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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.