In Search of Gas – Oct-Nov 2018

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.

October and November are being archived below, right in front of your very eyes.


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Chapter 17 –  Week commencing 26th November 2018

We move straight on to Tuesday and another defeat for Rovers, 2-1 at the hands of Gillingham at The Mem; the third 2-1 home defeat in ten days, not to mention a 3-1 defeat at Charlton in the same time frame.

Liam Sercombe played like a man possessed after the break against The Gills but his goal, when we were already 2-0 down, was but a mere consolation.

In the Championship Brentford with Luke Daniels again on the bench, were beaten 3-2 by Sheffield United at Griffin Park while Sam Walker also got some more bench time for Reading, who lost 1-0 at Leeds.

Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw at Preston North End and Joe Lumley and QPR also drew, 2-2, at Rotherham United.

Wycombe Wanderers, in League One, beat Accrington Stanley 2-1 to record their first ever win against Stanley in 12 league meetings and they did it without the services of Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall.

Marc Bola was also missing from Tuesday night action as his Blackpool side went down 2-0 against Doncaster Rovers while Can Bolger, introduced as a 52nd minute substitute for Fleetwood, was on the winning side as they beat Coventry City 3-0 at Highbury.

Aaron Chapman kept a clean sheet for Peterborough United as they were 1-0 winners against AFC Wimbledon and league leaders Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their side, beat Walsall 2-0 at Fratton Park.

Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side that beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 and Charlie Colkett was an unused substitute while Matt Macey was between the posts for Argyle.

Matt Lund was missing from the Scunthorpe United side beaten 2-0 at Roots Hall, where Southend United ended a run of four successive league defeats.

Bury moved into the League Two play off positions with a 4-1 home win over Cheltenham Town. The words Byron Moore and prolific don’t often appear in the same sentence, but the former Gasman was on target again for The Shakers while Dominic Telford watched on from the bench. Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham side who are just one point and one place off the relegation places.

No sign of Reggie Lambe in the Cambridge United side beaten 2-0 at Crewe Alexandra while Jordan Tillson and his Exeter City team mates suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of bottom club Macclesfield Town. Nathan Blissett went on as a 77th minute substitute for The Silkmen, with new boss Sol Campbell watching from the stand.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side that won 1-0 at Forest Green Rovers and they are now up to third in the league standings.

MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, are back on top of the league following a 2-0 win against Morecambe.

Andy Williams was again on target for Northampton Town but ended up on the losing side as they were beaten 3-1 by Newport County. David Pipe was missing from the Newport squad.

Elliot Ward and Daniel Jones were in the Notts County side that drew with Carlisle United at Meadow Lane, and there was another 1-1 draw between Oldham Athletic and Lincoln City at Boundary Park. John Akinde started for The Imps, while Sam Slocombe and Bernard Mensah were unused substitutes.

Down at Yeovil Alefe Santos got some rare game time, going on as a 26th minute substitute but he ended up on the losing side as they suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Port Vale. It was another former Gas man, Cristian Montano, who was the star of the show, as he scored twice for Vale.

It was a busy football night as there was also a full programme of matches in the National League and Dover Athletic, who have spent almost the entire season in the bottom four, recorded their fourth win of the season by beating Boreham Wood 1-0. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes both turned out for Boreham.

Charlie Clough was in the Sutton United side that drew 2-2 at Braintree Town and scored their first goal…..; ‘Sutton responded within a couple of minutes as Charlie Clough headed in from a Nicky Bailey cross.’ Wayne Brown was an unused substitute.

Dagenham & Redbridge must be delighted that they signed Angelo Balanta recently as they recorded their fifth win in six games since he joined them, and he was on the scoresheet in their 3-1 win against Havant & Waterlooville.

Things aren’t going too well for Hartlepool United, who suffered a sixth straight league defeat when going down 2-1 home at the hands of AFC Fylde. Luke James played for the home side, Andy Bond for the visitors.

League leaders Leyton Orient had to be content with a point from a goalless home draw against Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town. Matt Harrold was again an unused substitute for The O’s.

Maidenhead United, with Alfie Kilgour in their lineup, had to settle for a point as they recorded a 1-1 home draw against Ebbsfleet United. Chris Zebroski, meanwhile, was an unused Eastleigh substitute in their 3-1 win at Maidstone United.

Salford City moved to within a point of leaders Leyton Orient with a 3-2 win against Harrogate Town and Rory Gaffney scored two of their goals….. ‘Rory Gaffney’s brace helped promotion chasing Salford get the better of top of the table rivals Harrogate…’

It was also replay night in the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy (no ten day wait in this competition; the replays take place just days after the original meeting.)

Chippenham Town were beaten 3-2 at Wingate & Finchley, with George Rigg in their lineup and Will Puddy back in the squad as an unused substitute.

Weymouth, with Josh Wakefield in their side, were 2-0 winners at St Albans City and I think that might be it, as far as Gas involvement is concerned, in the replays.

In the Evostik Southern Premier Central League Marcus Law’s Kettering Town played out a 4-4 draw against Redditch United.

In the Premier South Section Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Dorchester Town who had Josh Bailey in their starting XI.

Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George side bowed out of the Les Phillips Cup at Bridgwater Town, where they lost 2-0. In the same competition, Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury also bowed out, losing 3-1 at home against Shepton Mallet.

Over in Ireland, Crusaders beat Championship leaders Larne1-0 in the County Antrim Shield semi final. Crusaders went into the game on the back of five straight wins while Larne had won their last ten. No sign of Mark McChrystal in the Crusaders lineup, though Jeff Hughes skippered Larne.

Wednesday evening saw six games played in The Championship and at Ipswich Town Ellis Harrison returned to the action following a lengthy time off through injury. Didn’t help the cause, though, as he went on as a 78th minute substitute in his side’s 3-2 defeat to Bristol City who were Matty Taylorless!

Adam Barratt’s employers, Millwall, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Birmingham City, a result that leaves them just outside of the bottom three on goal difference.

Swansea City, in spite of Oli McBurnie’s opening goal, were beaten 2-1 by West Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium where Connor Roberts was also in the starting lineup for the home side. The Swansea faithful paid a fantastic tribute to Kevin Austin before the game.

In the FA Trophy Bradley Goldberg was on the bench for Welling United who bowed out of the competition following their 2-1 defeat against Dulwich Hamlet.

In a top of the table clash in the Evostik Premier South League, there was a seven goal thriller at Taunton where the home side scored twice in the final minutes to clinch a 4-3 win against Salisbury. I hadn’t realised it, but Pierce Mitchell is now at Taunton; he was with Rovers in 2014/15, but never made a first team appearance. He was in the Taunton side for this game, while Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side and picked up a 45th minute yellow card.

Sad news today as we learned of the death of former Rovers defender Joe Davis at the age of 80.  A true gent who I met on many occasions.  [Keith’s full Tribute to Joe can be found HERE]

Scott Sinclair was in Europa League action For Celtic on Thursday and scored as the Scottish side beat Rosenburg 1-0 in Trondheim; ‘Scott Sinclair headed home the only goal of the game from a sumptuous James Forrest cross three minutes before half time.’ Celtic now need a point from their final group game to qualify for the knockout stages.

Scott Sinclair pictured on his debut, against Leyton Orient - photo credit Jeff Davis
Scott Sinclair, now playing his football in the Scottish Premiership, began his career with Rovers, at the age of nine. He appeared in two league games for The Gas and became the second youngest ever player to pull on the famous blue and white quarters when he made his debut, as a substitute, against Leyton Orient in December 2004 [see photo].
In July 2005 Chelsea paid big money for the then 16 year old and during his time at Stamford Bridge he went out on loan to Plymouth Argyle, Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City, and Wigan Athletic.
There were permanent moves to Swansea City and Manchester City and further loan spells, at West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. A permanent move to Villa came about in 2015 and he joined his current club, Celtic, in August 2016.
Along the way he has won England caps at U-17/18/19/20 and 21 levels and also represented Great Britain on four occasions in the 2012 Olympics.  [Photo by Jeff Davis]
Also on Thursday, two more Rovers youngsters went out on loan as Cameron Hargreaves and Rhys Kavanagh signed for Vanarama National League South side Hungerford Town in a deal that expires on 1st January. They will link up with former Rovers Development Squad colleague Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis at the side known as The Crusaders.

Neil Etheridge featured in Friday night’s televised Premier League game as Cardiff City clinched their third win of the season by beating Wolves 2-1 on the eve of manager Neil Warnock’s 70th birthday.

Marc Bola was also on TV on Friday night as he and his Blackpool side travelled to face National League side Solihull Moors in the night’s only Second Round FA Cup tie. The game ended in a goalless draw, meaning a replay at Bloomfield Road to determine who goes through to the next round.

There was also Rovers interest on the Solihull Moors outfit; Stephen Byrne tells me that James Quinn, who spent time on loan with us in 2002, is their first team coach. On this occasion he was facing another of his former clubs as he made over 150 appearances for Blackpool between 1993 – 1998.

In Saturday’s Premier League fixtures Brighton Assistant Manager Paul Trollope saw his side win 2-1 at Huddersfield, a result that sees them in 11th place in the table.

In the Championship Swansea City suffered a third successive league defeat when they went down 2-1 at Derby County, so once again no win bonus for Connor Roberts or Oli McBurnie.

Ellis Harrison travelled to Nottingham with his Ipswich Town side, but wasn’t included in the squad for the match against Forest. The Tractor Boys lost 2-0 and remain anchored at the foot of the table, seven points from safety.

Joe Lumley kept goal for QPR in their game against Hull City at Loftus Road, but ended up on the losing side as the visitors won 3-2.

There was no sign of Sam Walker on the Reading bench as they drew 2-2 with Stoke City at the Madejski Stadium, and there was disappointment for Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side as they suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of a resurgent Aston Villa.

There were ten Second Round FA Cup ties to be settled on this day and it was the end of the road for Jamie Fullarton and his FC Halifax Town side as they were beaten 3-1 by AFC Wimbledon.

Ryan Broom and Cheltenham Town also failed to make it through to Round Three as they lost 3-1 at Accrington Stanley.

Lincoln City went through, though, thanks to a 2-0 win against Carlisle United at Sincil Bank. John Akinde went on as a 63rd minute substitute and scored the second goal four minutes from time, while Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe stayed on the bench for the entire 90 minutes.

Aaron Chapman and Peterborough United will need a replay after their 2-2 home draw against Bradford City, but it was the end of the FA Cup road for Plymouth Argyle and Matt Macey, defeated 2-1 by Oxford United at Home Park.

In an all Welsh affair at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham and Newport, with David Pipe in their side, played put a goalless draw and will meet again in the replay in ten days’ time.

In the National League, Andy Bond scored for AFC Fylde in their 2-2 home draw against Sutton United who had Charlie Clough and Wayne Brown in their starting lineup.

No joy for Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town side, though. They were only able to name three substitutes for their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Ebbsfleet United and dropped to 17th place in the league standings.

Lyle Della-Verde was an unused substitute in Braintree Town’s 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Barrow, and Luke James was again on the losing side as Hartlepool United suffered a seventh straight league defeat when going down 2-1 to Dagenham & Redbridge. The Daggers struck twice in stoppage time to claim all three points, so Angelo Balanta was again on the winning side.

Matt Harrold was missing from the Leyton Orient squad as the league leaders recorded a 2-0 home win against Gateshead while Rory Gaffney and his Salford City side kept up the pressure and remain only a point behind The O’s after their 3-0 home win against Havant & Waterlooville. No goals for ‘Gaffers’ on this occasion though and he was substituted after 59 minutes. (A tactical change according to the club’s website)

In National League North there was a rare league win for Hereford United, who beat Alfreton Town 2-1 at Edgar Street. Danny Greenslade played in this one, while Martin Horsell was an unused substitute.

Adam Dawson went on as a 90th minute substitute for Chester in their 3-1 win against Darlington. Alex Henshall was in the Darlo side, but there was no sign of Johnny Burn.
Also, no sign of Adam Cunnington in the Billericay Town lineup; they suffered a 3-2 home defeat against Oxford City.

Harry Warwick was an unused substitute in Gloucester City’s 2-0 defeat at Chelmsford City, but there was a second win of the season for Weston super Mare, who recorded a 3-1 away win at Chippenham Town. The win was enough to take them off the bottom of the league.  George Rigg was in the Chippenham side, while Will Puddy was again an unused substitute. For Weston, Nabi Diallo scored for Weston and later picked up a straight red card for a tackle on Mike Jones. Jamie Lucas went on as an 86th minute substitute and Ben Swallow in the 90th minute.

Concord Rangers moved up to fifth place in the league with a 2-1 home win against Hemel Hempstead, with Alex Wall scoring one of their goals.

Chris Dickson was on the winning side as Hampton & Richmond were 1-0 home winners against East Thurrock, though he didn’t manage to score.

Bradley Goldberg did get on the scoresheet, though, netting one of the three Welling United goals that saw them to a 3-1 home win against Hungerford Town. Rhys Kavanagh started for Hungerford, Cameron Hargreaves went on as a 75th minute substitute and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was an unused substitute.

Moving on to the Northern Premier League, Clayton McDonald was an unused substitute for Nantwich Town, who moved to the top of the table thanks to a 1-0 win at Whitby Town. No sign of Fabian Speiss, though, who also appeared for the side known as ‘The Dabbers’ just a few weeks back. Meanwhile Craig Stanley was in the Lancaster City side that registered a 2-1 win at North Ferriby United.

In the East Division, Ossett United were beaten at Wisbech Town, though the result in the Non League Paper said it was 4-0 to the home side, while the twitter accounts from both sides said it was 4-1! Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett side and was booked in the 53rd minute. However, information on the game was limited because; ‘Our social media manager is not at the game. Scores and scorers plus HT/FT will still be posted.’

Craig Disley, meanwhile, was a 78th minute substitute for Cleethorpes Town who went down 1-0 to Loughborough Dynamos.

In the West Division, Josh Klein-Davies was a second half substitute for Prescot Cables, who were beaten 2-0 at Widnes.

In the Bostik League Premier Division Bishop’s Stortford moved in to third place following their 2-1 win at Worthing and although he played, just for once Jamie Cureton wasn’t on the scoresheet!

Harlow Town, with Tom Hitchcock in their side, could only draw 1-1 at home to Bognor Regis Town, a result that leaves them occupying one of the three relegation places.

In the Southern League Premier Central Division, Tyler Lyttle was in the Rushall Olympic squad (as a substitute I think, as he was down as number 12 on the squad list!) that won 3-1 at Bedworth United.

There was a surprise home defeat for league leaders Kettering Town, managed by Marcus Law. They were beaten 3-0 by St Ives Town but still head the table, on goal difference, from Stourbridge.

In the Premier South Section, Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side had to be content with a point from a 1-1 home draw against Poole Town.

Jefferson Louis was again on the scoresheet for Chesham United, who were 2-1 winners at Hartley Wintney, but Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side went down 3-0 at Hendon.

That result moved Hendon up to fourth place, on the same number of points as third placed Salisbury who drew 1-1 at home against Metropolitan Police. Darren Mullings again completed ninety minutes for Salisbury.

Tiverton Town were beaten 2-1 at Wimborne Town where Liam Armstrong was, as usual, in goal and Cameron Allen was on the bench. ‘Tivvy’ are now down in ninth place in the league standings.

Moving on to Division One South and Mangotsfield United’s wretched season continued with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Highworth Town in front of a crowd of only 110. Kieran Hodges was in goal for The Mangos who are above the relegation places on goal difference only.

Nuno Felix was in the Melksham Town side that beat Slimbridge 1-0 thanks to a 92nd minute goal. I’m pretty sure that he was a scholar with The Gas at some point, so will check my records to confirm that! (Still checking as I complete this article, but pretty sure I can track down a photo of him in a Rovers shirt!)

Trey Anderson and Jay Malpas were in the Paulton Rovers side who registered a 1-0 home win against Yate Town, while Sam Kamara and Ollie Mehew were in the Yate side who slipped down to second place following this defeat.

Phil Bater and his Larkhall Athletic side went down to a 1-0 defeat at Winchester City. Geraint Bater, Lewis Powell and Matt Groves all started for The Larks, while Neil Arndale was on the bench.

In the FA Trophy Windsor were 2-1 winners at Erith Town, though no sign of Barry Hayles in their lineup.  He is player/coach there, so maybe he’s concentrating on the coaching side of things!

In case you’re wondering why Dorchester Town, Truro City and Bath City haven’t been mentioned, it’s because they were all without a game. Dorchester’s match at Staines Town was called off because of a waterlogged pitch, as was Truro’s match against St Albans City while Bath were due to be playing Slough Town, who were still in the FA Cup Second Round and due to play Gillingham on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Sam Oji in the Highgate United side beaten lost 3-1 at Coventry Sphinx. No sign of Jordan Goddard, though, as he’s still on the injury list.

Up in Scotland Peter Hartley was missing from the Motherwell side beaten 2-0 at Livingston, while David McCracken was missing from the Peterhead side that beat Annan Athletic 2-1 in the Scottish League Two.

In Wales Kayne McLaggon was in the Barry Town United side who were 4-1 home winners against Newtown, a result that sees them move into second place in the Welsh Premier League, just a point behind leaders Connah’s Quay Nomads.

In the NIFL Premiership Crusaders, with Mark McChrystal in their side, drew 2-2 at Glentoran, but Seanan Clucas was missing from the Dungannon Swifts side that lost 5-1 at Cliftonville.

In the Championship Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side that were held to a 1-1 draw at Dergview.

Closer to home, Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury side gained an impressive 2-0 win at Odd Down, but Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George were beaten 5-3 by Bridgwater Town
Sunday saw three games in the Premier League, all local derbies and all without any Gas representatives. There was one Gasman on view at Ashton Gate, though, as Millwall coach Adam Barratt saw his side take a point from a 1-1 draw against Bristol City. Matty Taylor, still on the injured list, missed this one.

There were eight more FA Cup Second Round ties on this day and John Still’s Barnet, who beat Rovers in the First Round, are through to Round Three following their 1-0 home win against Stockport County.

Bury are out, after losing 1-0 to Luton Town at Gigg Lane where Dominic Telford replaced Byron Moore for The Shakers in the 57th minute.

Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their lineup, were 1-0 winners at Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town also won 1-0, against Scunthorpe United. Charlie Colkett was an unused substitute for The Shrews but Ollie Norburn was missing from their squad, while Matt Lund played, and picked up a yellow card, for ‘Scunny.’

Louie Soares was an 87th minute substitute for Slough Town, who lost 1-0 at home against Gillingham.

In Scotland, Scott Sinclair picked up another winners’ medal as Celtic beat Aberdeen 1-0 in the Scottish League Cup Final and Scott saw his second half penalty saved by Dons keeper Joe Lewis.

Michael Smith, though, was on the losing side as he and his Heart of Midlothian colleagues suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Rangers, a game watched by a crowd of 19,429.

Over in France Sarre-Union, managed by Stephane Leoni, were 2-1 away winners at RC Epernay, a result that sees them up to second place in their league.

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Chapter 16 –  Week commencing 19th November 2018

More internationals on Monday but, as far as I can tell, no former Gas players involved.

Tuesday brings yet more internationals, and a double Gas representation for Wales in the shape of Connor Roberts and Rovers current skipper Tom Lockyer. Not a good night, though, as the Welsh lose 1-0 against Albania in a friendly fixture.

Better news from Scotland, though, as they clinched a Euro 2020 play off place by virtue of their 3-2 win against Israel. Oli McBurnie spent the night warming the Scottish bench on this occasion.

Aidy Boothroyd’s England U-21 made it five wins on the trot as they beat Denmark 5-1 in a friendly fixture

There were a number of First Round FA Cup replays and there were mixed results for the ex Rovers players involved. Adam Cunnington, for example, was an unused substitute for Billericay Town who went out of the competition, losing 3-1 at home against Chesterfield.

Gary Waddock and his Aldershot Town side also bowed out of the competition, losing 4-1 in a penalty shootout at Bradford City. It was 0-0 after 90 minutes and 1-1 at the end of extra time, but Bradford goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell saved the first two Aldershot spot kicks to help his side through. No Scott Rendell in the Aldershot squad.

Mansfield Town were well and truly stuffed, losing 5-0 at Charlton Athletic. Ryan Sweeney started for The Stags and Conrad Logan was on the bench.

Ryan Broom and Cheltenham, though, are through to the Second Round following their 2-0 win against Ebbsfleet United; ‘Ryan Broom went close for Cheltenham in the 41st minute but his effort was just wide after Chris Hussey’s cross was parried into his path by Nathan Ashmore.’

Cheltenham’s reward for winning is an away tie at Accrington Stanley. Not exactly a money spinning tie, but at least they get the chance to make further progress!

Jamie Fullarton and his FC Halifax Town side beat Morecambe 2-1 and will host AFC Wimbledon in the Second Round.

National League South side Slough Town beat National League side Sutton United 8-7 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes. There were no goals in extra time. Sutton did have chances to win the tie in normal time; ‘Charlie Clough half-volleyed an effort against the bar…’

Louie Soares was an unused substitute for Slough while Clough and Wayne Brown were in the Sutton starting lineup.

In National League South bottom club Weston super Mare picked up a point from their 1-1 home draw against East Thurrock United. Ben Swallow and Nabi Diallo both picked up game time as they got on from the bench, but Jamie Lucas missed out and warmed the bench for the entire game.

Moving swiftly on to Wednesday and a night that most Rovers supporters won’t want to remember as John Still’s Barnet arrived at The Mem and are into the Second Round of the FA Cup after winning this First Round replay 2-1. At least Tom Nichols scored for The Gas and that’s the only positive I can think of!

There were two other FA Cup replays, both of which involved former Rovers players. Up at Hartlepool, with Luke James in their lineup, the home side were beaten 4-3 after extra time by Gillingham. Tom Eaves equalised for the Gills, to make it 2-2, in the 96th minute, to force an extra half an hour. It was his twelfth goal of the season.

No further progress for Rory Gaffney or Salford City who, in front of a crowd of 2,432, were beaten 3-1 by managerless Shrewsbury Town. Gaffney played the 90 minutes for the home side, while for The Shrews Charlie Colkett replaced Ollie Norburn after 78 minutes.

On Friday night, Peterborough United drew 1-1 with Coventry City at The Ricoh with both goals coming in the final minutes of the game. Peterborough scored in the 90th minute while their hosts equalised a minute later, Conor Chaplin beating former Gas goalie Aaron Chapman.

In the FA Trophy, Darlington suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of AFC Telford United. Alex Henshall went on in the 66th minute for Darlo, but Johnny Burn remained on the bench all night.

Over in France on Friday evening, Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateauroux side who were 1-0 winners at Niort in Ligue 2.

Saturday saw Rovers take on Charlton Athletic at The Valley, where they haven’t won since 1958. A 3-1 defeat means that they are still waiting, though Joe Martin’s first goal for the club did give them first half hope. That was the equaliser after they had fallen behind early on, but their hosts scored in the final minutes of the first half and did the same in the second period to leave The Gas in 21st place. Ominously, the three clubs below them all won.

In the Premier League Paul Trollope and his Brighton & Hove Albion side were held to a 1-1 home draw by Leicester City while former Gas goalie Neil Etheridge, who picked up a yellow card, and Cardiff City were on the wrong end of a 1-0 defeat at Everton.

Near neighbours Bristol City suffered a 2-0 Championship defeat against Leeds at Elland Road and there was no sign of Matty Taylor in their squad.

At the New Den, Millwall coach Adam Barrett saw his side score late on to earn a point from a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers.

Joe Lumley conceded twice as QPR managed a point from a 2-2 draw against Stoke City, while Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea City side that suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Norwich City.

Goalkeeper Sam Walker was an unused substitute for Reading, who were involved in a goalless draw at Wigan, while in the evening’s televised match Tony Pulis and his Middlesborough side moved into second place by virtue of their 2-1 win at Brentford.

In League One, Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side that scored three goals in 12 second half minutes to overcome Burton Albion 3-1 at Bloomfield Road.

No joy for Tom Eaves and Gillingham, though. The Kent side, Rovers next opponents, suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Luton Town, though Eaves did score his 13th goal of the season as well as pick up a yellow card.

Matt Macey was on the winning side as Plymouth overcame Fleetwood Town 2-1 at Home Park. Cian Bolger was in the Fleetwood side.

League leaders Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in the side, were 2-1 winners at Scunthorpe United, their eighth away win in ten matches on opposition turf. Matt Lund, who was booked, was in the ‘Scunny’ side.

Wycombe Wanderers recorded their fifth straight win at Adams Park as they were 3-2 winners against Shrewsbury Town. Joe Jacobson scored the second Wycombe goal and Paris Cowan-Hall entered the fray as a substitute in the 98th minute, would you believe! Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury lineup and Charlie Colkett was an unused substitute.

In League Two there was a sellout crowd at Sincil Bank to see Lincoln City return to the top of the table following a 1-1 draw against Mansfield Town. John Akinde started for The Imps while Sam Slocombe remained on the bench. Ryan Sweeney started for The Stags while Conrad Logan also warmed the bench.

Ten man Cambridge United, with Reggie Lambe in their side, recovered a two goal deficit to earn themselves a point from a 2-2 draw against Bury at The Abbey Stadium. Byron Moore completed 90 minutes for The Shakers while Dominic Telford went on as an 80th minute substitute.

At Whaddon Road, Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham Town side that beat Newport County 2-1. The visitors, who missed a second half penalty, had David Pipe in their lineup.

Harry Pell and Jordan Tillson faced each other at Colchester, where their respective sides Colchester United and Exeter City played out a 1-1 draw.

Nathan Blissett was an 84th minute substitute for Macclesfield Town, who recorded only their second win of the season, winning 1-0 against Yeovil Town at the Moss Rose.

Elliott Ward and Daniel Jones were in the Notts County side that picked up a point from a 1-1 draw at Morecambe though it wasn’t enough to lift The Magpies out of the relegation places.

Keith Curle’s Northampton Town side also drew, 2-2 against Grimsby Town at Sixfields. Andy Williams scored for The Cobblers and John O’Toole completed the 90 minutes.

Cristian Montano was substituted at half time in Port Vale’s 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Swindon Town, a first win for recently appointed manager Richie Wellens. MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, slipped to an unexpected 3-2 defeat at Stevenage.

Down in the National League, there was no Andy Bond in the AFC Fylde side that registered a 2-1 home win against Boreham Wood 2-1. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were in the visitors’ starting lineup.

Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town side suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Barrow, and John Still’s Barnet also suffered a home defeat, losing 2-1 to Gateshead at The Hive.

The Angelo Balanta effect continues to boost Dagenham & Redbridge, who recorded a 2-0 away win at Bromley. Their fourth win in five matches saw them climb out of the bottom four.

There was no joy for Luke James and Hartlepool United, beaten 1-0 at Dover Athletic, while Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town slipped to a 4-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet United.

Rory Gaffney and his Salford City side were held to a goalless draw at Solihull Moors while Maidenhead United pulled off a surprise 1-0 win at Sutton United. Alfie Kilgour was in the Maidenhead side while Charlie Clough and Wayne Brown started for the home side.

Leyton Orient scored two late goals at Wrexham to record a 2-0 win and stretch their lead at the top of the table to three points. Matt Harrold was an unused substitute for The O’s.

Lower down The Pyramid it was FA Trophy Third Round Qualifying Day and looking for ex Gas players is akin to looking for needles in haystacks! However, here goes.

Chippenham Town drew 1-1 with Wingate & Finchley and so will replay on Tuesday evening and the tenuous link to The Gas is George Rigg. Still no sign of Andy Sandell or Will Puddy.

Concord Rangers, with Alex Wall in their starting lineup, suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Wealdstone, but there was double delight for on loan defender Josh Bailey at Dorchester Town. His side are through to the First Round Proper after a 1-0 home win against Hungerford Town and Josh was named Man of the Match for his part in their performance. Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was in the Hungerford side.

Following their FA Cup run to the First Round, there will be no further cup glory for Hampton & Richmond who suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Billericay Town and while Chris Dickson was in the Hampton & Richmond side (The Beavers for some unknown reason) there was no sign of Adam Cunnington in the visitors’ squad.

There was a win at last for Hereford United, their first under manager Marc Richards. A goal down at the break, The Bulls scored three second half goals to beat FC United of Manchester. Defender Danny Greenslade, who hit the post in the second half, was in the side, while goalkeeper Martin Horsell and defender Ryan Green were both on the bench.

Marcus Bignot and his Guiseley side will have to replay following their 2-2 draw at Lancaster City for whom Craig Stanley was on the scoresheet and he tweeted afterwards; ‘Gutted not to hang on to the win today and to conceded in injury time, but very good performance by the boys and very happy to get my first goal of the season! On to Tuesday now for the replay.’

Darren Mullings was a 66th minute substitute for Salisbury FC in their 2-1 home win against East Thurrock United,

Weston super Mare seem to like cup ties, though. Struggling in the league, they reached the First Round of the FA Cup and have now reached the same stage of the FA Trophy after their 3-2 away win at Slough Town. Nabi Diallo was in the Weston lineup, while Ben Swallow was an unused substitute. Louie Soares was in the Slough side and on the bench was Scott Davies, who played seven games for us when Dave Penney was in charge back in 2012, on loan from Reading.

He’s an interesting character, who has written extensively about a long term gambling addiction and is now working to help educate footballers about gambling and how to avoid it. Claims to have gambled away over £200,000!

Adam Dawson started for Chester in their goalless draw at Southport while assistant Truro City boss Michael Meaker saw his side go through following a 3-0 home win against Greenwich Borough. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist again started for the home side, now unbeaten in six games.

Bradley Goldberg was an unused substitute in Welling United’s 1-1 home draw against Dulwich Hamlet.

In the Northern Premier League (East Division) Craig Disley warmed the bench for Cleethorpes Town as they won 6-2 against Stocksbridge Park Steels, while Andy Monkhouse scored in the 90th minute for Ossett United, 4-3 winners against Frickley Athletic.

In the West Division Josh Klein-Davies didn’t get on the scoresheet but was in the Prescot Cables side that won 4-1 against Clitheroe.

In the Bostik League Premier Division, Jamie Cureton was at it again, scoring twice as Bishop’s Stortford registered a 4-1 away win at Margate and they now occupy the final play off place in that division, with just four points less than leaders Dorking.

Speaking of Jamie, there was an excellent article about him in this weekend’s Non League Paper in which he said; ‘If I’d looked after myself like I do now, I would have played higher for longer.’

In the same division Tom Hitchcock was also on the winning side as Harlow Town recorded a 2-1 away win against Potters Bar Town.

Marcus Law’s Kettering Town still lead the Southern League Premier Central Division following their 1-0 away win against Rushall Olympic. Tyler Lyttle was in the beaten Rushall lineup.

In the Premier South Section another former Gas man, Danny Greaves, saw his Frome Town side beaten 2-1 at Chesham where Jefferson Louis scored one of the two home goals. Remarkably, all three goals came in the final ten minutes.

Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr Town side register a 2-0 home win against Wimborne Town which saw them move into fourth place in the league, four points better off than Tiverton Town who drew 1-1 against Hartley Wintney.

There were honourable mentions for Tiverton’s Liam Armstrong and Cameron Allen in the match report I came across; ‘Cameron Allen’s through ball provided the chance for striker Levi Landricombe to get in the game’s first real shot’…..’  and ‘Liam Armstrong did well to parry a Romario Hart drive with Jay Englefield just failing to net the rebound…’

Yate Town still lead the way in Division One South, having lost just one league game all season. This time out, with Ollie Mehew starting and Sam Kamara staying on the bench for the entire 90 minutes.

Two former Gas men were on the scoresheet for Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic in their 3-2 win against Mangotsfield United, namely Lewis Powell and Matt Groves. Phil’s son, Geraint, was also in the Larkhall side while Neil Arndale was on the bench. Kieran Hodges kept goal for Mangotsfield.

Paulton Rovers were beaten 1-0 at Evesham United, with Trey Anderson in the starting lineup and Jay Malpas on the bench. Evesham scored the only goal of the game after just two minutes and this is what their photographer tweeted after the match; ‘Well done Joe Turley. Great finish. Sorry missed the goal with the camera! Still taking lens cap off, it happened so quickly!’

Sam Oji was in the Highgate United side beaten 5-1 at home by South Normanton Athletic in a Midland League Premier Division game. Jordan Goddard, injured seven days earlier, didn’t feature in this one.

Barry Hayles and his Windsor FC side were beaten 4-2 in their Hellenic League Premier League clash with Ascot United.

Up to Scotland next and in the Third Round of the Scottish Cup and Darryl Duffy scored as Airdrieonians went through to the next round by beating Dumbarton 3-0.

In the same competition there was no sign of David McCracken in the Peterhead lineup for their game against Greenock Morton. The game ended 1-1 so the clubs will need a replay to see who goes through.

In the Scottish Premiership Celtic stretched their unbeaten run to seven games with a 3-0 win against Hamilton Academicals with Scott Sinclair completing the ninety minutes.

No joy for Michael Smith and Heart of Midlothian though as they lost 2-0 at St Mirren to extend their winless run to five games. Peter Hartley was on the winning side, though, as Motherwell were 3-0 winners against Aberdeen.

In the NIFL Premiership Mark McChrystal was on the winning side as Crusaders won 3-2 against Institute, a result that sees them stay in fourth place in the table.

Dungannon Swifts are down in tenth place following their 1-0 win against Glentoran FC. Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon lineup and picked up a yellow card.

Over in Germany Kenan Dunnwald and his Kaan-Marienborn side suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wiedenbruck, while Stephane Leoni, manager of French side Sarre-Union, had to be content with the point his side gained from a goalless draw against Strg Pierrots Vauban.

On Sunday Bath City won through to the First Round Proper of the FA Trophy with a 2-1 win at Horsham. Sean Rigg scored the winning goal, Ryan Brunt went on as a 65th minute substitute as did Deon Moore, while Mo Baghdadi was an unused substitute.

Ryan Clarke had to sit this one out as he was taken ill before the game, paving the way for a debut from 16 year old shot stopper Harvey Wiles-Richards.

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Bristol born Sean Rigg was a Filton College Scholar when offered a pro contract by Rovers in the summer of 2006.
He had previously been offered a scholarship by Bristol City but he opted to join the set up at Rovers as he felt that the club offered him a better opportunity of playing reserve and, eventually, first team football. He made a number of reserve team appearances in 2005/06 and made his first team debut in a 2-0 defeat at MK Dons who, at that time played in the National Hockey Stadium, on 19th August 2006.
The 2006/07 campaign proved to be a momentous one for Sean and for Rovers. He sustained a fractured jaw in a First Round FA Cup tie at Barrow, wasn’t included in the squad for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final against Doncaster Rovers, scored his first Rovers goal, against Macclesfield at Moss Rose, scored again in the play off semi final against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank, and went on as a second half substitute against Shrewsbury Town in the Play Off Final at Wembley.
During his time with Rovers he went out on loan to Grays, Forest Green Rovers and Port Vale and eventually signed a permanent deal with Vale in August 2010. His Rovers career saw him score twice in 57 league appearances and there was another goal in 18 appearances in cup competitions/play off games.
After two years at Vale Park he moved to Oxford United, in May 2012, and another two years elapsed before he joined AFC Wimbledon. He was an unused substitute for them in the 2015/16 play off final against Plymouth Argyle at Wembley where Kelle Roos was a team mate and Gary Sawyer, Peter Hartley and Hiram Boateng were in the Argyle side.
In June 2016 he was on his way again, signing for Newport County for whom he would score six goals in 50 league appearances. Released in February of this year, he soon signed for Bath City and is helping them push for promotion from National League South whilst pursuing a career as a tattoo artist from his business premises in Stroud.  [Photo by Neil Brookman]
Another Sunday game in the same competition saw Gloucester City bow out after a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Biggleswade Town, though their goal was scored by Harry Warwick, introduced as a second half substitute for the home side.

In Denmark, Mikkel Andersen was an unused substitute for Midtjylland in their 2-1 defeat at Kobenhavn in the Danish Super League.

In Holland Jake Clarke Salter, injured on England U-21 duty last week, was missing from the Vitesse Arnhem side that won 3-1 at Willem II.

It was a week that ended with more rancour in the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and there were calls from some quarters for the resignation of Chief Executive Gordon Taylor, whose authority is being challenged after 37 years in post.

Most seem to agree that something needs to change, and it will be interesting to see the outcome of a review which, for everyone’s sake, needs to be an independent one.

Interesting to see that the current PFA Chief Executive is Simon Barker, who had an extended trial with Rovers when Ian Holloway was in charge, and that Scott McGleish, who parted company with Chesham United last month, is listed as Delegate Liaison Executive working out of the union’s London Office.

The week, though, ended on a sad note when it was revealed that former Rovers defender Kevin Austin had died following a short battle with pancreatic cancer. At the age of 45. He was taken far too soon. A good footballer and a very nice man, as tributes to him from many in the game confirm.   Our full tribute to the big man can be found HERE

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Chapter 15 –  Week commencing 12th November 2018

Monday evening saw the last of the first round FA Cup ties to be played when Hampton & Richmond hosted Oldham Athletic and there was almost a shock result.

Former Gas striker Chris Dickson put the National League South side ahead from the penalty spot after 15 minutes and Oldham didn’t equalise until the 88th minute before scoring the winner in the fourth minute of time added on.

Tuesday brings news of a transfer involving a former Rovers player (thanks Stephen Byrne) as Adam Dawson moves from AFC Telford to Chester FC.

In terms of games on this day, there’s quite a full programme of Checkatrade games and Rovers were one of the clubs involved.

Manager Darrell Clarke fielded a young side that lost 2-0 at Exeter, but no real damage done as both sides had already qualified for the next stage of the competition. There were a number of positives to take from the game for Clarke, though. Zain Walker, at 16 years old, became the first Rovers player born this millennium to make a senior appearance for the club and there were first senior appearances for Connor Jones, Theo Widdrington and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis who made his first appearance for the club since his move to BS7 in the summer.

Jordan Tillson was missing from the Exeter lineup, as was Hiram Boateng who will be out, through injury, until the New Year.

Harry Pell scored for Colchester in their 3-1 defeat at Cambridge United, while Reggie Lambe was an unused substitute for the home side. David Pipe played for Newport County in their 2-0 home win against Plymouth Argyle, though Argyle keeper Matt Macey appears to have been rested.

At Whaddon Road, Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham Town side that beat Coventry City 2-0. Aaron Chapman was an unused substitute in Peterborough’s 2-1 win against Luton Town, while Lee Nicholls wasn’t included in the MK Dons side that suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion.

Nathan Blissett was an unused substitute for Macclesfield Town, who registered a 2-1 win against West Bromwich Albion’s U-21 side. Charlie Colkett was back in the Shrewsbury Town side, as they were 2-1 winners at Crewe Alexandra but Ollie Norburn appears to have been rested.

Cristian Montano completed 90 minutes for Port Vale, who were 2-1 winners at Walsall, while Conrad Logan was in goal for Mansfield Town who beat Scunthorpe United 3-2 at Field Mill. Ryan Sweeney was also in the starting lineup for The Stags. No Matt Lund for The Iron, who named only five substitutes for this game.

Gillingham also named just five substitutes and rested Tom Eaves but were still too strong for Crawley Town and ran out 2-1 winners at The Priestfield Stadium. Down at Fratton Park, Lee Brown was an unused substitute for Portsmouth, 3-2 winners against Tottenham Hotspurs U-21 side.

In National League North, Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side beaten 3-0 by Southport at Edgar Street, while Eliot Richards was an unused substitute.
Adam Dawson made his Chester FC debut, when going on as a second half substitute in their goalless draw at York City.

There were four matches played in National League South but, as far as I know, there were no former Rovers players involved in any of them.

The same goes for the eight FA Trophy replays, though there was one tenuous link with Josh Wakefield. Remember him? He came on loan to us, from AFC Bournemouth, in February 2015 but never made a first team appearance. He’s now with Weymouth and was an unused substitute in their 1-0 away win against Street.

News of another transfer with Rovers connections thanks to Stephen Byrne. After one goal in 52 appearances for Whitby Town, Andy Monkhouse has moved to Ossett United so will be keeping an eye out for him in future!

Speaking on the Ossett United website, Monkhouse said; ‘Joining United is the next part of my career and a challenge that I could not turn down. I have met with the management team and I share their enthusiasm and passion for building this club into something very special.’

Ossett United only came into being on 1st July this year following a merger between Ossett Town and Ossett Albion and they play in the Northern Premier League Division One North.

Meanwhile I’ve discovered that another former Rovers loanee, and Welsh international, Chris Llewellyn is now with Colchester United with the grand title of Lead Professional Phase Coach and Coach Mentor.

There were a few games played this evening, including a couple more Checkatrade Trophy ties and Daniel Jones was in the Notts County side that beat Doncaster Rovers 4-2 at Meadow Lane just a day after The Magpies had sacked manager Harry Kewell. The home side chose not to issue a programme for the game but advised supporters that a teamsheet could be purchased for 20p.

In National League South Gloucester City suffered a 4-3 home defeat at the hands of Woking and the night after he was on the bench for Rovers down at Exeter, Harry Warwick was again on the bench. This time it was for Gloucester City and he went on as a second half substitute, though his side were beaten 4-3 by Woking who scored the winning goal in the third minute of time added on.

Thursday was international night, so goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson was on duty for England, who beat USA 3-0 at Wembley in a friendly match while medical man Richard Evans was on the bench for Belgium in their 2-0 win against Iceland in the UEFA Nations League Group A2 match.

Michael Smith won his third cap for Northern Ireland in their goalless draw against the Republic of Ireland in a friendly match in Dublin.

In Italy the England U-21 side extended their unbeaten run to 21 games with a 2-1 win. Aidy Boothroyd was in charge, of course, and Jake Clarke-Salter started but was injured early on and limped off after only four minutes.

Friday saw Tom Lockyer warm the bench for Wales in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Denmark at the Cardiff City Stadium. There was another international cap for Connor Roberts, though.

Three of Rovers’ Development Squad went out on loan today, with Deon Moore and Mo Baghdadi linking up with Bath City for a month and Cameron Allen set to spend the next month with Tiverton Town.

The Bath City Rovers contingent is, temporarily, up to six if you count manager Jerry Gill who was with us as the U-18 coach during Paul Trollope’s time as manager.

Scotland were in international action on Saturday, winning 4-0 in Albania in the UEFA Nations League and Oli McBurnie was an unused substitute for them on this occasion.

In the league, Rovers slipped to a home defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe United, a result that sees us slip into the bottom four. The rather fortuitous winning goal was scored by former Gas loanee Matt Lund, minutes after a Chris Lines penalty had been saved by Jak Alnwick.

Cian Bolger was in the Fleetwood Town side held to a goalless draw by Walsall at the Highbury Stadium, while goalkeeper Matt Macey was beaten five times at Luton, with his Plymouth Argyle side scoring only once in reply. That sees Argyle one of three clubs still below Rovers in the league standings.

No goals and no points for Tom Eaves, as Gillingham were beaten 1-0 at Oxford and Peterborough United and Bradford City drew 1-1 at London Road, where Aaron Chapman was again on goalkeeping duty for The Posh.

Ollie Norburn scored twice for Shrewsbury, to take his season’s tally to five, as they were 3-2 winners against Rochdale. Charlie Colkett was an unused substitute for The Shrews.
Marc Bola was again on the winning side as Blackpool beat Southend 2-1 at Roots Hall and moved up to seventh place in the league.

In front of a Sunderland crowd of 30,727, Wycombe Wanderers drew 1-1 with Joe Jacobson in the starting lineup and Paris Cowan-Hall going on as a substitute in time added on.

In League Two, Byron Moore was replaced by Dominic Telford in Bury’s 4-0 win over Stevenage at Gigg Lane and down at St James’ Park Andy Williams scored a 90th minute equaliser for Northampton Town in their 2-2 draw against Exeter City. John-Joe O’Toole was also in action for Keith Curle’s side, while Jordan Tillson was in the Exeter City lineup.

At Field Mill, Ryan Sweeney started for Mansfield and Conrad Logan was on the bench as The Stags were 1-0 winners against Port Vale for whom Cristian Montano was introduced as a 56th minute substitute.

MK Dons took over as league leaders thanks to their 2-0 home win against Macclesfield Town. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK while Nathan Blissett was an unused substitute for the league’s bottom club, now seven points adrift of safety.

Newport County moved back into the League Two automatic promotion places with a 2-0 home win against Colchester United. David Pipe, who picked up a yellow card, was in the Newport side, but there was no sign of Harry Pell in the Colchester lineup.

Daniel Jones started for Notts County in their 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Cheltenham Town, while Elliot Ward was an unused substitute. Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham side who moved above County and pushed them into the bottom two.

Reggie Lambe missed out on Cambridge United’s 3-1 defeat at Oldham Athletic, and Tom Parkes was still missing from the Carlisle United lineup as they were 4-0 winners at Swindon Town.

In the National League, Lyle Della Verde started for Braintree Town in their 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Solihull Moors, while Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were in the Boreham Wood side held to a 1-1 home draw by Ebbsfleet United.

Andy Bond scored a first minute goal for AFC Fylde at Dagenham & Redbridge but finished on the losing side as The Daggers ran out 2-1 winners to record their third win in four games. Must be the Angelo Balanta effect, as those four games have all been played since he joined them, and he started again in this one!

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax Town recorded a 1-0 home win against the league’s bottom club Dover Athletic while play off contenders Sutton United played out a goalless draw at Gateshead. Charlie Clough, who picked up a yellow card and Wayne Brown both started for Sutton.

Matt Harrold was an unused substitute for Leyton Orient as they moved back to the top of the table following their 3-1 home win against Bromley.

Second placed Salford City extended their unbeaten run to 17 games against Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town side with a 4-0 win that sees them in second place, a point behind Orient. Rory Gaffney was on target for the home side, while Scott Rendell, who was substituted at half time, started for The Shots.

In National League North Darlington played out a 2-2 home draw against Hereford United and four former Rovers players were on view. Johnny Burn and Alex Henshall were both unused substitutes for the home side and Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side while Ryan Green was an unused substitute.

When they sacked Peter Beadle as manager, Hereford were three points off a play off position. Saturday’s draw means they have now gone 14 league games without a win, have picked up only five points from those games, and are now in the relegation zone two points from safety.

Guiseley boss Marcus Bignot saw his side draw 1-1 at home against Spennymoor Town, a result that leaves them in 15th place in the table.

Adam Dawson was in the Chester side beaten 1-0 at Leamington, and they dropped to sixth place, a point behind third placed AFC Telford the club he left in the week to move to Chester.

Bath City, in National League South, recorded a 1-0 home win against Eastbourne Borough and they are now in sixth place, just two points off of third. Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg were in the starting lineup for The Romans, while Deon Moore went on as a 65th minute substitute and Ryan Brunt and Mo Baghdadi warmed the bench without being called on.

There was an away win for Michael Meaker (assistant manager) and Truro City, who scored twice without reply at Chelmsford City. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist played the 90 minutes for Truro.

Apart from former Gas trialist George Rigg, there was no ex Rovers representation in the Chippenham Town lineup. They were 3-1 home winners against Wealdstone and are in eighth place in the league, on the same number of points as near neighbours Bath City.
Gloucester City remain three points above the relegation zone following their goalless home draw against St Albans City. Harry Warwick was a 78th minute Gloucester substitute.

No goals for Chris Dickson and no points for his side, Hampton & Richmond, as they slipped to a home defeat at the hands of Dartford, and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis and his Hungerford Town side had to settle for a point as they drew 2-2 with Billericay Town for whom Adam Cunnington was a 63rd minute substitute.

Alex Wall was a 46th minute substitute for Concord Rangers in their 4-1 defeat at Torquay United, while Bradley Goldberg entered the fray in the 73rd minute for Welling United in their 3-1 home win against Weston super Mare. Looks to be a hopeless case for The Seagulls, who are now eight points from safety having won just one league game all season. Ben Swallow and Jamie Lucas both came off the bench in this one.

Louie Soares was a 64th minute substitute for Slough Town in their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Woking.

In the Northern Premier League Craig Stanley’s Lancaster City drew 0-0 against Stafford Rangers.

In trying to track down Clayton McDonald (on a dual registration with Nantwich Town and Winsford United (couldn’t find any trace!) I spotted that Fabian Speiss was in goal for Nantwich in their 2-2 away draw against Bamber Bridge. Not a goalkeeper who will live long in the memory of Gasheads, sadly! He must be doing something right though as his side are currently second in the league standings just four points separating them from league leaders Scarborough Athletic.

In the West Division, Josh Klein-Davies was a 78th minute substitute for Prescot Cables, who were 4-0 winners at Kidsgrove Athletic.

In the East Division, Ossett United drew 1-1 at Carlton Town in front of a crowd of 108; pretty sure that Andy Monkhouse, making his debut for the visitors, has played in front of bigger crowds!

Craig Disley kept the bench warm for Cleethorpes Town in their 3-2 win at Gresley FC, a result that saw them move off the bottom of the table on goal difference, from Wisbech Town.

Special mention this week for Jamie Cureton, the 43 year old Bishop’s Stortford player/manager scored a hat trick in his side’s 4-2 home win against Whitehawk and in doing so notched the 350th goal of his career. Absolutely fantastic achievement!

Harlow Town, also of the Bostik League Premier Division, remain bottom of the table in spite of gaining their first win of the season, 1-0 against Tonbridge Angels, but there was no sign of Tom Hitchcock in their squad this weekend.

Marcus Law and his Kettering Town side still top the Southern league Premier Central Division following their 1-0 away win at Royston Town.

Tyler Lyttle’s Rushall Olympic scored a 90th minute goal to defeat Leiston.

In the Premier South Division there was an away win for Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side who were 3-0 winners at Basingstoke Town. In the same division, Jefferson Louis was on the scoresheet for Chesham United who registered a 5-0 away win at Dorchester Town.

Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side were beaten 2-1 at Metropolitan Police and Tiverton Town played out a goalless draw against Hendon. Liam Armstrong would have been happy with the clean sheet and Cameron Allen made his debut, being substituted after 65 minutes. (‘Cameron Allen and Josh Wadham impressed on their debuts’ – Sunday Independent)

Rene Howe played for Kings Langley, who pulled off a surprise 2-1 home win against Weymouth, who slipped down to third place in the league. Salisbury moved into second place thanks to a 4-2 home win against Hartley Wintney and Darren Mullings was used as a 68th minute substitute for Steve Claridge’s side.

Yate Town still top Division One South and they returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win at Winchester City with Ollie Mehew and Sam Kamara in their side.

Mangotsfield United, though, suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Thatcham Town and while Kieran Hodges was in goal, there was no sign of Lewis Ellington in the Mangos squad.

In the same division, Phil Bater’s Larkhall were 3-1 winners at Paulton Rovers, with Lewis Powell scoring one of their goals. Hadn’t realised that there were a couple of Rovers connections on the Paulton management team; Paul Tovey and Gary Powell are listed as assistant managers on their website.

Sam Oji and Jordan Goddard were in the Highgate United that recorded a 3-2 home win against Worcester City, though Goddard picked up an injury that saw him substituted in the 36th minute.

Barry Hayles was an unused substitute for Windsor, 2-1 winners against Moreton Rangers in the Blufin Sports Challenge Cup (no, I’ve never heard of it, either!)

Further down the pyramid, and closer to home, Ray Johnston’s Hallen picked up a point from a 1-1 away draw at Bradford Town, while Roman Glass St George and Andy Gurney suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Clevedon Town. No joy for Joe White and Chipping Sodbury, either, as Wellington recorded their biggest win in more than three years, beating Joe’s side 7-2.

In Scotland, Darry Duffy scored twice for Airdrionians in their 4-2 win against East Fife in the Scottish League One.

Barry Town United, in the Welsh Premier League, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of The New Saints who took over at the top of the table and pushed their hosts down to third place. Kayne McLaggon was again in the starting lineup for Barry.

In Ireland Crusaders, with Mark McChrystal in their lineup, were 3-0 winners against Glenavon. No Seanan Clucas in the Dungannon Swifts lineup, though. Couldn’t find any games in the NFL Championship and looks as though Larne FC don’t have a game until 27th November when they take on McChrystal’s side in the semi final of the County Antrim Shield. Jeff Hughes is back with Larne, where he began his career and there was an excellent feature on him in the local Sunday Independent.

Sunday saw more international action, with Martyn Margetson on England’s bench for their 2-1 win against Croatia and Richard Evans involved with Belgium who, rather surprisingly, suffered a 5-2 defeat in Switzerland.

No UEFA Nations League joy for Michael Smith, either, who was in the Northern Ireland side that lost 2-1 to Austria at Windsor Park.

In the National League John Still’s Barnet warmed up for their FA Cup replay against Rovers by winning 3-1 at Hartlepool United. It was a fourth consecutive league defeat for the home side, for who Luke James played the 90 minutes.

That’s about it in a week that saw the PFA (Professional Footballers Association) Chairman challenge the Chief Executive who has been in post for 37 years to get the union involved in updating its practices (rather than invest in works of art and hold on to a £50m reserve fund).  If I were a player I’d be backing the Chairman!

It was also a week that saw Premier League Clubs asked to contribute £250,000 each to fund a suitable retirement gift to outgoing Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore. Many articles were written about it, though none as hard hitting as the one written by Matt Badcock in the Non League Paper on behalf of grassroots football. He’s right, it’s obscene and only goes to prove my point, made earlier in the season, that the Premier League/Football Association don’t give a monkeys about anyone not part of their seemingly exclusive club. And I’m not just saying that because the outgoing Executive Chairman plans to spend more time watching his favourite team at Ashton Gate!

Ollie Norburn
Oliver (Ollie) Lewis Norburn began his career with Leicester City and joined Rovers, initially on loan, in September 2011. It wasn’t until July 2012 that a permanent deal brought him back to BS7 where he was to remain for two years. His Rovers career took in 56 league games and three goals, which included a spectacular last minute effort at Cheltenham which earned us a point in February 2013. (It also earned me a ticking off from Radio Bristol for screaming down the microphone and drowning out the voice of the proper commentator at the game – haven’t done it since!)
July 2014 saw him join Plymouth Argyle and in November 2015 he signed for non league side Guiseley. From there it was on to Macclesfield Town (in August 2016) and he joined Tranmere Rovers in July 2017. His move to Shrewsbury Town came about in August of this year.
[Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]

 

Chapter 14 –  Week commencing 5th November 2018

Monday begins with good news regarding Tom Lockyer, who has been selected for the Welsh International squad for their forthcoming games against Denmark and Albania.

Chippenham Town were in action on Monday evening in National League South, losing 1-0 at Chelmsford City, though none of the players with Rovers connections were involved.

Aside from the Champions League matches taking place on Tuesday, there were two games in League One – far more important!

At The Priestfield Stadium Gillingham suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Blackpool. Marc Bola was on the winning side, while Tom Eaves went home pointless and goalless! The other game at this level saw Charlton Athletic win 2-0 at Walsall.

In League Two, Mansfield beat Grimsby 2-1 at Field Mill with Ryan Sweeney in their lineup and Conrad Logan on the bench.

Elliot Ward was in the Notts County side that played out a goalless draw against Oldham Athletic at Meadow Lane.

It was Checkatrade Trophy night again and West Ham United’s U-21 side made it a hat trick of defeats as they went down 4-0 at Yeovil in Southern Group D. With Rovers and Exeter City, who meet next week, already through, there was only pride to play for in this one. Alefe Santos made a rare start for The Glovers in this game.

In Group F Wycombe Wanderers were beaten 3-0 by Oxford United at Adams Park where Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall were both unused substitutes for The Chairboys.

In the same group, Northampton Town beat Fulham U-21’s 2-0 at Sixfields and Andy Williams was in the starting lineup for Keith Curle’s side.

In Northern Group H, holders Lincoln City took on Wolverhampton Wanderers U-21 side and were beaten 5-4 in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. Sam Slocombe and Bernard Mensah started this one for The Imps, while John Akinde went on as a second half substitute.

In National League North, Marcos Bignot’s Guiseley side were beaten 1-0 at Ashton United as they warmed up for their FA Cup first round tie against Cambridge United.

In National League South, Weston super Mare gained a point on their travels, from a 3-3 draw against Dulwich Hamlet. Ben Swallow and Nabi Diallo started this one, while Jamie Lucas went on in the second half and scored twice, in the 81st and 84th minutes – the equaliser coming from the penalty spot.

Wednesday saw three more games played in the Checkatrade Trophy, the only one with any Rovers connections involving Middlesbrough, whose U-21 side beat Burton Albion 1-0 though I doubt that Boro boss Tony Pulis was at this game at The Pirelli Stadium!

There was also news that Rovers defender Alfie Kilgour was going out on loan, to National League side Maidenhead United.

Scott Sinclair was in action again on Thursday evening, when he was in the Celtic side that beat RB Leipzig 2-1 at Celtic Park to keep alive their hopes of qualification to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

One game in each of the Championship, FA Cup and Scottish Premiership on Friday but no Gas representation in any of them to the best of my knowledge!

Over in France, though, Oumare Tounkara scored for Chateauroux in their 2-1 home defeat by Metz.

Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge and Brighton’s Paul Trollope (a former Cardiff manager) were on opposing sides on Saturday, and on TV as Cardiff City took on Brighton & Hove Albion in the early SKY match. Etheridge was the one celebrating victory in this one, as his side scored a last gasp goal to clinch victory by two goals to one.

In the Championship, Swansea were 1-0 winners at Bolton Wanderers, with Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie both completing 90 minutes.

At Ashton Gate, Matty Taylor entered the fray as a 64th minute substitute, but he couldn’t help Bristol City prevent Preston, who won 1-0, registering their first away win of the season.

Middlesbrough were 2-0 home winners against Wigan Athletic, a result that saw Tony Pulis’s side end the day in second place, two points behind Norwich City who beat Millwall 4-3 at Carrow Road. No joy there for Lions’ coach Adam Barrett!

At Loftus Road there were two former Gas goalies on view. Joe Lumley was in the QPR side that beat local rivals Brentford 3-2 to record their fourth win in five matches, while Luke Daniels was again an unused substitute for The Bees.

Another keeper, Reading’s Sam Walker, was an unused substitute in their bottom of the table clash against Ipswich Town, which ended 2-2 at the Madejski Stadium.

No Rovers game today, as they take on Barnet in tomorrow’s First Round FA Cup tie at The Hive, but there was a great deal of Rovers interest in the competition.

Alfie Kilgour made his debut for Maidenhead United, against Portsmouth and Lee Brown in front of the BT cameras and a certain Chris Hargreaves, manager of Rovers’ Development Squad. Chris was a member of the BT crew covering the game. Portsmouth ran out 4-0 winners so there was no FA Cup glory for Alfie who was almost certainly watched by his proud father as well as celebrity Maidenhead fan Timmy Mallet!

That game was an early kick off and there were another 29 ties later on Saturday afternoon and I’ll work through them alphabetically, starting at Accrington where the home side beat League Two side Colchester United who included Harry Pell in their starting lineup.

Aldershot Town held Bradford City to a 1-1 draw at home, so manager Gary Waddock and striker Scott Rendell and his team mates face the long trip up to Valley Parade for the replay.

No cup progress for Elliot Ward, though, as he and his Notts County side lost 4-2 at Barnsley. Daniel Jones was back in the County squad for this one and went on as a 72nd minute substitute.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough in their 3-1 win at Peterborough, while Byron Moore and Dominic Telford both scored in Bury’s 5-0 home win against Dover. In fact, Moore scored twice; had to read that several times to make sure I had it right – never known him score twice in a match before!

Billericay Town drew 1-1 at Chesterfield, but Adam Cunnington was missing from their squad for this one.

Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham side that drew 0-0 at Ebbsfleet United, while down at Exeter Jordan Tillson started for the home side against Blackpool, and was booked, but there was no sign of Marc Bola in the visitors’ squad.

Tom Eaves and Luke James were on opposing sides at The Preistfield Stadium and will be again in ten days’ time as Gillingham and Hartlepool United played out a goalless draw.

Lee Nicholls and his MK Dons side are out of the competition, losing 3-1 at Grimsby, but three former Rovers players made it through to the next round against three more ex Gas up at Sincil Bank where Lincoln City beat Northampton Town 3-2. John Akinde started for the home side, while Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe were unused substitutes, while Keith Curle selected both John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams for The Cobblers.

Joe Jacobson, Paris Cowan-Hall and Wycombe Wanderers are left to concentrate on the league following their 2-0 defeat at Luton and the same can be said about Nathan Blissett and his Macclesfield Town colleagues, beaten 2-1 by Maidstone United. Blissett was a 73rd minute substitute for The Silkmen.

David Pipe started for Newport County in their potentially tricky tie against Metropolitan Police, but the Welsh side ran out 2-0 winners, while FC Halifax Manager Jamie Fullarton and his side will be in the hat for the second round after their goalless draw at Morecambe.

Goalkeeper Matt Macey and Plymouth Argyle went through to the second round by virtue of their 1-0 win against Stevenage at Home Park and Matt Lund, who will be at The Mem with Scunthorpe United next week, will also be in round two as The Iron were 2-1 home winners against Burton Albion.

No cup joy for Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes, though, as their Boreham Wood side were beaten 2-0 at Southport, but Charlie Clough and his Sutton United side live to fight another day after their goalless home draw against Slough. One other former Rovers player who has gone under my radar until now is Wayne Brown. He went on as a 64th minute substitute for Sutton; he’s now played 13 games for them this season, so it’s taken me a while to catch up with him! Louie Soares was an unused Slough substitute.

Alefe Santos was an unused substitute in Yeovil Town’s 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Stockport County.

There were matches in National Leagues North and South, though many clubs were involved in the second round of the FA Trophy.

In National North, Adam Dawson was an 86th minute substitute for AFC Telford in their 1-0 home win against Boston United.

Hereford United slipped to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of FC United of Manchester. Ryan Green and Danny Greenslade were both in the starting lineup for the home side who drew a crowd of 2,473 to Edgar Street, easily the best attendance in the league on the day.

In the Southern section, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was in the Hungerford Town side beaten 3-1 at Eastbourne while Harry Warwick started for Gloucester City in their 2-1 defeat at Hemel Hempstead.

Still no Will Puddy or Andy Sandell in the Chippenham Town lineup (they won 3-2 at St Albans) and bath City also scored three in their game at Wealdstone…trouble is, so did the home side! Ryan Clarke and Sean Rigg started this one, while Ryan Brunt was introduced as an 84th minute substitute.

In the Northern Premier League East Division, Craig Disley was on the bench for bottom of the table Cleethorpes Town, who drew 3-3 at home to Loughborough.

In the Southern League Premier Central League, Tyler Lyttle was in the Rushall Olympic side beaten 2-1 at home by Alvechurch.

In Division One South, Lewis Ellington was in the Mangotsfield United side that earned a point from a goalless draw at Bideford. Former Rovers youngster Kieran Hodges was between the posts for the home side, having joined them on loan from Bath City. Rene Howe was in the Kings Langley side beaten 1-0 at Farnborough

Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic suffered a 2-0 home defeat by Blackfield & Langley, while Paulton Rovers were beaten 1-0 at Slimbridge. Not able to find a lineup for Paulton but at least two former players with Rovers connections were with them until recently, one of whom was Jay Malpas. Will have to catch up on Paulton news later in the week!

Big surprise in this league was the home defeat suffered by Yate Town, who lost their first league game of the season, losing 2-1 to Barnstaple Town at Lodge Road. However, they stay top of the league for the time being. Sam Kamara and Olly Mehew were in the Yate side, for a match watched by 230 and with an entertainment rating of three out of five on the Yate website.

FA Trophy team news takes a while to assimilate, but here goes; Josh Klein Davies put Prescot Cables ahead in their tie at Halesowen Town and scored again after the home side had got back on level terms. His side led until the 90th minute when they conceded a penalty. That was converted to make it 2-2 but worse was to follow as Halesowen scored a winning goal to make it 3-2 in their favour deep into stoppage time.

Lancaster City were 1-0 home winners against Ossett United and Craig Stanley started for the home side and, according to the Non League Paper’s report; ‘Stanley hit the post with a header which fell to Rob Wilson who failed to get a clean strike and his shot was cleared off the line.’

Gavin Williams and his Merthyr Town side are out of the competition, beaten 2-0 at Lewes and the same goes for Tiverton Town, who lost 3-2 at home to Wingate & Finchley so nu cup run for goalkeeper Liam Armstrong.

Jefferson Louis and Chesham United are also out of the competition, losing 1-0 at Worthing, who played with ten men from the 42nd minute.

Darren Mullings, whose last goal for Salisbury FC was against Tiverton Town on 23rd October, wasn’t in the squad that progressed with a 2-0 home win against Merstham FC.

Marcus Law and his Kettering side also exited the competition, losing 1-0 at Stamford. Another player who won’t be making any further Trophy progress is Tom Hitchcock, who scored in Harlow Town’s 5-2 defeat against Southend U-20’s in midweek but was on the losing side again as he and his side lost 3-1 against Carshalton Athletic.

While checking out the lower leagues, in particular to see if Sam Oji had played in Highgate United’s 2-1 home defeat against Shepshed Dynamo (he did and scored), I discovered that Jordan Goddard is now turning out for them as well. In fact, he was making his debut for them after signing from Halesowen Town. Highgate play in the Total Motion Midland Football League Premier Division. Seven years ago this month Rovers were investigating claims that Jordan urinated in front of Corby Town fans at The Mem in a first round FA Cup tie and made his debut in the 3-1 win.

Trying to track down striker James Walker is proving to be a bit of a nightmare; he’s listed as having played for Maldon & Tiptree this season before a move to Tilbury, though there was no sign of him in the lineup for their game against Grays Athletic on Saturday.

In the Hellenic League Premier Division, Barry Hayles was an unused substitute for Windsor FC as they were 1-0 winners at Abingdon Town, a victory that means they haven’t conceded a goal for 560 minutes.

Further down the pyramid, Ray Johnstone’s Hallen beat Brislington 2-1, and Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury were 1-0 winners against Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George.

In Scotland, Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side beaten 1-0 at home by Kilmarnock, Darryl Duffy was in the Airdrionians side that won 2-1 at Stranraer and David McCracken was an unused substitute in Peterhead’s 2-0 defeat at Queens Park.

In the Welsh Premier League, Kayne McLaggan and his second placed Barry Town United side drew 2-2 with league leaders Connahs Quay Nomads.

In Ireland, Mark McChrystal was in the Crusaders side that won 1-0 at Ards and Seanan Clucas was also on the winning side as Dungannon Swifts beat Institute 2-1.

Larne were 3-0 away winners against Portadown, but not being able to track down the lineup, I am unable to confirm if Jeff Hughes was in any way involved for the winners!

In Holland, Jake Clarke Salter was in the Vitesse Arnhem side that beat Utrecht 2-1 while in France Stephane Leoni saw his side, Sarre-Union beat Saint-Louis Neuweg 2-1.

Thanks to all who reminded me that Trevor Morgan is in charge of the Bhutan national Football team. He’s a player who knows Bristol very well given his two spells at Ashton Gate and from his 55 league games for The Gas.

Sunday saw four games played in the Premier League but if there was any Rovers involvement than I missed it! In any case, it was another big day in the FA Cup with nine more first round ties being played.

That included Rovers’ game at Barnet, which ended in a 1-1 draw. However, Rovers were down to ten men after only seven minutes following Stuart Sinclair’s dismissal. Barnet scored after 16 minutes but Rovers deservedly forced a replay thanks to Chris Lines who converted from the penalty spot on 66 minutes.

Cian Bolger and Fleetwood Town safely made it through to round two by virtue of a 4-1 win at Alfreton Town.

Marcus Bignot was a proud manager, though, as he saw his Guiseley side register a 4-3 home win against Cambridge United for whom Reggie Lambe started (he was substituted after 62 minutes).

Ryan Sweeney started, and Conrad Logan warmed the bench for Mansfield Town, who held Charlton Athletic to a 1-1 draw at Field Mill while Ollie Norburn and Rory Gaffney faced each other at Montgomery Waters meadow. Norburn gave Shrewsbury the lead but Salford City, with Rory Gaffney starting, equalised two minutes later. There were no further goals, so the sides will meet again next week to decide who goes through to round two.

Weston super Mare were beaten 2-0 by Wrexham in a home tie. Nabi Diallo started and was booked, Ben Swallow started and was substituted after 69 minutes, Jamie Lucas didn’t start but went on as a 12th minute substitute. A crowd of 1,170 watched the match in which the home side apparently put in a hardworking performance.

In the other tie to be played today Cristian Montano returned to the Port Vale squad and went on as a 71st minute substitute in their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Sunderland.

In Scotland Celtic, with Scott Sinclair in their lineup, replaced Heart of Midlothian at the top of the Scottish Premiership on goal difference, by virtue of their goalless draw at Livingston. Spare a thought for Peter Hartley though, as he and his Motherwell colleagues were on the wrong end of a 7-1 beating by Rangers at Ibrox. Mind you, they had to play all but 34 minutes of the game with ten men following the dismissal of Carl McHugh. Hartley picked up a yellow card.

In the National League South there was a win for Truro City and it was a good day for Lewis Leigh Gilchrist who scored the winner in a 3-2 victory against Dulwich Hamlet.

In Denmark, Mikkel Andersen was an unused substitute for FC Midtjyland in their 5-0 win against Vejle BK in the Danish Superliga.

bignot

Marcus Bignot, who tasted FA Cup glory on Sunday when his National League North side Guiseley side beat League Two Cambridge United 4-3 to go through to the second round of the FA Cup.
As a player he started out with Telford United before moves to Kidderminster Harriers and Crewe Alexandra. Manager Ian Holloway brought him from Gresty Road to The Mem in August 2000 and he scored once (mind you, it was against Bristol City!) in 26 league games for Rovers before moving on in March 2001, to QPR whose manager by then was…Ian Holloway! August 2002 saw him sign for Rushden & Diamonds, but he returned to QPR for a second spell in March 2004. Then it was on to Millwall and he ended his playing career back with Kidderminster Harriers though there was a five match spell with Brackley Town early in the 2010/11 campaign.
He began his managerial career when still a player, taking charge of Birmingham City Ladies side in 1998 when he was only 24. He remained with them until 2005.
Once he had hung up his boots, he became assistant manager of Solihull Moors before being appointed as manager for the 2011/12 season. He remained with them until November 2016 when he became manager of Grimsby Town, though it turned out to be an unsuccessful, and short, rein at Blundell Park as he was dismissed in April 2017.
He was assistant manager of Barrow for 15 days in September 2017 and then became manager of Chester until April 2018. In May this year he became co manager of Guiseley along with former Alfreton Town manager Russ O’Neill.
[Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]

 


WEEK 13 – Starting 29th October 2018

The only Premier League game on Monday saw Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Wembley. As previously mentioned, Gareth Taylor is now a coach for Manchester’s Sky Blues; maybe he had a seat at Wembley to see them keep up their relentless pursuit of a second successive title!

Harry Warwick, who made his Gloucester City debut two days earlier, was an unused substitute as Gloucester City lost 2-0 at Wealdstone.

Two Fourth Round Carabao Cup ties on Tuesday, but no former Gas involved. However, down in League Two, Mansfield recorded a 3-0 win at Gresty Road, home of Crewe Alexandra and managed it without the services of Ryan Sweeney. Once again, Conrad Logan was an unused Stags substitute.

In the Checkatrade Trophy, Plymouth Argyle were beaten 5-0 by Chelsea U-21’s, a game that goalkeeper Matt Macey was probably glad to miss! At Cheltenham, the home side recorded a 6-2 win against Arsenal U-21’s with Ryan Broom, a second half substitute, scoring the sixth and final goal of the evening.

There was a full programme of National League matches this evening and AFC Fylde, with Andy Bond starting, were 1-0 home winners against Gateshead, while Gary Waddock’s Aldershot Town drew 1-1 at home to Boreham Wood. Scott Rendell was in the Shots lineup, and he faced two former Rovers players in the shape of Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes.

Salford City returned to the top of the table by virtue of their 3-1 win at John Still’s Barnet, and Rory Gaffney was again on the scoresheet.

Another ex Gasman on the scoresheet was Lyle Della-Verde, whose 48th minute strike for Braintree Town at Bromley helped his side to a 4-2 victory.

The signing of Angelo Balanta seems to have sparked something of a revival for Dagenham & Redbridge, who were 2-0 winners at bottom club Dover Athletic.

Leyton Orient slipped down to third place in the table following their 1-1 draw at Eastleigh where two former Gasmen had limited game time. Chris Zebroski was an 85th minute substitute for the home side, Matt Harrold an 82nd minute substitute for the visitors.

Charlie Clough was in the Sutton United side held to a 1-1 home draw by Chesterfield and Luke James was a 70th minute substitute for Hartlepool United who lost 1=0 at Wrexham, a result that saw the Welsh club move up to second place with the same points total as leaders Salford City.

In National League North, AFC Telford and Hereford United played out a 1-1 draw. Adam Dawson got a taste of the action for the home side when he was introduced as a second half substitute, while Danny Greenslade started for Hereford and Martin Horsell was an unused substitute.

Darlington picked up a point from a 2-2 draw at Bradford PA. Johnny Burn started this game for The Quakers and Alex Henshall was introduced as a second half substitute.

In the Southern Section, league leaders Billericay Town recorded a 3-2 home win against East Thurrock United and Concord Rangers were 3-0 home winners against Chelmsford City. Adam Cunnington was an unused substitute for Billericay, while Alex Wall started and scored for Concord Rangers.

Chris Dickson was back on the scoresheet for Hampton and Richmond in their 2-2 draw at Eastbourne Borough while Bradley Goldberg was on the losing side as Welling United lost 2-0 at St Albans City.

Bath City slipped a place in the league standings, to fourth, following their 1-1 draw against Truro City at Plainmoor. Probably a welcome point for Truro assistant boss Michael Meaker. Ryan Clarke started for The Romans, while Ryan Brunt came off the bench to play his part in the drawn game.

Another drawn game came at The Woodspring Stadium where Weston super Mare extended their sequence without a league win by drawing 2-2 with Torquay United. Nabi Diallo and Ben Swallow started for the home side, and Jamie Lucas replaced Swallow in the second half.

More news from Chesham United, following quickly on from the Jefferson Louis information; Scott McGleish was one of three members of the club’s coaching staff to leave the club by mutual consent following the appointment of a new management team. The side progressed to the next round of the FA Trophy thanks to a 3-1 penalty shootout win against Haringey Borough following a 2-2 draw.

Yate Town are out, though, beaten 2-0 in their replay at Dorchester Town, as are Mangotsfield United, who lost 4-2 in their replay against Didcot Town.

No problems for Liam Armstrong and Tiverton Town, though, who were 5-1 home winners against Hartley Wintney.

Wednesday saw four ties played in The Carabao Cup and it was a special night for Marc Bola who returned to the Blackpool side following injury. The former Arsenal youngster was in the side that slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat against his former club at The Emirates Stadium.

Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side went through to the quarter finals of the competition with a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at The Riverside Stadium.

Up in Scotland Scott Sinclair was again on target for Celtic, who beat Dundee 5-0, Michael Smith was in the Hearts side held to a goalless draw by Hibernian in what can only be termed as a feisty Edinburgh derby, while Peter Hartley was in the Motherwell side that recorded a 2-0 away win at St Mirren.

Friday saw a loan move for Rovers youngster Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, who has joined Truro City for a month.

That same evening, Mark McChrystal was on the winning side as Crusaders FC recorded a 3-0 away win at Newry City in the NFL Premiership.

On Saturday Rovers recorded their second away win of the season as they beat Blackpool 3-0 at Bloomfield Road thanks to two goals from Ollie Clarke and a strike from Tony Craig. It was the first time that Ollie has scored twice in a league match. Craig has only scored 12 league goals, in a career that has seen him appear in 446 league games to date, nine for Millwall and three for Rovers…so far!

Both goalscorers were names in The League Paper’s Team of the Day, and Darrell Clarke was named as top League One Boss of the Day.

In The Premier League Neil Etheridge was between the Cardiff City posts for what must have been an intensely emotional occasion. His Cardiff City side took on Leicester City at the Cardiff City Stadium and I guess almost all neutrals were supporting Leicester who were playing their first game since the death of their owner in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium seven days earlier. The Foxes were 1-0 winners in a match refereed by ‘localish’ match official Lee Probert.

Brighton Assistant manager Paul Trollope saw his side lose 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park, and I’m pretty sure that’s the extent of former Rovers players being involved at the top level.

In The Championship QPR goalkeeper Joe Lumley conceded just the once at Blackburn Rovers, but that was enough for the home side to take all three points.

Luke Daniels was again on the bench for Brentford, 2-0 home winners against Millwall, which means no win bonus for Lions coach Adam Barratt.

The clash between two teams we should be reporting on, Ipswich against Preston North End, ended all square (1-1) at Portman Road where Paul Lambert took charge of the home side for the first time and presumably Matt Gill, one of his coaching staff was alongside him on the bench. The interest for Gasheads would have been Ellis Harrison against Billy Bodin, but both are injured and we learned this week that Bodin seems unlikely to play at all this season.

Matty Taylor started for Bristol City in their 3-2 defeat at Reading while Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea side that were beaten 2-1 at Rotherham. McBurnie did score the Swans’ consolation goal and was also yellow carded.

Tony Pulis took his Middlesbrough side back to another of his former clubs, Stoke City, and had to be content with a point as the sides played out a goalless draw.

Moving on to League One and Shrewsbury Town inflicted a seventh successive defeat on their hosts AFC Wimbledon. Ollie Norburn wasn’t on the scoresheet but did complete 90 minutes for The Shrews.

Portsmouth, and Lee Brown, go marching on at the top of the league and they are three points ahead of second placed Sunderland following their 2-1 win at Bradford City.

There’s no stopping Gillingham’s Tom Eaves at the moment and he scored twice at The Priestfield Stadium as The Gills were 3-0 home winners against Fleetwood Town and was named in The League paper’s Team of the Day. Cian Bolger was an unused substitute for Joey Barton’s side.

Matt Macey and Plymouth Argyle were beaten 2-0 by Sunderland at Home Park and remain in the bottom four, while Matt Lund was back in the Scunthorpe United side that drew 3-3 with Oxford United at Glanford Park.

Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall were in the Wycombe Wanderers side that beat Peterborough United, with Aaron Chapman in goal, 2-0 at Adams Park, a result that saw The Posh slip to third place.

Jacobson was also in the League Paper’s Team of the Day, making it four players and the manager with Gas connections in that side– good day all round!

In League Two, Reggie Lambe was in the Cambridge United side that beat Grimsby Town 1-0 at The Abbey Stadium, and David Pipe was in the Newport County side beaten 3-2 by Carlisle United at Brunton Park, the winning goal arriving deep into stoppage time.

At Whaddon Road, Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham Town side held to a 2-2 draw by Mansfield Town, another side to score a stoppage time goal. Ryan Sweeney and Conrad Logan were unused substitutes for The Stags.

Harry Pell and his Colchester United side moved up into third place following their 1-0 home win against Swindon Town while Lee Nicholls and MK Dons stayed in second place after winning 4-0 against Crawley Town.

John Akinde scored the first of Lincoln City’s two goals as they beat Forest Green Rovers 2-1 at Sincil Bank, where Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe were both unused substitutes.

Nathan Blissett managed 14 minutes of game time for Macclesfield, going on in the 76th minute of their 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Bury for whom Byron Moore replaced Dominic Telford in the 70th minute.

It was a clash of the goalkeeping coaches at Morecambe, where Lee Jones and Steve Phillips of Yeovil watched their respective sides. It was Morecambe who came out on top, though, winning 2-1 against a Yeovil side for whom Alefe Santos was an unused substitute.

Keith Curle’s Northampton side are gradually hauling themselves away from the foot of the table, their 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra moving them up to 15th place. Andy Williams scored one of the two goals for The Cobblers and John-Joe O’Toole also played his part.

Elliot Ward was in the Notts County side that gained a point from a 2-2 draw at Port Vale, but Jordan Tillson was an unused substitute in Exeter City’s 2-0 defeat at Tranmere Rovers.

It’s getting pretty congested at the top of The National League, where Wrexham are the new leaders after their 3-1 home win against Gateshead. Sadly, though, no ex Gas on view in this match!

Leyton Orient are in second place following their 3-1 win at AFC Fylde. Matt Harrold was an unused substitute for The O’s, Andy Bond completed 90 minutes for the home side.

No goals for Aldershot Town striker Scott Rendell but he and his manager, Gary Waddock, were able to celebrate a 1-0 home win against Braintree Town for whom Lyle Della-Verde was in the starting lineup.

John Still’s Barnet were beaten 2-0 at home by Maidstone United and Luke James, who went on as a 58th minute substitute, and his Hartlepool United side, were beaten 4-0 at Bromley.

Chris Zebroski was an 82nd minute substitute for Eastleigh in their 1-1 home draw against Salford City. Rory Gaffney completed the 90 minutes for the former league leaders, who only equalised in second half stoppage time.

Jamie Fullarton’s FC Halifax lost 2-1 at Havant & Waterloovile, while Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were in the Boreham Wood side that gained a point from a 1-1 draw at Solihull Moors.

Charlie Clough, who was substituted in the 69th minute, was on the winning side as Sutton United beat Dagenham & Redbridge, 1-0 at Gander Green Lane. Angelo Balanta was in the visitor’s starting lineup.

In National League North, Adam Dawson was an unused substitute for AFC Telford in their 1-1 draw at Alfreton Town while Darlington’s Alex Henshall was replaced by Johnny Burn with seven minutes remaining of their goalless home draw with Guisley, whose manager is Marcus Bignot.

Bignot is another former ex Gas player still involved in the game and one of several not mentioned in this article before. That so many more have been/are being noted is down to Stephen Byrne who has been in touch with the details.

Staying with Alex Henshall just briefly, he was the subject of a lengthy article in the Sunday Independent this weekend. This is a player who arrived at the club on 17th October 2017 and left on 3rd November, made one substitute appearance, one full appearance and scored one goal who said in the article; “I didn’t really understand why Rovers didn’t use me more. They are a massive club with a huge fan base and I liked the manager, John Ward, won’t hear a bad word about him.”

I have to say that I thought he just left of his own accord before his loan spell was up for reasons that were never made clear. He arrived at the club the same time as Will Packwood, from Birmingham City, who I believe has now returned to America though whether or not he still plays I don’t know.

In the same league, Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side that drew 1-1 at Edgar Street against Altrincham and Martin Horsell was an unused substitute. There was a crowd of 2,220 at this one, the second highest of the day (there were 69 more at the game between York City and Bradford PA).

In the Bostik League Premier Division Jamie Cureton started, but didn’t score, as Bishop’s Stortford beat AFC Hornchurch 1-0. His side are now in eighth place in the league, just two points off a play-off place.

In the Southern Section, Bath City slipped to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Hemel Hempstead. The two Ryans, Clarke and Brunt started this one, while Sean Rigg went on in the 56th minute.

Rigg’s cousin, George, a former Rovers trialist, was in the Chippenham Town side that took a point from a 2-2 home draw against Woking though Will Puddy and Andy Sandell are still missing from the squad through injury.

Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist made his debut for Truro City in their 2-2 draw at East Thurrock, entering the fray as a 32nd minute substitute, a result that sees them escape the bottom three…just!  Michael Meaker and his side are out of the drop zone on goal difference only.

Harry Warwick was also in action for Gloucester City, going on as a 56th minute substitute of Gloucester City’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Dartford.

No goals for Chris Dickson this week, as he and his Hampton and Richmond side suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Oxford City.

Weston super Mare won their first league game of the season, at the 14th time off asking, recording a 1-0 away win at Hungerford Town. Ben Swallow and Nabi Diallo started for Weston, while Jamie Lucas was an unused substitute. Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis went on as a 74th minute substitute for the home side.

Adam Cunnington scored both of Billericay Town’s goals in their 2-2 draw against Torquay United at Plainmoor, while Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side held to a 1-1 home draw by Wealdstone.

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Apart from nine League Two appearances for Dagenham & Redbridge in League two and four at the same level for Cambridge United, Adam Cunnington has spent his entire career playing in non league.  Starting out at Barton Rovers, he subsequently played for Leighton Town, Hitchin Town, Rothwell Town, Aylesbury United, Solihull Moors, Kettering Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Alfreton Town, Tamworth and Cambridge United.
It was from the Abbey Stadium that he made a loan move to BS7 in August 2014 and stayed long enough to score three goals in 15 Conference league appearances. From The Gas he moved on to Ebbsfleet United, Woking and Bromley before joining Billericay Town in the summer of 2018.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
Louie Soares (the player who made one brief substitute appearance for Rovers in the final game of the 2004/05 season, was an unused substitute for Slough Town in their 1-0 home win against Concord Rangers, though there was no sign of Alex Wall in the visitors’ squad.

In the Southern League, Premier Central Section, Tyler Lyttle was in the Rushall Olympic side that recorded a 2-0 away win at AFC Rushden & Diamonds, a result that sees them in tenth place in the Central Division standings.

In the Premier South Division, Danny Greaves and his Frome Town side drew 2-2 at Beaconsfield Town, while Merthyr Town and Gavin Williams also drew, 0-0 at Dorchester Town.

Chesham United were another side to register a goalless draw, at Gosport Borough, and Jefferson Louis completed the 90 minutes. Liam Armstrong and his Tiverton Town side were 3-2 home winners against Staines Town, a result that sees them in fifth place in the league.

In second place are Salisbury FC, who registered a 3-1 home win against Hendon, though they did it without Darren Mullings who recently joined The Whites from Chippenham Town.

In the same league, Rene Howe was in the Kings Langley side that suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Poole Town.

In Division One South Yate Town still head the table following their 1-1 away draw at AFC Totton, while Mangotsfield United were beaten 2-1 at Melksham Town and Paulton Rovers were 3-2 winners at Fleet Town.

It was the day of the second round of the FA Vase and no joy for Ray Johnstone and his Hallen side, beaten 3-2 by Bridport, or for Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury, who suffered a 4-0 defeat at Shepton Mallet.

Andy Gurney and Roman Glass St George remain in the competition, though, as their home tie against Plymouth Parkway was abandoned at half time with them leading 1-0. Apparently, no one was able to turn on the floodlights at Oaklands Park!

Barry Hayles, who is now with Windsor FC, didn’t feature in their 2-0 away win against Chichester City, but Tom Hitchcock was in the Harlow Town side that slipped to a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Merstham, a result that saw them slip to the bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division.

One transfer during the week saw Clayton MacDonald leave Whitchurch Alport and sign for Winsford United.

News of another former player, Sam Oji, who was in the Highgate United side that drew 1-1 with Boldmere St Michaels.

Craig Stanley is with Lancaster City, though it’s not clear if he was involved in their 1-0 defeat at Witton Albion (all match details awaited according to their website!).

There was no sign of James Walker in the Maldon & Tiptree lineup for their game against Soham Town Rangers, which they won 1-0.

Up in Scotland, Hearts still lead the way in the Premiership, but they suffered a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Celtic who are in second place just a point behind the leaders. Michael Smith and his side must be fed up with facing Celtic, as they conceded three without reply in a cup tie just six days earlier. Smith was yellow carded in this game, while Scott Sinclair was in the Celtic side.

Peter Hartley was on the winning side as Motherwell were 1-0 winners against Dundee, while in Scottish League One Darryl Duffy was on the losing side as Airdrionians were beaten 1-0 by Forfar Athletic, a result that leaves them in seventh place, just two points ahead of bottom club Dumbarton.

In the French Second Division Oumare Tounkara was in the Chateaurox side that beat Lens 1-0, while Stephane Leoni, now manager of Sarre-Union, saw his side play out a goalless draw against Raon in the French National 3.

In the Danish Superliga Mikkel Anderson was on the bench for Midtyjlland, who drew 1-1 against Esbjerg. Another ex Gasman in Denmark is Bo Henrikson, who is manager of Horsens.

Rune Johansen is also still involved in the game, as Director of Football at Alta FC who play in the Norwegian Second Division.

Over in the States, Jordan Stewart is on the books of Phoenix Rising, though he didn’t play against Orange County in their 2-1 win in the USL Western Conference Final where Didier Drogba scored the second goal for Phoenix.

Kenan Dunwald played 90 minutes as Kaan-Marienborn drew 1-1 at Wuppertal in front of a crowd of 2,152 in the German Regionlliga West.

Sunday, in The Premier league, Manchester City beat Southampton 6-1. Maybe City coach Gareth Taylor was watching this one! As for Southampton, still no sign of goalkeeper Fraser Forster. He hasn’t played a game all season though, as far as I know, he’s still with The Saints.


 

WEEK 12 – Starting 23rd October 2018

Monday saw the draw for the First Round of the FA Cup and Rovers were drawn away to National League side Barnet.

While the top clubs in England and elsewhere were involved in Champions League action, there were more pressing matters back home, with a full programme of EFL fixtures taking place.

One of those took place at The Mem where Rovers recorded a 2-0 home win against AFC Wimbledon to make it a four point return from two home games in four days. Ed Upson scored the first Rovers goal and a Will Nightingale own goal sealed the win.

Returning after suspension, Michael Smith was in the Hearts side that recorded a 3-0 win against Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.

In The Championship, goalkeeper Sam Walker was an unused substitute for Reading in their 2-1 defeat at Birmingham City.

Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side had to be content with a point from a goalless home draw against Rotherham United.

There was another clean sheet for Joe Lumley in QPR’s 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road, and Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea side that recorded a 3-1 win against Blackburn Rovers. Roberts scored the second Swansea goal on 68 minutes.

In League One, Blackpool were 1-0 winners against Scunthorpe United at Bloomfield Road, though Marc Bola was missing from the Blackpool line-up as was Matt Lund from the Scunthorpe squad.

Peterborough United recorded a 1-0 home win against Fleetwood Town, so another clean sheet for Aaron Chapman against a side for whom Cian Bolger was an unused substitute.

Matt Macey was on the winning side for once as Plymouth Argyle were 3-1 winners against Gillingham at Home Park, where Tom Eaves failed to find the net for The Gills.

Portsmouth and Lee Brown could only manage a point from a 2-2 home draw against Burton Albion, but there was a goal for Ollie Norburn in Shrewsbury’s 3-1 home win against Barnsley. Still no sign of Charlie Colkett in the Shrews squad, though.

Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall both started in Wycombe’s 3-0 win against Rochdale at Adams Park.

In League two, Bury’s Dominic Telford and Newport County’s David Pipe were on opposing sides in the 1-1 draw at Gigg Lane. No sign of Byron Moore in the Shakers’ squad.

Jordan Tillson started for Exeter in their 1-1 draw at Crawley, but Hiram Boateng was missing from the Grecians’ squad, while Harry Pell was on the losing side as Colchester went down 1-0 against Grimsby Town.

League leaders Lincoln City drew 2-2 with Carlisle United at Sincil Bank but only one of the former Rovers trio, John Akinde, was given any game time, entering the fray as a 52nd minute substitute. Sam Slocombe and Bernard Mensah were both unused substitutes, while there was no sign of Tom Parkes in the Carlisle squad.

Nathan Blissett was substituted at half time in Macclesfield’s 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Northampton Town, so another win for manager Keith Curle and a side that included John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams in the starting line-up.

Morecambe suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town, who had Ryan Sweeney starting and goalkeeper Conrad Logan as an unused substitute. A word here, for another former Gas goalkeeper, Lee Jones, who is still the goalkeeping coach at Morecambe, as he has been for some six or seven years.

MK Dons moved up into second place in the league standings thanks to their 2-1 win against Notts County. Lee Nicholls was in goal for the victors, but no sign of Daniel Jones in the Notts County squad.

Cristian Montano is still missing from the Port Vale squad, and without him they could only manage a goalless draw at Stevenage.

Reggie Lambe was on the score sheet on his return to the West Country, as his Cambridge side recorded a 2-0 win against Swindon Town at The County Ground.

Still in this part of the world, Alefe Santos returned to the Yeovil Town bench after injury, and he managed eight minutes of game time in the 1-1 draw against Crewe Alexandra.

In the FA Cup replay involving Dagenham & Redbridge and Boreham Wood, only Ricky Shakes of the three former Gasmen at Boreham Wood, appeared in the 1-0 win that takes them into the first round proper.

The closest I can get to a Rovers connection at Chippenham is George Rigg, who came to us on trial a few years back. He’s been a regular in the side for The Bluebirds all season but couldn’t help them stay in the FA Cup as Maidenhead United won this replay 1-0. Andy Sandell and Will Puddy are still on Chippenham’s injured list.

Wednesday saw Matty Taylor introduced as an 84th minute substitute for Bristol City, who beat Hull City 1-0 at Ashton Gate.

Preston North End beat Brentford 4-3 at Deepdale where Luke Daniels was again on the bench for The Bees.

In the FA Cup, Adam Cunnington was an unused substitute for Billericay Town in their 1-0 win against Taunton Town.

Thursday saw Scott Sinclair on duty for Celtic in their Europa League cup tie against German side RB Leipzig. However his introduction as a 71st minute substitute couldn’t prevent his side losing 2-0.

On Friday Joe Lumley kept another clean sheet as QPR registered their fourth win in five matches as they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Shepherd’s Bush. Although the match was played on Friday night, Lumley’s performance in the televised match earned him a place in the Football league paper’s team of the Day, announced on Sunday!

Also on this day came the news that the FA Cup tie at Barnet will kick off at 12.45pm on Sunday 11th November. So much for the FA looking after the lower leagues and grass roots football – they actually don’t give a monkey’s about football supporters at any level of the game…in my opinion!

There was also news of Matt Gill, as the former Rovers midfielder left his role as coach to the Norwich U-23 side to join the backroom team at Ipswich under new manager Paul Lambert who was formerly manager of The Canaries. Guess that will be as popular in East Anglia as a certain striker moving from one side of Bristol to the other!

Saturday saw another ‘Bristol Rovers 0’ time, as The Gas went down 1-0 at Barnsley and are now only just a place above the bottom four.

In The Premier League, Paul Trollope watched on as Brighton recorded a 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the only goal of the game being scored by Glenn Murray who became only the second Brighton player to notch 100 goals for the club.

Two of that century have been scored against Rovers, the first in a 2-0 Brighton win at The Mem on 26th April 2008, the second in a 4-2 Brighton win, also at The Mem, on 5th February 2011.

No joy for Neil Etheridge, though, whose Cardiff City side were beaten 4-1 at Anfield, home of Liverpool.

In football’s second tier, Tony Pulis saw his side reclaim top spot, albeit temporarily due to their early kick off, with a 1-1 draw against Derby County.

Matty Taylor was a 71st minute substitute for Bristol City at Ashton Gate, but it made no difference as The Robins were beaten 1-0 by Stoke City.

Ellis Harrison remains on the injured list at Ipswich, who slipped to another defeat, this time at the hands of Millwall. Their 3-0 loss means they have only recorded one league win all season.

Another bench warming day for Luke Daniels, an unused Brentford substitute for their 1-0 defeat at Norwich, but the Roberts and McBurnie show rolls on at Swansea. Connor (subject of a full length interview in The Football League paper) was in the starting line-up, as was Oli who scored both goals as The Swans beat Reading 2-0. Good one for goalkeeper Sam Walker to miss – he was one of Reading’s unused substitutes.

A mention here for Ciaran Toner, a former Rovers loanee who is now the Lead Professional Development Phase Coach at Rotherham United. He probably wasn’t involved in any way, but The Millers did well to take a point from a 1-1 draw at Preston.

Moving on to League One and top of the table Portsmouth and, of course, Lee Brown, drew 1-1 against Accrington Stanley while second placed Peterborough and goalkeeper Aaron Chapman moved to within two points of Pompey by virtue of their 2-1 win at Burton Albion.

In the Fylde coast local derby at The Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood Town beat Blackpool 3-2. Cian Bolger was introduced as an 88th minute substitute for the home side, while Marc Bola got another 90 minutes in for Blackpool.

Gillingham’s Tom Eaves was on target again – eight for the season, now, as The Gills recorded a 4-0 home win against Bradford City.

No joy for Ollie Norburn and Shrewsbury, though, as they went down 3-0 at Oxford United. However Plymouth goalkeeper Matt Macey was on the winning side as Argyle beat a Matt ‘Lundless’ Scunthorpe United 4-1 at Glanford Park.

Two more ex Gas players on the losing side were Joe Jacobson and Paris Cowan-Hall, who both started in Wycombe’s 3-2 defeat at Walsall.

Reggie Lambe was on the winning side as Cambridge United beat Nathan Blissett and Macclesfield Town 1-0 at The Abbey Stadium, while Alefe Santos was an unused substitute for Yeovil in their 1-0 win at Carlisle who were without Tom Parkes. Long way to go for nothing, Alefe!

Harry Pell and his Colchester side were also 1-0 winners, against table toppers Lincoln City for whom John Akinde started and Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe were unused substitutes.

Jordan Tillson started in Exeter’s 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers, though no sign of Hiram Boateng on this occasion.

Mansfield Town and MK Dons played out a 1-1 draw at Field Mill where Ryan Sweeney started for the home side and Conrad Logan was an unused substitute, while Lee Nicholls was between the posts for the visitors.

Another 1-1 draw took place at Rodney Parade where David Pipe was in the Newport County side and, one assumes, Lee Jones was looking on as Morecambe’s goalkeeping coach – a return to his Welsh roots!

John-Joe O’Toole was on target for Keith Curle’s Northampton side who beat Oldham 2-1, while Andy Williams was an unused substitute. O’Toole found himself selected for The Football League paper’s Team of the Day.

Dominic Telford and Byron Moore were both introduced as second half substitutes for Bury, but they went down 2-0 at Port Vale. Still no sign of Cristian Montano in the Vale squad or Daniel Jones in the Notts County squad (they were beaten 2-1 by Swindon at Meadow Lane).

Moving on into The National League and I discover a man with Rovers connections I’ve missed until now. Jamie Fullarton was in charge of our U-18 side when Paul Buckle was in charge but subsequently moved on the Nottingham Forest and then became manager, for a very short time, at Notts County (one of the few games under his watch was against Rovers).  He’s now boss of FC Halifax.

It wasn’t a good day for Fullarton, though, as his side suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Eastleigh. No problems for John Still and his Barnet side, though. Rovers’ First Round FA Cup opponents recorded a 2-0 win at Barrow.

Danny Woodards was back in action for Boreham Wood, as an 84th minute substitute and Ricky Shakes started in their 2-1 win against Bromley. Angelo Balanta, though, has moved on to Dagenham & Redbridge and he helped his new club to a 2-1 home win against Harrogate Town.

Another 2-1 home win was recorded by Braintree Town, who had Lyle Dell-Verde in their starting line-up for the win against Dover Athletic.

Manager Gary Waddock and striker Scott Rendell were on the losing side as Aldershot Town were beaten 3-0 at Gateshead and Luke James also found himself on the losing side as Hartlepool United were beaten 3-2 by Sutton United, and Charlie Clough, at The Victoria Ground. Clough’s performance earned him a place in The Non league Paper’s Team of the Day.

No sign of Matt Harrold in the Leyton Orient line-up. He wasn’t missed though as Orient went top of the table following their 4-0 win over Havant and Waterlooville.

Biggest National League win of the day was AFC Fylde’s 6-0 win at Maidenhead United and goal number six was scored by Andy Bond.

Rory Gaffney was also on target, scoring an equaliser for Salford City in their 1-1 draw against Ebbsfleet United, a result that knocked them off top spot and saw them drop down to second place.

In National League North, Adam Dawson was a 67th minute substitute for AFC Telford in their 2-1 home win over York City, but there was little joy for Hereford’s Ryan Green, Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards as they lost 3-1 at Boston United.

Darlington’s Alex Henshall was again replaced by Johnny Burn in the second half as they drew 2-2 against Leamington.

In National League South, Adam Cunnington was a second half Billericay Town substitute as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Dulwich Hamlet, but Andy Sandell was still missing from the Chippenham Town line-up as they recorded a 2-0 home win against East Thurrock.

No goals and no points for Chris Dickson and Hampton and Richmond, though, as they were beaten 2-0 at Hungerford Town.  There was, though, a rare win for Michael Meaker, assistant manager at Truro City, who beat Dartford 3-1 in front of just 87 fans at their temporary Plainmoor home.

Bradley Goldberg was a second half substitute for Welling United in their 3-1 win against Gloucester City, for whom Rovers youngster Harry Warwick made his debut when going on as a second half substitute. (Harry is on loan/work experience with Gloucester).

There was more woe for Weston super Mare. Still without a league win this season (but in the first round of the FA Cup) they slipped to a 2-1 home defeat against Concord Rangers. Alex Wall was in the starting line-up for the visitors, but didn’t score, while Nab Diallo and Jamie Lucas started for Weston and Ben Swallow was used as a second half substitute.

Bath City moved up to third with a 3-1 win at Woking where Ryan Clarke was in goal and Ryan Brunt introduced in the 73rd minute.

Further down The Pyramid, it was FA Trophy First Qualifying Round day and I’m sure that many former Rovers players were involved; here are just a few that I know of.

Marcus Law and his Kettering side went safely through to the next round as they were 2-0 home winners against Stourbridge. Jamie Cureton and his Bishop’s Stortford side also went through, winning 2-1 at Hythe Town and, surprise, surprise, ‘Curo’ was on the scoresheet!

Olly Mehew was in the Yate Town side that drew 1-1 against Dorchester and Gavin Williams saw his side progress by virtue of their 3-2 win at Farnborough. Also in the Yate side was Sam Kamara – another who has slipped under the radar until now. Released by Rovers in 2013, this is his second spell at Lodge Road sandwiched by a spell at Longwell Green Sports.

One manager out, though, is Danny Greaves as his Frome Town side lost 2-1 at Poole Town. Liam Armstrong and Tiverton Town live to fight another day following their 1-1 draw at Hartley Wintney. Mangotsfield United were another team to draw 1-1, at Didcot Town. In case you’re wondering, the Rovers contact at Cossham Street is coach Dean Penury.

Locally, there were defeats for three former Rovers players now on the managerial rung. Ray Johnston and Hallen lost 1-0 at Odd Down, the manager’s former club, while Andy Gurney and Roman Glass St George lost 3-1 at Bridport. Joe White and Chipping Sodbury lost 4-0 against Bridgwater Town.

No Rovers representation in Sunday’s Premier League fixtures (to the best of my knowledge) but up in Scotland Scott Sinclair scored the first of three second half Celtic goals against Hearts in the Scottish League Cup semi final.  Michael Smith was in the Hearts side that failed to reply.

Over in Ireland, Mark McChrystal was in the Crusaders side that beat Glentoran 3-0 in the NFL Premiership, though it wasn’t a good day to catch up with Seanan Clucas! He was red carded in the 2-1 home defeat suffered by Dungannon Swifts at the hands of Linfield.

At this stage of the season, with 12 games played, Crusaders lie in fifth place, 12 points behind league leaders Glenavon, while Swifts prop up the table having registered just seven points.

Up in Scotland, David McCracken was an unused substitute for Peterhead in their Scottish League Two 3-1 win at Clyde. Not mentioned him before, but will keep tabs on him in the future! Don’t think I’ll ever forget the red card he received down at Bournemouth in 2011 when a 2-1 defeat meant almost certain relegation to League Two, which was confirmed in the final two matches, a draw against Sheffield Wednesday and defeat against Colchester United.

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David McCracken began his career with Dundee United in 1998 and moved to England some nine years later, playing for Wycombe Wanderers, MK Dons and Brentford.
It was from The Bees that he joined Rovers, on loan, in January 2011. In the summer of that year he moved back to Scotland and played for St Johnstone before subsequent moves to Falkirk and Peterhead.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
That rounds up another week, save for one newspaper article that caught my eye.

The centre spread of The Non League Paper was given over to a feature on Jefferson Louis (remember him?). Brought to The Memorial Stadium by Ian Atkins (who thought he was the best thing since sliced bread) the player described in the article as Non League’s great journeyman, Louis is with his 37th club having made 42 moves in all.

That club is Chesham United and it’s his second spell with them. It was 2005 when he pitched up at Rovers and went on to make nine league appearances (a total that includes six from the bench). He also made a start in the League Cup.

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[Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
Fascinating stat from the article? Ten years ago, when he was with Wrexham, they were paying him £1,400 per week. With his 40th birthday looming, pay days such as that are long behind him!

As he says, though; “I have still got a crazy passion for football. I love it!”


 

WEEK 11 – Starting 15th October 2018

The week began with a 3-2 win for England in Spain, with goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson again on the bench for the Three Lions.

Tuesday saw medical man Richard Evans on the bench for Belgium in their 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.

Aidy Boothroyd’s England U-21 side, with Jake Clarke-Salter in the starting lineup, beat their Scotland counterparts 2-0

Dominic Telford scored both of Bury’s goals in their 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win against Leicester U-21’s, while in the FA Trophy Larkhall Athletic bowed out of the competition following their 1-0 replay defeat at Thame United.

Larkhall Athletic bowed out of the FA Trophy, losing their replay at Thame United 1-0, while Craig Disley and his Cleethorpes colleagues drew their NPL Eastern Division game against Brighouse Town 1-1.

In the Southern Premier League South, Merthyr Town manager Gavin Williams saw his side lose 2-0 at Salisbury, while Tiverton Town and Liam Armstrong suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of league leaders Weymouth. Frome Town manager Danny Greaves saw his side lose 3-2 at Wimborne Town.

Friday night football saw Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side move back to the top of The Championship with a 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.

Saturday’s full programme saw Rovers fail to score for a fifth successive game, as they drew 0-0 against Oxford United at The Memorial Stadium. At least the point lifted them out of the bottom four.

In the Premier League Neil Etheridge and his Cardiff side won their first game of the season, beating Fulham 4-2. Brighton assistant manager Paul Trollope was also on the winning side as they were 1-0 winners at Newcastle.

Up in Scotland, Scott Sinclair went on as a 21st minute substitute for Celtic in their 4-2 win against Hibernian, but Paul Hartley was on the losing side as Motherwell suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of St Johnstone.

In the Championship there was no joy for Connor Roberts or Oli McBurnie as they returned from international duty to fine themselves on the losing side, Swansea going down 1-0 against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Matty Taylor started for Bristol City in their 1-0 win against Brentford, for whom Luke Daniels was on the bench. Joe Lumley kept another clean sheet for QPR, 2-0 winners at Ipswich.

In League One, Marc Bola started for Blackpool in their 2-0 home win against AFC Wimbledon and scored his first ever senior goal on 84 minutes, while Tom Eaves was on target again for Gillingham who played out a 3-3 draw against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was on the losing side as Peterborough suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley and another former Gas goalie, Matt Macey, shipped three goals as Plymouth Argyle were beaten 3-2 at Home Park by Burton Albion.

Lee Brown and his Portsmouth side extended their lead at the top of the table to six points thanks to a 1-0 win against Fleetwood Town at Fratton Park, where Cian Bolger went on as a last minute substitute for the visitors.

Ollie Norburn gained 13 minutes of game time for Shrewsbury in their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Sunderland, but Joe Jacobson was on the winning side as Wycombe Wanderers were 3-2 home winners against Scunthorpe United.

In League Two, Dominic Telford scored one of Bury’s goals in their 4-0 win against Notts County, and David Pipe was in the Newport County side beaten 4-1 at Crawley Town.

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Dominic Telford began his career with Blackpool and made 14 appearances for the Bloomfield Road outfit.  He signed for Stoke City in July 2015 and joined Rovers, on a season long loan, in July 2017.  A popular and hard working player, all but one of his 19 league appearances were from the bench, although he did make three starts in the Checkatrade Trophy.
It was thought that he might return to The Memorial Stadium this summer when his contract expired at Stoke, but instead he signed for League Two side Bury and has been a regular member of their squad to date.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
Ryan Broom and Cheltenham gained a point in the Gloucestershire derby against Forest Green Rovers, the teams playing out a 1-1 draw at The New Lawn.

Exeter City, for whom Hiram Boateng started and Jordan Tillson was an 82nd minute substitute, drew 0-0 at Grimsby Town, while league leaders Lincoln City also drew, being held 1-1 by Cambridge United at Sincil Bank. John Akinde was introduced as a 34th minute substitute for The Imps, while Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe were both unused substitutes and Reggie Lambe started for Cambridge.

Nathan Blissett and his Macclesfield side recorded their first win of the season, beating Tom Parkes (substituted because of injury after 26 minutes) and his Carlisle United side 2-1 at the Moss Rose.

Lee Nichols kept a clean sheet for MK Dons, who beat Northampton Town 1-0; a first defeat for recently appointed Cobblers manager Keith Curle, who included John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams in his starting lineup.

Harry Pell was on the winning side, though, as Colchester United were 1-0 winners at Morecambe. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield Town side that drew 0-0 at Swindon, Town while Conrad Logan was on the bench.

In the Northern Premier League, Darlington beat Boston United 1-0 and Alex Henshall started the match for the Quakers, being replaced in the 53rd minute by Johnny Burn.

Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was in the Hungerford Town side beaten 2-1 by East Thurrock in the National League South.

It was an important day in the Non League calendar, though, as it was the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. All National League sides enter at this stage of the competition, just one step away from the First Round Proper.

Andy Bond was an unused substitute as AFC Fylde went out of the competition, losing 3-1 at home to Chesterfield.

It was a tale of two managers and a striker at Aldershot where home manager Gary Waddock saw his side beat Marcus Law’s Kettering Town side 2-0. Scott Rendell opened the scoring for The Shots.

John Still’s Barnet side went through by virtue of a 4-2 home win against Braintree Town, for whom Lyle Della-Verde was on the scoresheet.

Billericay Town were held to a 2-2 draw by Taunton Town and Adam Cunnington was an unused substitute for the Essex outfit.

In another 2-2 draw, Ricky Shakes were in the Boreham Wood lineup held at home by Dagenham & Redbridge. Alex Wall was in the starting lineup for Concord Rangers, who went out of the competition by virtue of their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Dover.

No sign of Chris Zebroski in the Eastleigh lineup and he won’t have minded missing this one, I guess, as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Hampton and Richmond, with Chris Dickson scoring the only goal of the game.

Hartlepool United were also 1-0 winners, against Kidsgrove Athletic. Luke James was in the starting lineup for Hartlepool, who scored the only goal of the game after just eight minutes.

We won’t be seeing Matt Harrold in the first round of the competition, though, as he was in the Leyton Orient side beaten 2-0 at Maidstone United. One striker who is in the hat for the first round draw, though, is Rory Gaffney who scored one of the two Salford City goals that enabled his side to beat Marine 2-1.

Charlie Clough will also be seen in Round One, as Sutton United went through courtesy of a 2-1 win at Wealdstone.

In the big local game of the day Weston super Mare, without a league win all season, beat Bath City 1-0. Nabi Diallo was in the Weston starting lineup, Jamie Lucas came off the bench and Ben Swallow was an unused substitute. Ryan Brunt and Ryan Clarke were in the Bath City lineup, while Sean Rigg was an unused substitute.

Finally, Woking were 1-0 winners against Welling, for whom Bradley Goldberg was introduced as a second half substitute.

Non League action in the Bostik League Premier Division saw Jamie Cureton score again for Bishop’s Stortford in their 3-0 win against Corinthian Casuals.

Down in the Southern Premier League South, Danny Greaves saw his Frome Town side beat Gosport Borough 2-0, but Gavin Williams saw his Merthyr side lose 1-0 at home against Beaconsfield Town, while Liam Armstrong and his Tiverton Town side had to be content with a share of the spoils, after a 1-1 draw at Chesham United.

In Division One South, Olly Mehew scored twice for Yate Town in their 3-0 win against Highworth Town at Lodge Road, and Lewis Powell scored the only goal of the game for Larkhall Athletic who were 1-0 winners against AFC Totton. Mangotsfield United, though, suffered their heaviest defeat of the season, a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Honeyfields.

Andy Gurney and his Roman Glass St George side were involved in a remarkable 4-4 draw against Bridgwater Town and Ray Johnstone’s Hallen side also drew, 1-1 at Westbury United.

Meanwhile Joe White saw his Chipping Sodbury side record a 3-2 home win against Cadbury Heath.


 

WEEK TEN – Starting 7th October 2018

Tuesday saw the beginning of the latest round of Checkatrade Trophy games and Rovers beat Yeovil 2-0 at The Memorial Stadium thanks to goals from two players names Alex – Jakubiak and Rodman. On the bench for The Glovers was former Gas goalkeeper Steve Phillips.

Tom Parkes was on the losing side as Carlisle slipped to a 3-1 defeat against Sunderland while Reggie Lambe was an unused substitute in Cambridge United’s 4-0 win against Southampton’s U-21 side.

Another unused substitute was Harry Pell, who sat out Colchester’s 2-0 win against Southend United. Keith Curle’s Northampton Town side, with John Joe O’Toole in their lineup, beat Oxford United 2-1 and Andy Williams was also used, as an 87th minute substitute.

Peterborough’s Aaron Chapman was in goal as his side lost 5-4 in a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw against Brighton U-21’s, while Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side that thumped Tranmere Rovers 6-0.

Daniel Jones returned to the Notts County lineup for their game against Newcastle United U-21’s but ended up on the losing side as the Newcastle Magpies beat the Nottingham Magpies 2-0 at Meadow Lane.

Conrad Logan was in goal for Mansfield Town in their 2-1 win against Wolves U-21’s while up at Scunthorpe Lincoln City came out on top in the Lincolnshire derby, winning 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1- draw. Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe side, while for The Imps Sam Slocombe started in goal against another of his former clubs. Bernard Mensah also started, and John Akinde went on as a first half substitute.

Tom Eaves was in the starting lineup for Gillingham, who suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Spurs U-21’s, while it looks as though Lee Brown was rested by Portsmouth for their 1-0 win at Crawley Town.

FA Cup replays saw the end of the line for Manor Farm, beaten 4-0 by Slough Town at The Creek, Tiverton Town, who lost 1-0 against Metropolitan Police, and for Craig Disley who was a second half substitute for Cleethorpes Town in their 2-1 defeat at Guiseley.

Wednesday saw Chippenham Town make progress in the FA Cup at the expense of Hendon, the Bluebirds registering a 4-1 home win.

Thursday saw Aidy Boothroyd in charge of the England U-21 side and they ran out 7-0 winners against Andorra in a European U-21 qualifying match. Jake Clarke- Salter was an unused substitute for England in this game.

Other former Rovers on international duty were Connor Roberts, who was in the Welsh side defeated 4-1 by Spain, and Oli McBurnie who was a second half substitute for Scotland in their 2-1 defeat in Israel.

More internationals on Friday, with Richard Evans on duty for the Danish management team who were 2-1 winners against Switzerland and England goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson who was part of the management team on duty for the 0-0 draw in Croatia.

In League Two, Nathan Blissett was a member of the Macclesfield side that lost 1-0 at Tranmere Rovers on Friday evening. The Moss Rose outfit equalled the English League record of going 36 consecutive league matches without a win. Mind you, that does stretch back to 2012, when they were relegated from League Two. This was their 13th league game of the current campaign, their first back in the league since their relegation six years ago.

Not international football, or even EFL related football, but closer to home, former Rovers striker Steve White and his son Joe, a former Rovers Academy graduate, have taken over the reins at Chipping Sodbury. Joe will be the manager with Steve taking on the Head Coach role.

With internationals being played here, there, and everywhere, The Premier League and Championship take a day off from competitive action so it’s down to EFL One and Two and all the leagues below to cater for the proper football fans!

For the second week running Rovers are beaten by a very late goal, going down 1-0 at Burton, a result that sees them slip into the bottom four.

There’s no stopping Portsmouth at the top of the table, now three points clear of Peterborough at the top of the table. They, and Lee Brown, were 3-1 winners at AFC Wimbledon.

Joe Jacobson was on the losing side, as Wycombe Wanderers went down 1-0 at Coventry, and Paris Cowan-Hall went on as a second half substitute.

Cian Bolger was an unused substitute for Fleetwood in their 2-1 home win against Shrewsbury, while Ollie Norburn was in the starting lineup for The Shrews.

No goals for Tom Eaves or Gillingham, as they slipped to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Southend United, and no joy for goalkeeper Matt Macey who conceded twice at Oxford as his Plymouth Argyle side failed to score.

Matt Lund, who was featured in The League Paper speaking about his wish to be selected again for Northern Ireland (he has three caps) was on the losing side as Scunthorpe United were beaten 2-0 by Peterborough United at Glanford Park. Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman kept a clean sheet for The Posh and was named in The League Paper’s League One Team of the Day.

In League Two, another former Gas goalkeeper, Lee Nicholls, kept a clean sheet as MK Dons won 1-0 at Cambridge United, while Tom Parkes and his Carlisle side were also beaten, 2-0 by Morecambe at Brunton Park.

No goals for Harry Pell, but he was in the Colchester side that recorded a 3-1 home win against Crawley Town, while Dominic Telford was given 29 minutes as a second half substitute for Bury in their 1-1 draw at Crewe.

Hiram Boateng started for Exeter and Jordan Tillson was introduced as a second half substitute in their 2-0 home win against Swindon Town, a result that saw The Grecians stay in second place in the league standings.

David Pipe was another second half substitute, going on in the77th minute of Newport County’s 2-1 win against Stevenage.

Keith Curle recorded his first win as Northampton boss in dramatic style as he saw his side come back from being a goal down to become the first team to beat Forest Green Rovers in the league this season. John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams both started, and it was Williams who scored a last gasp winner for The Cobblers.

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Andy Williams began his career at Hereford United, where his father was one of the youth team coaches, and signed for Rovers in July 2007.
He was loaned back to Hereford in September 2008, spending almost an entire season back at Edgar Street before returning to The Memorial Stadium for the 2009/10 campaign. He signed for Yeovil Town in August 2010 and joined Swindon town two years later. Loaned back to Yeovil in August 2013, he moved to Doncaster Rovers in a permanent deal in June 2015 and signed for Northampton Town in May of this year.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
The only one of the former Gas trio at Lincoln involved in their game at Port Vale was goalkeeper Sam Slocombe, and he was an unused substitute. It made no difference to the league leaders though, as they recorded a 6-2 win.

In the National League, Andy Bond started for AFC Fylde in their 2-1 win against Maidstone United and Ricky Shakes was in the Boreham Wood side that recorded a 3-1 win against Maidenhead United.

Chris Zebroski was in the Eastleigh side that suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Aldershot Town. Gary Waddock’s side recorded their first away win of the season, with one of their two goals being scored by Scott Rendell.

Two former League clubs, Leyton Orient and Hartlepool United clashed at Brisbane Road and shared the spoils in a goalless draw. Matt Harrold managed ten minutes of game time as a second half substitute for The O’s, while Luke James managed 83 minutes for the visitors before being substituted. Big crowd at this one, on Non League Day, 6,871.

League leaders Salford City were held to a draw by Braintree Town and had Rory Gaffney to thank for rescuing a point for them. He opened the scoring in the first minute of the game and scored an equaliser in the third minute of time added on just as it looked though his side were going to suffer a home defeat. For his efforts, Gaffney was included in The Non League Paper’s Team of the Day. Lyle Della-Verde was in the Braintree side.

No League action for Sutton United. Not sure how it happened that an English club were drawn away to an Irish club in a Scottish Cup competition, but that’s what happened, and Charlie Clough and his team mates went out of the Irn Bru Cup, losing 4-3 in a penalty shootout against Bohemians after a 0-0 draw.

In National League North, Adam Dawson was an 84th minute substitute for AFC Telford in their 1-1 draw against Chorley, while Adam Henshall started, and Johnny Burn was a 67th minute substitute for Darlington in their 2-1 win at FC United.

Ryan Green and Danny Greenslade were in the Hereford side that drew 1-1 at Stockport in front of a crowd of 3,646.

In the Southern Section, Adam Cunnington was introduced in the 58th minute by league leaders Billericay Town in their 1-0 win against Gloucester City while Andy Sandell, returned from a loan spell at Melksham Town, started for Chippenham Town in their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Dartford.

Ryan Brunt was on target for Bath City in their 2-0 win at St Albans City, along with former Gas man Ryan Clarke, though Sean Rigg wasn’t in the Romans squad for this one.

Michael Meaker, assistant manager at Truro City, saw his side slip to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Hemel Hempstead and his side only have one team below them in the league standings.

That team is Weston super Mare, whose home game against East Thurrock was called off as the visitors were stuck in motorway traffic en route to the seaside!

Bradley Goldberg started for Welling United in their 2-1 win against Slough Town, and Chris Dickson was introduced as a second half substitute by Hampton and Richmond in their 2-1 defeat at Wealdstone.

In the Bostik League Premier Division, Bishop’s Stortford caretaker player/manager Jamie Cureton was involved in their 1-1 draw against Merstham; ‘curling an 18th minute free kick against the post.’ The now 43 year old was the subject of an in depth interview in the Non League Paper and said; ‘I jumped at the chance of managing/coaching the team, it felt like an exciting step to take.’

Down in the Southern League, Kettering Town manager Marcus Law saw his side record a 3-0 win at St Neots Town to keep them five points clear at the top of the table.

Goalkeeper Liam Armstrong and his Tiverton side had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw against Farnborough, a result that saw them slip to fourth place in the table, three points behind leaders Weymouth.

It was the day of the FA Trophy Preliminary Round and Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were held to a goalless draw by Thame United while Bristol Manor Farm and Mangotsfield United were both winners, against Paulton Rovers and Kidlington respectively.

Neikell Plummer was in the Melksham side that also progressed, by virtue of a 3-2 win at Slimbridge AFC while Yate Town also went through to the next round after beating Blackfield and Langley 1-0 at Lodge Road courtesy of Olly Mehew’s 54th minute penalty.

Craig Disley was in the Cleethorpes Town side that went through to the next round thanks to a 3-2 win at Radcliffe Borough.

In the First Round of the FA Vase, Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George recorded a 2-0 win against Malmesbury Victoria.

Ray Johnstone’s Hallen beat Joe White’s Chipping Sodbury Town 1-0 in the Toolstation Western League.

On Sunday Oli McBurnie started for Scotland in their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Portugal in an international friendly at Hampden Park.

Photo for this one; Andy Williams, who began his career at Hereford United, where his father was one of the youth team coaches and signed for Rovers in July 2007.

He was loaned back to Hereford in September 2008, spending almost an entire season back at Edgar Street before returning to The Memorial Stadium for the 2009/10 campaign. He signed for Yeovil Town in August 2010 and joined Swindon town two years later. Loaned back to Yeovil in August 2013, he moved to Doncaster Rovers in a permanent deal in June 2015 and signed for Northampton Town in May of this year.

 


 

WEEK NINE – Saturday 1st October 2018

Tuesday 2nd October saw an almost full programme of EFL fixtures and Rovers were in action at Spotland where they took a point from a goalless draw against Rochdale.

In the Championship, Luke Daniels was between the posts for their 1-1 draw against Birmingham City, who also have a former Gas goalie on their books as Scott Bevan is goalkeeping coach for their U-23 side.

Meanwhile Tony Pulis saw his Middlesbrough side move into second place following their 2-0 win at Ipswich who are without the services of the injured Ellis Harrison at the moment.

Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were in the Swansea side that took a point from a goalless draw at Wigan, while at Reading there were two former Gas custodians on view. Sam Walker was between the posts for the home side and Joe Lumley for QPR who came out on top, winning 1-0.

Walker began his career with Chelsea, but never made a first team appearance. After loan spells with Barnet, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town, he arrived at Rovers, also on loan. To be honest, I don’t think too many Rovers fans knew of him and his introduction to the squad came about at a hotel somewhere en route to Ipswich.

I travelled up with manager Mark McGhee to the hotel and on the way, we picked Sam up at a hotel just off the M25. Then it was on to the hotel for a pre-match meal and the formal introductions to his team mates, before travelling on to Portman Road where we lost 3-1. Definitely not the ideal preparations for a keeper who appeared in 11 league games and three cup ties, all of which were lost.

Matt Macey was in goal for Plymouth who took a point from a 1-1 draw against Barnsley and Lee Brown and his Portsmouth side won again on their travels, beating Coventry City 1-0 at The Ricoh.

Cian Bolger was an unused substitute in Fleetwood’s 1-1 draw against Wycombe Wanderers, as was Joe Jacobson for The Chairboys. Paris Cowan-Hall did get a taste of the action, though, as he entered the fray with 12 minutes remaining.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough (so many former Gas goalkeepers around, it seems!) in another 1-1 draw, between his Peterborough side and Sunderland at The Stadium of Light, watched by a crowd of 28,727.

In another drawn game, Ollie Norburn and his Shrewsbury side took a point from a goalless affair at Walsall.

Down in League Two, Reggie Lambe and his Cambridge side dropped into the bottom two following their 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Forest Green Rovers, who moved up to fifth.

Tom Parkes was on the losing side again as Carlisle suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Grimsby Town while Cheltenham goalkeeping coach Steve Book saw his side rescue a point with a last gasp equaliser in a 2-2 draw against Morecambe at Whaddon Road, though Ryan Broom wasn’t on duty for this one.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester side that registered a comfortable 3-1 win against Yeovil, while Hiram Boateng was in the Exeter side that recorded a 1-0 win against Stevenage, and Jordan Tillson was an unused substitute.

A goalless draw at Field Mill between Mansfield Town and Oldham Athletic saw Ryan Sweeney in the Stags lineup and Conrad Logan on the bench. David Pipe was also an unused substitute in Newport County’s 3-3 draw against Macclesfield Town.

At Vale Park, Cristian Montano was back in action for Port Vale but the second half substitute was on the losing side as MK Dons, with Lee Nicholls in goal, recorded a 2-0 victory.

Lincoln City stayed in pole position in the table despite losing 1-0 against Tranmere Rovers. John Akinde started for The Imps, Bernard Mensah was an unused substitute, but there was no place in the squad for Sam Slocombe.

Newly appointed Northampton boss Keith Curle saw his side draw their first match with him in charge, as they played out a goalless draw with Bury at Sixfields. Andy Williams and John-Joe O’Toole started for The Cobblers, while Byron Moore started for The Shakers and Dominic Telford came off the bench with 15 minutes remaining.

In the National League North, Hereford’s poor run of form continued with a 3-0 defeat at Chester, where their four Gas connections, Danny Greenslade, Ryan Green, Eliot Richards and Martin Horsell (another former Gas keeper!) all started.

Wednesday saw five more games played in The Championship and Matty Taylor was introduced from the bench in the 65th minute by Bristol City in their goalless draw at Rotherham.

Scott Sinclair was in European action on Thursday, sent on as a substitute for Celtic on the hour mark in their 3-1 defeat at RB Salzburg in the Europa League.

In Friday’s televised game, Brighton’s assistant manager Paul Trollope was in the dugout as his recorded a 1-0 home win against West Ham.

The following day Rovers entertained Walsall and were beaten 1-0 as the visitors scored with virtually the last kick of the game. Quite a kick in the teeth for Darrell Clarke’s side, as although they weren’t at their best a draw would have been a fair result.

Things don’t get any better for Neil Etheridge and Cardiff up in The Premier League. Conceding a solitary goal to Spurs, at Wembley, continued the newly promoted side’s winless run and saw them drop to the foot of the table.

In the Championship, Reading goalkeeper Sam Walker had to pick the ball out of his net on four occasions at The Hawthorns as West Brom ran out 4-1 winners, but another former Rovers shot stopper, Luke Daniels, was in the Brentford side that gained a point from a 1-1 draw against Leeds at Elland Road.

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In July 2010 Goalkeeper Luke Daniels signed for Rovers in a season long loan and joined the squad at their pre season training camp in Scotland. However, a back injury saw the cancellation of his loan before the season started and he returned to his parent club. In September, though, he joined Charlton Athletic on loan though he didn’t make a single appearance whilst at The Valley. Another loan spell followed, at Rochdale (December 2010 – January 2011) and he returned to Rovers on 6th January 2011, on loan until the end of the season.
He managed nine games in what was a turbulent time for The Gas and in his nine games conceded four goals at Carlisle, six at Walsall and four in games against Brighton and Leyton Orient. His unhappy spell(s) at Rovers came to an abrupt end when Conrad Logan was signed, on loan from Leicester City and I think it’s fair to say that Daniels will have nothing but unhappy memories of his time with The Gas.
He has since played against Rovers for Southend, whom he joined in October 2011 and Scunthorpe (joined in January 2015) and he signed for Brentford in May 2017.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman / JMP]
Yet another former Gas goalie, Joe Lumley, was also involved in a 1-1 draw as his QPR side shared the spoils with Derby County at Loftus Road.

It wasn’t a good day for Tony Pulis and his Middlesbrough side, beaten 2-0 by Nottingham Forest at The Riverside, and Connor Roberts and Oli McBurnie were also on the losing side as Swansea slipped to a surprise 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town. It was the first win of the season for The Tractor Boys.

Two former Rovers players, Tom Eaves and Joe Jacobson, were named in the League Paper’s team of the Day. Eaves scored one of the two goals that enabled Gillingham to beat Portsmouth and Lee Brown 2-0 at Fratton Park. However, Pompey remain three points clear at the top of the table in spite of that defeat.

Jacobson, on his 200th appearance for Wycombe, was on target for The Chairboys in their 2-1 win against Burton Albion at Adams Park, where Paris Cowan-Hall was introduced as a 54th minute substitute.

Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side that was held to a 2-2 draw by Rochdale at Bloomfield Road, while Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe side beaten 3-2 by Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Yet another goalkeeper, Aaron Chapman, was also on the losing side as Peterborough suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Barnsley but another custodian, Matt Macey, kept a clean sheet for Plymouth Argyle as they recorded their first win of the season, beating AFC Wimbledon 1-0 at Home Park.

There was a 1-0 win, also, for Shrewsbury Town against Accrington Stanley, and Ollie Norburn was again in the starting lineup for The Shrews.

In League Two, there was a reunion at Gigg Lane for Dominic Telford and his former housemate Ryan Sweeney, as Bury and Mansfield shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Telford was introduced as a second half substitute for the home side, while Sweeney started for the visitors. Conrad Logan was, as usual it seems, on the bench for The Stags, there was no sign of Byron Moore in the Bury squad.

Reggie Lambe was on the losing side again as bottom of the table Cambridge United went down 2-0 at Crawley and David Pipe was an unused Newport County substitute in their 1-1 draw at Forest Green Rovers.

Two on loan Gas players at Lincoln, Bernard Mensah and Sam Slocombe, were unused substitutes for Lincoln, while John Akinde started in the 1-0 home win against Crewe.

Goalkeeper Lee Nicholls kept a clean sheet for MK Dons in their 3-0 win against Cheltenham Town, for whom Ryan Broom started.

Tom Parkes and Carlisle returned to winning ways with a 3-1 win against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, but Harry Pell and Colchester were beaten by the same scoreline at Stevenage.

Keith Curle and his Northampton side managed a point in a 1-1 draw at Swindon. John-Joe O’Toole and Andy Williams started for The Cobblers and O’Toole scored the goal that gave the visitors a point and earned himself a place in the League Paper’s Team of the Day.

In a ‘localish’ derby at Huish Park Yeovil and Exeter played out a 2-2 draw and Jordan Tillson and Hiram Boateng were in the starting lineup for The Grecians while goalkeeping coach Steve Phillips (don’t think he’s been mentioned before, was on the bench for The Glovers).

We should also give a mention to striker Nathan Blissett, who seems to have been around a bit since leaving The Gas. Currently plying his trade at Macclesfield, he started in their 1-0 defeat against Notts County at Moss Rose.

In the National League, Scott Rendell was on the winning side as Gary Waddock’s Aldershot registered a 3-0 home win against FC Halifax.

John Still’s Barnet recorded a 2-0 home win against Solihull Moors, but Charlie Clough was on the losing side as Sutton United went down 2-1 at Barrow.

Chris Zebroski was on target for Eastleigh in their 2-1 win at Braintree, for whom Lyle Della Verde was introduced as a 52nd minute substitute.

Andy Bond was an unused substitute for AFC Fylde in their goalless draw at Chesterfield, but Rory Gaffney was again on the winning side as Salford City were 4-1 winners at Dover in a top v bottom clash.

Up at Hartlepool, Luke James was in the starting lineup for the home side in their 2-0 win against Boreham Wood, while Ricky Shakes started for the visitors.

Second placed Leyton Orient were 2-0 winners at Maidenhead where Matt Harrold was introduced as a 79th minute substitute.

Moving on down the leagues another former Gas striker, Jamie Cureton, was on target for Bishop’s Stortford, scoring both of their goals in a 2-2 home draw against Burgess Hill Town.

It was FA Cup Third Qualifying Round Day and Craig Disley, went on as a 41st minute substitute for Cleethorpes Town in their 2-2 draw against Guiseley. Disley is currently on loan from Alfreton Town.

Also, in the Cup, Hereford United FC went down to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Welling United. Bradley Goldberg was an unused substitute for the visitors but trying to find the Hereford lineup proved to be a nightmare as there was still no report on the Hereford website a week after the match.

Closer to home, Bath City were 3-0 winners against Lewes, with Ryan Brunt claiming one of the goals and Weston super Mare were 1-0 winners against Coggeshall Town thanks to a last minute goal. They did well, as Tristan Plummer was sent off early in the second half.

Liam Armstrong was in goal for Tiverton Town, who drew 3-3 with Metropolitan Police, while Adam Dawson was on the bench for AFC Telford who went down 2-1 at Warrington Town.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no former Gas players with Bristol Manor Farm FC, but they deserve an honourable mention for their 2-2 draw against Slough Town and will bring them back to The Creek for a replay.

Managed to track down another former Gas striker in the shape of Scott McGleish, who is listed as Assistant Coach/Striker at Chesham United of the Southern League Premier Division. No idea if he was involved in the 1-0 win at Farnborough but will now keep an eye out for his side’s results.

League games saw wins for Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic, and Mangotsfield United and further down the pyramid Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George recorded a 7-0 home win against Shortwood.

On Sunday, Scott Sinclair was a 61st minute substitute for Celtic in their 6-0 win at St Johnstone, but it wasn’t a good day for Michael Smith who was red carded as Rangers beat his Hearts side 3-1.

In the Championship, Matty Taylor’s penalty wasn’t enough to save Bristol City from a 2-1 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, The Owls winning 1-1 at The Gate.