Looking for Gas – Aug & Sept 2019

With your wonderful armchair traveller, Keith Brookman.

As the title suggests, this 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 either out on loan or work experience.

The latest instalment lives on the main page HERE, and the rest of the season will be archived in chunks.

August and September 2019 are archived below, right in front of your very eyes.


Chapter 3 – Week commencing 11th August 2019

SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST

More FA Cup games took place in the Extra Preliminary Round and one of our local sides, Roman Glass St George, managed by Andy Gurney, were 3-2 winners at Winslow United.

In Denmark FC Midtjylland were 2-0 winners at AC Horsens and once again goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen was on the bench.

MONDAY 12TH AUGUST

In National League South, Adam Cunnington was in the Dartford side that suffered a 4-0 defeat at Chelmsford City.

TUESDAY 13TH AUGUST

There was a full programme of games in the first round of the EFL (Carabao) Cup and Lincoln City, with Cian Bolger and John Akinde in their lineup, were 1-0 winners at Huddersfield Town. Last season, Huddersfield were in the Premier League and Lincoln were in League Two, so an excellent result for the Red Imps.

Huddersfield paid the price for making 11 changes and it beats me why managers feel that they have to make wholesale changes for a competition they clearly don’t respect. Naturally Huddersfield’s aim is to regain their place in the elite, but a few cup wins wouldn’t go amiss, surely. Wonder what their supporters make of it all?

Mansfield Town were beaten by Morecambe in a penalty shootout at Field Mill. The visitors played all but 22 minutes of the game with ten men following the red card handed out to Luke Conlan but they still managed a 2-2 draw in the 90 minutes.

Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were in the Mansfield side and it was Sweeney who missed the final, sudden death, penalty when he lifted his effort over the bar to give Morecambe a 6-5 win after both sides had twice missed their spot kicks.

Ryan Sweeney - Credit Neil Brookman
Ryan Sweeney  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Marc Bola made his senior bow for Middlesbrough, against Crewe Alexandra and scored a 91st minute equaliser to send the tie into a penalty shootout. However, the Championship side were beaten 4-2 on penalties.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side beaten 2-1 by Burton Albion at Vale Park, while John-Joe O’Toole completed 90 minutes for the winning side.

Rory Gaffney made his first appearance of the season for Salford City, when he went on as a 62nd minute substitute in their home tie against Leeds United. He was on the losing side, though, as Leeds ran out 3-0 winners.

Rory Gaffney - Credit Neil Brookman
Rory Gaffney  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Another side to make 11 changes were Derby County, but they still managed a 1-0 win against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. Kelle Roos was an unused Derby substitute, while Matt Lund completed 90 minutes for Scunthorpe.

Hull City scored three first half goals against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park and that’s how the scoreline stayed as they cruised through to round two. Tom Eaves was on the Hull bench and was sent on in the 63rd minute. Stefan Payne was an unused substitute for Tranmere.

In the battle of the Dons (AFC & MK) at Kingsmeadow, the Milton Keynes lot went through after a penalty shootout. Both sides missed a penalty in normal time and MK, with Lee Nicholls in goal and Hiram Boateng an unused substitute, won the shootout 4-2.

There was another penalty shootout at Griffin Park after another 1-1 draw in normal time. The hosts, Brentford, were beaten 5-4 by Cambridge United on penalties. There was a rare appearance for goalkeeper Luke Daniels for the winners, while Reggie Lambe started for Cambridge and Daniel Jones went on as a 73rd minute substitute.

One former Rovers player, Cheltenham’s Ryan Broom, was at the Memorial Stadium but as a spectator only. An injury picked up the previous Saturday ruled him out of the game, and he saw his side lose 3-0 to The Gas.

Charlton’s Tom Lockyer and Forest Green Rovers’ Adam Smith were both missing from their respective sides at The Valley where the South Gloucestershire side won 5-3 on penalties following a goalless draw in 90 minutes. Smith was an unused Forest Green substitute, while Lockyer wasn’t in the Charlton squad.

Tom Broadbent was in the Swindon Town side beaten 3-0 by Colchester United while Jordan Tillson was in the Exeter City side beaten 4-1 by Coventry City at an almost deserted St Andrews (the attendance was a mere 1,155).

There were four penalties in the 90 minutes in the game between Gillingham and Newport County at the Priestfield Stadium. Three of them were awarded to The Gills, who scored two and missed one, while Newport’s 94th minute spot kick was successful and ensured a penalty shootout as the tie ended 2-2. The Welsh side won 4-1 on penalties. Both Jack Bonham and Alex Jakubiak started for the home side and Daniel Leadbitter completed 90 minutes for Newport.

Dominic Telford scored his first Plymouth Argyle goal in their 2-0 win against Leyton Orient at Home Park. Gary Sawyer also started for Plymouth and Byron Moore was introduced as a 61st minute substitute, while Matt Harrold was an unused Orient substitute.

Joe Lumley was an unused substitute for Queens Park Rangers who won a penalty shootout (5-4) against Bristol City at Loftus Road.

Northampton Town, with Andy Williams starting and Chris Lines sent on as a 65th minute substitute, were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, with the home side scoring all of their goals inside the final ten minutes. Swansea were another side that made 11 changes to their starting lineup.

James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair tasted defeat for the first time in a Walsall shirt as they suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Crawley Town.

In yet another penalty shootout, Reading beat Wycombe Wanderers 4-2 at Adams Park after a goalless draw in the 90 minutes. Joe Jacobson (Wycombe) and Sam Walker (Reading) were able to watch the action from the sidelines as both were unused substitutes.

There was also a full programme of National League games and Aldershot Town, who included Alefe Santos in their starting XI lost 1-0 at home against Bromley.

Solihull Moors are flying at the top of the league after only four games and they were 6-1 winners at Chorley, with Nathan Blissett grabbing a hat trick.

Nathan Blissett - Credit Neil Brookman
Nathan Blissett  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side beaten 3-0 at home by Boreham Wood, who included Danny Woodards in their starting lineup and sent Ricky Shakes on as an 89th minute substitute.

Eastleigh, with Joe Partington and Scott Rendell in their side, were held to a 1-1 home draw by Sutton United, while Sam Slocombe kept a clean sheet for Notts County who recorded their first National League win with a 2-0 victory at Harrogate Town.

Luke James was an unused substitute for Hartlepool United in their 2-2 home draw against AFC Fylde, while Bernard Mensah started for Maidenhead United, 2-0 winners at Torquay United.

National League North leaders York City, with Andy Bond in their side, were 3-0 winners at Blyth Spartans

James Spruce made his debut for Gloucester City, going on as an 84th minute substitute in their 3-2 win at Kidderminster Harriers.

Bath City are top of National League South after their 2-1 home win against Hungerford Town and while Ryan Clarke was still missing through injury, Ryan Brunt made his first appearance of the season when going on as 67th minute substitute.

Welling United, with Bradley Goldberg in their lineup, lost 2-1 at Billericay Town and while Louie Soares was on the scoresheet for Hampton & Richmond Borough, they lost 3-2 at Oxford City.

Abdulai Baggie scored Weymouth’s goal in their 1-1 draw at Slough Town and also in the side was Josh Wakefield who made his first start of the season.

Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich Hamlet side beaten 1-0 at Hemel Hempstead Town, while Will Puddy and Chris Zebroski were in the Chippenham Town side beaten 1-0 at Wealdstone.

There was also a full programme of matches in the Southern Premier Central and Southern Premier South Leagues. Whist I was looking for mentions for Tyler Lyttle (Rushall Olympic), Rene Howe (Kings Langley) and Alex Henshall (Nuneaton Borough) in the Southern Premier League Central, there were none so either they have moved on, are on holiday or are injured!

However, in the Southern League Premier South there were a number of former Rovers players involved. Goalkeeper Martin Horsell was on the winning side as Swindon Supermarine were 2-1 winners at Hartley Wintney.

Hayes & Yeading United, with Lyle Dell-Verde in their side, suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Harrow Borough, while Hendon, with Scott McGleish on the bench, played out a 1-1 home draw against Metropolitan Police.

There was another 1-1 draw at Merthyr where the Town and Weston-super Mare shared the spoils. Ben Swallow, playing against one of his former clubs, was in the Merthyr lineup.

Darren Mullings was an unused substitute for Salisbury who beat Gosport Borough 1-0 thanks to a 93rd minute penalty.

Jefferson Louis was in the Chesham United side that made it two wins out of two as they were 3-1 winners at Beaconsfield Town.

Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis was in the Mersham starting XI for their game at Corinthian Casuals in the Isthmian League Premier Division which saw them win 1-0.

In the same league it wasn’t a good night for Jamie Cureton and his Bishop’s Stortford team mates as they were beaten 5-0 at Enfield Town.

Ryan Green turned out for Westfields in the FA Cup Preliminary Round replay against Congleton and his side were 4-0 winners.

From Non League to Champions League, and Celtic were beaten 4-3 at home by Romanian side Cluj and their aggregate loss sees them exit the competition at the third qualifying round stage.  There was no sign of Scott Sinclair in the Celtic squad.

In the Scottish Challenge Cup Darryl Duffy scored for Stirling Albion in their 2-0 win at East Fife.

Over in Ireland Seanan Clucas scored for Dungannon Swifts, who were 3-2 winners at Institute. Larne also won away from home, 2-1 at Carrick Rangers but Jeff Hughes was missing from their lineup.

WEDNESDAY 14TH AUGUST

In a big west country clash in the Southern Premier League South, Yate Town were 4-0 winners at Taunton Town. Nabi Diallo started for Taunton, while Pierce Mitchell was named on the bench. Sam Kamara and Ollie Mehew were both in the Yate side.

Over in Sweden, Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersund side that registered a 1-0 away win at Stocksund.

FRIDAY 16TH AUGUST

Heart of Midlothian, with Michael Smith in their side, were 2-1 winners at Motherwell in the second round of the Scottish League Cup. Peter Hartley was missing from the Motherwell squad.

In the Welsh Premier Division Kayne McLaggon scored one of Barry Town United’s goals in their 2-1 win at Penybont.

In the Irish Premier Division Derry City, with Mark McChrystal named on the bench, suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Shamrock Rovers.

SATURDAY 17TH AUGUST

In the Championship, Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton Athletic side that preserved their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-2 draw at Barnsley, though they left it late. Lyle Taylor scored the equalising goal, from the penalty spot, in the 89th minute.

Marc Bola was an unused substitute for Middlesbrough, beaten 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers and Luke Daniels also remained on the bench, for Brentford, who drew 1-1 against Hull City at Griffin Park. Tom Eaves started for Hull but didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.

Joe Lumley was back in Bristol and played for Queens Park Rangers at Ashton Gate. He was on the losing side, though, as Rangers were beaten 3-2 by Bristol City.

Kelle Roos was in goal for Derby County, who drew 2-2 at Stoke City, while there were two former Rovers players involved at the Liberty Stadium. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea City side that beat Preston North End 3-2, and Billy Bodin was in the Preston starting lineup.

Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute for Birmingham City who lost 3-0 at Nottingham Forest.

Sunderland were 2-1 home winners against Portsmouth in League One. Lee Brown started for Pompey and Ellis Harrison was introduced as a 62nd minute substitute.

Lincoln City are top of the table start after winning their three opening games and they brushed Southend aside, winning 4-0 at Sincil Bank. Cian Bolger started for them and John Akinde was sent on as a 67th minute substitute.

Stefan Payne went on as a 66th minute substitute for Tranmere Rovers and scored his first goal for the club in their 5-0 win against Bolton Wanderers.

Joe Jacobson also scored, for Wycombe in their 3-2 win against MK Dons. He opened the scoring, from the penalty spot, beating former Rovers goalkeeper Lee Nicholls. Hiram Boateng was also in the MK Dons side.

Burton Albion, with John-Joe O’Toole in their side, suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Rotherham United.

In League Two Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were both in the Mansfield Town side that won 2-0 at Carlisle United.

Colchester United were beaten 2-1 at home by Cambridge United, for whom Reggie Lambe started and Daniel Jones was an unused substitute.

James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair were in the Walsall side beaten 1-0 at Crewe Alexandra, while Tom Broadbent was an unused substitute for Swindon Town who drew 1-1 against Exeter City at St James’ Park.

Matt Harrold was an 82nd minute substitute for Leyton Orient, who drew 0-0 with Stevenage at Brisbane Road and there was another goalless draw at Morecambe where Cheltenham Town were the visitors. Ryan Broom was back in the Cheltenham side after missing their midweek cup tie against the Gas and Gavin Reilly also started.

Daniel Leadbitter was an unused substitute for Newport County, 1-0 home winners against Plymouth Argyle. Gary Sawyer and Dominic Telford started for Argyle, while Byron Moore was an unused substitute.

Dominic Telford - Credit Neil Brookman
Dom Telford  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Rory Gaffney was a 65th minute substitute for Salford City, who drew 1-1 against Port Vale who included Cristian Montano in their starting lineup.

Northampton Town conceded a 90th minute goal against Macclesfield Town at Sixfields and lost 2-1. Joe Martin started for the Cobblers and was replaced by Andy Williams in the 62nd minute, while Chris Lines was an unused substitute.

Matt Lund was on the scoresheet for Scunthorpe United, who shared four goals with Crawley Town in their encounter at Glanford Park.

In the National League, Aldershot Town were held to a 1-1 home draw by FC Halifax Town. Alefe Santos started this one for Aldershot.

Danny Woodards was in the Boreham Wood side that suffered a home defeat at the hands of Sutton United and Ricky Shakes was an unused substitute.

Angelo Balanta’s seventh minute own goal gave Harrogate Town the lead in their match at Dagenham & Redbridge, but he later scored twice for the Daggers who ended up 4-2 winners. His performance earned him a place in the Non League Paper’s National League Team of the Day.

Hartlepool United lost 3-2 at home against Bromely and Luke James was an unused substitute. Bernard Mensah, though, was on the winning side. The on loan striker started for Maidenhead United who were 4-1 home winners against Chorley.

After his midweek hat trick Nathan Blissett failed to get on the scoresheet for Solihull Moors in their 2-1 home win against Ebbsfleet United. However his unbeaten side are the league leaders at this early stage of the season.

Eastleigh are struggling, though. Their 2-0 defeat at Stockport County leaves them in the bottom four with just four points from their five games. Joe Partington and Scott Rendell both started this game for them.

There aren’t too many former Rovers players in National League North but one of them, Andy Bond, was in the York City side that beat Leamington 2-0 at Bootham Crescent. York already have a lead of three points over second placed Guiseley at this early stage of the season.

Luke Russe, who joined Gloucester City on loan last week, was in their side beaten 4-0 at Chester and he was joined, in the 68th minute, by substitute James Spruce.

In National League South, Bath City dropped to third place following their goalless draw against Tonbridge Angels at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke returned to their side after injury, while Ryan Brunt went on as a 51st minute substitute.

Louie Soares went on at the start of the second half for Hampton & Richmond Borough in their 1-1 home draw against Billericay Town and Will Puddy was in goal for Chippenham Town in their 1-1 draw at Hungerford Town and substitute Chris Zebroski joined him on the pitch in the 60th minute.

Bradley Goldberg started for Welling United who were 3-1 home winners against Oxford City. Scott Davies has returned to play for Slough Town and was in their side that drew 1-1 at Maidstone United.

Weymouth have made an excellent start to their season and are in second place in the fledgling league table. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the side that recorded a 3-0 home win against Dartford, while Adam Cunnington started for the visitors.

Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich Hamlet side held to a 2-2 home draw by Concord Rangers. Alex Wall has, I believe, signed for Hemel Hempstead Town, though he wasn’t in their lineup for their home game against Wealdstone.

The Northern Premier League got underway and Kieran Preston was in goal for Basford United who registered an opening day 3-2 win at Hyde United.

In the North West Division, Andy Monkhouse was in the Ossett United side held to a goalless home draw by Mossley.

Josh Klein-Davies was named on the bench for Widnes, beaten 3-2 at Ramsbottom United.

Tyler Lyttle was named on the bench for Rushall Olympic (that’s one mystery solved!) for their Southern League Premier Central home game against Leiston. The Pics won 6-0 and are second in the table after three games.

Allegedly Rene Howe and Alex Henshall are playing in this league, but I’ve yet to spot them in any team lineups.

There are more ex Rovers players appearing in the Southern League Premier South, though. Lyle Della-Verde, now with Hayes & Yeading United, was on the losing side as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Weston super Mare.

Scott McGleish was again on the bench for Hendon, who played out a 1-1 home draw against Wimborne Town while Ben Swallow started for Merthyr Town who were 1-0 home winners against Gosport Borough.

ben swallow - Credit Neil Brookman
Ben Swallow  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Sam Kamara and Oliie Mehew were in the Yate Town side beaten 3-0 at Poole Town. Meanwhile Taunton Town recorded their first win of the season, as they beat Chesham United 3-2. No sign of Pierce Mitchell in the Taunton squad, though Nabi Diallo was named on the bench while Jefferson Louis was on the Chesham bench.

Swindon Supermarine, with Martin Horsell in goal, claimed a point from a goalless draw at Truro City while Salisbury, with Darren Mullings being sent on as a 78th minute substitute, were 4-1 home winners against Dorchester Town.

The Southern league Division One South kicked off their fixtures and Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic were 2-1 away winners at AFC Totton and Lewis Powell was quick off the mark, scoring the first of his two goals after only 11 minutes. Geraint Bater was also in the starting XI while Jack Camm and Neil Arndale were on the bench.

While Paul Tovey remains on the staff at Paulton Rovers, there were no former players in their starting XI for their match at Evesham United, where it finished 1-1.

It’s a similar story at Frome Town, where Danny Greaves remains in charge, but has no former Rovers players with him at present. Frome won their opening fixture 1-0 at Highworth Town.

Trey Anderson is now with Mangotsfield United and he was in their side that recorded an opening day 3-0 win against Sholing at Cossham Street.

Jamie Cureton was again on the scoresheet for Bishop’s Stortford in their Isthmian League Premier Division match at Carshalton Athletic. It wasn’t a good day for ‘Curo’ or his side, though, as they lost 4-2.

It was an excellent day for another former Rovers striker, though.  Chris Dickson, now with Hornchurch, bagged a hat trick in their 6-0 away win against Worthing in the same division.

chris Dickson - Credit Neil Brookman
Chris Dickson  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Also in this league, Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis started for Merstham, who drew 0-0 at Brightlingsea Regent and Barry Hayles was named on the bench.

In Scotland Celtic were 2-1 winners against St Johnstone in the Second Round of the Scottish League Cup though there was no sign of Scott Sinclair in their squad.

In Scottish League Two Darry Duffy completed 90 minutes for Stirling Albion, who went down 1-0 at Edinburgh City.

In the Irish Premiership Seanan Clucas scored a 90th minute penalty for Dungannon Swifts in their 3-1 home win against Glentoran, while Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side beaten 4-2 at home by Ballymena United.


Chapter 2 – Week commencing 5th August 2019

MONDAY 5TH AUGUST

Monday evening saw one game played in the Championship and Kelle Roos, having signed a new contract in the summer, was in goal for Derby County who registered a 2-1 away win against Huddersfield Town.

TUESDAY 6TH AUGUST

Good to see Ellis Harrison open his account for Portsmouth as he scored twice in their 3-0 home win against Birmingham City in this season’s first Carabao Cup tie. Lee Brown was also in the Pompey side, while Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Birmingham lineup.

Ellis Harrison - photo credit Neil Brookman
Ellis Harrison  [Photo credit – Neil Brookman]
There was a full programme of games in the National League and there were two former Gas players named on the Boreham Wood bench for their home game against Wrexham which ended 2-2. Danny Woodards was called on in the 90th minute, while Ricky Shakes stayed where he was!

Angelo Balanta scored the opening goal for Dagenham & Redbridge, who were 2-1 winners at Dover Athletic but Luke James and his Hartlepool United side lost again, this time going down 2-0 at FC Halifax Town.

Bernard Mensah was an unused substitute for Maidenhead United who drew 1-1 against Chesterfield and there was another 1-1 draw at Meadow Lane between Notts County and Stockport County. Sam Slocombe was in goal for the home side.

Nathan Blissett was in the Solihull Moors side that recorded a comprehensive 3-0 home win against Torquay United, while Alefe Santos was an unused substitute for Aldershot Town who won 1-0 at Woking.

Eastleigh, with Joe Partington in their lineup and Scott Rendell going on at the start of the second half, were beaten 1-0 at Yeovil Town.

It’s going to be a tight league by the looks of it, as after just two games, only FC Halifax Town have a 100% record.

There aren’t too many former Rovers players in National League North (at least I don’t think there are!).

One of them, Andy Bond, was in the York City side held to a goalless draw by Farsley Celtic at Bootham Crescent. Of the others, there was no sign!

It’s a bit of a different story in National League South, though. Will Puddy was in goal for Chippenham Town for their 1-1 draw against Oxford City as they kicked off their 100th season at Hardenhuish Park.

Will Puddy - photo credit Neil Brookman.png
Will Puddy  [Photo credit – Neil Brookman]
There was also a 1-1 draw at Dartford where the home side, with Adam Cunnington in their lineup, shared the points with St Albans City.

Jeffrey Monakana was again in the Dulwich Hamlet side that made it two wins from two as they were 1-0 home winners against Wealdstone. Hampton & Richmond Borough, meanwhile, lost their home game against Havant & Waterlooville 4-3 but Louie Soares didn’t get any game time on this occasion.

Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side that registered a 1-0 home win against Maidstone United.

Weymouth and Bath City played out a 1-1 draw at the Bob Lucas Stadium where Abdulai Baggie was in the Weymouth starting lineup and Josh Wakefield was named on their bench. Ryan Clarke was named on the teamsheet for Bath, but sustained an ankle injury during the warm up. His place was taken by 17 year old Harvey Wiles-Richards, the first player born this century to represent the Romans in a league match.

In the EFL Trophy now known as the Leasing.Com Trophy two of the teams in the same group as Rovers, Swindon Town and Chelsea U-21’s, met at the County Ground. Tom Broadbent started for Swindon, who lost 3-2.

WEDNESDAY 7TH AUGUST

Michael Meaker returned to Taunton Town as a coach, while Marcus Law was named interim manager of Bradford Park Avenue.

THURSDAY 8TH AUGUST

Mikkel Andersen was on the bench for FC Midtjylland who suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Rangers in the Third Qualifying Round, First Leg Tie, in the Europa League

Chris Zebroski, who was believed to have signed for Aldershot Town, today joined Chippenham Town.

FRIDAY 9TH AUGUST

There are 736 clubs taking part in this season’s FA Cup competition and 14 of them were involved in extra preliminary round action on Friday night, though I’m pretty sure that no former Rovers players were involved in any of the seven ties.

There was a Rovers involved, though; Sutton Common Rovers were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Molesey and now face a replay on Tuesday night!

SATURDAY 10TH AUGUST

It was the first full programme of Premier League games and the only former Gas player on view was Oli McBurnie who joined Sheffield United just a few days earlier. He was introduced as a 63rd minute substitute for the Blades and his side took a point from their 1-1 draw at AFC Bournemouth.

Moving on to the Championship and Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute for Birmingham City in their 1-1 draw against Bristol City at St Andrews. Another former Gas central defender, Tom Lockyer, was again on the winning side as Charlton Athletic beat Stoke City 3-1 at The Valley.

Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge remains on the Cardiff City injury list and will be missing from their lineup for a while. Another former gas goalie, Kelle Roos, kept a clean sheet for Derby County as they drew 0-0 against Swansea City at Pride Park. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side.

Tom Eaves started for Hull City, who beat Reading 2-1 and goalkeeper Sam Walker took up his usual place on the Reading bench.

There were two former Gas players on opposite benches at Middlesbrough where the home side were beaten 1-0 by Brentford. Marc Bola (Boro) and Luke Daniels (Brentford) were merely spectators for this one.

Marc Bola - Photo credit Keith Brookman
Marc Bola  [Photo credit – Keith Brookman]
Billy Bodin completed 90 minutes in a Preston North End shirt as they were 3-0 winners against Wigan Athletic at Deepdale, while goalkeeper Joe Lumley was between the posts for Queens Park Rangers who were held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield Town at Loftus Road.

In League One there was a former Gas defender on show at the Memorial Stadium as Joe Jacobson, now with Wycombe Wanderers, faced his former club in a drab goalless draw.

Jack Bonham and Alex Jakubiak both started for Gillingham, who were beaten 2-1 by Burton Albion at the Priestfield Stadium. Jakubiak was substituted at half time. John-Joe O’Toole was in the Burton lineup.

Hiram Boateng made his MK Dons debut in their 1-0 home win against Shrewsbury Town though once again Ollie Norburn was missing from the Shrewsbury lineup.

Aaron Chapman was an unused substitute for Peterborough United in their 1-0 defeat at Oxford United while Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison both started for Portsmouth in their 2-0 home win against Tranmere Rovers. Harrison didn’t appear for the second half, though, as manager Kenny Jackett made a tactical change. Stefan Payne was introduced as a 63rd minute substitute by Tranmere.

Lincoln City, 2-0 winners at Rotherham United, started with Cian Bolger in their back line and introduced John Akinde as a 77th minute substitute.

In League Two, Reggie Lambe and Daniel Jones were both in the Cambridge United side held to a goalless home draw by Newport County. Daniel Leadbitter was an unused Newport substitute.

Ryan Broom was on the scoresheet for Cheltenham Town, who were 4-1 home winners against Scunthorpe United. Gavin Reilly was also in the Cheltenham side, while Matt Lund started for Scunthorpe.

Matt Harrold went on as a 75th minute substitute for Leyton Orient in their 3-0 defeat at Macclesfield Town while Conrad Logan was in goal for Mansfield Town in their 2-2 draw against Morecambe at Field Mill. Ryan Sweeney was introduced as an 84th minute substitute for The Stags.

Plymouth Argyle, with skipper Gary Sawyer in the starting lineup, beat Colchester United 1-0 at Home Park. Byron Moore also started and Dominic Telford went on as a 34th minute substitute. Harry Pell and Paris Cowan-Hall were both missing from the Colchester lineup.

Byron Moore - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
Byron Moore  [Photo credit – Neil Brookman]
Cristian Montano was an unused substitute for Port Vale in their 1-1 draw against Northampton Town at Vale Park. Chris Lines and Joe martin started for The Cobblers, while Andy Williams was an unused substitute.

Tom Parkes was in the Exeter City side that snatched a 1-0 win at Stevenage thanks to Nicky law’s 89th minute goal meaning that The Grecians are one of only three sides with a 100% record after just two games. The other two, Plymouth Argyle and Swindon Town, make up a west country top three.

At the Bescot Stadium Walsall and Forest Green Rovers played out a 1-1 draw. James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair were in the Walsall side but Adam Smith was missing from the Forest Green side.

Ryan Broom was named in the Football League Paper’s League Two Team of the Day.

National League sides were playing their third league game of the week – the pace is relentless, as we found out when we were down there!. Early pacesetters are FC Halifax Town, the only club with a 100% record which shows, I think, how tight that league is going to be. On Saturday they were 1-0 home winners against Dagenham & Redbridge who had Angelo Balanta in their starting XI.

Eastleigh, with Joe Partington and Scott Rendell in their side, were beaten 2-0 at Barrow while Boreham Wood, with Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes unused substitutes, drew 2-2 at home against Chesterfield.

Hartlepool United collected their first three points of the season with a 1-0 win at Maidenhead United. Luke James was missing from their lineup, while Bernard Mensah was a 60th minute substitute for the home side.

Sam Slocombe was in goal for Notts County, who were beaten 2-1 by Barnet at Meadow Lane, while Nathan Blissett started for Solihull Moors who were 2-0 home winners against Aldershot Town. Alefe Santos was an unused substitute for Aldershot.

York City head the National League North table after three games, though no team has a 100% record. Andy Bond scored the only goal of the game as they beat Brackley Town 1-0 at Bootham Crescent.

Bath City have collected seven National League South points from their three games and were 3-0 winners at Welling United, though they were without the injured Ryan Clarke and the suspended Ryan Brunt for this one. Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling lineup.

Louis Soares was an 85th minute substitute for Hampton & Richmond Borough who were beaten 2-1 at home by Hemel Hempstead Town, while Adam Cunnington was in the Dartford side held to a 1-1 home draw by Havant & Waterlooville.

Will Puddy kept a clean sheet for Chippenham Town, and saved a last minute penalty, in their 2-0 home win against Billericay Town and Chris Zebroski, on his Chippenham debut, set up their second goal.

Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich Hamlet side, 2-1 home winners against St Albans City, while Josh Wakefield was an 83rd minute substitute for Weymouth who were 4-1 home winners against Chelmsford City.

The Bostik League Premier Division fixtures got underway and it was no surprise to see the name of Jamie Cureton on the scoresheet.  He scored one of Bishop Stortford’s goals in their 3-1 home win over Bognor Regis Town.

Final one - Jamie Cureton - photo courtesy of Bishop’s Stortford FC
Jamie Cureton – photo courtesy of Bishop’s Stortford FC

In the same division, Barry Hayles is on the staff at Merstham but I wouldn’t bet against him having a few games during the season. They suffered an opening day home defeat at the hands of AFC Hornchurch.  In the Merstham lineup was Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis.

In the Southern league Premier Central Division there was no sign of Tyler Lyttle in the Rushall Olympic side (they drew 1-1 against Peterborough Sports) or Alex Henshall of Nuneaton Borough (they lost 3-0 to Kings Langley – no Rene Howe for them, either). As the weeks go by will be keeping a lookout for these and any other ex Gas playing in that league.

In the Premier South Division, Jefferson Louis (not quite as old as Jamie Cureton and not scoring!) was in the Chesham side that defeated Salisbury for whom Darren Mullings completed 90 minutes.

Pierce Mitchell and Nabi Diallo were both in the Taunton Town side beaten 3-0 at Gosport Borough. Gavin Williams is still in charge at Merthyr Town FC and he still has Ben Swallow in his squad. Ben started in their opening day 1-0 defeat at Harrow Borough.

Martin Horsell was in goal for Swindon Supermarine as they were 1-0 home winners against Walton Casuals. Lyle Della-Verde was in the Hayes & Yeading lineup as they drew 2-2 at Tiverton Town.

Yate Town suffered an opening day defeat as they went down 4-1 to Blackfield & Langley at Lodge Road. Ollie Mehew scored the Yate goal and Sam Kamara was named Man of the Match in the report I read.

Scott McGleish, another evergreen former Rovers player, was named on the bench for Hendon who drew 2-2 at Weston super Mare.

There were multiple ties in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup and I guess there were quite a few former Rovers players involved. However one name that caught my eye was that of Matt Groves who scored for Bitton in their 2-1 home win against Bridport to set up a tie against Mangotsfield United in the Preliminary Round.

Hallen, managed by Ray Johnston, bowed out of the competition as they went down 1-0 at Bridgwater Town. Also out are Highgate United who, with Sam Oji wearing the captain’s armband, were beaten 3-2 by Lichfield City.

Craig Stanley’s first game for Clitheroe also ended in defeat. He was in the side beaten 2-1 by 1874 Northwich also in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

In the Scottish Premiership Peter Hartley was again an unused substitute for Motherwell who were beaten 5-2 at home by Celtic. Scott Sinclair was sent on in the 67th minute for Celtic.

Hearts, with Michael Smith in their side, played out a goalless draw against Ross County.

In Scottish League Two Darryl Duffy was sent on as a 58th minute substitute for Stirling Albion, who lost 1-0 at Cowdenbeath.

Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that won 7-0 against Burntisland Shipyard in a Scottish Cup Qualifying Round.

In Wales, Kayne McLaggon was in the Barry Town United side beaten 5-4 on penalties in the Welsh League Cup at Haverfordwest County. He scored from the penalty spot in the ninth minute of the game and the scores were level at 1-1 at the 90 minute mark.

Over in Ireland newly promoted Larne were 6-0 winners against Warrenpoint Town in the Irish Premiership. Jeff Hughes started and scored one of the six goals.

Seanan Clucas scored a 90th minute penalty for Dungannon Swifts in their 2-2 draw against Ballymena United in the same league.

In Sweden, Charlie Colkett was in the Ostersund side that picked up a point from a 1-1 draw at GIF Sundsvall.


Chapter 1 – The beginnings of the 2019/20 season

The new season began with a number of former Rovers players in action, both in the EFL and in the top echelons of non league football (the lower ones kick off next week!).

First game of the new campaign came on Friday night at Kenilworth Road, where Luton Town and Middlesbrough shared six goals and Boro’s summer signing Marc Bola was an unused substitute.

The following day saw the season begin in earnest and, in the Championship, former Rovers skipper Tom Lockyer got off to a winning start with his new side, Charlton Athletic. They were 2-1 winners against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, and ‘Locks’ was Charlton’s star performer according to the match report in the Football League Paper.

A very young Tom Lockyer! Photo Credit Keith Brookman
A very young Tom Lockyer!  [Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Goalkeeper Luke Daniels started the campaign by warming the bench for Brentford, who began their last season at Griffin Park with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Birmingham City.

Billy Bodin, who missed last season through injury, was a 57th minute substitute for Preston North End, who lost 1-0 at Millwall, while another goalkeeper, Sam Walker, was on bench duty for Reading who suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.

One former Gas goalie who did start was QPR’s Joe Lumley who was on the winning side, QPR winning 2-1 at Stoke.

Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side that recorded a 2-1 home win against Hull City, and Tom Eaves made his debut for the Tigers when going on as a 68th minute substitute. Neil Etheridge started in goal for Cardiff City in their 3-2 defeat at Wigan but had to come off after 56th minute with a hamstring injury.

I won’t be mentioning former players who are now managing/coaching every week, but just a reminder that Adam Barrett, another former Gas skipper, is on the coaching staff at Millwall. Martyn Margetson, meanwhile, is goalkeeping coach with Swansea City.

Missing from the Birmingham City lineup was former Rovers loanee Jake Clarke-Salter, now on loan at St Andrews.

Moving on to League One and John-Joe O’Toole made his debut for Burton Albion who were beaten 1-0 at home by Ipswich Town.

Jack Bonham and Alex Jakubiak, who both signed for Gillingham in the summer, were in the Gills side that drew 1-1 against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium. Jakubiak scored his first goal for his new side after 30 minutes.

Cian Bolger started for Lincoln in their 2-0 home win against Accrington Stanley, while John Akinde came off the bench after 78 minutes and scored his first goal of the season; from the penalty spot, of course!

John Akinde - Photo Credit Neil Brookman
John Akinde  [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]
Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was an unused substitute for Peterborough, who suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Fleetwood Town.

Portsmouth, with Lee Brown in their starting lineup, lost 1-0 at Shrewsbury. Ellis Harrison made his Pompey debut when going on as a 75th minute substitute.

Stefan Payne’s Tranmere Rovers debut ended at half time and his new side were beaten 3-2 by Rochdale at Prenton Park, while Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe Wanderers side that beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Adams Park.

Staff wise, Matt Gill is assisting Paul Lambert at Ipswich Town so we can expect to welcome him back to The Mem later in the season, while Gary Waddock is Southend United’s assistant manager and Paul Raynor is assistant manager at Gillingham.

In League two Daniel Jones made his Cambridge United debut, against Bradford City alongside another former Gas man, Reggie Lambe. The game at Valley Parade ended goalless.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side held to a 1-1 draw by Port Vale and Cristian Montano was sent on as an 88th minute substitute for Vale.

Plymouth Argyle, looking to make a swift return to League One, were 3-0 winners against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore were in the Argyle starting lineup, while Dominic Telford was an unused substitute.

Tom Parkes made his Exeter City debut in their 1-0 home win against Macclesfield Town while Adam Smith remained on the Forest Green Rovers bench as they were also 1-0 home winners against Oldham Athletic.

Tom Parkes - Photo Credit Keith Brookman
Tom Parkes  [Photo Credit – Keith Brookman]
Matt Harrold was an unused substitute in Leyton Orient’s 1-0 home win against Cheltenham Town. Ryan Broom started for Cheltenham while Gavin Reilly, on loan from Rovers, was sent on as a 67th minute substitute.

Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were in the Mansfield Town side held to a 2-2 draw at Newport County. Sweeney was taken off at half time as, his manager was concerned that he might pick up a second yellow card after the break.

New Walsall skipper James Clarke scored the only goal of the game on his debut, against Northampton Town at Sixfields, and Stuart Sinclair was also in the side. Chris Lines and Joe Martin made their Northampton debuts in this match while Andy Williams was a 65th minute substitute.

Missing from their side’s opening day games were Adam Dawson (Macclesfield Town), Daniel Leadbitter (Newport County), Rory Gaffney (Salford City), Paris Cowan-Hall (Colchester United), Jordan Tillson (Exeter City) and Tom Broadbent (Swindon Town).

Former Rovers connections with managerial/coaching appointments in this league are Darrell Clarke, Marcus Stewart and Brian Dutton (Walsall) and Keith Curle (Northampton Town) and John Vaughan, goalkeeping coach, who is with Bradford City.

Moving down into League Five, otherwise known as the National League, Alefe Santos made his Aldershot Town debut in their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of AFC Fylde, though there was no sign of recent signing Chris Zebroski. Assistant Manager at Aldershot is Anwar Uddin.

Danny Senda is the coach at Barnet and he saw his side register a 1-0 home win against Yeovil Town.

Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side beaten 2-0 at home by Woking, while former team mates Joe Partington and Sam Slocombe were in opposition down at Eastleigh where the home side, with Partington in the starting XI, were 1-0 winners against Notts County who had Slocombe in goal. Scott Rendell, a former Rovers loanee, entered the fray for Eastleigh in the 70th minute.

Nathan Blissett got off the mark with a goal in Solihull Moors’ 2-2 draw at Harrogate Town. Former Rovers loanee James Quinn is the assistant manager/coach at the Moors.

Luke James began the season in Hartlepool United’s first team but was on the losing side as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Sutton United.

Bernard Mensah, on loan from the Gas, made his Maidenhead United debut in their 1-0 win at Stockport County. Mensah was sent on as a 73rd minute substitute.

Boreham Wood were beaten 2-1 at Torquay United and Danny Woodards spent the afternoon watching the match from their bench. Aaron Downes is the assistant manager at Torquay.

In National League North Andy Bond made his York City debut in their 3-1 win at Altrincham following his transfer from last season’s National League play off side AFC Fylde.

Colin Gordon is Chairman of Kidderminster Harriers, who kicked off their National League North campaign with a 2-2 home draw against Leamington.

Missing from the Hereford United side that drew 2-2 against Spennymoor Town at Edgar Street, were Danny Greenslade and Eliot Richards.

Guiseley joint manager Marcus Bignot saw his side register a 3-0 opening day home win against Kings Lynn.

Jerry Gill’s Bath City began their National League South campaign with a 2-0 win against Braintree at Twerton Park. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke, named as Bath’s skipper for the season, would have been delighted with a clean sheet. Ryan Brunt misses the Romans’ first three games of the season due to suspension.

Ryan Clarke - Photo Credit Simon Howe
Ryan Clarke  [Photo Credit – Simon Howe]
Louie Soares made his Hampton & Richmond Borough debut, when going on as a 69th minute substitute in their 4-1 defeat at Chelmsford City, while Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United starting XI as they drew 1-1 at Havant & Waterlooville.

Weymouth began their National League South campaign with a 2-1 win at Maidstone United and Abdulai Baggie started while Josh Wakefield was an 80th minute substitute. John Still is Director of Football (or something similar!) at Maidstone.

Jeffrey Monakana made a goalscoring debut for his new club, Dulwich Hamlet, who were
2-1 away winners at Tonbridge Angels.

Will Puddy kept a clean sheet for Chippenham Town who played out a goalless draw at St Albans, while Adam Cunnington was in the Dartford side that lost 4-1 at Wealdstone.

In the Scottish Premiership Scott Sinclair remained on the Celtic bench and watched his side’s 7-0 demolition of St Johnstone. Celtic’s Director of Football is Nicky Hammond, a former goalkeeper who played three games for Rovers when on loan from Arsenal in 1986.

Also in the Scottish Premiership, Peter Hartley was another unused substitute and watched his Motherwell side play out a goalless draw at Livingston.

David McCracken’s coaching career got off to a reasonable start as his Peterhead side, promoted to Scottish League One last season, began their season with a goalless draw at home to Falkirk.

In Germany, Philip Keanan-Dunwald played his second game for his new side SC Fortuna Koln who were beaten 4-0 by SV Rodinghausen.

On Sunday Matty Taylor was a late substitute for Bristol City who began their Championship campaign with a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Leeds United.

On the same day, in the Scottish Premiership, Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side beaten 3-2 at Aberdeen

In Denmark, Mikkel Andersen was an unused substitute for FC Midtjylland as they were 1-0 winners against AaB Aalborg.