the original fixture was abandoned in the week because of fog and Peter Hartley was again an unused substitute for Motherwell.

Celtic were 2-0 winners in the quarter final of the Scottish Cup, overcoming Hibernian at Easter Road, a game that saw Celtic boss Neil Lennon return to the club he left just a month ago. Scott Sinclair was in the Celtic lineup and, according to match reports a glass bottle was thrown in his direction moments before Celtic’s opening goal.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy scored the only goal of the game as Airdrieonians were 1-0 home winners against Montrose.

Alan Gow was a 74th minute substitute for Queens Park in their Scottish League Two 2-1 defeat at Annan Athletic. League leaders Peterhead, missing the services of David McCracken, were 1-0 home winners against Elgin City.

Lochee United were 3-0 home winners against Kirriemuir Thistle. Garry Kenneth was again in the Lochee lineup and almost scored; ‘A Garry Kenneth header from a Cameron corner almost squeezed between the legs of keeper Diamond as Lochee kept up the pressure without really looking like breaking the deadlock’

In Wales, Barry Town United went through to the semi finals of the Welsh Cup with a 3-2 win against Cambrian and Clydach Vale and it was a game that saw Kayne McLaggon score a hat trick for the winners; ‘What a week for this guy, engaged in New York and scores a hat trick tonight@Kaynomc’ is what the club’s Twitter account said on Saturday night.

Haverfordwest County were 3-0 winners against Cwmbran Athletic, though Kaid Mohamed wasn’t on the scoresheet. He might not even have been in the side – they keep their team selection close to their chest down Haverdfordwest way!

In the Irish Cup quarter finals Crusaders were 3-0 winners against Ballymena United but did it without the services of Mark McChrystal. Dungannon Swifts were knocked out, though, 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes and a 2-2 draw after extra time. Seanan Clucas had opened the scoring for the Swifts in the 33rd minute of their match against Ballinamallard.

Stephan Leoni, manager of French side US Sarre-Union was able to celebrate on Saturday night as his charges were 2-1 home winners against Troyes 2

In the Dutch Eredivisie Vitesse were 4-1 home winners against NAC. Jake Clarke-Salter started this one for Vitesse but came off at some point in the game (times of substitutions not known/shown!)

Jake Clarke-Salter - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
A Chelsea player, Jake Clarke-Salter has appeared for Rovers, on loan, making 12 appearances in 2016/17 and Sunderland, also on loan, in 2017/18.
Currently on loan with Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch Eredivisie, he won the U-21 World Cup with England in 2017. [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In Cyprus Mustapha Carayol was missing from the Apollon Limassol squad that recorded a 3-1 home win against AC Omonia.

On Sunday, Charlie Colkett came off the bench for Ostersund in their 3-0 home win against Sirius in the Swedish Cup.

On the same day Charlie Clough made his debut for Brunei DPMM and ended up on the winning side, as he helped his club secure a 1-0 away win at Home United in the Singapore League.

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Chapter 29 –  Week commencing 18th February 2019

Monday saw FC Midtjylland in action in the Danish Superliga and they ran out 2-1 home winners against AaB Aalborg with goalkeeper Mikkel Anderson again warming the bench.

Quite a few games played on Tuesday evening and we start with The Gas, in action down at Fratton Park against Portsmouth. We have a dismal record against them on their own patch (no win since 1975) and it’s only marginally improved following a 1-1 draw. Frustratingly, it could have been a win as Jonson Clarke-Harris scored the opener from the penalty spot and then missed a second spot kick in the second half which might have made for a three point haul.

Lee Brown, facing his former club for the second time this season, had a quiet game, while Tariq Holmes-Dennis, on his return to Fratton Park, showed Pompey fans just how good a player he is.

The one game played in the Championship saw Queens Park Rangers lose 3-2 against West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road with Albion scoring the winning goal in the 94th minute. You have to feel for QPR goalkeeper Joe Lumley, who conceded at the same stage of last week’s game against our nearest and dearest Bristol rivals.

Tom Eaves scored for Gillingham against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, but it wasn’t enough to prevent them losing 4-2.

In League Two Cheltenham Town recorded a 2-0 home win against Cambridge United who had a man sent off in the 58th minute. Ryan Broom completed 90 minutes for Cheltenham, but Jordan Tillson was missing from the squad, while Reggie Lambe was an unused Cambridge substitute.

Newport County, beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in the FA Cup, recorded an away win at Notts County by the same score in League Two. David Pipe, an unused Newport substitute, was the only former Gas player on view.

Cristian Montano was a 53rd minute substitute for Port Vale in their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Tranmere Rovers and remain in danger of dropping out of the league at the end of the season; there are only four clubs below them at present!

In the National League Andy Bond was in the AFC Fylde side that beat Havant & Waterlooville 6-2, a result that sees them stay in fourth place.

New leaders are Wrexham, 2-0 winners at Boreham Wood who had Ricky Shakes in their starting lineup and Danny Woodards on the bench (he didn’t get on!)

Luke James was again in the Hartlepool United side as they collected a point from a goalless draw at Ebbsfleet United.

Luke James - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Luke James began his career at Hartlepool United and was transferred to Peterborough United in September 2014. Spent a brief spell with Bradford City, on loan, before signing for Rovers on a season long loan in July 2016.
Joined Forest Green Rovers, on a free transfer, in July 2017 and rejoined Hartlepool in July 2018 following a loan spell at Barrow.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
There was a home defeat for John Still’s Maidstone United, as they lost 1-0 at home against Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town.

Congratulations are in order for Danny Senda, appointed as first team coach at Barnet last weekend. He saw his charges draw 0-0 at Sutton United.

In the Southern League Premier South Division, there were no goals for Chesham United’s Jefferson Louis, but his side did manage a 2-1 win against Basingstoke Town.

In the same division, Kings Langley and Salisbury drew 1-1, with the Wiltshire side scoring a very late equaliser. Rene Howe was, apparently, a bit of a star for Langley; ‘Rene is relishing his role keeping the ball high up the field and he combines well with Georgiou to win a corner.’

Darren Mullings was named on the bench for Salisbury and that’s where he remained all night!

There was a welcome away win for Tiverton Town who, with Liam Armstrong in goal, were 4-2 winners at bottom club Staines Town.

In Division One South Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were beaten 4-1 at Cirencester Town. Neil Arndale and Lewis Powell started for The Larks and it was Powell who scored their goal.

Jamie Cureton was on the bench for Bishop’s Stortford who drew 2-2 at Wingate & Finchley in their Bostik League Premier Division clash. They were a man down after only 17 minutes, and a goal down three minutes later, so it was a creditable result and Jamie remained on the bench!

In the Somerset Premier Cup quarter finals, Danny Greaves’ Frome Town were 5-4 winners in a penalty shootout against Shepton Mallet after a 1-1 draw. Tom Mehew started for the winners, but came off at the end of the first half.

Joining Frome in the semi finals are Weston super Mare, 4-2 home winners against Chard Town but trying to find the Weston lineup proved an impossible task!

One former Rovers player, Bob Harris, resurfaced on this day, when news filtered through that he had signed for National League North side FC United of Manchester.

Bob Harris Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Bob Harris made his debut for FC United of Manchester last weekend having previously turned out for Clyde, Queen of the South, Blackpool, Rotherham United, Sheffield United and Fleetwood Town before pitching up at the Memorial Stadium in February 2017.
Since leaving us that summer he has played, briefly, for Telford.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Meanwhile former Rovers manager Mark McGhee has joined National League South side Eastbourne Borough as interim manager for the remainder of the season.

And, finally, the Adam Dawson mystery has been solved!  There’s a very good reason why he hasn’t played for Macclesfield Town since signing for them on 11th January. Writing on social media, Dawson said; ‘Absolutely devastated I can’t play officially for Macclesfield this season in the Football League due to the two club rule.

‘I wasn’t aware that part time and non contracts in non league count as clubs to the EFL. What baffles me the most is that I can still play non league football but I’m not eligible to play in the Football League.

‘This is just another test thrown at me, but one that will make me stronger.’

Adam Dawson - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Adam Dawson has quite a few clubs on his CV, including Wigan Athletic, Accrington Stanley, Barrow, Notts County and Nuneaton before a spell in BS7 with Rovers.
Went on to play for Kidderminster Harriers, Tranmere Rovers, Nuneaton (again), Eastleigh, Tranmere Rovers (again), Darlington, Southport, Telford, and Chester before signing for Macclesfield Town in January of this year.
It’s only recently been found out that he can’t play for them this season. [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Dawson has already played for AFC Telford and Chester this season and joined the Moss Rose outfit from Chester where he was a non contract player. He signed a deal with Macc until the end of the season, so it remains to be seen if he will ever actually play for them.

What I find strange about the situation is that Macclesfield Town didn’t appear to be aware of the FA rule which allows players to sign for three clubs in any one season but are only allowed to play for two of them.

We’ve seen it on two occasions this season with Stefan Payne and Sam Slocombe. Payne has been loaned back to Shrewsbury Town, from Rovers, and can play for them as he appeared in their first game of the season before a transfer to BS7 so he couldn’t have played for anyone else.

Same goes for Slocombe who played for Rovers earlier in the season, was loaned to Lincoln City, where he played a few games, and then his loan was cut short and he returned to Rovers.  Having played for two clubs he is unable to play for a third.

Transfer news saw Ben Swallow, who has been on loan at Merthyr Town for a month, from Weston super Mare, extend his stay with The Martyrs for another month. He made three appearance for the Welsh club in the first month of his loan, two of which were from the bench.

On Thursday evening there was just one game played in the Championship and Derby County goalkeeper Kelle Roos ended up on the losing side as The Rams suffered a home defeat (1-0) at the hands of Millwall who had coach Adam Barratt watching from the sidelines.

Darlington, in National League North, also suffered a home defeat as they went down 2-0 against Brackley Town. Alex Henshall was in the Darlo starting XI, but no sign of Johnny Burn again; another missing player.  However Will Smith also played for the home side; can’t be that Will Smith, surely, can it!

In the quarter finals of the Somerset Premier Cup Paulton Rovers, who went down to 10 men after 57 minutes, were 2-1 winners at Clevedon Town. Paulton assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell were on the sidelines and Jay Malpas was named on the bench.

On Thursday evening Scott Sinclair was in the Celtic squad for their Europa League match against Valencia. However, the Glasgow giants were beaten 1-0 (3-0 on aggregate) and are out of the competition. Sinclair, who was named on the bench, played no part in the game.

Received news of another former Rovers player on Thursday, so thanks to Mark McBurney for letting me know that Ali Gibb is at Bolton Wanderers, where he is Senior Academy Physiotherapist. Think it’s time to make a note of all former players who are involved in staff jobs at football clubs up and down the country – it may take a while, but I aim to have it done by the end of the season!

Friday night brought more misery for Cardiff City and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge as they suffered a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Watford.

In Northern Ireland, Crusaders were in action in the Premiership and Mark McChrystal was again an unused substitute as they played out a 1-1 draw against Glenavon.

There was another 1-1 draw in France as in Ligue 2 Chateauroux, with Oumare Tounkara completing the 90 minutes, took a point from their trip to play Beziers.

Saturday brought Sunderland to The Mem and defeat for Rovers as a goal in each half contributed to a Gas downfall and a place in the bottom four. Nine home defeats already this season tells a sorry story and it looks as though the battle to avoid the drop is going down to the wire.

No Gas representation in the Premier League today, so we move straight on to the Championship and goalkeeper Luke Daniels, usually on the bench for Brentford’s league games, was missing from the squad that beat Hull City 5-1 at Griffin Park.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis saw his side beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0. Not a good day for former Gas loanee Joe Lumley, whose side suffered a seventh consecutive league defeat.

Another former Gas star, Adam Barratt, now a coach at Millwall, saw his side lose 3-1 against Preston North End at The Den, while Matty Taylor was a 71st minute substitute for Bristol City in their 3-2 defeat against Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Sam Walker was again on the bench for Reading in their 1-1 draw against Rotherham United at the Madejski Stadium while Conor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea City side that lost 3-1 at Sheffield Wednesday. The fact that he scored Swansea’s goal in the 69th minute was probably of little consolation to McBurnie.

Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic leaves them still nine points adrift at the bottom of the table and it looks as though they should start preparing for life in League One. Ellis Harrison was again missing from their squad.

Scunthorpe and Doncaster Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park in League One, but Matt Lund wasn’t involved for Scunthorpe on this occasion.

Neither was Marc Bola involved for Blackpool, beaten 1-0 at Bloomfield Road by Oxford United, but there were three ex Gas involved in the game between Peterborough United and Shrewsbury Town at London Road.

The Shrews were 2-1 winners in a game that saw two red cards issued. Peterborough’s Ivan Toney saw red in the first half following a deliberate handball and Ollie Norburn scored from the resulting penalty. Norburn then picked up two second half yellow cards and was sent off on 62 minutes. Aaron Chapman (Peterborough) and Stefan Payne (Shrewsbury) were unused substitutes.

Plymouth Argyle were goal happy at Home Park, where they were 5-1 winners against Rochdale who were on level terms up until the 58th minute, when Ethan Ebanks-Landell was sent off. Dale capitulated after that and conceded four goals in the remaining 30 minutes or so. Gary Sawyer was in the Argyle side and Matt Macey was on the bench.

Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side held to a goalless draw by Barnsley at Fratton Park. Pompey missed a penalty in this one and remain in fourth place.

Three more ex Gas were on show at Adams Park where Wycombe, with Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall in their lineup, lost 1-0 to a Gillingham side with Tom Eaves in their starting XI.

In League Two Bury remained in second place following their 3-1 home win against Oldham Athletic. Byron Moore completed 90 minutes for The Shakers while Dominic Telford was an unused substitute.

At Whaddon Road, Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham Town side that beat Port Vale 1-0 and Jordan Tillson was introduced as an 88th minute substitute. Cristian Montano started for Vale who are down in 22nd place and in very real danger of being relegated.

Harry Pell was still missing from the Colchester United squad, through injury, as they took a point from a 1-1 draw against Carlisle United. Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle side, but this result saw them drop out of the promotion places.

They are replaced in the final play off spot by Exeter City, 2-1 winners at Crewe Alexandra. Donovan Wilson was an 82nd minute substitute for The Grecians.

Mansfield Town’s 1-0 home win against Forest Green Rovers saw them stay in third place. The only ex Gasman involved in this game was Stags’ goalkeeper Conrad Logan, who was an unused substitute.

Another goalkeeper and unused substitute was Lee Nicholls, who stayed on the bench for MK Dons, 2-0 home winners against Newport County for whom David Pipe was also an unused substitute.

League leaders Lincoln City were 2-0 winners at Morecambe, with John Akinde in their starting XI and Cian Bolger an 84th minute substitute.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town were 2-1 winners at Stevenage, where John-Joe O’Toole started and Andy Williams came off the bench in the 71st minute and scored the winning goal for The Cobblers in the 91st minute. Joe Martin was again an unused substitute for Stevenage.

Swindon Town, with Tom Broadbent and Kyle Bennett in their lineup, were held to a 1-1 draw by Grimsby Town at the County Ground.

Yeovil Town, with Alefe Santos again excluded from their squad, were 1-0 home winners against Cambridge United for whom Reggie Lambe completed the 90 minutes.

Bottom club Notts County lost 1-0 at Tranmere Rovers and both Elliot Ward and Daniel Jones appear to have been pushed out of the picture following the club’s transfer deadline day deals.

It was FA Trophy quarter finals day and there were former Gas representatives in each tie, with two of them definitely making it through to the semi final stage.

Matt Harrold scored one of the two goals that enabled Leyton Orient to go through thanks to a 2-1 away win against holders Brackley Town. They left it late, though; Harrold’s goal was timed at 64 minutes, and the winner arrived seven minutes from time.

John Still’s Maidstone United drew away at Stockport County and now face a replay, though I’m not sure why because the tie between AFC Fylde and Barnet also finished all square (0-0) but then went to penalties after extra time. I’m assuming clubs have the choice between that way of settling the tie or a replay. Anyway, Fylde won the spot kick lottery 4-1 with Andy Bond scoring one of the four.

The other semi finalists are AFC Telford, who were 2-1 winners at Solihull Moors, meaning no cup glory for assistant manager/coach James Quinn or striker Nathan Blissett who was unable to find the back of the net in this game.

In the National League, Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town ended a run of 18 games without a win with a 1-0 victory at bottom club Braintree Town. Rollin Menayese and Scott Rendell were in the starting XI for the Shots, but Rendell just failed to complete the 90 minutes as he was red carded in the 85th minute. Bernard Mensah missed out through injury, while Lyle Della-Verde was in the Braintree side.

Scott Rendell - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Scott Rendell’s career is one that has been punctuated by loan spells. However, he’s now back at his first professional club, Aldershot Town.
He was loaned back to the Shots after being signed by Reading and went on to play for Forest Green Rovers, Hayes, Crawley Town, Cambridge United, Peterborough United, Yeovil Town, Torquay United and Wycombe Wanderers before signing for Rovers in October 2011.
It was only a one month loan and he was soon on his travels again, to Oxford United, Luton Town and Woking, before rejoining The Shots in June 2016.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Dagenham & Redbridge were again missing the services of Angelo Balanta as they were 1-0 winners against Sutton United at Victoria Road. Meanwhile Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town played out a goalless draw against Havant & Waterlooville, even though they played with ten men from the 32nd minute following James Berrett’s red card.

Luke James was missing from the Hartlepool United squad as they slumped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Bromley, but Alfie Kilgour was again on the winning side, for Maidenhead United, 1-0 home winners against Dover Athletic.

Rory Gaffney played the 90 minutes for Salford City, but they were beaten 2-0 at home by Eastleigh. Chris Zebroski was in the Eastleigh side and both he and Gaffney picked up yellow cards.

In National League North, Guiseley co manager Marcus Bignot saw his side suffer a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Alfreton Town.

Bob Harris, meanwhile, made his debut for FC United of Manchester in their goalless draw at Southport.

Bath City enhanced their National League South promotion prospects with a 2-0 home win against Slough Town. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg started the game for City, while Ryan Brunt was a 70th minute substitute. Louie Soares started the game for Slough.

Hampton & Richmond Borough played out a goalless draw at East Thurrock and Chris Dickson was an 82nd minute substitute for them.

Mark McGhee’s managerial bow for Eastbourne Borough didn’t go to plan as they suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Wealdstone. Mind you, they did have their goalkeeper sent off when they were only a goal down. Dave Martin, returned from his loan spell at Margate, was in the Eastbourne side, while Jeffrey Monakana was in the Wealdstone starting XI.

MM
Mark McGhee made his bow as Eastbourne Borough manager last Saturday having been Scotland’s Assistant Manager, Motherwell boss and Barnet manager after leaving Rovers from January – December 2012.
Prior to that he had been in charge at Reading, Leicester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Millwall, Brighton & Hove Albion, Motherwell and Aberdeen.
As a player he turned out for Morton, had two spells at Newcastle United, Aberdeen, Hamburg, Celtic, IK Brage and Reading, winning four Scottish caps along the way.

Luke Russe, who has extended his loan spell with Gloucester City until the end of the season, was in the side that played out a goalless draw against Chelmsford, while Alex Wall was in the Concord Rangers side that also drew 2-2, at Hemel Hempstead Town.

Rhys Kavangah was in the Hungerford Town side beaten 1-0 at home by Welling United. Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling starting lineup.

Truro City assistant manager Michael Meaker saw his side draw 2-2 at St Albans and another assistant manager, Torquay United’s Aaron Downes, watched his side return to the top of the table following a 5-2 home win against Dulwich Hamlet, watched by a crowd of 2,655.

Bottom club Weston super Mare suffered another home defeat, going down 1-0 against Chippenham Town. Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute for them, while Will Puddy and George Rigg were in the Chippenham side.

In the Northern Premier League East Division, Craig Disley was in the Cleethorpes Town side that won 2-0 against Pickering Town and received a glowing tribute in the match report on their website; ‘On to Man of the Match and my personal choice is Craig Disley. The ‘Ginger Pirlo’ is playing well now and has a touch of undoubted class.’

Ossett United, with Andy Monkhouse in their side, registered their record attendance (638) but disappointed their fans by suffering a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Morpeth Town.

In the West Division Prescot Cables also attracted a crowd in excess of 600 for their home game against league leaders Atherton Collieries. The game ended 1-1 and Josh Klein-Davies was in the Cables starting XI.

Bognor Regis Town, of the Bostik League Premier Division, suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Haringey Borough. Theo Widdrington started this one for the home side and picked up a 28th minute yellow card.

Scott Davies was named on the bench for Kingstonian for their away game at Brightlingsea Regent and was called on in the 62nd minute of his side’s 2-0 defeat.

Jamie Cureton was missing from the Bishop’s Stortford side beaten 1-0 at Dorking Wanderers, while Tom Hitchcock was in the Harlow Town side that suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Whitehawk.

In the Southern League Premier Central Division, Marcus Law and his Kettering Town side extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points with a 2-1 home win against Rushall Olympic, the winning goal arriving in the 91st minute. Craig Stanley and Adam Cunnington were in the Kettering side while Tyler Lyttle was in the Rushall starting XI.

Moving on to the Premier South Division and Danny Greaves watched his Frome Town side lose 2-0 at home to Chesham United. Tom Mehew was in the Frome side.

Liam Armstrong was on the losing side as Tiverton Town were beaten 1-0 at Hartley Wintney, a result that leaves them just outside of the bottom three on goal difference.

Scott McGleish was an unused substitute for Hendon, beaten 4-0 at home by Gosport Borough, but Salisbury kept up their pursuit of league leaders Taunton Town with a 2-1 home win over Basingstoke Town. Darren Mullings was a 67th minute substitute for The Whites.

There seems to be no stopping Taunton, though; they are five points clear of Salisbury and were 2-1 home winners against Farnborough. Pierce Mitchell was in the Taunton side for this one.

Third placed Weymouth were also 2-1 home winners, against Gavin Williams’ Merthyr Town. Abdulai Baggie started for Weymouth and Ben Swallow was in the Merthyr side.

Goalkeeper Martin Horsell kept a clean sheet for Swindon Supermarine, 2-0 winners against Dorchester Town, but Jerel Ifil was missing from the starting lineup on this occasion.

Rene Howe was in the Kings Langley side whose 3-0 home win against Beaconsfield Town moved them to within three points of a play off place.

In Division One South, second placed Yate Town lost ground on leaders Blackfield & Langley as they could only draw, 1-1, against AFC Totton at Lodge Road. Goalkeeper Alexis Andre made his Yate debut, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Ollie Mehew, who scored Yate’s goal, both started and Sam Kamara was a76th minute substitute.

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic lost 1-0 at home against Evesham United, with Lewis Powell in the starting lineup and Neil Arndale on the bench.

Mangotsfield United were also beaten at home, 2-1 by Melksham Town. Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was on the Mangotsfield bench and went on in the 69th minute, while Nuno Felix was in the Melksham side.

Paulton Rovers assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell saw their side record a 4-1 home win against Fleet Town. Jay Malpas was named on the Paulton bench for this one and went on in the 63rd minute.

Barry Hayles was in the Windsor side that won 2-0 at Binfield in the Hellenic League, though he came off after 66 minutes.

Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard were in the Highgate United side that won 2-0 against Quorn in the Total Motion MFL Premier Division.

Closer to home, Ray Johnston’s Hallen suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Plymouth Parkway, Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George were beaten 1-0 by Clevedon Town but Chipping Sodbury Town were without a game – they play Bitton on Tuesday.

In Scotland, Michael Smith was missing from the Heart of Midlothian lineup as they drew 1-1 with St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

In Scottish League One Darryl Duffy scored and was also yellow carded in Airdrieonians 3-2 defeat at Arbroath, while in League Two Alan Gow was in the Queens Park side held to a 1-1 home draw by Clyde but David McCracken was missing from the Peterhead squad for their 1-0 win at Stirling.

Lochee United, with Garry Kenneth in their side, beat Troon FC to reach the semi finals of the Scottish Junior Cup.

Barry Town United, of the Welsh Premier league, with Kayne McLaggon in their lineup, drew 1-1 against Connah’s Quay Nomads who are three points ahead of them at the top of the league.

Haverfordwest County of Welsh League One played out a goalless draw at Port Talbot. Kaid Mohamed might have been involved…then again, he might not have been!

In Ireland, Dungannon Swifts, with Seanan Clucas in their lineup, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at Institute in the NIFL Premiership.

In the Championship Larne remain 18 points clear at the top of the table following their 2-0 win at H & W Welders. They have six games left to play and could clinch the title in two weeks’ time when they play Ballinmallard United. Jeff Hughes came off the bench in the second half for Larne in this one.

Stephane Leoni, manager of French side US Sarre-Union watched his side go down 4-0 at Sarregumines while in Sweden Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersunds FK side beaten 3-2 at Karlstad.

Charlie Colkett - Photo Credit neil Brookman
Now playing in Sweden with Ostersunds FK, Charlie Colkett began his career with Chelsea and was loaned to Rovers in August 2016, for the season.  Recalled by Chelsea in January 2017 he was then loaned to Swindon Town and began this season with Shrewsbury Town, also on a season long loan.
That was cut short by The Shrews on New Year’s Eve and he headed for Sweden on 25th January this year.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
On Sunday, in the Scottish Premiership, Scott Sinclair scored Celtic’s first goal in their 4-1 win against Motherwell who again had Peter Hartley sitting on the bench for the 90 minutes.

In the Dutch Eredivisie Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Vitesse side that recorded a 3-0 away win at FC Emmen.

Mikkel Andersen was again on the bench for FC Midtjylland in the Danish Superliga as they were 2-1 away winners at AGF and they stay in second place in the table. They had two players sent off in this one, in the 67th and 77th minutes.

There was more game time for Mustapha Carayol in the Cypriot First Division as he went on as a substitute for Apollon Limassol in their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Apoel Nicosia.

 

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Chapter 28 –  Week commencing 11th February 2019

On Monday Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that won their sixth round Irish Cup tie against Glenavon. He also collected a yellow card.

thumbnail_SeananClucas
The Northern Irishman, Seanan Clucas, played for Preston North End and Burton Albion (on loan) before joining Rovers in July 2012.
Remained in BS7 until February 2015 and joined Derry City that same month.
Joined his present club, Dungannon Swifts, in August 2016.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Also on Monday FC Midtjylland were in action in the Danish Superliga and they were 1-0 winners against Vendsyssel. Mikkel Andersen was an unused substitute for the victors.

Tuesday saw a number of matches played and starting in the Championship, Matty Taylor was introduced as a 66th minute substitute in Bristol City’s 2-1 win against Queens park Rangers at Ashton Gate where the winning goal was scored in stoppage time, from the penalty spot. I’m sure that the blue half of Bristol was willing QPR keeper Joe Lumley to keep that one out!

Elsewhere, Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side play out a goalless draw against Sheffield Wednesday at The Den.

In League One, Marc Bola started for Blackpool in their 1-1 draw at Sunderland, but had to come off after only seven minutes, though I’m not sure of the reason. Manager Terry McPhillips said afterwards; ‘We lost Bola early doors and Donervan didn’t make it either, so we were a bit short on defenders.’  The Blackpool Gazette managed to tell us that Bola was injured but didn’t specify the type of injury!

In League Two Tom Parkes was in the Carlisle United side that lost 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra. Their cause wasn’t helped by having to play for all but 18 minutes of the game with ten men following Jamie Devitt’s red card.

David Pipe was an unused substitute for Newport County, who suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of MK Dons. Lee Nicholls was left out of the MK side for this one and spent the night on the bench, watching his team mates climb from eighth to fourth in the league table.

Yeovil Town were like lambs to the slaughter as they were unable to spoil the Paul Scholes party at Boundary Park where Oldham Athletic were 4-1 winners. Scholes oversaw a comfortable win in his first game in charge, while Yeovil’s Alefe Santos once again didn’t make the squad.

Swindon Town were 2-0 home winners against Forest Green Rovers, with Tom Broadbent in their starting lineup and Kyle Bennett finally making his Town debut when going on as an 81st minute substitute.

The one game in the National League saw Solihull Moors take over at the top following their 3-0 win at Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town. Rollin Menayese, Bernard Mensah and Scott Rendell all started for the Shots. However, Moors’ coach assistant manager James Quinn and striker Nathan Blissett were the winners on this occasion and Blissett scored a hat trick, his third goal arriving in the 94th minute.

There were three third round replays played in the FA Trophy and AFC Fylde, with Andy Bond in their starting XI, were 4-1 home winners against Ramsbottom United.

John Still’s Maidstone United also won their home replay, beating Salford City 3-0 though I’m not sure how seriously Salford are taking this competition as they named only one substitute and were missing several of their regular first teamers, including Rory Gaffney. A statement on the club’s Twitter account said; ‘Graham Alexander took positives from tonight’s team that featured seven Academy players.’

In National League North, Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley took a point from a 1-1 draw at AFC Telford United.

Aaron Downes, Torquay United assistant manager, saw them stay at the top of National League South thanks to a 4-1 win at Hemel Hempstead Town.

In the same league Bradley Goldberg scored the only goal of the game, from the penalty spot, to help Welling United win 1-0 at Oxford City.

There was also a win for Gloucester City on the road as they beat Slough Town 2-1. Victory, with Luke Russe in their side, saw them move out of the relegation places. Louie Soares was named on the Slough bench for this game.

Three games in the Southern League Division One South all featured Gas or ex Gas players. Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side recorded a 1-0 win on the road at Dorchester Town. Tom Mehew was in the Frome starting XI.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side, with Ben Swallow starting, register a 2-1 home win against high fliers Weymouth. Josh Wakefield started for Weymouth while Abdulai Baggie was named on the bench

Tiverton Town, though, were well beaten, 3-0 at Poole Town, so not a good night for goalkeeper Liam Armstrong.

Bishop’s Stortford bowed out of the Velocity Trophy at the semi final stage, beaten by Enfield Town 4-2 in a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw. Fielding a young side and missing four cup tied regulars and another three through injury, they put up quite a fight according to assistant manager Jamie Cureton, who was one of those not playing. He tweeted this; ‘Could not be more proud of my young team last night. They gave absolutely everything and were seconds away from reaching the final @BSFCThe Blues. Congratulations to @EnfieldTownFC good luck in the final.’

There was an increasingly rare appearance for Barry Hayles, who turned out for Windsor in their home Hellenic League Premier Division game against Binfield.

Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side that beat Laverstock & Ford 6-0 in the Wiltshire Senior Cup semi final, while Rushall Olympic bowed out of the Walsall Senior Cup, losing 4-3 in a penalty to shootout, following a 1-1 draw, to Sporting Khalsa.

Tyler Lyttle was in the Pics side and scored their equalising goal in the 51st minute; ‘Tyler Lyttle curls a cracking free kick home via the underside of the bar.’ He also scored his side’s first penalty in the shootout, all to no avail!

Haverfordwest County were in Welsh League One action and suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Penybont. Kaid Mohamed is still with Haverfordwest as far as I know but trying to find out if he played in this one is impossible!

There were seven games played in the Championship on Wednesday and Luke Daniels was back on the Brentford bench for their 1-0 win against Aston Villa at Griffin Park.

Another substitute was Ellis Harrison, who went on in the 75th minute of the 1-1 draw between Ipswich Town and Derby County at Portman Road. Not a bad result for Ellis and Ipswich, but they are now ten points from safety at the foot of the table.

Conor Roberts started, and Oli McBurnie came off the bench in the 61st minute of Swansea’s 2-1 defeat against Leeds United at Elland Road and it was McBurnie who scored the Welsh club’s consolation goal, from the penalty spot, three minutes from time.

Tony Pulis saw his Middlesbrough side lose 1-0 at Sheffield United, while there was a rare win for Reading who beat Blackburn Rovers 3-1. Sam Walker was again on the bench for The Royals whose victory lifted them out of the relegation places.

Sam Walker - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Goalkeeper Sam Walker began his career with Chelsea and was loaned to Barnet, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town before arriving at BS7, also on loan, in August 2012.
Joined Colchester United on loan in January 2013 and made the move a permanent one in May 2014.
Left them last summer and had a brief trial spell back at Rovers before signing for Reading where he has spent most of the season on the bench, though he has made seven league appearances and two League Cup appearances for The Royals to date.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Also on Wednesday Swindon Supermarine beat Westbury United 4-1, after extra time and a 1-1 score at 90 minutes, in the Wiltshire Senior Cup semi final. They did it without Jerel Ifil and Martin Horsell and will meet Salisbury in the final at Melksham Town’s ground.

Scott Sinclair was in action for Celtic on Thursday evening, but his side suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League tie and they travel to Spain for the second leg in a week’s time needing something pretty special to go through to the next stage of the competition.

Friday night saw the first of the FA Cup fifth round ties and it was the end of the road for Queens Park Rangers, beaten 1-0 by Watford at Loftus Road. That meant that Joe Lumley’s 24th birthday celebrations were probably a little bit muted, as he conceded the only goal of the game in first half stoppage time. Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was also celebrating his birthday; he was 38 and may yet have a Cup Final to look forward to!

In the Northern Ireland Premier League Crusaders recorded a 4-2 home win against Coleraine and Mark McChrystal was again an unused substitute. Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that also won at home, 4-3, against Warrenpoint Town.

No joy in France for Oumare Tounkara, though, as he was in the Chateauroux side that lost 2-1 at home to US Orleans in French Ligue 2.

Oumare Tounkara - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Oumare Tounkara began his career with French side Sedan and was spotted by Sunderland and joined them in July 2009.
Enjoyed two loan spells with Oldham Athletic before going Rovers in March 2013.
Scored twice in nine league games before joining Stevenage. Also enjoyed a loan spell with Grimsby Town.
Returned to France in 2014 and played for Drancy where he remained until the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
Joined his present club, LB Chateauroux ahead of the 2015/16 season.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Saturday brought us three more FA Cup fifth round ties, with Rovers interest in all of them. Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side safely through with a 2-1 home win against Derby County, who had Kelle Roos in goal.

Meanwhile Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side through after a 1-0 win at AFC Wimbledon and David Pipe was also watching his side, but from the bench, as Newport County were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City at Rodney Parade.

In the Championship Ellis Harrison was missing from the Ipswich Town lineup as they drew 1-1 against Stoke City at Portman Road.

Goalkeeper Sam Walker was an unused substitute (again!) for Reading who were beaten 4-0 by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

For so long the pacesetters in League One, Portsmouth appear to be experiencing a poor run by their standards. With Lee Brown in their side, they were 3-0 up at Southend United, but were pegged back by the home side and had to settle for a point from a 3-3 draw.

Plymouth Argyle took a useful point from a goalless draw against Bradford City at Valley Parade. Once again Gary Sawyer was in the Argyle side, while Matt Macey warmed the bench.

There was another goalless affair at The Valley where Blackpool, without the injured Marc Bola, took a point from their game against Charlton Athletic.

Gillingham moved out of the relegation places with a 1-0 home win against Scunthorpe United. Tom Eaves was in the Gill’s lineup but didn’t score, while Matt Lund was missing from the Scunthorpe squad on duty for this game.

Aaron Chapman was again an unused substitute for Peterborough United, 1-0 winners at the Kassam Stadium against Oxford United, while Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury Town side held to a 1-1 draw by Burton Albion. Norburn was yellow carded for the second week running and was joined on the pitch, in the 58th minute, by Stefan Payne.

The promotion race is hotting up in League Two and second placed Mansfield missed an opportunity to gain ground on leaders Lincoln City as they lost 1-0 against Notts County at Meadow Lane. There were no ex Gas in the County side, and only one on show for Mansfield and that was goalkeeper Conrad Logan, who spent the game on the bench.

Reggie Lambe was a 64th minute substitute for Cambridge United in their goalless draw against Tranmere Rovers at the Abbey Stadium.

Tom Parkes was missing from the Carlisle United side beaten 3-2 by MK Dons at Brunton Park, where goalkeeper Lee Nicholls was on the bench for the visitors.

Donovan Wilson went on as an 80th minute substitute for Exeter City in their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Bury. Byron Moore completed 90 minutes for the victors and Dominic Telford went on as a 74th minute substitute. The result saw Bury move into second place.

Cheltenham Town, with Jordan Tillson in their side and Ryan Broom an unused substitute, were beaten 1-0 by Grimsby Town at Blundell Park, but remain six points above the relegation zone.

League leaders Lincoln City were held to a 2-2 draw at Sincil Bank by Stevenage. Cian Bolger and John Akinde completed the 90 minutes for the Imps, while Joe Martin finally made a return to the Stevenage squad following his return from The Gas in January. He was an unused substitute for this game.

Since being ‘over the moon’ at having signed for the Silkmen, Adam Dawson has disappeared without trace and he was again missing from Macclesfield Town’s squad for their 1-1 home draw against Colchester United. In fact, he’s not kicked a first team ball in anger for his new side. Harry Pell was injured and missing from the Colchester side.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town, with John-Joe O’Toole in the side and Andy Williams going on as an 85th minute substitute, were held to a goalless draw by Crawley Town at Sixfields, while Cristian Montano was an 82nd minute substitute for Port Vale who suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Morecambe.

In the National League, Andy Bond remained on the AFC Fylde bench as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Chesterfield.

Hartlepool United also won away from home, beating Boreham Wood 4-0. Luke James was in their side, while Ricky Shakes was a 68th minute substitute and Danny Woodards a substitute of the unused kind for the home side.

John Still’s Maidstone United were beaten 2-0 at Bromley and remain ten points from safety at the foot of the table, while Angelo Balanta was again missing from the Dagenham & Redbridge side that suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Gateshead.

Eastleigh, with Chris Zebroski in their side, were 2-1 home winners against bottom club Braintree Town for whom Lyle Della-Verde was an 89th minute substitute.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town played out a home goalless draw against Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town who fielded three players with Gas connections in Rollin Menayese (who was booked), Bernard Mensah (who had to come off after only 31 minutes) and Scott Rendell.

Leyton Orient dropped to third place following their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Maidenhead United. Matt Harrold was a 74th minute substitute for the O’s (replacing Jamie Turley) and Alfie Kilgour was in the Maidenhead side.

Salford City remain in fifth place following a 3-1 home defeat by Dover Athletic. Watched by new co owner David Beckham for the first time, Rory Gaffney completed the 90 minutes for Salford, whose automatic promotion bid has come off the rails in recent weeks.

Leaders Solihull Moors were 2-0 down at one stage of their home match against Barnet, but recovered to claim a point from a 2-2 draw. Coach/assistant manager James Quinn watched from the sidelines while striker Nathan Blissett, eyeing a third promotion from the National League to the EFL, scored for the Moors in the 73rd minute.

Moving on to National League North and Hereford played out a goalless draw against one of the four sides below them, Ashton United. Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards were both in the Hereford side.

There was another goalless draw at Darlington where the home side met Southport, but neither Johnny Burn or Alex Henshall were in the Darlo squad.

Two more of the four clubs below Hereford, Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley and FC United, played out a 3-3 draw at FC United.

In National League South, Chippenham Town, with Will Puddy and George Rigg in their lineup, were 3-1 home winners against Hungerford Town. Rhys Kavanagh and Cameron Hargreaves started for Hungerford, but only Rhys finished the game as Cameron was red carded just before half time. Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was an unused substitute.

Alex Wall scored both goal for Concord Rangers, who recorded a 2-1 home win against Bath City. Ryan Clarke was in goal for Bath, Sean Rigg went on at the start of the second half and scored Bath’s goal in the 94th minute, while Ryan Brunt was introduced as a 64th minute substitute.

Chris Dickson was a 73rd minute substitute for Hampton & Richmond Borough, beaten 1-0 at home by Gloucester City. Luke Russe was in the Gloucester side.

Louie Soares was an 87th minute substitute for Slough Town, who played out a 2-2 home draw against Dartford, but Truro City assistant manager Michael Meaker was able to celebrate a win as his side beat Oxford City 2-0.

Jeffrey Monakana was an unused substitute in Wealdstone’s 2-2 draw against St Albans, but recent signing Scott Davies wasn’t in the squad for this game.

Bradley Goldberg went on for Welling United in the 88th minute of their 2-0 home win against Torquay United, whose assistant manager Aaron Downes was watching from the sidelines.

Weston super Mare remain bottom of the table following another defeat on the road, this time 2-1 at Woking. Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute for this game.

Cleethorpes Town, of the Northern Premier League East Division, recorded a 3-0 away win at AFC Mansfield to move up to eighth in the league and their first goal was scored by Craig Disley; ‘Disley was slotted through and, with the Bull’s defence static, the midfielder calmly shot low beyond White to record his first goal in the blue and black of Clee.’

There was also an away win for Ossett United, 1-0 at Pickering Town and they now find themselves in fifth place in the league standings. Out of a crowd of 250, more than half (134) were supporting Ossett and they were able to see Andy Monkhouse in action. With three players taking over their Twitter feed for the afternoon, this was just one of the comments; ‘Monkhouse lucky to be alive after number 12 tackle. Studs up but The Monk is invincible.’

In the West Division, there was a goal for Josh Klein-Davies in the 2-1 home win recorded by Prescot Cables against Kidsgrove Athletic. The attendance at this one was 551, biggest of the day for this division.

In the Bostik League Premier Division, Jamie Cureton was missing from the Bishop’s Stortford side; perhaps that’s why their home game against Bognor Regis Town was goalless! Theo Widdrington was in the Bognor side.

Tom Hitchcock was in the Harlow Town side that faced Worthing, but it’s a game that won’t live long in his memory; Harlow lost 9-1!

In the Southern League Premier Central Division Marcus Law and his Kettering Town side go marching on. They maintained their five point lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win at St Ives Town. Craig Stanley completed 90 minutes for Kettering while Adam Cunnington went on at the start of the second half.

Marcus Law - Photo Credit Alan Marshall
Goalkeeper Marcus Law made two league appearances for Rovers in the 1994/95 season  and also played for Yeovil Town (on loan) and Stafford Rangers.
Sustained a hip injury while playing for Sacramento Knights in America which forced him to retire from playing.
Now in his second spell as Kettering Town manager, he has also been in charge at Coventry Sphinx, Racing Club Warwick, Quorn, Barwell, Tamworth and Chasetown.
He has also coached in the youth set ups at Aston Villa and Coventry City and was coach at Forest Green Rovers under Dave Hockaday.   [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]
In their first home game for over a month Rushall Olympic, with Tyler Lyttle in their side, were held to a goalless home draw by Bedworth United.

In the Premier South Division Kings Langley, with Rene Howe in their side, were beaten 3-0 at Basingstoke Town while league leaders Taunton Town recorded a 2-1 win at Beaconsfield Town. Pierce Mitchell was named on the bench for Taunton.

Jefferson Louis was in the Chesham United side that drew 2-2 at home against Hartley Wintney while Martin Horsell returned to the Swindon Supermarine side for their game at Gosport Borough.  Jerel Ifil was also in the starting lineup but the Wiltshire outfit lost 2-1.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side, with Ben Swallow in the starting lineup, suffer a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Hendon, whose coach Scott McGleish was watching from the sidelines.

Salisbury drew 2-2 at Metropolitan Police, and Darren Mullings was a 92nd minute substitute, though Ben Morgan was missing from the squad. However, Frome Town manager Danny Greaves saw his side lose 3-0 at Poole Town. Tom Mehew was in the Frome lineup.

There was another 3-0 win at Tiverton, where Liam Armstrong was in goal for the home side. Trouble is, it was Wimborne Town who found the back of the net on three occasion! Liam played, in spite of receiving the news that his grandfather had passed away on the morning of the game.

By virtue of their 2-1 win at Walton Casuals Weymouth moved back into second place, above Salisbury on goal difference. Abudlai Baggie started this one, while Josh Wakefield was introduced as a 57th minute substitute.

In Division One South Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 2-1 winners at AFC Totton (remember when Rovers played there in the FA Cup when Paul Buckle was manager?). Lewis Powell started and scored the winning goal in the 63rd minute, while Neil Arndale was named on the bench.

No joy for Paulton Rovers assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell though, as their side went down 3-0 at Barnstaple Town. Trey Anderson and Jay Malpas were both in the Paulton lineup.

Yate Town continued their good form with a 4-1 win at Highworth Town and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, who scored twice last week, went one better on this occasion, with a hat trick; ‘Leigh-Gilchrist got his first goal on 60 minutes with a shot into the top corner of the net and he soon made it 2-1 to Yate after taking on several defenders during a run on goal. The Bristol Rovers loanee completed his treble right at the death following an exchange of passes with Ollie Mehew.’

As well as Leigh-Gilchrist, who started, and Mehew who went on as a second half substitute, Sam Kamara was also in the Yate starting lineup. The result leaves Yate still one point behind Blackfield & Langley, with a game in hand.

The league leaders were 3-2 winners at Melksham Town where the attendance of 406 was the division’s highest of the day.

By way of contrast there were only 73 people at the game between Moneyfields and Mangotsfield United and unfortunately the Mangos were beaten 3-1. Lewis Ellington started this one for Mangotsfield and Tyrone Tucker-Dixon was named on the bench.

After his game in midweek, Barry Hayles reverted to a watching brief at Windsor and he must have been delighted with his side’s 5-1 home win against Abingdon in the Hellenic League Premier Division.

In the Midland League Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard were in the Highgate United side that beat Dunkirk 4-0 in what was their first league game since 22nd January.

Closer to home, Andy Gurney saw his Roman Glass St George side suffer a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Bridport.

Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town also suffered a home defeat, losing 2-1 against Ray Johnston’s Hallen.

Joe White - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Current Chipping Sodbury Town boss Joe White, son of former Gas striker Steve White.
Joe is a former Youth Team player at Rovers and although he didn’t make a first team appearance he played for a number of local clubs which include Paulson Rovers, Odd Down, Chippenham Town and Shortwood.
Spent three years on a sports course at Hartpury College and is currently studying for his B Licence coaching badge alongside teaching Maths and PE in Swindon.    [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In Scottish League One, Darryl Duffy was in the Airdieonans side beaten 1-0 at home by Brechin City, while in League Two second placed Peterhead were 2-1 winners against Queen’s Park. David McCracken wasn’t in the Peterhead side, but Alan Gow started for Queen’s Park.

duffy
Now playing for Airdrieonians, Darryl Duffy started out at Rangers before moving on to Falkirk and Hull City.
Following a loan spell at Hartlepool United he joined Swansea City, and from there he moved to Rovers in July 2008.
Loaned to Carlisle United and Hibernian, he joined Cheltenham Town in July 2011 and stayed at Whaddon Road until the summer of 2013.
Darryl then spent four years playing in India and signed for St Mirren in August 2017. Joined his current club on loan in January 2018 and signed a permanent deal last summer.   [Photo Credit – Jeff Davis]
Staying in Scotland, Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that beat Tayport 3-2 in the Signature Signs Cup (no idea what round, though!)

In Wales, Kayne McLaggon scored from the penalty spot as Barry Town United drew 2-2 at The New Saints. Barry equalised in the 97th minute!

Haverfordwest County were 2-0 home winners against Goytre United. Did Kaid Mohamed play? It remains a mystery!

Larne remain 18 points clear of the pack in the Northern Ireland Championship following their 3-0 home win against Dundela. Jeff Hughes was, as usual, in the Larne lineup, though he didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet!

In the Dutch Eredivisie Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Vitesse side that recorded a 3-2 home win against Willem II.

Swedish side Ostersunds, with Charlie Colkett in their lineup, drew 0-0 against Halmstad in the group stage of the Swedish Cup. They play AIK next Saturday followed by the third group match against Falkenberg.

Will Hoskins is listed as a player for Australian side Northcote City on their website, though I’m still trying to find out if he played in the 1-1 draw against Box Hill United.

Sunday saw three more FA Cup fifth round ties and Matty Taylor was introduced as a second half substitute by Bristol City at Ashton Gate, as The Reds were beaten 1-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Conor Roberts and Oli McBurnie will be appearing in the quarter finals, though, as they were in the Swansea City side that beat Brentford 4-1. In goal for the London side was Luke Daniels, who was credited with an own goal for Swansea’s first. He and his team mates suffered following the red card issued to Ezri Konska just after the hour mark.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank found defeat hard to take, saying; ‘We were outplaying them in the first half. We were by far the better side. They only created four, five chances and we lost 4-1.’

In the Championship Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

In the Scottish Premiership Scott Sinclair was in the Celtic side that extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points following a 1-0 win against Kilmarnock.

Motherwell secured a sixth straight league win as they beat Heart of Midlothian 2-1. Peter Hartley was again an unused Motherwell substitute but Michael Smith was missing from the Hearts squad.

In Cyprus, Mustapha Carayol got some game time under his belt when going on as a substitute for Apollon Limasol in their 3-1 away win at Alki Orokini.

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Chapter 27 –  Week commencing 4th February 2019

Tuesday evening saw four FA Cup replays, with former Gas players involved in all of them, including goalkeeper Luke Daniels who was a winner as his Brentford side beat Barnet 3-1 in the clash of The Bees at Griffin Park.

Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side were on the end of a cup shock at Rodney Parade, where Newport beat the Championship side 2-0. David Pipe was an 86th minute substitute for Newport. Newport born Pulis, who also played for the club, was magnanimous in defeat, saying; ‘They were the better team, they ran all over us. It was men against boys. Forget the conditions, you have to match people and that’s the real disappointment.’

Joe Lumley was in goal for QPR who beat Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their side, 2-0 at Loftus Road, while Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury Town side beaten 3-2 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

In League Two, Cheltenham Town moved eight points clear of the two relegation places with a 1-0 win against Yeovil Town. Jordan Tillson made his debut for The Robins, and it was Ryan Broom who created the vital goal; ‘The deadlock was broken when a cross from Broom was cleared as far as Luke Varney, who leaned back and fired a fine shot into the top right corner.’

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town also moved closer to safety with a 2-1 win against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. John-Joe O’Toole returned to the Northampton lineup after injury and went on as a 58th minute substitute, while Andy Williams was an unused substitute.

John-Joe O’Toole - Photo Credit JMP
The current Northampton Town midfielder John-Joe O’Toole started out at Watford and subsequent loan moves took him to Sheffield United and Colchester United. He signed a permanent deal with Colchester and joined Rovers, initially on loan, in January 2013. Signed a permanent deal in July 2013.
Joined Northampton in June 2014 and has been there ever since, apart from a short loan spell at Southend United in November 2014.   [Photo Credit – JMP]
In the third round of the FA Trophy, Solihull Moors coach/assistant manager James Quinn saw his side record a 5-0 away win at Hemel Hempstead Town. Nathan Blissett was in the Moors side, but wasn’t on the scoresheet, who have a home tie against AFC Telford United in the next round.

AFC Fylde will need a replay following an incredible 5-5 draw away at Ramsbottom United and it was Andy Bond who scored the equalising, and fifth, goal for the National League side; ‘Great work from substitute Sheldon Green sees him burst into the box and send it into the danger area – and Bond is there to slam it home. Madness (5-5).’

Salford City also have to face a replay as they were held to a 1-1 draw, at home, by John Still’s Maidstone United. Rory Gaffney was missing from the Salford squad for this one.

Hereford, in National League North, won 2-1 at York City in what was described as a game of two halves on the club’s Twitter account. Trailing at the break, The Bulls scored twice in the second half with the first coming from Danny Greenslade; ‘GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!! GREENSLADE! A free kick from the edge of the box finds its way underneath Adam Bartlett and into the back of the net! YCFC 1-1 HFC.’ Eliot Richards was also in The Bull’s lineup and they were cheered on by 104 supporters who made the trek up to York for the match.

In National League South, Michael Meaker, assistant manager of Truro City, saw his side beaten 2-1 at home by Wealdstone. Jeffrey Monakana was named on the bench for Wealdstone, and that’s where he stayed!

Chippenham Town were beaten 2-1 at Welling United. Bradley Goldberg was named on the Welling bench and went on as a late substitute, while Will Puddy was in goal for Chippenham and George Rigg was also in the starting lineup.

In the Southern Premier League South, Salisbury were 2-0 winners at Basingstoke Town. Ben Morgan completed 90 minutes for The Whites and Darren Mullings went on as an 86th minute substitute.

Jamie Cureton was in action for Bishop’s Stortford in the Bostik League Premier Division and they were 2-1 home winners against Enfield Town. No prizes for guessing who scored a 90th minute winner! ‘Classy finish from @JamieCuro to win it and a well-deserved win all round from the Blues tonight @BSFCTheBlues @BSFCtv well done boys.’

Tom Hitchcock was also on the scoresheet, for Harlow Town, in their 3-1 win at Burgess Hill Town and victory pulled them four points clear of the relegation zone.

Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett United side that won through to the final of the West Riding County Cup thanks to a 4-1 win against Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town. All the goals were scored in the second half.

Andy Monkhouse - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Andy Monkhouse began his career with Rotherham United and has since played for Swindon Town, Hartlepool United, Bristol Rovers (where he spent the 2014/15 season), Grimsby Town, Alfreton Town, Whitby Town and current club Ossett United. Andy holds a UEFA ‘A’ Coaching Licence and as well as playing for Ossett United he is also player/coach and, in addition, is an Academy coach at Rotherham United.    [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In Ireland, the County Antrim FA Senior Shield Final between Crusaders and Linfield was postponed, so Mark McChrystal will have to wait for his medal, while Seanan Clucas and his Dungannon Swifts side were beaten 2-0 by Coleraine in the Northern Ireland Premier League. Clucas went on as a substitute in the second half.

Wednesday evening saw the last FA Cup replay of the season (there aren’t any after round five) and Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side win 3-1 against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

In Scotland, Premiership League leaders Celtic were 2-0 winners against Hibernian, which means they still have not conceded a goal in 2019. Scott Sinclair was again in the Celtic lineup

Heart of Midlothian, with Michael Smith in their side, played out a goalless draw against Livingston, while Peter Hartley was again an unused substitute for Motherwell who recorded their fifth successive league win, 2-1 at bottom club St Mirren.

Friday saw a flurry of activity involving four members of Rovers Development squad. Theo Widdrington returned to Bognor Regis Town for another month, while Cameron Hargreaves and Rhys Kavanagh extended their stay at Hungerford Town for another month. In addition, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist joined Yate Town in a one-month loan deal.

In French Ligue 2 Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux side that recorded a 1-0 away win against AS Nancy Lorraine.

Saturday matchday saw Rovers in action at the Memorial Stadium in a bottom of the table clash against Shrewsbury Town where they picked up a point from a 1-1 draw. A truly dreadful game wasn’t helped by a rookie referee who lost control at some point during the first half. Still, Alex Rodman’s equaliser against his former club enabled Rovers to move up a place in the table. All that matters at the moment is League One survival!

Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side and The Shrews created a little bit of a record at The Mem, in that they had to substitute their substitute (Docherty replaced Norburn and was then replaced by Edwards) and the second substitute (Edwards) was sent off. Not seen that before!

Former Gas representatives in the Premier League had a mixed day. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was, according to the BBC website, Caridiff’s Man of the Match in their 2-1 win against Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium; ‘Neil Etheridge was the busier of the two goalkeepers at St Mary’s, making six saves including an impressive stop from Yan Valery with the score at 1-0.’

In the evening match, Brighton & Hove Albion assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side lose 3-1 at home to Burnley and the two sides are now level on points in the Premier League table, only three points above the final relegation place.

In the Championship Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis saw his side take a point from a 1-1 draw against Leeds United at the Riverside. The Leeds equaliser, which sent them to the top of the table, was scored in the 101st minute. Twelve minutes of added time was played because 18-year-old Leeds player Jack Clarke required medical treatment after feeling unwell and coming off at half time.

Matty Taylor was a 73rd minute substitute for Bristol City, who continued their impressive unbeaten run with a 1-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers.

Goalkeeper Luke Daniels was back on the bench for Brentford who were beaten 2-1 at Nottingham Forest in spite of them enjoying 70% of the possession.

An incredible game at Loftus Road saw QPR goalkeeper Joe Lumley concede four first half goals as Birmingham City took a 4-1 half time lead. Rangers scored twice in the second half and might have taken a point had Birmingham keeper Lee Camp not saved a penalty from Nahki Wells in stoppage time.

Staying with Gas goalkeepers, Sam Walker was on the bench for Reading who drew 0-0 against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, and Kelle Roos kept a clean sheet as Derby County were 2-0 home winners against Hull City.

Connor Roberts started, and Oli McBurnie was introduced as a 70th minute substitute in Swansea City’s 1-0 home win against Millwall, meaning no win bonus for Lion’s coach Adam Barratt!

Blackpool moved to within four points of the League One top six with a 2-0 home victory against Walsall. Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side and collected a yellow card during the course of the 90 minutes.

Peterborough United, with Aaron Chapman on the bench, lost 3-1 at Doncaster Rovers in a battle between former managers. Grant McCann and Darren Ferguson were in the opposite dugouts for last season’s fixture between the clubs.

Gillingham’s 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Barnsley saw them drop into the bottom four. Tom Eaves completed the 90 minutes for The Gills.

Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall were also on the losing side as Wycombe Wanderers were beaten 3-0 at Kenilworth Road where league leaders Luton Town maintained a six point gap between them and second placed Barnsley.

In the Dockyard Derby at Home Park Gary Sawyer was in the Plymouth Argyle side that drew 1-1 with Portsmouth and Matt Macey was on the bench, while Lee Brown was in the Portsmouth side who remain in third place.

Matt Lund was an unused substitute for Scunthorpe United who were 2-0 home winners against Accrington Stanley, a win that saw them move up to 13th place.

Cambridge United and Port Vale were in League Two action at the Abbey Stadium, with Cambridge coming out on top 1-0. Reggie Lambe was a 66th minute substitute for the home side and Cristian Montano a 71st minute substitute for Vale whose new boss, John Askey, was taking charge of his first match for them.

Carlisle United, with Tom Parkes in their side, played out a 1-1 draw against Exeter City at Brunton Park. Donovan Wilson was again in the Exeter lineup.

Cheltenham Town’s 3-0 defeat at Colchester United leaves them seven points above the last relegation place. Harry Pell was in the Colchester lineup, but was substituted after only 12 minutes with a hamstring injury. Jordan Tillson and Ryan Broom were in the Cheltenham starting XI.

There was a surprise result at The New Lawn as bottom club Notts County were 2-1 winners against Forest Green Rovers. Daniel Jones was again missing from the County lineup. He’s not appeared in the side since 5th January when he scored in their 3-3 draw against Colchester United.

At Sincil Bank Lincoln City drew 1-1 against Keith Curle’s Northampton side in spite of playing the entire second half with ten men following the 42nd minute red card picked up by Harry Anderson. John Akinde set up the Imps’ goal; ‘Akinde flicked the ball on to Bruno Andrade. Who cracked home a superb volley from just inside the box.’

Cian Bolger was also in the Lincoln side, while John-Joe O’Toole was in the Northampton side and Andy Williams was an unused substitute.

Cian Bolger - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Republic of Ireland U-19 and U-21 international Cian Bolger began his career with Leicester City and enjoyed three loan spells with Rovers whilst with them.
Signed for Bolton Wanderers in January 2013, though never played a game for them and then enjoyed loan spells with Colchester United and Southend United before moving to Roots Hall on a permanent basis.
Was loaned to Bury in March 2016 and then joined Fleetwood Town in July of that year.
Signed for his current club, Lincoln City, in the January 2019 transfer window.  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
I’m thinking of sending out a search party for Adam Dawson! He signed for Macclesfield Town on 11th January and hasn’t been seen or heard of since. In his absence on Saturday Macclesfield came from behind on three occasions to collect a point from a 3-3 home draw against Crewe Alexandra.

Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK Dons who were beaten 3-2 at home by Swindon Town and dropped out of the play off places. Tom Broadbent was in the Swindon side, but Kyle Bennett still awaits his debut after spending the afternoon on the bench.

Byron Moore started for third placed Bury in their 3-2 win at Morecambe and was replaced by Dominic Telford in the 91st minute – lot of time to make an impact!

David Pipe was missing from the Newport County squad that beat second placed Mansfield Town at Rodney Parade, but Ryan Sweeney, who was yellow carded, was in the Mansfield side and Conrad Logan was an unused Stags substitute.

Joe Martin is another player who has disappeared off the radar. His last game for Rovers was on New Year’s Day, in the game against Burton Albion and he has since returned to his parent club, Stevenage though hasn’t played for them since going back. He was missing again on Saturday as they went down 2-0 at Tranmere Rovers. They had two players sent off, so perhaps his opportunity will arrive next week!

Yeovil Town also had a man sent off as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town and find themselves just two points above the final relegation place. Alefe Santos was again missing from the Glovers’ squad.

Things are looking grim for Gary Waddock’s National League side Aldershot Town as their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Eastleigh sees them remain in the bottom four, five points from safety. Bernard Mensah scored Aldershot’s goal in the 57th minute; ‘Regan Booty’s through ball unlocked the Spitfire’s defence and Bernard Mensah ran through to finish past Luke Southwood.’

Rollin Menayese made his Aldershot debut and there was a return, after injury, for Scott Rendell who went on as a 73rd minute substitute. Chris Zebroski was a tenth minute substitute for Eastleigh.

Bottom side Braintree pulled off the shock result of the day as they beat Salford City 1-0, the winning goal arriving in the 93rd minute. Rory Gaffney was in the Salford side, who dropped to fifth place following this defeat.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town lost 1-0 to Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium while James Quinn, Solihull Moors coach, saw his side win 1-0 at Ebbsfleet United. Incredibly four players, two from each side, were red carded three in the 90th minute and one in the 97th minute. Nathan Blissett was an 85th minute substitute for the Moors who stay in second place.

Luke James was in the Hartlepool United side that held league leaders Leyton Orient to a 1-1 draw, and Matt Harrold was in the Orient starting lineup.

Alfie Kilgour was also on the winning side, as his Maidenhead United side recorded a 1-0 home win against Boreham Wood who had Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes in their starting XI.

Andy Bond was an unused substitute in AFC Fylde’s 1-1 draw at John Still’s Maidstone United, while Angelo Balanta was missing from the Dagenham & Redbridge side that lost 1-0 at Wrexham.

Moving on into National League North and Darlington were 1-0 winners away at Blyth Spartans and Alex Henshall was one of their two unused substitutes.

In the same league, Marcus Bignot’s Guiseley were held to a 1-1 home draw by second placed Stockport County and Hereford drew 2-2 at Leamington. Both Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards were in the Hereford starting XI.

Danny Greenslade - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
A graduate of the Rovers Academy, Danny Greenslade never appeared in a competitive first team game for the club.
At various times he was loaned out to Mangotsfield United, Truro City, Gloucester City, Bath City and Weston super Mare.
Signed for Weston in a permanent deal in 2016, and joined his current club, Hereford United, in June 2018.     [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
In National League South there was no joy for Truro City assistant manager Michael Meaker, who saw his side beaten 3-2 at Billericay.

Goalkeeper Will Puddy, along with George Rigg, were in the Chippenham Town side held to a 1-1 home draw by Hemel Hempstead. There was no sign of George’s cousin, Sean, in the Bath City lineup though. In fact, the only ex Gas player in the Bath side was Ryan Clarke and he and his team mates were beaten 3-0 at Dartford.

Bradley Goldberg was a 77th minute substitute for Welling United in their 2-1 loss at Dulwich Hamlet, while Chris Dickson was in the Hampton & Richmond Borough side that drew 1-1 at home against Slough Town. Louie Soares was a 73rd minute substitute for Slough.

Hungerford Town recorded a 5-0 home win against St Albans City, with Cameron Hargreaves and Rhys Kavanagh in their starting XI and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis going on as an 81st minute substitute.

Gloucester City’s game against Concord Rangers, Torquay United’s fixture against Chelmsford City and Weston super Mare’s game against Wealdstone were all called off because of waterlogged pitches, meaning several former Gas players faced a blank Saturday afternoon!

In the Northern Premier League East Division, Ossett United recorded a 1-0 home win against Gresley FC. Man of the Match was Andy Monkhouse and before the game the club were presented with the Evostik League Club of the Month Award while Andy Welsh picked up the Manager of the Month Award.

No game for Craig Disley in the same league, though, as Cleethorpes Town, due to travel to play Marske United, had their game called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Prescot Cables were in action in the West Division, though, and recorded a comfortable 3-1 home win against Colne. Josh Klein-Davies was in the Prescot side who won in front of a crowd of 321 and are now in sixth place in the league standings.

In the Bostik League Premier Division, Theo Widdrington scored in the 41st minute for Bognor Regis Town who went on to beat AFC Hornchurch 2-0. They stay in third place in the league.

No joy for Bishop’s Stortford or Jamie Cureton, though, as they were beaten 1-0 at Leatherhead and are now down in 11th place. Jamie was substituted in the 36th minute of the game, presumably due to injury.

Tom Hitchcock was in the Harlow Town side beaten 4-2 at home by fourth placed Folkestone Invicta. He didn’t score, but; ‘Tom Hitchcock came close early on from a free kick, his set piece effort a whisker wide of the left post.’

Tom Hitchcock - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Son of former Chelsea goalkeeper Kevin Hitchcock, Tom Hitchcock has played for quite a number of clubs in a somewhat nomadic career.
Tom started at Blackburn Rovers, though he never made a first team appearance whilst at Ewood Park, and went on to play for Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Rovers (from January – April 2013), Crewe Alexandra, Rotherham United, MK Dons, Fleetwood Town, Stevenage, Boreham Wood, Chelmsford City and current club Harlow Town.     [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
There was no happy Kingstonian debut for Scott Davies as his new side were beaten 7-1 at Dorking Wanderers. The Stones sacked their manager after the match.

Dave Martin went on as a second half substitute for Margate in their 1-1 draw at Tonbridge Angels, a result that saw them move up to 17th in the table.

In the Southern League Premier Central Division Kettering Town manager Marcus Law saw his side maintain their five-point lead at the top of the table with a 4-1 win at Redditch United. Craig Stanley was in the starting lineup for Kettering, while Adam Cunnington was named on the bench and went on in the second half.

Tyler Lyttle was in the Rushall Olympic side that won 3-0 at St Ives Town; ‘The Pics took the lead in the 12th minute when Tyler Lyttle played in Massiah McDonald down the right and his driven cross was deflected past goalkeeper Tim Trebes off the unlucky Robbie Parker.’

In the Premier South Division, Danny Greaves saw his Frome Town side, with Tom Mehew in the starting lineup, beaten 3-1 at Gosport Borough which means they are now five points from safety at the bottom of the league.

Third placed Weymouth and fourth placed Metropolitan Police played out a 4-4 draw. It was Weymouth’s first 4-4 draw in 30 years, the last one being against Bath City in 1989. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were in the Weymouth side for this game.

The suspended Martin Horsell missed Swindon Supermarine’s 1-1 home draw against Poole Town, but Jerel Ifil was in the starting lineup.

League leaders Taunton Town, with Pierce Mitchell in their side, were 1-0 away winners at Walton Cross and are four points clear of second placed Salisbury, whose game was called off, at the top of the table.

Hendon, with coach Scott McGleish presumably watching from the sidelines, drew 3-3 at Wimborne Town, while the games between Tiverton Town and Chesham United and Beaconsfield Town and Merthyr Town fell victim to the weather.

In Division One South Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic played out a goalless home draw against Barnstaple Town. Geraint Bater and Lewis Powell were in the Larkhall starting XI and Neil Arndale was named on the bench.

Mangotsfield United were involved in an eight-goal thriller at Cossham Street where they beat Fleet Town 5-3 to make it a run of three games unbeaten. Two former Rovers youngsters, Tyrone Tucker-Dixon and Lewis Ellington were on the bench for the Mangos and both got some minutes under their belt in the second half.

The Paulton Rovers assistant managers Paul Tovey and Gary Powell saw their side win 1-0 against Moneyfields, with Trey Anderson and Jay Malpas in their starting XI.

Yate Town recorded a 3-2 home win against Bristol Manor Farm and remain in second place, a point behind Blackfield & Langley with a game in hand. I can’t remember how many times Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist has been to Yate on loan, but he always seems to do well there, and he began his latest spell at Lodge Road by scoring twice and his performance won him the Man of the Match Award.

Sam Kamara and Ollie Mehew were on the bench for Yate and Ollie went on as a second half substitute. The game was played in front of a crowd of 333, the fifth highest non- league crowd of the day and the best in Division One South. By way of contrast there were 77 people at the game between leaders Blackfield & Langley and Highworth Town.

Our three local ex Gas managers won one, lost one and drew one this weekend. The winner was Joe White, whose Chipping Sodbury Town side were 4-1 winners at Clevedon Town. The loser was Andy Gurney, who saw his Roman Glass St George charges beaten 3-1 by Wellington and the side that drew were Ray Johnston’s Hallen, who played out a 1-1 draw against Cadbury Heath.

In Scottish League One, Darryl Duffy was a 57th minute substitute for Airdrieonians in their 2-0 defeat at Forfar Athletic.

In the top of the table clash in Scottish League Two, second placed Peterhead were held to a goalless home draw by league leaders Edinburgh City. No sign of David McCracken in the Peterhead squad, though.

In the same league, Alan Gow was named Man of the Match for Queens Park who played out a 1-1 home draw against Cowdenbeath.

Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that beat Craigmark FC in the Scottish Junior Cup, all the goals arriving in the second half after a goalless opening 45 minutes.

In Wales, Kayne McLaggon was in the Barry Town United side that were trailing 1-0 to Bala Town when the game was abandoned in the 15th minute due to floodlight failure following a fire in the control room.

In the Northern Ireland Football League Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that beat Crusaders 1-0 and Mark McChrystal was an unused substitute for the losers.

In the Championship Larne FC were without the services of Jeff Hughes in their 2-1 win at Portadown.  Victory sees Larne 18 points clear at the top of the table. Hughes, by the way, has taken on the voluntary role as the club’s Mental Health Champion, the first of its kind in Irish football.

Of his new role he said; ‘I felt it was a good idea and, as a senior dressing room figure, I was more than happy to help out. Professional football comes with many pressures not seen in most working environments and it is important that the club has actions in place to support its players and staff. Any issues raised will be done so with my sworn secrecy and commitment to help with the next steps if required.’

In France Stephane Leoni’s Sarre-Union were 3-1 winners against Amneville and in Cyprus Mustapha Carayol got some game time under his belt when going on as a substitute for Apollon Limassol in their goalless draw against AEL.

On Sunday, in the Championship, Ipswich Town lost again this time 3-0 against arch rivals Norwich City at Carrow Road. Ellis Harrison went on as a 43rd minute substitute for Ipswich who are now nine points from safety and look certain to be relegated.

In Scotland, Scott Sinclair scored a hat trick for Celtic in their fifth round Scottish Cup tie as they ran out 5-0 winners against St Johnstone.

In the same competition, Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side that beat Auchinleck Talbot 4-0. However, Smith was forced off injured in the 78th minute and Hearts finished the game with ten men as all three substitutions had already been made.

In the Dutch Eredivisie Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Vitesse side beaten 2-1 at Groningen.

Michael Smith - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Michael Smith Joined Rovers in 2011, from Ballymena United and spent three seasons in BS7.
Signed for Peterborough United in July 2014 and also spent three seasons with them.
Joined Heart of Midlothian in June 2017 and has won four full international caps for Northern Ireland since leaving Rovers.   [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]