Looking For Gas – Dec 2019 & Jan 2020

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 gstsame, 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.

December 2019 and January 2020 are archived below, right in front of your very eyes.


Chapter 27 – Week commencing 26th January 2020

SUNDAY 26TH JANUARY

Three more FA Cup Fourth Round ties took place on Sunday afternoon and whilst there were no former Gas representatives in the game between Manchester City and Fulham, there were two ex Gas players involved in the competition.

Stefan Payne spent the afternoon warming the Tranmere Rovers bench and saw his side lose 6-0 to Manchester United at Prenton Park.

Ollie Norburn lasted just 26 minutes of Shrewsbury’s home tie against Liverpool before being forced off through injury. He missed all the drama as his side recovered a two goal deficit to draw 2-2 and earn themselves a replay at Anfield. Will he be fit for that game?

In the Scottish Premiership the injured Michael Smith missed playing a part in Heart of Midlothian’s 2-0 home win against Rangers.

MONDAY 27TH JANUARY

Basford United, with Kieran Preston again in goal, and again keeping a clean sheet, were 1-0 home winners against Witton Albion in their Northern Premier League Premier Division clash. The three points means that they are now joint leaders, with the same number of points as South Shields though they have played two games more.

TUESDAY 28TH JANUARY

In the Championship Joe Lumley found himself back on the bench for the visit of Queens Park Rangers to Blackburn Rovers and he saw his side lose 2-1.

Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels also spent the evening bench warming and he watched his side suffer a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest.

Cardiff City shot stopper Neil Etheridge was another to spend the night watching his side in action. In his case, though, Cardiff City were 2-1 home winners against West Bromwich Albion.

Tom Eaves was a 63rd minute Hull City substitute, but he couldn’t prevent them losing 2-1 at home against Huddersfield Town.

Derby County were beaten 3-2 at bottom club Luton Town and yet another former Gas goalie, Kelle Roos, was on the Derby bench.

Unused Championship former Gas goalie number five on the night was Reading’s Sam Walker, who saw his side lose 1-0 to Bristol City at the Madejski Stadium.

Sam Walker, now a regular on the bench for Reading. Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman
Sam Walker, now a regular on the bench for Reading.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
There was another non playing former Gas goalie on the bench in League Two. Aaron Chapman was the keeper, Peterborough United the team and they won 2-1 at Accrington Stanley.

John-Joe O’Toole was in the Burton Albion side that drew 2-2 against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow, a result that saw them drop to tenth place.

Portsmouth recorded a seventh straight win in all competitions as they beat Lincoln City 2-0 at Sincil Bank. Cian Bolger was in the Lincoln side, while Ellis Harrison was an unused Pompey substitute.

A 93rd minute penalty sealed a 2-1 home win for MK Dons against Rochdale at Stadium MK. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK while Tyler Smith started for Rochdale.

Wycombe Wanderers eventually beat Blackpool 2-1 at Adams Park in a game that kicked off over an hour late after an air ambulance landed on the pitch to take a supporter to hospital. Joe Jacobson was missing from the Wycombe squad, but Marc Bola completed 90 minutes for Blackpool.

There was a familiar face behind the scenes at Bolton Wanderers where Rovers gained a point from a 1-1 draw. Ali Gibb is the physiotherapist for Bolton and I managed a very brief chat with him after the game.

Ali Gibb, now Physiotherapist at Bolton Wanderers. Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Ali Gibb, now Physiotherapist at Bolton Wanderers.  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
In spite of having a man sent off on the stroke of half time Bradford City still gained a point from a 1-1 home draw against Cheltenham Town in League Two. The Robins were without the services of Ryan Broom for this one.

Cambridge United slumped to a second successive 4-0 home defeat, this time against Salford City. Victor Adeboyejo and Daniel Jones started this one for the U’s and Reggie Lambe was sent on from the bench in the 78th minute.

Colchester United extended their unbeaten league run to 16 games with a 3-1 home win against league leaders Swindon Town. Harry Pell was in the Colchester side while Tom Broadbent was an unused Swindon substitute.

Matt Harrold was a 75th minute substitute for Leyton Orient, but they went down 2-1 at Crewe Alexandra.

Conrad Logan’s Forest Green Rovers career hasn’t exactly started with a bang. He was in goal as they suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Carlisle United. Adam Smith? Not even on the bench!

Northampton Town, with Joe Martin and Andy Williams in their starting XI and Chris Lines a 75th minute substitute, were 3-1 home winners against Scunthorpe United who had Kevin van Veen sent off after 36 minutes. Scunny also had Matt Lund in their side.

Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield Town side beaten 3-1 at Oldham Athletic while Stuart Sinclair was the only former Gas player in the Walsall side that lost 2-0 at home against Morecambe. He was sent on from the bench in the 55th minute.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side that beat promotion hopefuls Exeter City 3-1 at Vale Park. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter side that remained in second place, two points behind leaders Swindon.

At Home Park Plymouth Argyle and Stevenage played out a 2-2 draw. Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore were both in the Argyle side.

The National League Hampshire derby ended goalless so Eastleigh and Aldershot Town remain too close to the relegation zone (four and five points above it respectively). Joe Partington and Scott Rendell were in the Eastleigh side and Alefe Santos started for Aldershot.

Alex Wall started for Woking in their game at Ebbsfleet United but ended up on the losing side as Ebbsfleet were 2-1 winners.

Alex Wall, pictured in action for Woking. Photo courtesy of David Holmes
Alex Wall, pictured in action for Woking.  [Photo courtesy of David Holmes]
Nathan Blissett was an unused substitute for Solihull Moors who were held to a goalless home draw by league leaders Barrow.

In National League North Gloucester City suffered a 6-1 defeat at Alfreton Town. Bernard Mensah was named in the Gloucester starting XI.

Scott Davies and Louie Soares were both named on the Slough Town bench for their game at Hampton & Richmond Borough and saw their side win 2-1.

Deon Moore was named on the Hemel Hempstead Town bench for their home game against Weymouth, who ran out 1-0 winners thanks to an 87th minute goal. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie both started for Weymouth.

Bath City bowed out of the FA Trophy, losing their second round replay 2-1 against Concord Rangers at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt were both in their starting XI and it was Brunt who scored City’s goal, a 24th minute penalty.

Merthyr Town were in Southern League Premier South Division action and suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Hayes & Yeading United. Ben Swallow, Eliot Richards and Gavin Williams were all named on the Merthyr bench. Swallow and Richards were given game time in the second half.

Spare a thought for Yate Town, who travelled all the way down to Truro only for their game to be called off 15 minutes before kick off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Player/manager Jamie Cureton was in the Bishop’s Stortford side that lost 1-0 at Brightlingsea Regent in their Isthmian Premier League match.

In the same division Adam Cunnington opened the scoring for Hornchurch after only two minutes of their game at Folkestone Invicta. However, the hosts hit back to win 2-1. Chris Dickson made an appearance from the Hornchurch bench in the 64th minute.

Enfield Town, also of the Isthmian Premier league, recorded a 3-0 away win at Margate. Lyle Della-Verde scored their first goal, after 56 minutes.

Barry Hayles was an 83rd minute substitute for Merstham in their Velocity Trophy Round Two match at Maldon & Tiptree. After 90 minutes there were no goals and so the game went to a penalty shootout which Merstham lost 5-4.

Barry Hayles Merstham
The non league world has united following the death of Jordan Sinnott and clubs all over the world have donated shirts, with his name and age printed on the back. The shirts will eventually be donated to children abroad. Here former Rovers striker Barry Hayles, still turning out for Merstham, helps to display one of his club’s shirts that has been donated to the ‘Jordan Shirts’ campaign.

Dave Martin picked up the Man of the Match Award for his performance for Whitehawk, who beat Whyteleafe 1-0 in the Isthmian League South East Division. The crowd of 148 saw Whyteleafe end the game with eight men after they collected three second half red cards.

In the Northern Ireland Premiership Larne, with Jeff Hughes in their side, were 3-1 home winners against Linfield.

Dave Martin, a Man of the Match Award and a goal for Whitehawk. Photo courtesy of Andy Schofield
Dave Martin, a Man of the Match Award and a goal for Whitehawk.  [Photo courtesy of Andy Schofield]
WEDNESDAY 29TH JANUARY

Gillingham extended their unbeaten League One run to ten games with a 2-0 home win against Shrewsbury Town. Jack Bonham and John Akinde were both in the Gills starting lineup while Alex Jakubiak was an unused substitute. The injured Ollie Norburn was missing from the Shrewsbury squad.

Stefan Payne was a 78th minute substitute for Tranmere Rovers who were beaten 1-0 by Sunderland at Prenton Park, a result that saw Sunderland move up to fifth place and Tranmere remain in the bottom three.

Bitton were beaten 2-1 at Bradford Town in the Les Phillips Cup but I have no idea if Scott Brice or Matt Groves were in the Bitton side.

FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY

Less than a week after they met in the FA Cup Cardiff City and Reading played out a 1-1 draw in the Championship at the Cardiff City Stadium. On the respective benches were goalkeepers Neil Etheridge (Cardiff) and Sam Walker (Reading). They will meet up again next week in their FA Cup replay – wonder if one, or both, will get a game!

Kelle Roos was the third former Gas goalie to spend a Friday night on the bench and he was able to watch his Derby County side record a 4-0 home win against Stoke City.

SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY

Oli McBurnie started for Sheffield United in their Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. They won 1-0 and McBurnie was substituted in the 95th minute!

Moving on to the Championship and Tom Eaves was a 59th minute substitute for Hull City, beaten 5-1 at home by Brentford who had goalkeeper Luke Daniels on the bench.

Birmingham City, with Jake Clarke-Salter in their side, ended Nottingham Forest’s seven match unbeaten run with a 2-1 win at St Andrews.

Tom Lockyer picked up a yellow card in Charlton Athletic’s 2-1 win against Barnsley at the Valley to record only their second win in 18 league games.

Scott Sinclair, a former Swansea City player, scored his first Preston North End goal against his former club at Deepdale where Preston were held to a 1-1 draw by the Swans.

Goalkeeper Joe Lumley stayed on the Queens Park Rangers bench all afternoon and saw his side lose 1-0 against Bristol City.

Peterborough recorded a sensational 4-1 away win against Ipswich Town to move into third place in League One. Goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was again an unused Posh substitute.

Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK Dons who were 2-1 home winners against Wycombe Wanderers. In spite of that defeat, The Chairboys stayed in second place. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side who face the mighty Gas next Saturday!

Matty Taylor was an unused Oxford United substitute for their 2-1 win against Blackpool at the Kassam Stadium. Marc Bola was in the Blackpool side and collected a yellow card.

Lee Brown was back in the Portsmouth squad and was named on the bench for their game against Sunderland at Fratton Park, as was Ellis Harrison. Pompey ran out 2-0 winners and Brown stayed on the bench all afternoon, while Harrison was sent on at the start of the second half.

Portsmouth v Crawley Town EFL Cup 03/09/2019.
Ellis Harrison, a second half substitute for Portsmouth last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Ward, Portsmouth FC]
Tyler Smith was sent on from the Rochdale bench in the 67th minute of their game against Shrewsbury Town at Spotland and scored the only goal of the game (his first for the club) in the 88th minute. The injured Ollie McBurnie was again missing from the Shrewsbury squad.

League leaders Rotherham United were 3-2 home winners against Burton Albion who included John-Joe O’Toole in their starting XI.

Cian Bolger was another former Gas man to pick up a yellow card. He was in the Lincoln City side beaten 2-1 by Southend United at Roots Hall.

Managerless Cambridge United came from behind to beat Colchester United 2-1 in their League Two match at the Abbey Stadium. Victor Adeboyejo was in the Cambridge side, while Daniel Jones and Reggie Lambe were unused substitutes. Harry Pell was in the Colchester lineup.

Cambridge United v Morecambe, Sky Bet League Two, Football, Abbey Stadium, Cambridge, 29 Dec 2019
Daniel Jones, now with Cambridge United. 

Ryan Broom and Tom Nichols were both named on the Cheltenham Town bench for their game against Morecambe at Whaddon Road. Broom was sent on in the 51st minute of Cheltenham’s 2-1 win while Nichols made his Robins debut in the 66th minute. The three points saw Cheltenham move into the final play off place.

Tom Nichols, who made his Cheltenham Town debut last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman
Tom Nichols, who made his Cheltenham Town debut last Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman]
Ian Holloway’s Grimsby Town were held to a 2-2 draw at Blundell Park by Forest Green Rovers. Conrad Logan was in goal for Forest Green.

Northampton Town strengthened their hold on a play off place (they are now fifth) thanks to a 1-0 win at Macclesfield Town. Joe Martin and Chris Lines started for the Cobblers, while Andy Williams was sent on as an 83rd minute substitute.

Graham Coughlan’s Mansfield Town squandered a two goal lead in their home game against Carlisle United and had to settle for a point from a 2-2 draw. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield side.

Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore were in the Plymouth Argyle side that beat Newport County 1-0 at Home Park. It’s not a game that Sawyer will want to remember, though, as he was red carded with five minutes of the game remaining following a foul on Jordan Green.

Matt Harrold was an unused Leyton Orient substitute for their game at Stevenage and saw his side win 3-0 against the division’s bottom club.

In the top of the table clash at the County Ground, Swindon Town were 2-1 winners against Exeter City. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter starting lineup for this one.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall lost again at home, beaten 2-1 by Crewe Alexandra. Of the trio of former Gas players based at the Banks’s Stadium, only Stuart Sinclair was involved and he stayed on the bench all afternoon.

National League side Boreham Wood were 2-1 away winners at AFC Fylde and moved up to fifth place. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were named on the Boreham Wood bench and Shakes managed some game time as he was sent on in the 68th minute.

Alefe Santos was an unused substitute for Aldershot Town who gained a valuable point from a 1-1 home draw against Harrogate.

Eastleigh were 2-0 home winners against Woking and Joe Partington completed 90 minutes for them while Scott Rendell was sent on as a 77th minute of the match. Alex Wall was a 58th minute substitute for Woking.

Solihull Moors, who lost manager Tim Flowers in the week, were beaten 2-0 at home by Maidenhead United. It was the fifth consecutive game in which they have failed to score; perhaps they should play Nathan Blissett, an unused substitute for this one!

Marc Richards scored an equaliser for Yeovil Town in the 88th minute of their home game against Chorley which ended 1-1.

Gloucester City lost again in National League One, beaten 2-1 at home by Spennymoor Town. Bernard Mensah was in the Gloucester side for this one.

Andy Bond managed five minutes for York City, being sent on from the bench in the 85th minute of their 4-0 win against Chester at Bootham Crescent.

In National League South Weymouth are still in third place following their 1-1 draw at Braintree Town. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the Weymouth side.

Chippenham Town appear to be struggling big time and they slipped to a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Dartford. Will Puddy, George Rigg, Luke Russe and Chris Zebroski all started for Chippenham.

After successive defeats, in the league and the FA Trophy, Bath City collected a valuable point from a goalless draw at Dorking Wanderers. The point keeps them in fifth place and I’m sure that goalkeeper Ryan Clarke will have been pleased with the clean sheet! Ryan Brunt was also in the Bath lineup.

Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich Hamlet side that won 5-3, at home, against Chelmsford City. It might have been six had Monakana’s 11th minute penalty not hit the post. There was a crowd of 2,628 watching this game.

Hemel Hempstead Town, with Deon Moore in their lineup, picked up an away point thanks to a 1-1 draw at Eastbourne Borough.

Second placed Slough Town dropped valuable points at home, beaten 1-0 by Oxford City. Scott Davies was a 68th minute substitute for Slough, while Louie Soares remained on their bench all afternoon.

Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side that picked up three valuable away points thanks to a 2-1 win at St Albans City.

There was a rare defeat for Basford United of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. With Kieran Preston in goal they lost 1-0 at Gainsborough Trinity.

In the North West Division Clitheroe, with Craig Stanley skippering the side, lost 2-1 at home against Pontefract Collieries.

Andy Monkhouse made his home debut for Tadcaster Albion in the same league, but his side had to be content with a point from a goalless draw against City of Liverpool.

In the Southern League Premier South Division Harry Warwick was named on the Dorchester Town bench for their visit to Hartley Wintney. His side, though, were beaten 2-0and remain anchored at the foot of the table.

Sam Kamara was missing from the Yate Town side that lost 2-1 at Hendon, a result that keeps them just one place above the bottom three.

Merthyr Town missed a last minute penalty and slipped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Metropolitan Police. Eliot Richards was in the Merthyr starting XI while Ben Swallow and Gavin Williams were named on the bench. Swallow was sent on with an hour gone and Williams replaced Richards on 73 minutes.

Martin Horsell was in goal for Swindon Supermarine, while Alex Henshall was named on the bench for their trip to face Poole Town. Supermarine lost 2-0 but remain in the play off places in fourth position.

Taunton Town were 3-2 home winners against Harrow Borough and are in fifth place in the league standings. Ross Staley was named on the bench for this game and was sent on in the 65th minute.

Rene Howe made his Farnborough debut but was on the losing side as they were beaten 2-1 at Treyew Road, the home of league leaders Truro City.

Bedford Town’s poor run continued with a 4-1 defeat at Aylesbury United. Once again Tom Hitchcock was in the Bedford side and once again, he failed to find the back of the net.

Moving on to Division One South and although he resigned on the morning of the game, Mangotsfield United boss Ollie Price was in the dugout for the final time as they took on Evesham United at Cossham Street. Luc Noble was in the side beaten 5-3 and a former Rovers scholar, Toby Rennie, was named on the bench. Ryan Paddock, another former Rovers trainee/scholar, was in the Evesham side.

Nuno Felix and Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis were both in the Paulton Rovers side that slipped to a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Cirencester Town, a result that leaves them one place and four points away from the final play off place.

Bristol Manor Farm pulled off a shock 2-1 away win against league leaders Thatcham Town. Goalkeeper Ben John was credited with their second goal, in the 91st minute, and then he was beaten by a penalty moments afterwards! Steve Kingdon and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist were in the Manor Farm side, while Ollie Mehew was named on the bench.

Third placed Larkhall Athletic were beaten 1-0 at Willand Rovers. Jack Camm, Dale Evans and Lewis Powell all started for the Larks, while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were named on the bench.

Jamie Cureton named himself in the Bishop’s Stortford side for their home tie against bottom club Wingate & Finchley. However, the visitors were 1-0 winners thanks to an injury time goal.

Chris Dickson and Adam Cunnington both scored for Hornchurch in their 4-0 home win against Enfield Town. Lyle Della-Verde was in the Enfield side.

Adam Cunnington who recently scored his first goals for Hornchurch. NO CREDIT ON THIS ONE
Adam Cunnington who recently scored his first goals for Hornchurch.

Barry Hayles was named on the Merstham bench for their home game against Margate but he appears to have stayed there all afternoon, watching his side win 1-0.

In the South East Division Dave Martin scored for Whitehawk in the 85th minute of their 2-0 win at Phoenix Sports, a result that keeps them in third place.

Sam Oji was missing from Midland League Premier Division side Highgate United, who were beaten 3-1 by South Normanton Athletic, and Craig Disley was absent from the Northern Counties League Premier Division side Barton Town, 1-0 away winners at Albion Sports.

In the Northern league Division One Johnny Burn was in the Whickham side that played out a goalless home draw against West Auckland Town.

Matt Groves scored one and Scott Brice two as Bitton were 6-1 away winners at Buckland in the Western League Premier Division.

Cribbs were beaten 1-0 by Keynsham Town and Odd Down lost 2-0 to Hallen. I was unable to track down a Cribbs lineup, but Lewis Ellington was missing from the Odd Down side.

In the Scottish Premiership, Alex ubiak made his debut for St Mirren when going on as a 64th minute substitute in their 2-2 draw at Hibernian. It’s his second spell playing in Scotland; he had been on loan at Falkirk before joining Rovers in the summer of 2018.

Alex jakubiak, who joined St Mirren on transfer deadline day. NO CREDIT ON THIS ONE
Alex Jakubiak, who joined St Mirren on transfer deadline day. 

Jordan Tillson started for Ross County but was substituted in the 73rd minute of their 3-1 defeat at Kilmarnock.

Peter Hartley was also on the losing side as he and his Motherwell teammates were beaten 1-0 at Livingston.

Michael Smith was missing from the Heart of Midlothian side that drew 3-3 at St Johnstone, the point gained being enough to lift them off the bottom of the table.

Darryl Duffy was in the Stirling Albion side that collected a win away from home. They were 1-0 winners at Edinburgh City in Scottish League Two.

Connah’s Quay Nomads were winners of the Welsh Cup Final as they beat STM Sports 3-0. Kris Owens was in their side and so has a winners’ medal to his name in the Nathaniel MG Cup to give it the full title!

In the Peaky Blinders Irish Cup (I kid you not!) Larne, with Jeff Hughes in their side, were 1-0 winners at Ballyclare Comrades.

Seanan Clucas was again missing from the Dungannon Swifts side that also made it through to the next round, thanks to a 4-2 home win against Newry City.


Chapter 26 – Week commencing 19th January 2020

TUESDAY 21ST JANUARY

In the Premier League Oli McBurnie completed 90 minutes, and collected a yellow card, for Sheffield United who were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City at Maine Road.

Preston North End moved into the final play off place in the Championship following their 3-0 win at Barnsley. Scott Sinclair started this one for Preston, though Billy Bodin was again missing from their squad.

Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Birmingham City side that took a point from a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

In League One Peterborough United ended their seven game winless run with a 4-0 home win against Wycombe Wanderers who had Giles Phillips sent off after only 21 minutes. Joe Jacobson started for Wycombe but didn’t play in the second half, having been substituted at the break.

League two sides Colchester United and Bradford City played out a 1-1 draw at the Jobserve Community Stadium (Colchester’s ground!). Harry Pell was in the Colchester side and was one of four of their players to be yellow carded.

Pre-Season Friendly - Colchester United vs. Charlton Athletic
Harry Pell, a regular in the Colchester United side. [Photo courtesy of Colchester United]
Leyton Orient and Northampton Town also drew 1-1, at Brisbane Road. Matt Harrold started this game for Orient, while Chris Lines was in Northampton’s starting XI. Andy Williams was sent on as a 75th minute substitute for the Cobblers while Joe Martin watched the action unfold from the bench. Both sides ended the game with ten men after Orient’s equaliser, a late penalty, sparked a mass brawl!

Exeter City, with Tom Parkes in their side, were 3-0 home winners against Stevenage in their Leasing.Com Trophy quarter final tie.

Holders Portsmouth also won through to the semi final thanks to a 2-1 home win against Scunthorpe United. The injured duo of Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison were missing from the Pompey squad, but Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe lineup.

There was one game played in National League South and Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich Hamlet side beaten 3-1 at home by Havant & Waterlooville.

Two of the three scheduled FA Trophy replays, including Bath City against Farsley Celtic, were postponed and in the one that did take place Maidenhead United suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Halesowen Town. Bernard Mensah was again named on the Maidenhead bench.

The Northern Premier League North West Division game between Pontefract Collieries and Clitheroe was abandoned due to floodlight failure in the 87th minute with Pontefract leading 2-1. Craig Stanley skippered the Clitheroe side for this one.

In the Southern League Premier South fixture between Swindon Supermarine and Dorchester Town, Supermarine ran out 1-0 winners. Martin Horsell was in goal for the home side while Harry Warwick started for Dorchester.

Yate Town recorded a 4-1 home win against league leaders Chesham United at Lodge Road to haul themselves clear of the relegation zone. Sam Kamara was in the Yate side.

In Division One Bristol Manor farm were well beaten, 5-1, at Cinderford Town. Steve Kingdon and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist both started for Manor Farm, while Ollie Mehew was named on the bench.

Holders Enfield Town were knocked out of the Isthmian League Velocity Trophy, beaten 2-1 at home by Brightlingsea Regent. Afraid I couldn’t find the lineup anywhere, so I have no idea if Lyle Della-Verde was involved for Enfield.

Dave Martin skippered the Whitehawk side for their Isthmian League South East Division game at Sittingbourne and they picked up a point from a 1-1 draw.

Weymouth were in action in the Dorset Senior Cup semi final, against Verwood Town. Josh Wakefield scored their second goal in a 5-0 win and he and his side will now face Dorchester Town in the final. Abdulai Baggie was missing from the Weymouth lineup for this one.

WEDNESDAY 22ND JANUARY

Charlton Athletic played out a goalless draw against Fulham in their Championship clash at The Valley, which means they have won just once in their last 17 games. Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton side for this one.

Reading and Nottingham Forest also shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the City Ground. Sam Walker took up his usual place on the Reading bench.

Larkhall Athletic were in Southern league Division One action and were 2-0 winners against Moneyfields. Jack Camm, Lewis Powell and Dale Evans all started for the Larks, while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were named on the bench.

In the Scottish Premiership Peter Hartley was in the Motherwell side that recorded a 1-0 win at Aberdeen and they stayed in third place four points ahead of the side they beat.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster was also on the winning side as Celtic were 3-1 winners at Kilmarnock who have lost their last six league games.

Jordan Tillson made his Scottish Premiership League debut for Ross County, who played out a goalless home draw against Heart of Midlothian. Missing from the Hearts lineup was Michael Smith, who was injured last weekend.

Jordn Tillson, who has recently signed for Ross County. NO CREDIT ON THIS ONE
Jordan Tillson, who has recently signed for Ross County

THURSDAY 23RD JANUARY

Tranmere Rovers were 2-1 home winners against Premiership side Watford in their Third Round FA Cup replay. The game went to extra time following a 1-1 draw and Stefan Payne was introduced off the bench in the 117th minute. Tranmere now host Manchester United in Round Four, at Prenton Park this coming Sunday and United probably won’t enjoy playing on a pitch described as ‘having more sand than grass on it’.

FRIDAY 24TH JANUARY

There were former Rovers players involved in both Fourth Round FA Cup ties played on this Friday evening.

At Sixfields Northampton Town and Derby County played put a goalless draw and so will have to replay at Pride Park. Chris Lines and Andy Williams were in the Northampton starting XI and Joe Martin was an unused substitute while Kelle Roos was in goal for Derby.

Joe Lumley, though, was on the losing side as Queens Park Rangers slipped to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Championship rivals Sheffield Wednesday at Loftus Road.

SATURDAY 25TH JANUARY

There were another ten FA Cup Fourth Round ties played and it meant a rare outing for Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels. The former Gas goalie was between the posts for their last ever FA Cup tie at Griffin Park which ended in a 1-0 defeat against Leicester City.

The landlords v tenants match at St Andrews, between Coventry City and Birmingham City, ended goalless, so the sides will have to do it all over again in ten days’ time. Jake Clarke- Salter was in the Birmingham side for this one.

Oli McBurnie was an unused substitute for Sheffield United, 2-0 winners against Millwall at The Den, described in many quarters as a ‘drab’ game.

Portsmouth were winners against Championship opponents, beating Barnsley 4-2 at Fratton Park. Lee Brown is still missing from their squad, through injury, but Ellis Harrison was sent on from the bench …in the 92nd minute.

Reading and Cardiff will have to play again to determine which one of them goes through to round five following their 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium. At least the game gave goalkeeper Sam Walker the opportunity to make a rare first team appearance, though Cardiff’s former Gas goalie Neil Etheridge was an unused substitute.

Tom Eaves was in the Hull City starting XI for their home tie against Chelsea who were 2-1 winners in front of a crowd of 24,109.

There was one game played in the Championship and Stoke City ran out 2-0 home winners against Swansea City. Connor Roberts started this one for the Swans.

In League Two John-Joe O’Toole was in the Burton Albion side held to a 1-1 draw by Accrington Stanley at the Pirelli Stadium, though they remain only two points off a play off place.

Lincoln City, with Cian Bolger in their side, were beaten 1-0 by Ipswich Town at Portman Road, a result that saw the home side move back to the top of the table.

Tyler Smith made his Rochdale debut in a 2-2 draw against Gillingham at Spotland. The Gills had three former Gas players in their squad. Jack Bonham was in goal, midweek signing John Akinde was in the starting lineup for his debut and Alex Jakubiak was sent on in the 87th minute.

Tyler Smith, who made his debut for Rochdale last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman
Tyler Smith, who made his debut for Rochdale last Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman]
Peterborough United, with Aaron Chapman back in their squad following his loan spell at Tranmere, were 2-1 home winners against Rotherham United. Chapman was an unused substitute.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall side suffered a 2-1 defeat against Carlisle United at Brunton Park, a result that leaves them down in 13th place. Of the trio of former Gas players at the Banks’s Stadium, James Clarke started, and Stuart Sinclair was an unused substitute.

Exeter City, unbeaten in the league since 2nd November, and Colchester United who were on an unbeaten run of 14 games, extended those records when they played out a goalless draw at St James’ Park. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter lineup, while Harry Pell was in the Colchester side.

Matt Harrold was a 93rd minute substitute for Leyton Orient, 2-1 home winners against Newport County, thus ending a six game winless run.

Leyton Orient v Forest Green Rovers 23rd Nov 2019
Matt Harrold, still a regular in the Leyton Orient squad. [Photo courtesy of Simon O’Connor, Leyton orient Official Club Photographer]
Matt Harrold, still a regular in the Leyton Orient squad. Photo courtesy of Simon O’Connor, Leyton orient Official Club Photographer

Macclesfield Town were also 2-1 home winners, against Forest Green Rovers. The Gloucestershire side had two former Gas goalies in their squad and one of them, Conrad Logan, made his Rovers debut while the other, Adam Smith, was an unused substitute.

Graham Coughlan’s Mansfield Town side recorded only their third home win in the league with a 3-0 victory against Bradford City. Ryan Sweeney completed 90 minutes for The Stags.

Victor Adeboyejo made his Cambridge United debut in their 1-1 draw against Morecambe at the Globe Arena. Daniel Jones was sent on in the 91st minute for the U’s and Reggie Lambe stayed on the bench all afternoon.

Victor Adeboyejo who made his Cambridge United debut last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman
Victor Adeboyejo who made his Cambridge United debut last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman]
Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe United side that took a point from a 1-1 draw against Crewe Alexandra at Glanford Park. He did collect another yellow card, though.

A 2-1 win at Stevenage saw Plymouth Argyle saw them move into third place. Byron Moore opened the scoring for Argyle, on 47 minutes, and Gary Sawyer was also in the side.

League leaders Swindon Town were 3-0 home winners against Port Vale. Tom Broadbent was a 74th minute substitute for the Wiltshire side, while Cristian Montano was in the Vale lineup.

Moving on to the National League and fifth placed Boreham Wood were held to a 1-1 home draw by league leaders Barrow. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were both unused Boreham Wood substitutes.

 

Marc Richards, who recently joined Yeovil Town, pictured here in action for Rovers in a pre-season friendly against bath City in 2005. Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman
Marc Richards, who recently joined Yeovil Town, pictured here in action for Rovers in a pre-season friendly against Bath City in 2005. [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe was missing from the Notts County side through injury and his side were beaten 2-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge though they remain in the final play off place.

Alefe Santos was a 79th minute substitute for Aldershot Town who were beaten 2-0 at Dover Athletic and they continue to look over their shoulders as they are just four points above the final relegation place.

Eastleigh are a point worse off than Hampshire rivals Aldershot and they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Maidenhead United. Joe Partington was in the Eastleigh side while Scott Rendell was an unused substitute.

Woking were 1-0 home winners against third placed Yeovil Town. Alex Wall was a 69th minute substitute for the home side and Marc Richards a 59th minute substitute for the Glovers.

 

Bernard Mensah made his National League North debut for Gloucester City, but finished on the losing side as they suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Southport.

Bristol Rovers v Charlton Athletic 070418
Bernard Mensah, who has joined Gloucester City on a permanent basis. [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
Hereford are looking for another permanent manager following the midweek departure of Russell Slade, but they managed a 1-1 draw against Curzon Ashton at Edgar Street. Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford lineup. The Bulls have a caretaker manager, Josh Gowling, in charge until the end of the season.

Once again Andy Bond was an unused substitute for York City who beat Kettering Town 1-0 at Bootham Crescent.

Biggest surprise in National League South was the 7-0 thrashing of second placed Bath City by league leaders Wealdstone. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt were in the Bath side whose manager, Jerry Gill, said; ‘That looked like first in the league against a side about to be relegated. At the moment I feel physically sick. I’m really upset with that performance.’

Jerry Gill - the Bath City manager wasn’t best pleased by his team’s defeat last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Simon Howe, official Bath City photographer
Jerry Gill – the Bath City manager wasn’t best pleased by his team’s defeat last Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Simon Howe, official Bath City photographer]
Louie Soares has returned to Slough Town and was an unused substitute in their 1-0 away win at Braintree Town, as was Scott Davies.

Will Puddy and Luke Russe both started for Chippenham Town who played out a goalless draw at home against Havant & Waterlooville and they remain in the bottom two, with just Hungerford Town below them.

Dulwich Hamlet, with Jeffrey Monakana in their side, were beaten 1-0 at Dartford, a result that leaves them in 16th place.

Jefferson Louis returned to one of his many former clubs and ended up on the losing side. His St Albans City side lost 2-1 at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

Deon Moore was named on the Hemel Hempstead Town bench for their home game against Welling United and did get on in the second half of their 2-0 defeat. Bradley Goldberg was an unused Welling substitute.

Abdulai Baggie scored a 95th minute winner to enable Weymouth to register a 2-1 home win against Dorking Wanderers. Josh Wakefield was also in the Weymouth side for this one.

There was another clean sheet for Kieran Preston who was between the posts for Basford United in their Northern Premier League Premier Division home game against Morpeth Town. They won 1-0 and are now in second place, three points behind leaders South Shields.

There was no sign of Adam Dawson in the Radcliffe side beaten 2-1 at Bamber Bridge, in the same division.

In the North West Division Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side that took a point from a goalless draw at Dunston and they remain three points away from a play off place.

Following his move from Ossett United, Andy Monkhouse made his debut for Tadcaster Albion in their 2-2 away draw at Kendal Town. His new side are in sixth place, on the same number of points as the side occupying the final play off place.

Recently returned from Australia, Ross Staley has rejoined Southern League Premier South Division side Taunton Town and was named on their bench for the trip to face Chesham United. He was sent on in the 82nd minute of their 1-1 draw, a result that keeps them in the final play off place.

Ross Staley, who has returned to these shores after two years in Australia and signed on again for Taunton town. He made his second debut for them last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Jeff Davies.
Ross Staley, who has returned to these shores after two years in Australia and signed on again for Taunton town. He made his second debut for them last Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Jeff Davies.]
Just behind them are Salisbury, who were 5-0 winners at bottom club Dorchester Town. There was no sign of any former Gas players in the Salisbury side, but Harry Warwick was a 76th minute substitute for Dorchester.

Ben Swallow was named on the Merthyr Town bench for their trip to face Gosport Borough and they returned home with a point from a 2-2 draw.

Swindon Supermarine’s unbeaten run, which went back to 29th October, came to an end as they were beaten 3-1 at home by league leaders Truro City. Martin Horsell was in goal for the Wiltshire side while Alex Henshall was named on the bench.

Pierce Mitchell was in the Tiverton Town side that drew 2-2 at home against Walton Casuals. There was no Rene Howe in the Casuals lineup.

Yate Town took a point from a 1-1 draw against Poole Town at Lodge Road and that keeps them out of the relegation places on goal difference. Sam Kamara was in the Yate side.

In Division One Central Bedford Town’s slide down the table continued. With Tom Hitchcock in the side they were beaten 5-4 at home by North Leigh and Tom didn’t get on the scoresheet.

The pace is hotting up at the top of Division One South and Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic moved into third place following their 1-0 home win against Mangotsfield United. Jack Camm, Dale Evans and Lewis Powell started for The Larks, while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were on the bench. Powell, of course, scored one of their goals! Luc Noble was in the Mangotsfield lineup.

Bristol Manor Farm were beaten 1-0 at AFC Totton and those early season FA Cup ties are but a distant memory as defeat left them in 14th place. Steve Kingdon and Ollie Mehew were in the Manor Farm side while Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist was named on the bench.

Paulton Rovers signed Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis in the week leading up to their away fixture against Moneyfields. They were also hoping to have Nuno Felix back in their side. They drew 1-1 and are in sixth place in the league. Unfortunately, I was unable to find their lineup for the game so couldn’t say if Charlie or Nuno managed any game time.

Moving on to the Isthmian League Premier Division and there are no prizes for guessing which former Rovers striker scored a hat trick at the weekend. Player/manager Jamie Cureton performed that feat for Bishop’s Stortford but still his side didn’t win. They were held to a 3-3 draw at Horsham. Two of Jamie’s goals came from the penalty spot – wonder how many spot kicks he’s scored in his career?

Merstham picked up a useful point from a goalless away draw at Leatherhead and Barry Hayles was named on their bench though it isn’t clear if he managed any game time.

Chris Dickson was in the Hornchuch side that took all three points from a 1-0 away win at Bowers & Pitsea though there was no sign of Adam Cunnington in their squad for this one.

Enfield Town, with Lyle Della-Verde in their side, suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Cray Wanderers who scored the winning goal in the final minute of the game.

In the South East Division Dave Martin was named on the bench for Whitehawk who were held to a 2-2 draw, at home, by Faversham Town. Martin was sent on in the 66th minute.

Johnny Burn – remember him? Well, he’s now playing for Whickham who are bottom of the Northern League Division One. They didn’t lose this week, though, as they didn’t have a game!

Sam Oji was in the Highgate United side whose unbeaten nine match run came to an end as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Boldmere St Michaels.

Injury kept Craig Disley out of the Barton Town lineup for their Northern Counties League home game against Goole but they managed to win 2-1 without him!

Closer to home, in the Western League Premier Division, Cribbs lost 3-0 at Tavistock, Bitton were 2-1 home winners against Westbury United and Odd Down lost 4-3 at Bridport.

I haven’t been able to find the Cribbs lineup, so no idea if any former Gas players were involved. As for Bitton, I don’t know if Matt Groves was playing but I do know that former Rovers trainee Scott Brice scored one of their two goals. I can also tell you that Lewis Ellington scored for Odd Down. Having signed dual registration forms which enable him to play for the Western League side and for Frome Town, the former Rovers scholar has spent a lot of time in the treatment room in the last couple of years but, hopefully, has now fully recovered. Thanks to his Dad, Gavin, for that information!

In the Scottish Premiership there was another clean sheet for Fraser Forster and probably quite a culture shock for Jordan Tillson. Celtic, with Forster in goal, were 3-0 home winners against Ross County who had Tillson in their side. The attendance of 58,785 was a lot bigger than Jordan experienced at St James’ Park for Exeter City or at Whaddon Road for Cheltenham Town!

Peter Hartley was in the Motherwell side that also kept a clean sheet. Mind you, they couldn’t score either and had to be content with a point from a home goalless draw against Hibernian.

Darryl Duffy started for Stirling Albion who were beaten at home, 2-1 against Elgin City, so he’s still waiting to score his 200th career goal.

Lochee United were without the services of Garry Kenneth, but still managed an away win, 2-0 at Kirriemuir Castle.

In the Welsh Cup Connor’s Quay Nomads scraped through to the quarter finals with an 8-0 win against Afan Lido! Kris Owens was in their side but didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet.

Larne, of the Northern Ireland Premiership, registered a 2-1 home win against Glentoran and, once again, Jeff Hughes was in their side.

Seanan Clucas was again missing from the Dungannon Swifts side that recorded a 2-0 home win against Institute.

Finally this week, news of Kenan Dunnwald, who played the first 63 minutes of Bonn’s 2-2 Regionaliga home match with Fortuna Dusseldorf U-23’s this weekend, before being substituted.


Chapter 25 – Week commencing 12th January 2020

SUNDAY 12TH JANUARY

There was the small matter of a Welsh derby between Cardiff City and Swansea City at the Cardiff City Stadium and it turned out to be a goalless affair. Neil Etheridge was an unused Cardiff substitute, while Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side.

TUESDAY 14TH JANUARY

It was FA Cup replay night and Rovers went out of the competition at the third round stage, losing 3-0 against Coventry at St Andrews. The last time we were knocked out at the same stage of the competition was also at that venue, when Birmingham City were 3-0 winners. I feel a quiz question coming on!

Goalkeeper Sam Walker kept a clean sheet for Reading on one of his rare first team appearances. They beat Blackpool 2-0 at Bloomfield Road. Marc Bola, who has returned to Blackpool, on loan from Middlesbrough, was ineligible for this one.

Ollie Norburn skippered Shrewsbury Town to a 1-0 home win against Bristol City and they will now host Liverpool in the fourth round.

There were three League One games also taking place on this particular night. Burton Albion, with John-Joe O’Toole in their side, moved into a play off place following their 1-0 home win against MK Dons. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK.

Lincoln City scored three goals in the final five minutes to record a 5-1 home win against Bolton Wanderers. John Akinde scored two of those late goals, after going on as a 60th minute substitute. Cian Bolger completed 90 minutes for the home side who moved up to 15th place.

Oxford United, with Matty Taylor in their starting XI, were held to a goalless draw by Ipswich Town at the Kassam Stadium, a result that left Ipswich in third place and Oxford in fifth.

Cristian Montano was on the losing side in League Two as he and his Port Vale teammates were beaten 2-1 at Morecambe.

There was a host of non league games postponed due to waterlogged pitches, including all four FA Trophy second round replays.

One game that did go ahead was the National League South tie between John Still’s Maidstone United and Hemel Hempstead Town. The result was a 1-1 draw and Deon Moore, who was named on the Hemel bench, made an 83rd minute substitute appearance. Alex Wall, who left Hemel by mutual consent last week, signed for National League side Woking.

In the second round of the Northern Premier League Integro League Cup Basford United, with Kieran Preston in goal, suffered a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Matlock Town.

WEDNESDAY 15TH JANUARY

In the Isthmian League Premier Division Hornchuch gained a point from a 1-1 draw at Cray Wanderers. Chris Dickson was in the away side line-up and Adam Cunnington made his Hornchurch debut.

Bristol Rovers v FC Halifax 300814
Adam Cunnington, who recently signed for Hornchurch. [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
SATURDAY 18TH JANUARY

Oli McBurnie completed 90 minutes for Sheffield United in their Premier league match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. He didn’t get on the scoresheet but helped his side to a point as they drew 1-1 with the Gunners.

In the Championship Joe Lumley, somewhat surprisingly, was missing from the Queens Park Rangers squad for their home game against Leeds United. They managed a 1-0 win without him.

At St Andrews Birmingham City played out a 1-1 draw against Cardiff City. Jake Clarke-Salter was in the Birmingham side, while goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was an unused Cardiff substitute.

Kelle Roos kept the Derby County bench warm al afternoon and watched his side beat Hull City 1-0. Tom Eaves also watched the game, from the Hull bench.

Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels was another unused substitute and saw his side miss an opportunity to move up to third as they played out a goalless draw against Huddersfield Town.

The list of former Gas players sat on benches continued at The Den where Reading’s Sam Walker saw his side lose 2-0 against Millwall.

Preston North End were 2-1 home winners against Charlton Athletic. Scott Sinclair was in the Preston side, though Billy Bodin was missing – possibly on paternity leave as he became a Dad in the week leading up to the game, or injured? Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton side who, after a promising start to the season, are now down in 19th place, five points above the final relegation place.

Swansea City, with Connor Roberts in their side, moved back into the play off places as they beat relegation candidates Wigan Athletic 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

In League One Ellis Harrison again started for Portsmouth who were 1-0 winners at Bolton Wanderers, a result that saw them move up to seventh place.

Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury Town side that picked up a point from a 2-2 draw at Fleetwood Town and he picked up another yellow card to add to his growing collection!

Gillingham and Oxford United played out a 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills and Alex Jakubiak was sent on from their bench in the 80th minute, but Matty Taylor was missing from the Oxford squad.

Marc Bola’s second debut for Blackpool ended in defeat. The former Rovers defender, back at Bloomfield Road, on loan from Middlesbrough, was in the side that lost 1-0 against Lincoln City at Sincil Bank. Cian Bolger was in the Lincoln side but there was no sign of John Akinde, on the pitch or on the bench.

Sunderland’s 1-0 win at MK Dons saw them move into the final play off place. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK but, once again, Hiram Boateng was missing from their squad.

Ipswich Town recorded their first away win in the league for more than two months as they beat Tranmere Rovers 2-1 at Prenton Park. Stefan Payne was an unused Tranmere substitute.

Joe Jacobson’s 94th minute penalty gave Wycombe Wanderers their first win in six games and saw them beat Rochdale 2-1 at Adams Park. Tyler Smith, who moved to Rochdale, on loan, in midweek following his loan in BS7 wasn’t in the Rochdale squad.

Scunthorpe United, with Matt Lund in their side, picked up a valuable League Two point from a 2-2 draw against Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Cambridge United suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Stevenage, who had been bottom of the table going into this game. Daniel Jones was in the Cambridge side while Reggie Lambe was an unused substitute.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side that collected three points from a 2-1 home win against Macclesfield Town, a result that saw them move up to eighth.

Adam Smith was again in goal for Forest Green Rovers who suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Salford City and dropped down to ninth in the league placings. Salford finished the game with nine men as two of their players were sent off.

Tom Parkes was in the Exeter City side that recorded a 1-0 win against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park, a result that kept them in second place.

League leaders Swindon Town suffered a 2-0 defeat against Newport County at Rodney Parade. Tom Broadbent was in the Swindon side but, once again, there was no sign of Daniel Leadbitter in the Newport squad. He appears to have slipped off the radar or has joined another club without me finding out!

Northampton Town were 4-1 home winners against Morecambe at Sixfields, a result that moved them up to sixth and saw Morecambe drop to the bottom of the pile. Andy Williams and Chris Lines started for the Cobblers while Joe Martin was a 77th minute substitute for Keith Curle’s side. Lines also got on the scoresheet, adding Northampton’s fourth goal in the 75th minute.

Northampton Town v Peterborough United - Leasing.com Trophy
Chris Lines, who scored for Northampton Town FC last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Pete Norton, Northampton Town Official Photographer]
Cristian Montano was on the winning side as Port Vale overcame Leyton Orient 1-0 at Vale Park. Matt Harrold was a 79th minute substitute for the O’s.

The only former Gas player in Darrell Clarke’s Walsall side was James Clarke and he skippered the Saddlers to a 2-1 win against Crawley Town at the Banks’s Stadium.

Mansfield manager Graham Coughlan returned to one of his former clubs, Plymouth Argyle, and saw his side beaten 3-1. Argyle made it six wins from their last seven games to maintain their promotion push (they moved up to fourth following this win). Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore were in the Plymouth side while Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield lineup.

Graham Coughlan, whose Mansfield Town side were beaten by one of his former clubs, Plymouth Argyle, last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman
Graham Coughlan, whose Mansfield Town side were beaten by one of his former clubs, Plymouth Argyle, last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Keith Brookman]
In the National League Eastleigh, with Joe Partington in their side and Scott Rendell an 81st minute substitute, were beaten 2-0 at home by Chesterfield.

Bernard Mensah was an 80th minute substitute for Maidenhead United, who suffered a 5-2 defeat at FC Halifax Town and they now find themselves just two points above the relegation places.

Sam Slocombe kept another clean sheet for Notts County, who played out a goalless draw against Dover Athletic at Meadow Lane, a result that kept them in the play off places.

Nathan Blissett was an unused substitute for Solihull Moors whose 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Boreham Wood saw them drop down to ninth. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were both unused Substitutes for the winners.

Alex Wall made his Woking debut when being sent on in the 55th minute of their game at Wrexham. By then his side were two goals down and they conceded again in the 78th minute as the Welsh side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

Yeovil Town drew 2-2 at home against Hartlepool United and Marc Richards made his debut for the Glovers. He never appeared in a league game for Rovers but was one of a number of players on trial in BS7 when Ian Atkins was manager. Luke James was missing from the Hartlepool squad.

Alefe Santos was sent on from the Aldershot Town bench in the 66th minute. They picked up a point from a 3-3 home draw against bottom club Chorley who equalised with a 92nd minute penalty.

Alefe Santos who came off the bench for Aldershot Town last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Ian Morseman, Aldershot Town
Alefe Santos who came off the bench for Aldershot Town last Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Ian Morseman, Aldershot Town]
There was just one former Gas player involved in National League North action and that was Andy Bond, who was an unused substitute for York City in their top of the table clash at Kings Lynn Town. In front of a crowd of 4,019, Kings Lynn moved four points clear at the summit as they beat the Minstermen 1-0.

Hereford’s game at Kettering Town was postponed, so there was no game for Danny Greenslade, and Cameron Ebbutt was missing from the Gloucester City squad as they went down 2-1 at Guiseley.

Bath City stayed in second place in National League South thanks to a 2-0 home win against Hemel Hempstead Town. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt completed 90 minutes for Jerry Gill’s side while Deon Moore went on at the start of the second half for Hemel.

Weymouth are fifth in the table following their 2-1 win at Concord Rangers. Abduali Baggie and Josh Wakefield were both in the Weymouth side and Baggie scored for them on 40 minutes.

Chippenham Town picked up a point from a 1-1 draw at Dulwich Hamlet, though given their league position (bottom but one) they could have done with all three. Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski all started for Chippenham as did Luke Russe, making his debut after his loan move from the Gas. Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich side.

Fleetwood Town v Bristol Rovers 020418
Luke Russe, now on loan at Chippenham Town and made his debut for them last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of JMP UK]
Slough Town stayed in third place following their 1-0 home win against Dartford. Scott Davies was an unused Slough substitute for this one.

Welling United moved out of the bottom two thanks to a 3-2 home win against bottom of the table Hungerford Town. Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling side.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division Basford United, with Kieran Preston in goal, were 3-2 away winners at Stalybridge Celtic. They are third in the league, with the same number of points as second placed Lancaster City and six points adrift of leaders South Shields.

Kieran Preston, whose Basford United side are up to third in the Northern Premier League Premier Division. Photo courtesy of Craig Lamont Photography
Kieran Preston, whose Basford United side are up to third in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.  [Photo courtesy of Craig Lamont Photography]
The only other Gas representative in this division, Adam Dawson, was missing from the Radcliffe FC side. They suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Gainsborough Trinity.

In the North West Division Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side held to a 2-2 home draw by Pickering Town and they now find themselves in seventh place, three points away from a play off place.

In the same Division there was no sign of Andy Monkhouse in the Ossett United squad. They were 4-2 home winners against Widnes.

Next it’s on to the Southern League Premier South Division and Harry Warwick’s Dorchester Town debut ended in a 5-0 defeat at Hayes & Yeading United. Dorchester find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, seven points from safety.

Merthyr Town were 2-0 home winners against Farnborough and they named Ben Swallow and Gavin Williams on their bench. Swallow went on in the 76th minute while Williams remained on the bench.

Liam Armstrong was in goal for Salisbury for their home clash with Swindon Supermarine and there was a former Gas shot stopper in goal for Swindon, who ran put 2-0 winners. Lewis Clutton was a 56th minute substitute for Salisbury but Alex Henshall was missing from the Supermarine squad.

Yate Town drew 1-1 at Walton Casuals, but are still in the bottom three. Sam Kamara was in the Yate side. Hard as I tried, I could find no lineup for Walton, so I have no idea if Rene Howe was playing.

Bedford Town, of the Division One Central, lost 3-1 at Yaxley. Tom Hitchcock was in their side, but the goals appear to have dried up for him and his team.

In Division One South Bristol Manor Farm were 2-1 home winners against Bideford. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist scored their second goal on 81 minutes. Steve Kingdon also started for the Farm and Ollie Mehew was named on their bench.

There were six goals scored at Cossham Street where Mangotsfield United and Slimbridge drew 3-3. Luc Noble was in the Mangotsfield starting XI but there was no sign of Trey Anderson in the squad.

Paulton Rovers and Larkhall Athletic shared four goals and, naturally, Lewis Powell scored one of the Larks’ goals! Jack Camm and Dale Evans were in the starting lineup as well, while Neil Arndale and Geraint Bater were named on the bench.

There were also four goals scored in the Isthmian Premier League game between Bishop’s Stortford and Margate with both sides scoring twice. Jamie Cureton named himself in the Stortford starting XI but failed to score in this one.

Chris Dickson and Adam Cunnington were both in the Hornchurch side that drew 1-1 at home against Leatherhead, though neither got on the scoresheet. Hornchurch are in sixth place, two points off a play off place.

With Lyle Della-Verde in their side, Enfield Town won their 1,000th game, 3-2 at Cheshunt, and they are now in seventh place, just three points behind the aforementioned Hornchurch.

In the South East Division Whitehawk, with Dave Martin in their side, were beaten 4-2 at Whyteleafe though they remain in third place, six points adrift of second placed Ashford United.

Sam Oji skippered Midland Premier League side Highgate United to a 2-1 home win against AFC Wulfrunians and, after a poor start to the season, they are now in eighth place.

In the North West Counties League Premier Division, Skelmersdale United lost 3-1 at Squires Gate but Josh Klein-Davies was missing from their lineup – has he moved on again?

Craig Disley was named on the Barton Town bench for their Northern Counties League match at Bridlington Town. I could be wrong but, looking at the club’s Twitter feed, he appears to have stayed there all afternoon and saw his side lose 4-1.

Bitton were 2-0 winners at Wellington in the Western League Premier Division. Scott Brice was in the starting XI while Matt Groves was named on the bench though it’s not clear if he actually managed any game time.

In the Scottish Cup Heart of Midlothian recorded their first win under manager Daniel Stendel and recorded their first clean sheet since October in beating Airdrieonians 5-0. Michael Smith was in the Hearts starting XI but had to go off in the 41st minute.

Celtic, with Fraser Forster in goal, were 2-1 winners at Partick Thistle who made the scoreline more respectable thanks to a 93rd minute penalty.

Peter Hartley was in the Motherwell side that recorded a 3-0 win at Dundee to join Hearts and Celtic in in the fifth round.

In Scottish League Two Darryl Duffy scored twice for Stirling Albion in their 3-2 away win at Annan Athletic. His career goal tally is now 199 so just one more needed for a double century!

Barry Town United, of the Welsh Premier League, went goal crazy and recorded a 7-1 home win against Carmarthen Town. Kayne McLaggon started, and scored twice for Barry.

Kayne McLaggon who scored twice for Barry Town United last Saturday. NO CREDIT FOR THIS ONE
Kayne McLaggon who scored twice for Barry Town United last Saturday.

Kris Owens was in the Connah’s Quay Nomads side beaten 2-1 at The New Saints.

In the Northern Ireland Premiership Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side beaten 3-0 at Crusaders FC but Seanan Clucas was missing from the Dungannon Swifts side that took a point from a goalless draw at Linfield.

We end this week’s edition with news (thanks to Stephen Byrne) of two former Gas players on the overseas circuit.  Jeff Hopkins is manager of Melbourne Victory Ladies, who beat Adelaide United 3-0 last week for their biggest win of the season so far.

Jeff Hopkins who is now coaching in Australia. Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Jeff Hopkins who is now coaching in Australia. [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
Oumare Tounkara, in the meantime, looks as though he will be returning from Romania, where he has been playing this season, and could possibly rejoin his former club Chateauroux in the French Second Division.


Chapter 24 – Week commencing 5th January 2020

SUNDAY 5TH JANUARY

There were 11 more Third Round FA Cup ties played and, as is the norm these days, a number of clubs rested key players.

One of those players to miss out was Tom Lockyer who wasn’t named in the Charlton Athletic squad to face West Bromwich Albion at the Valley. The two sides made combined changes that numbered 20 and West Brom were 1-0 winners.

I’m not sure that Marc Bola is a key player at Middlesbrough, but he was missing from their squad that drew with a full strength Tottenham Hotspur side.

Joe Lumley was another former Gas player rested by his side, Queens Park Rangers, who beat Swansea City 5-1 at Loftus Road. I bet that Connor Roberts, who featured in the game, wishes he had been rested by Swansea!

Oli McBurnie was an unused Sheffield United substitute for their home tie against the last remaining non league side in the competition, AFC Fylde. The Blades were 2-1 winners in this one.

Northampton Town’s 4-2 win at Burton Albion means that they are now the lowest ranked side left in the competition. John-Joe O’Toole was a 37th minute substitute for Burton and Chris Beardsley stayed on the bench all afternoon. Andy Williams and Chris Lines started for the Cobblers while Joe Martin was an unused substitute.

Kelle Roos returned to the Derby County side for their game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and kept a clean sheet as his side were 1-0 winners.

Jack Bonham and Alex Jakubiak were both in the Gillingham starting XI for their home tie against West Ham United. However, their FA Cup sojourn is over as the Hammers ran out 2-0 winners.

MONDAY 6TH JANUARY

The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup handed either Rovers or Coventry City a home tie against Championship side Birmingham City.

Young Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Harry Thomas-Barker was sent out on loan to Frome Town, where a former Gas goalie, Danny Greaves, is manager. He made his debut against Swindon Supermarine in the Southern League Challenge Cup and ended up on the winning side, as Frome won 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

TUESDAY 7TH JANUARY

In the only League One game played on this evening Doncaster Rovers were 2-0 home winners against Shrewsbury Town. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury lineup for this one.

There were five games played in the EFL Trophy and Newport County made it through to the last eight thanks to a 3-0 home win against MK Dons. Hiram Boateng started for MK while Lee Nicholls was an unused substitute.

Port Vale, with Cristian Montano in their side, also lost 3-0 in their away tie at Salford City.

Cristian Montano who is a regular in the Port Vale side
Cristian Montano, who is a regular in the Port Vale side

Tranmere Rovers, with Stefan Payne skippering the side, went out of the competition after losing 2-1 against Leicester City U-21’s at Prenton Park. Payne scored Tranmere’s goal, in the 31st minute.

Rory Gaffney was in the Walsall side that also exited the competition, losing 2-1 against Portsmouth at the Banks’s Stadium. Ellis Harrison came off the Pompey bench and scored their second goal in the 82nd minute, a glancing header past Saddlers’ goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

In the National League Hartlepool United won for the first time in four league games, as they beat Eastleigh 2-1 at home. Joe Partington and Scott Rendell were both in the Eastleigh side.

In National League South Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski all started for Chippenham Town who were held to a 2-2 home draw by Hemel Hempstead Town. Deon Moore made his debut for Hemel, but there was no sign of Alex Wall in the match squad.

Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side that suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Premier League North West Division.

In the Isthmian League Premier Division Barry Hayles was named on the Merstham bench for their home game against Bowers & Pitsea. He appears to have stayed there all night and saw his side suffer a 3-1 home defeat.

In the South East division Dave Martin skippered the Whitehawk side that picked up a point from a 1-1 draw at Grinstead Town.

Lyle Della-Verde was in the Enfield Town side that took on Staines Town in the Velocity trophy and they went through to the last 16 thanks to a 5-0 win.

Lyle Della-Verde, now playing Isthmian League football for Enfield Town
Lyle Della-Verde, now playing Isthmian League football for Enfield Town

In the Midland Premier League Highgate United were 2-1 away winners against Long Eaton United and although I can’t confirm it, I’m pretty sure that Sam Oji would have been in their lineup.

WEDNESDAY 8TH JANUARY

While Rovers failed to reach the quarter finals of the EFL Trophy (Leasing.Com Trophy) following their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stevenage, one former Gas player did make it through. Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe United side that recorded a 3-1 win against Manchester City U-21’s. Lund scored Scunthorpe’s third goal in a game watched by a crowd of 1,270.

In the FA Trophy replay between Darlington and Solihull Moors the side from the north east went through following a 1-0 win. Nathan Blissett was named on the bench for the Moors and was sent on in the 86th minute.

FRIDAY 10TH JANUARY

In the evening’s only Premier League match, Oli McBurnie scored his fourth goal of the season for Sheffield United. That was enough to give the Blades a 1-0 win against West Ham United at Bramall Lane and moved his side up to fifth in the table.

In the Irish Premiership Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side that were 4-0 home winners against Carrick Rangers.

SATURDAY 11TH JANUARY

In the west London derby Brentford were 3-1 winners against Queens Park Rangers at Griffin Park. Luke Daniels was back on the bench for Brentford after his FA Cup appearance last week, while Joe Lumley was between the posts for Rangers.

Scott Sinclair made his Preston North End debut when going on as an 81st minute substitute in their 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, but Billy Bodin was missing from the squad.

Six years after his debut for Rovers, at Fleetwood, Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton Athletic side that collected a point from a 2-2 draw against league leaders West Bromwich Albion at the Valley.

Tom Eaves, who scored an FA Cup hat trick a week ago, drew a blank this weekend. He was in the side beaten 1-0 at home by Fulham.

Jake Clarke-Salter, though, was on the winning side as Birmingham City recorded a 2-1 win against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Jake Clarke-Salter, now a regular in the Birmingham City side
Jake Clarke-Salter, now a regular in the Birmingham City side

Kelle Roos again spent the afternoon warming the Derby County bench and saw his side rescue a point at Middlesbrough where a 91st minute goal gave them a 2-2 draw.

Another former Gas goalie, Sam Walker, also spent the afternoon bench warming and saw his Reading side draw 1-1 against Nottingham Forest at the Madjejski Stadium.

An 89th minute goal gave Burton Albion a 1-0 win against Fleetwood Town at the Pirelli Stadium in League One. John-Joe O’Toole was in the Burton side for this one.

MK Dons picked up a point from their 1-1 draw against Coventry City at St Andrews. While Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK, there was no sign of Hiram Boateng in their squad.

Matty Taylor was a 61st minute substitute for Oxford United in their game against Rotherham United at the Kassam Stadium. Oxford lost 3-1 to the new league leaders who took over from Wycombe at the top of the table.

Gillingham extended their unbeaten run to seven with a goalless draw at Peterborough United. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills, while Alex Jakubiak was sent on as a 79th minute substitute.

Ellis Harrison was in the Portsmouth side that moved up to seventh place following their 2-1 win against AFC Wimbledon at Fratton Park.

In a game of two penalties, both scored, Shrewsbury Town and Lincoln City drew 1-1 at Montgomery Waters Meadow. Ollie Norburn scored the Shrewsbury penalty while Cian Bolger was in the Shrewsbury side and John Akinde was sent on in the 65th minute.

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Shrewsbury Town v Peterborough United
Ollie Norburn, who scored from the penalty spot for Shrewsbury Town last Saturday.   [Photo courtesy of Ian Whitfield Shrewsbury Town FC ]
Southend United and Tranmere Rovers both remain in the bottom three following their goalless draw at Roots Hall. Aaron Chapman was in goal for Tranmere, while Stefan Payne watched the game unfold from the bench.

Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe Wanderers side thumped 4-0 by Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, a result that saw the Black Cats move into the final play off place.

Plymouth Argyle moved into fifth place in the League Two standings after their 3-0 win against Carlisle United at Brunton Park. Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore both completed 90 minutes for Argyle.

Ryan Broom started for Cheltenham Town in their home game against Walsall but had to be substituted on 15 minutes. His side, though, went on to record a 3-1 win and moved into third place. James Clarke was in the Walsall side while Rory Gaffney was an unused substitute.

Exeter City stayed in second place with a 2-0 home win against Cambridge United. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter side while Daniel Jones was an 89th minute Cambridge substitute.

Matt Harrold was sent on from the Leyton Orient bench in the 81st minute of their home game against Grimsby Town and his side rescued a point, in a 1-1 draw, with a 92nd minute penalty.

Forest Green Rovers scored a 96th minute goal against Mansfield Town at Field Mill to record a 4-3 win, a victory that kept them in the final play off place. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield side, though Conrad Logan was missing from their squad, while Adam Smith was again in goal for Forest Green.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side that picked up a point from a 1-1 draw at Morecambe, who moved off the bottom of the table as a result.

Northampton Town were 2-1 winners at Salford City, their winning goal being scored by Andy Williams in the 63rd minute. Chris Lines was also in the Northampton side, while Joe Martin was an unused substitute.

Scunthorpe United, with Matt Lund in their side, suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Newport County.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side that recorded a 1-0 away win against Stevenage who dropped to the bottom of the league.

Tom Broadbent was in the Swindon Town side that maintained their three point lead at the top of the table thanks to a 3-1 home win against Crewe Alexandra.

Tom Broadbent, who was recalled to the Swindon Town side last Saturday. Photo courtesy of JMP UK
Tom Broadbent, who was recalled to the Swindon Town side last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of JMP UK]
There were a limited number of matches played in National Leagues North and South due to the fact that it was FA Trophy day. However, there were former Gas players involved in some of the games that were played.

In National League North Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side that drew 1-1 against Bradford PA at Edgar Street, while Andy Bond was again an unused York City substitute for their 2-0 home win against AFC Telford United.

Slough Town, third in National League South, gained a point from a 2-2 draw at Billericay Town. Scott Davies was named on the Slough bench and went on in the 78th minute.

Hemel Hempstead Town, who parted company with Alex Wall earlier in the week, had another former Rovers striker in their lineup for their home game against Havant & Waterlooville. However, the presence of Deon Moore in their side still couldn’t prevent a
2-1 defeat and they remain in tenth place.

Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side that lost 1-0 at league leaders Wealdstone, a result that saw them drop into the bottom two.

Bradley Goldberg - he and his Welling United side have dropped into the relegation zone. Photo courtesy of Dave Budden
Bradley Goldberg – he and his Welling United side have dropped into the relegation zone.  [Photo courtesy of Dave Budden]
Weymouth and Dulwich Hamlet played out a 1-1 draw at Weymouth’s Bob Lucas Stadium. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were in the Weymouth lineup while Jeffrey Monakana started for Dulwich.

Salisbury bowed out of the FA Trophy, beaten 4-0 at Chelmsford City. Lewis Clutton, on loan from Rovers, was named on the Salisbury bench and was sent on in the 81st minute.

Bath City travelled to play Concord Rangers and drew 1-1 so the sides will meet again in a Tuesday night replay at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt were both in the Bath starting XI for this one.

Eastleigh went through to the next round thanks to a 2-1 home win against Matlock Town. Joe Partington and Scott Rendell both started for Eastleigh and Rendell saw his penalty saved by the Matlock keeper.

Bernard Mensah was again named on the Maidenhead United bench for their game at Halesowen and saw his side draw 2-2 in front of a crowd of 892. They replay on Tuesday night.

Chris Dickson’s 45th minute penalty for Hornchurch wasn’t enough to save them from going out of the competition as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Aveley.

Notts County made it six wins out of seven as they were 2-1 home winners against Dagenham & Redbridge. Their winning goal arrived in the 93rd minute. Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe watched this one from the County bench.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division goalkeeper Kieran Preston kept a clean sheet for Basford United who moved into third place following their 3-0 home win against Bamber Bridge.

Radcliffe FC, with Adam Dawson named on their bench, were beaten 1-0 at fifth placed Warrington Town.

In the North West Division Craig Stanley scored for Clitheroe, who lost 2-1 at Mossley. In spite of that loss, his side remain just two points outside the play off places.

In the Southern League Premier Central Division Tom Mehew was named on the Stratford Town bench for their home game against Stourbridge and he was sent on in the 65th minute of their 2-1 defeat.

In the Premier South Division on loan striker Harry Warwick was in the Dorchester Town side beaten 3-2 at home by league leaders Truro City.

Rene Howe scored for Walton Casuals in their away game at Farnborough, but they were beaten 2-1 and find themselves just three points above the bottom three.

Martin Horsell was in goal for Swindon Supermarine, who recorded a 3-2 home win against Hartley Wintney but there was no sign of Alex Henshall in the Supermarine squad.

Yate Town gained three much needed points as they were 4-1 home winners against Taunton Town. Sam Kamara was in the Yate side.

Bedford Town, with Tom Hitchcock in their side, lost ground on the Division One Central play off places when they were beaten 3-0 at Thame United.

Larkhall Athletic, of Division One South, were held to a goalless draw at home by AFC Totton but they still occupy the final play off place.

Lewis Powell, pictured as a young player with Rovers. Now playing regularly for lark hall Athletic. Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Lewis Powell, pictured as a young player with Rovers. Now playing regularly for Larkhall Athletic.  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
Luc Noble, who joined Mangotsfield United on a work experience loan earlier in the week, was in their side for the visit to Sholing. He ended up a winner as the Mangos won 4-2.

Steve Kingdon, Ollie Mehew and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist were all in the Bristol Manor Farm starting lineup, but the Farm were beaten again, going down 2-0 at Winchester City.

Moving on to the Isthmian League Premier Division and it wasn’t a good day for Bishop’s Stortford who lost 1-0 at Potters Bar Town. Player/Manager Jamie Cureton named himself in the Stortford starting XI for this one.

Barry Hayles started for Merstham who lost 6-1 at Worthing and now find themselves in the bottom three. He lasted 72 minutes before being substituted.

Lyle Della-Verde was in the Enfield Town side that collected a point from a 2-2 home draw against Brightlingsea Regent, a result that keeps them in the hunt for a play off place.

In the South East Division Whitehawk made it ten games unbeaten with a 2-1 away win against Guernsey. They are now in third place, ten points behind leaders Hastings United with two games in hand.

Craig Disley started for Barton Town, 3-0 away winners at Silsden in the Northern Counties League Premier Division but was injured twice early on and had to go off in the 18th minute.

Matt Groves was in the Bitton side that made it through to the last 16 of the FA Vase thanks to a 3-1 home win against Warminster Town.

In the Western League Premier Division Cribbs were beaten 4-2 at home by Street. Joe White was named om the Cribbs bench for this one.

In the Welsh Premier League Barry Town United were beaten 2-0 at Connah’s Quay Nomads. Kris Owens was in the Connah’s Quay side, but Kayne McLaggon was missing from the Barry squad.


Chapter 23 – Week commencing 29th December 2019

SUNDAY 29TH DECEMBER

In the Premier League Oli McBurnie was sent on from the Sheffield United bench in the 75th minute of their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City.

In the Championship goalkeeper Luke Daniels took up his customary place on the Brentford bench and watched his side lose 1-0 against Millwall at the Den.

Brentford v Cambridge United
Luke Daniels, who made a rare first team appearance for Brentford in their FA Cup tie last weekend.  [Photo courtesy of Chris Wickham, Brentford FC]
Billy Bodin completed 90 minutes for Preston North End in their home game against Reading. However, they lost 1-0 and dropped to seventh place in the league. Goalkeeper Sam Walker was, as usual, on the Reading bench.

Another former Gas goalie, Joe Lumley, was on the losing side as Queens Park Rangers were beaten 2-1 by Hull City at Loftus Road. Tom Eaves was a 66th minute substitute for the winners.

Yet another former Gas goalkeeper, Neil Etheridge, was in the Cardiff City side that won 2-1 against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. It was their first win in five games and saw them move up to tenth.

Swansea City had to be content with a point from a goalless home draw against Barnsley who have now gone five games unbeaten. Connor Roberts was an unused Swansea substitute for this one.

Marc Bola was also an unused substitute. He sat on the Middlesbrough bench all afternoon and saw his side pull off a surprise 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.

In League One Gillingham were 1-0 home winners against Rochdale. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills, while Alex Jakubiak went on from the bench in the 62nd minute.

Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers 190219
Alex Jakubiak of Bristol Rovers – Mandatory by-line: Ryan Hiscott/JMP – 19/02/2019 – Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers

Accrington Stanley extended their unbeaten league run to six games with a 2-0 home win against Burton Albion. Chris Beardsley was again an unused Burton substitute.

Matty Taylor was a 95th minute substitute for Oxford United who won 2-1 against AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow, a result that saw them move into second place.

Shrewsbury Town took a point from a 1-1 draw against Bolton Wanderers. Ollie Norburn completed 90 minutes for the Shrews who are now in twelfth place in the league.

Lincoln City were 5-3 home winners against Ipswich Town who dropped to fourth place following this defeat. Cian Bolger was in the Lincoln side while John Akinde was an unused substitute.

More than 4,000 Portsmouth supporters made their way to Milton Keynes to see their side take on MK Dons. They left disappointed after the home side won 2-1. Lee Nicholls was between the posts for MK and Hiram Boateng was an unused substitute, while Ellis Harrison   started the game for Pompey but only completed 45 minutes.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Tranmere Rovers for their game against Blackpool at Prenton Park, while Stefan Payne was an unused substitute and watched his side play out a 1-1 draw.

Wycombe Wanderers suffered a third straight defeat when going down 4-1 against Coventry City at Adams Park. Incredibly, they still top the league and are four points ahead of second placed Oxford. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe lineup for this one.

Conrad Logan was recalled to the Mansfield Town side for their trip to face Bradford City in League Two. However, he was twice beaten from the penalty spot and the Stags suffered a 2-0 defeat. Ryan Sweeney was also in the Mansfield starting lineup but went off injured in the 39th minute.

Daniel Jones started for Cambridge United in their 1-0 home win against Morecambe, while Reggie Lambe was introduced as a 56th minute substitute.

Harry Pell scored a 16th minute goal for Colchester United in their home game against Exeter City which ended all square at 2-2. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter side while Jordan Tillson was an unused substitute.

Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe United side beaten 3-1 by Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road, a result that sees Crewe still in third place.

Adam Smith kept a clean sheet for Forest Green Rovers, who recorded a 1-0 home win against Macclesfield Town, a result that saw them move into fifth place.

Matt Harrold made his customary appearance from the Leyton Orient bench in the 84th minute of their 1-1 draw against Newport County.

In a meeting of the Towns at Sixfields, Northampton and Cheltenham played out a 1-1 draw. Andy Williams was in the Northampton side while Chris Lines and Joe Martin were both unused substitutes. Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham lineup.

Northampton Town v Sileby Rangers - Pre-Season Friendly
Andy Williams who scored for Northampton Town last week.  [Photo courtesy of Pete Norton, official photographer Northampton Town FC]
Plymouth Argyle moved into the final play off place following their 2-1 win against Stevenage at Home Park. Byron Moore started for the winners and Dominic Telford was sent on in the 59th minute, but Gary Sawyer was missing from the squad. Argyle’s winning goal arrived in the 96th minute.

Cristian Montano completed 90 minutes for Port Vale who were 2-0 home winners against league leaders Swindon Town.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall side were beaten 2-1 by Carlisle United at the Banks’s Stadium, the winning goal arriving in the 94th minute. James Clarke started for the Saddlers but was red carded in the 77th minute. Stuart Sinclair was missing from the squad and Rory Gaffney was an unused substitute.

In the Scottish Premiership goalkeeper Fraser Forster was on the losing side…we don’t say that very often! Celtic suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of fierce Glasgow rivals Rangers and are now only two points clear at the top of the league having played a game more than the winners of this game.

Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side held to a 1-1 home draw by Aberdeen, but they remain bottom of the table five points behind Hamilton Academicals.

It was Hamilton who inflicted a 2-1 home defeat on Motherwell. Maybe the home side were missing Peter Hartley, who remained on the bench all afternoon!

MONDAY 30TH DECEMBER

Charlton Athletic were beaten 2-1 by Derby County at Pride Park in the final Championship match of 2019. Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton side while goalkeeper Kelle Roos warmed the Derby bench.

In the Welsh Premier League Barry Town United were 1-0 away winners at Cardiff Met. Kayne McLaggon was again in the Barry side, though he wasn’t on the scoresheet on this occasion.

In the same league former Rovers Development squad player, Kris Owens, was in the Connah’s Quay Nomads side that recorded a 4-0 away win against Airbus UK Broughton FC.

WEDNESDAY 1ST JANUARY

In the Championship Luke Daniels made a brief return to Bristol and spent the afternoon on the Brentford bench watching his side demolish Bristol City 4-0 at Ashton Gate.

Sam Walker also spent the afternoon bench warming and watching his Reading side win 2-1 against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Billy Bodin was another unused New Year’s Day substitute and looked on as his Preston teammates lost 2-0 against Middlesbrough at Deepdale. It was a fourth straight win for Boro who were missing Marc Bola from their squad.

There were two former Gas goalies involved in the game between Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City at Loftus Road. Joe Lumley, of QPR, was beaten just once, in the 91st minute, but Cardiff’s Neil Etheridge had to pick the ball out of the net on six occasions.

Tom Eaves started for Hull City, 1-0 winners against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, a result that moved them up to eighth place in the league standings.

Burton Albion were 4-3 winners against Bolton Wanderers in their League One match at the Macron Stadium. While there was no sign of John-Joe O’Toole in the Burton squad, Chris Beardsley was again an unused substitute.

Oxford United, with Matty Taylor leading their attack, were beaten 1-0 at Doncaster Rovers. It was only their second defeat in 16 matches but enough to see them drop from second place to fourth.

Gillingham and Portsmouth shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills and Alex Jakubiak went on from the bench after 70 minutes and scored the equalising goal ten minutes later. Ellis Harris was in the Pompey starting XI but, once again, Lee brown was missing from their squad.

It was a case of game of cards at Sincil Bank where Lincoln City collected four of the yellow variety as did Peterborough United, who also picked up a red one. Lincoln, with Cian Bolger in their starting lineup and John Akinde on as a 66th minute substitute, were 2-1 winners.

John Akinde, a regular in the Lincoln City squad. Photo courtesy of Tom Bullivant, Lincoln City FC
John Akinde, a regular in the Lincoln City squad.  [Photo courtesy of Tom Bullivant, Lincoln City FC]
MK Dons moved out of the relegation zone following their 3-0 home win against the Gas. Former Gas goalie Lee Nicholls was between the posts for the home side and Hiram Boateng was an unused substitute.

Another former Gas shot stopper, Aaron Chapman, was in goal for Tranmere Rovers who suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Coventry City, a result that saw them drop into the bottom three. Once again Stefan Payne was an unused Tranmere substitute.

League leaders Wycombe Wanderers, with Joe Jacobson in their side, were held to a 1-1 draw by Ipswich Town at Adams Park a result that saw their lead at the top cut to three points.

In League Two Cambridge United suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town. Reggie Lambe started the game for Cambridge but was sent off in the 59th minute after picking up his second yellow card in three minutes. Daniel Jones was sent on as a 70th minute substitute for the U’s. Graham Coughlan’s Mansfield recorded their first win under his tenure and he selected Conrad Logan in goal but was missing the injured Ryan Sweeney.

Harry Pell was again in the Colchester United side for their home game against Crawley Town, but he and his teammates had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw.

Adam Smith was in the Forest Green side beaten 1-0 at home by Exeter City who played all but a minute of the second half with ten men following the dismissal of Nigel Atangana. Tom Parkes was in the Exeter starting XI and Jordan Tillson was sent on from the bench in the 88th minute. The result left Exeter in second place and Forest Green in fifth.

Newly appointed Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway saw his new side record a 1-0 home win against Salford City.

New Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway. No credit
New Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway.

Ryan Broom was in the Cheltenham Town side that took a point from a 1-1 draw against Newport County at Rodney Parade, a result that saw them move up to eighth place.

Northampton Town moved back into the play off places following their 1-0 win against Stevenage at Sixfields. Andy Williams, on as a substitute at the start of the second half, scored the only goal of the game in the 94th minute. Chris Lines was also sent on at the same time as Williams, while Joe Martin was an unused substitute.

Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe side that recorded a 2-0 win against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park and scored their second goal in the 83rd minute.

League leaders Swindon Town were 2-1 winners against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park and once again they were missing Tom Broadbent from their squad. Byron Moore and Dominic Telford both started for Argyle and Telford scored their goal on 22 minutes, though he had to be substituted just nine minutes later. Gary Sawyer was an unused Argyle substitute.

Port Vale and Macclesfield Town shared the points, and four goals, in their game at Vale Park. Cristian Montano was again in the Vale starting XI.

Walsall returned to winning ways with a 1-0 home win over Leyton Orient though for the second game running they finished with ten men following Cameron Pring’s dismissal for picking up two yellow cards. Rory Gaffney was an unused Walsall substitute while Matt Harrold went on for Orient at the start of the second half.

Aldershot Town drew a crowd of 1,953 for their home game against Eastleigh in the National League. They ran out 3-1 winners and sent Alefe Santos on from the bench in the 89th minute. Joe Partington and Scott Rendell were both in the Eastleigh side.

Boreham Wood extended their unbeaten run to ten games with a goalless home draw against Barnet. Danny Woodards was sent on from the Boreham bench at the start of the second half, but Ricky Shakes remained on the bench for the entire game.

Hartlepool United, who named three former Rovers players, Luke James, Peter Hartley and Andy Monkhouse in their team of the decade, were beaten 1-0 at home by Harrogate Town. There was no sign of James in the Hartlepool squad for this one.

There was another clean sheet for Sam Slocombe, in goal for Notts County in their goalless draw at Maidenhead United. Once again Bernard Mensah warmed the Maidenhead bench.

Nathan Blissett was in the starting lineup for Solihull Moors, 3-0 home winners against Chesterfield, a result that saw them move up to fifth place.

Yeovil Town remain in second place following their 2-0 win against Torquay United at Plainmoor. Gabriel Osho was on the bench for most of the afternoon but went on from the bench in the 93rd minute.

Danny Greenslade was again in the Hereford United side for their first National League North fixture of 2020 and he finished on the winning side as the Bulls beat Kidderminster Harriers 2-1 at Edgar Street.

Second placed York City also recorded a 2-1 home win, edging past Bradford (PA). Once again Andy Bond was named on the York bench and he appears to have stayed there all afternoon.

Gloucester City made it a hat trick of 2-1 home wins for sides with former Gas players in their squad. Cameron Ebbutt was named on their bench for the game against Leamington.

There were some tasty fixtures in National League South, one of which saw Bath City make the short journey to face Chippenham Town and, for the second time over the festive period, they beat their closest geographical rivals. The score was 3-1 and although Chippenham took the lead through Chris Zebroski, the Romans scored through Ryan Brunt in first half stoppage time and added two more in the second half. Ryan Clarke was in goal for the winners, who move up to second in the table, while Will Puddy was between the posts for the losers.

No New Year’s Day joy for Welling United, though as they were beaten 4-0 at Dartford. Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling starting lineup.

Louie Soares started for Hampton & Richmond Borough who were beaten 3-0 at home by Dulwich Hamlet, though there was no sign of Jefferson Louis – has he hung up his boots or moved on to his 40th something club?! Jeffrey Monakana started this one for Dulwich.

Weymouth suffered a rare home defeat, going down 1-0 to Havant & Waterlooville. Abdulai Baggie was in their starting lineup, while Josh Wakefield was named on the bench but was sent on in the 62nd minute.

Slough Town were beaten 2-1 at Wealdstone who still top the league. Scott Davies started this one for Slough.

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division goalkeeper Kieran Preston kept a clean sheet for Basford United who played out a home goalless draw against Grantham Town.

In the same league Adam Dawson was named on the bench for Radcliffe FC for their away game at FC United. He went on in the 86th minute but his side were beaten 3-2.

In the North West Division there was a 1-0 away win for Clitheroe, at Colne. Craig Stanley was again in the Clitheroe starting XI.

In the Southern League Premier Central Tom Mehew was in the Stratford Town side beaten 2-1 at home by Rushall Olympic. It’s been a long time since there was any sign of Tyler Lyttle in the Rushall squad and I’m not sure if he’s suffering from a long term injury or if he has moved on.

Moving on to the Premier League South and Rene Howe was in the Walton Casuals side beaten 2-0 at Harrow Borough. Once again there was no sign of Wayne Brown in the Walton squad so his loan spell there may have ended.

Swindon Supermarine shared the goals and the points in their home game against Merthyr Town. The final score was 2-2. Martin Horsell was in goal for Supermarine, while Ben Swallow and Eliot Richards were both named on the Merthyr bench.  Ben was sent on in the 58th minute and Eliot in the 78th minute.  Photos from this game can be found at www.motionsportphotography.co.uk

Port Vale v Cambridge United, Sky Bet League Two, Football, Vale Park, UK - 31 Aug 2019
Reggie Lambe, who collected another red card whilst playing for Cambridge United last week.

Yate Town suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Salisbury. Sam Kamara was in the Yate starting XI while Liam Armstrong was in goal for Salisbury. Darren Mullings was missing from the Salisbury squad.

Bedford Town travelled to face Corby Town in a Division One Central fixture and were beaten 3-0. Tom Hitchcock was in the Bedford side.

In the Premier Central Division Larkhall Athletic were 3-1 home winners against Bristol Manor Farm and, just for once, Lewis Powell wasn’t on the scoresheet for the Larks – possibly because he wasn’t even playing! Dale Evans scored one of the Larks goals, though. Jack Camm also started, and Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were both named on the bench. Steve Kingdon was in the Manor Farm side while Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Ollie Mehew were both on their bench.

Mangotsfield United, with Trey Anderson in their side, suffered a 3-1 defeat in their game at Barnstaple Town.

In the Isthmian League Premier Division it wasn’t a good start to the New Year for Bishop’s Stortford player manager Jamie Cureton as his side suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Kingstonian. The gaffer named himself on the bench, sent himself on in the 65th minute and scored his side’s consolation goal from the penalty spot in the 89th minute.

In the same division Lyle Della-Verde was in the Enfield Town side that registered a 2-1 away win at Potters Bar Town.

In the Irish Premiership Dungannon Swifts, once again without the services of Seanan Clucas, were beaten 2-0 at home by Glentoran. While Larne, with Jeff Hughes in their side, were 3-2 winners at Ballymena United.

THURSDAY 2ND JANUARY

Oli McBurnie was a 65th minute substitute for Sheffield United who lost 2-0 against Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League.

Kelle Roos was on the bench for Wayne Rooney’s first game for Derby County in the Championship and the former Gas goalie watched his side win 2-1 against Barnsley at Pride Park.

Two former Rovers players were in opposition at the Liberty Stadium where Swansea City were 1-0 winners against Charlton Athletic. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side while Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton starting XI.

SATURDAY 4TH JANUARY

FA Cup third round day saw former Rovers midfielder Ollie Norburn make a brief return to Bristol. He was in the Shrewsbury Town side that drew 1-1 against Bristol City at Ashton Gate, meaning that the two clubs will need a replay to determine who goes through to the next round.

Tom Eaves scored a last minute winner to complete his hat trick for Hull City in their 3-2 victory against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.

Tom Eaves, who scored an FA Cup hat trick for Hull City last week. Photo courtesy of Ben, Hull City FC
Tom Eaves, who scored an FA Cup hat trick for Hull City last week.  [Photo courtesy of Ben, Hull City FC]
Jake Clarke-Salter returned to the Birmingham City side for their home game against Blackburn Rovers. He was substituted after 69 minutes, but his side were 2-1 winners.

Matty Taylor went on as a 66th minute substitute for Oxford United and scored their fourth goal, from the penalty spot, in the 87th minute of their 4-1 home win against Hartlepool United. Luke James was again missing from the Hartlepool squad.

On the day he signed a new contract at Brentford goalkeeper Luke Daniels made a rare first team appearance. He was on the winning side as the Bees were 1-0 home winners against Stoke City. On the day before his 31st birthday he also received a card…a yellow one from referee Keith Stroud!

Billy Bodin was in the Preston North End side that suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Norwich City. He did, though, have the consolation of scoring Preston’s first goal, in the 48th minute.

Sam Walker was another former Gas goalie to make a rare first team appearance. He was between the posts for Reading in their 2-2 home draw against Blackpool.

Aaron Chapman was in goal for Tranmere Rovers, who recovered from being 3-0 down at Watford to draw 3-3. Stefan Payne also started for the Birkenhead outfit, but he didn’t reappear for the second half.

Ellis Harrison was an unused Portsmouth substitute for their tie at Fleetwood Town and watched his side pull off a 2-1 win.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side that were beaten 4-1 by FA Cup holders Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in front of a crowd of 52,433.

In the only League One game played Sunderland were 3-1 home winners against Lincoln City. Cian Bolger and John Akinde were both named on the Lincoln bench and Bolger went on in the 38th minute, Akinde at the start of the second half.

In League Two Cheltenham Town were 3-0 home winners against Oldham Athletic, a result that moved them up to fifth place. Ryan Broom started this one for Cheltenham and scored their third goal in the 95th minute.

Thanks to the point they gained from a 1-1 draw at Crawley Town, Forest Green Rovers occupy the final play off place. Once again Adam Smith was in goal for the Gloucestershire Rovers.

Adam Smith, now enjoying an extended run between the posts for Forest Green Rovers. No credit for this one
Adam Smith, now enjoying an extended run between the posts for Forest Green Rovers. 

Two former Rovers managers, Graham Coughlan and Ian Holloway, crossed swords at Field Mill where Coughlan’s Mansfield Town lost 1-0 to Holloway’s Grimsby Town. Conrad Logan was in goal for the Stags who couldn’t make their numerical advantage tell after Grimsby had a player sent off in the 10th minute.

Daniel Jones started for Cambridge United, who were beaten 1-0 by Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose. They were missing the suspended Reggie Lambe and there was no sign of Elliott Ward in their squad.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall moved up to 11th place in the league thanks to a 2-1 win at Salford City. James Clarke was back in the Saddlers’ side following suspension, but Rory Gaffney and Stuart Sinclair were missing. Given that Salford are Gaffney’s parent club, he was almost certainly not allowed to play in this one for Walsall.

Matt Lund was in the Scunthorpe United side beaten 3-1 at home by Plymouth Argyle. Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore started this one for Argyle and Moore scored their second goal on 50 minutes. Dominic Telford was missing through injury.

Although they drew 0-0 at Stevenage, Colchester United dropped out of the play off places. Harry Pell was once again in the Colchester lineup.

Swindon Town still lead the table, though they had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw against Bradford City at the County Ground. Tom Broadbent was back in the Swindon squad for this one and was sent on from the bench in the 41st minute.

In the National League Bernard Mensah was an 84th minute substitute for Maidenhead United who were beaten 1-0 at Harrogate Town and had two players sent off in the closing stages of the game.

Sam Slocombe was again between the posts for Notts County and their 2-1 win against Bromley at Meadow Lane saw them move into fifth place.

Boreham Wood moved into the play off places following their 3-1 win at Stockport County. Danny Woodards and Ricky Shakes were both named on the Boreham bench and while Shakes was sent on in the 83rd minute, Woodards wasn’t called on.

Aldershot Town were 2-1 winners at Wrexham, a result that saw them move seven points clear of the bottom four. Alefe Santos was named on the Aldershot bench and went on in the 91st minute.

Yeovil Town and Solihull Moors played out a goalless draw at Hewish Park. Gabriel Osho was an unused Yeovil substitute, while Nathan Blissett also watched the game, from the Solihull bench.

Moving on to the Northern Premier League and in the Premier Division Basford United, with Kieran Preston in goal, were 1-0 winners at Matlock Town, a result that sees them stay in fourth place.

In the same division Radcliffe FC, with Adam Dawson again in their side, were beaten 4-0 at home by Bamber Bridge, though they remain in seventh place in the league standings.

In the North West Division there was a goal for Andy Monkhouse who scored after 44 minutes of Ossett United’s 2-1 home win over Dunston.

Clitheroe were without a game, so it was a rest day for Craig Stanley. The club did report, though, that their ground had been vandalised on Friday night, with extensive damage to the press box and other parts of their ground.

Tom Mehew was named on the Stratford Town bench for their Southern League Premier Central Division game at Needham Market. He went on in the 62nd minute but his side lost 1-0 after Needham scored from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.

Yate Town suffered a 2-0 away defeat at Blackfield & Langley in their Southern League Premier Division South game. I was unable to track down the Yate lineup for this one so can only assume that Sam Kamara was in their side.

Merthyr Town played out a 2-2 home draw against Harrow with Ben Swallow and Eliot Richards both starting. Originally named on the bench, Richards started because of an injury to one of his teammates in the warm up, though he was substituted in the 34th minute of the game. Gavin Williams was a Merthyr substitute and went on in the 73rd minute.

Ben swallow, pictured in action for Merthyr Town against Swindon Supermarine. Photo courtesy of Steve Brennan, motionsportphotography.co.uk
Ben Swallow, pictured in action for Merthyr Town against Swindon Supermarine.  [Photo courtesy of Steve Brennan, motionsportphotography.co.uk]
Salisbury, with Liam Armstrong in goal, recorded a fourth successive win as they were 3-2 home winners against third placed Chesham United. Darren Mullings was again missing from the Salisbury squad.

Rene Howe was named in the Walton Casuals starting lineup for their home game against Swindon Supermarine. It was the Wiltshire side who came out on top, though, as they were 4-2 winners and they stay in fourth place. Martin Horsell was in goal for the victors and Alex Henshall was named on the bench. He went on in the 77th minute and a day later it was announced that he was joining Supermarine on a permanent basis following the termination of his contract with Nuneaton Borough.

Alex Henshall, who has now joined Swindon Supermarine on a permanent basis following his departure from Nuneaton Borough. Photo courtesy of Steve Brennan, motionsportphotography.co.uk
Alex Henshall, who has now joined Swindon Supermarine on a permanent basis following his departure from Nuneaton Borough.  [Photo courtesy of Steve Brennan, motionsportphotography.co.uk]
In Division One Central Bedford Town have dropped to eighth place following their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Berkamsted. Tom Hitchcock was in the Bedford lineup though didn’t get on the scoresheet on this occasion.

Frome manager Danny Greaves named himself on the bench for their Division One South trip to face Bideford but saw his side lose2-1 in North Devon. Frome are now in second place in the league, four points behind leaders Thatcham Town.

Ollie Mehew was on the scoresheet for Bristol Manor Farm but ended up on the losing side as they were beaten 2-1 by Barnstaple Town at the Creek. Steve Kingdon also started for the Farm while Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist was named on the bench.

Larkhall Athletic moved into fourth place in the league standings following their 2-1 away win against Evesham United. Lewis Powell returned to the side and scored the first Larks’ goal while Jack Camm and Dale Evans also started. Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were named on the bench.

On a day when a number of former Rovers players were on the scoresheet, Jamie Cureton also got in on the act, scoring both Bishop’s Stortford goals in their 2-2 home draw against Bowers & Pitsea in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

Jamie Cureton, who can’t stop scoring - three more for Bishop’s Stortford over the festive period. Photo courtesy of Nathan Cracknell
Jamie Cureton, who can’t stop scoring – three more for Bishop’s Stortford over the festive period.   [Photo courtesy of Nathan Cracknell]
Not to be outdone, Chris Dickson was also on the scoresheet in the same league, scoring the winning goal for Hornchurch in their 2-0 home win against Horsham.

In the same division Lyle Della-Verde was in the Enfield Town side beaten 2-0 at Carshalton Athletic. They remain in seventh place, just a point outside the play off places.

In the South East Division Whitehawk, with Dave Martin in their side, moved up to third place following their 3-0 home win against Hythe Town.

Barton Town, of the Northern Counties League Premier Division, suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Liversedge. Craig Disley started for Barton who are six places off the bottom of the league.

Sam Oji was in the Highgate United side that recorded a 2-1 home win against Haughmond in the Midland League Premier Division.

Closer to home, in the Western League Premier Division, Bitton were beaten 2-0 at Exmouth Town and I can only assume that Matt Groves was in the Bitton side. Cribbs were without a game so Kieran Hodges and Joe White enjoyed a rare Saturday off.

The Scottish Premiership might be on a winter break, but that doesn’t apply to the rest of the Scottish Leagues and in Scottish League Two Darryl Duffy was the second former Rovers player to net a hat trick on the day. He scored three times in the opening 40 minutes of Stirling Albion’s 3-0 win at Albion Rovers in their League Two encounter.

Darryl Duffy who scored a hat trick for Stirling Albion last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman
Darryl Duffy who scored a hat trick for Stirling Albion last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that recorded a 3-0 away win against Scone.

In Ireland, Larne progressed into the sixth round of the Irish Cup with an 8-0 win against Belfast Celtic. Jeff Hughes was an unused substitute for this one.

Seanan Clucas was back in the Dungannon Swifts side for their tie at Institute FC which they won 3-2.


Chapter 22 – Week commencing 22nd December 2019

THURSDAY 26TH DECEMBER

Oli McBurnie was in the Sheffield United starting lineup for their home game in the Premier League, against Watford. They drew 1-1 and he was substituted in the 63rd minute.

In the Championship Luke Daniels spent his Boxing Day on the Brentford bench and watched his side beat Swansea City 3-1 at Griffin Park. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side.

Neil Etheridge was again in goal for Cardiff City who drew 1-1 against manager Neil Harris’ former side Millwall at Cardiff City Stadium.

Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton Athletic side that claimed their first win in 12 games. They were 3-2 winners against Bristol City at the Valley.

There were no goals and no points for Tom Eaves and his Hull City teammates. Eaves was in the Hull side beaten 2-0 at home by Nottingham Forest.

Marc Bola returned to the Middlesbrough squad and was an unused substitute for their home game against Huddersfield Town. He saw his side win 1-0 to move six points above the relegation places.

Middlesbrough v AS Saint-Etienne, Pre-Season Friendly, Football, The Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, UK - 28 Jul 2019
Marc Bola, recently returned to the Middlesbrough squad.

Another former Gas bench warmer was goalkeeper Kelle Roos, who spent the afternoon watching his Derby County teammates collect a point from a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic thanks to a 93rd minute equaliser.

Another former Gas man who spent the afternoon on the bench was Billy Bodin who looked on as his Preston North End side drew 1-1 against Leeds United at Elland Road.

There were two former Gas goalies on show at the Madejski Stadium where Reading were 1-0 winners against Queens Park Rangers. Sam Walker stayed on the Reading bench while Joe Lumley was between the post for Rangers.

In League One Chris Beardsley was an unused Burton Albion substitute for their game against Tranmere Rovers at the Pirelli Stadium which Burton won 4-2. Aaron Chapman was in goal for Rovers while Stefan Payne was an unused substitute.

Bristol Rovers v Oxford United 080214
Chris Beardsley who is almost always on the bench for Burton Albion.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
Ipswich Town made it six games without a win as they were held to a goalless draw by Gillingham at Portman Road. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills while Alex Jakubiak was sent on from the bench in the 85th minute.

Oxford United moved into third place with a 1-0 win against Lincoln City at the Kassam Stadium. Matty Taylor was missing from the Oxford squad, while Cian Bolger started for Lincoln and John Akinde went on at the hour mark.

Portsmouth are up to eighth following their 2-0 win against league leaders Wycombe Wanderers at Fratton Park. Ellis Harrison was in the Portsmouth side, but Lee Brown was missing from their squad. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side.

The 21st and 22nd placed sides met at Roots Hall where Southend and MK Dons shared the spoils and four goals. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK while Hiram Boateng was an unused substitute.

In League Two Matt Harrold was sent on from the Leyton Orient bench with 60 minutes on the clock. However, the O’s slipped to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Colchester United. Harry Pell scored Colchester’s second goal on 64 minutes.

Leyton Orient v Salford    31st Aug19
Matt Harold (centre) now a regular substitute for Leyton Orient. Looking good in blue! [Photo courtesy of Simon O’Connor, official photographer, Leyton Orient FC]
There were five Gas men involved in the game at Whaddon Road where Plymouth Argyle were 1-0 winners against Cheltenham Town. Ryan Broom and Gavin Reilly started for Cheltenham, while Gary Sawyer and Byron Moore started for Argyle and Dominic Telford was sent on from the bench on 61 minutes.

Keith Curle and his Northampton side were crushed 4-0 in their away game at Crawley Town. Joe Martin started for the Cobblers, Andy Williams was sent on in the 62nd minute but Chris Lines was again missing from the squad.

Northampton Town v Walsall - Sky Bet League Two
Joe Martin who has recently returned to the Northampton squad. [Photo courtesy of Pete Norton, Official Northampton Town photographer]
Exeter City, with Tom Parkes in their side, stay in second place following their 1-0 home win against Newport County.

Mansfield’s new management team of Graham Coughlan and Joe Dunne had to be content with their second draw in two games. The Stags took a point from a 2-2 draw against Port vale at Field Mill thanks to a 93rd minute equaliser. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield starting lineup while Conrad Logan stayed on the bench. Cristian Montano was in the Vale side.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall made it six games unbeaten with a 2-0 win against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park. James Clarke, Stuart Sinclair and Rory Gaffney all started for the Saddlers.

Adam Smith kept a clean sheet for Forest Green Rovers as they took a point from a goalless draw at Stevenage and stay in sixth place.

Leaders Swindon Town emphasised their promotion credentials with an emphatic 4-0 home win against Cambridge United. Tom Broadbent was again missing from the Swindon squad while Elliott Ward and Daniel Jones were unused Cambridge substitutes.

In the National League Nathan Blissett started for Solihull Moors who took a point from their 2-2 draw against Chesterfield. They scored the equalising goal in the 95th minute.

Sam Slocombe returned to the Notts County side and kept a clean sheet as they beat Maidenhead United 3-0 at Meadow Lane. Bernard Mensah was an unused Maidenhead substitute.

Gabriel Osho was in the Yeovil Town side that registered a 6-2 home win against Torquay United to stay in second place on goal difference behind league leaders Barrow.

Moving on to National League North and Andy Bond was named on the York City bench for their game at Bradford (Park Avenue) and he watched the game for 85 minutes before being sent on. York were 2-0 winners.

Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side for their game at Kidderminster Harriers but he ended up on the losing side as they lost 3-1.

Cameron Ebbutt was named on the Gloucester City bench for their game at Leamington and he watched his side lose 3-0.

In National League South Scott Davies started on the bench for their home game against league leaders Wealdstone. Scott got a taste of the action in the 90th minute of their 2-1 win!

Another former Gas man named on the bench was Alex Wall of Hemel Hempstead Town and he was sent on in the 61st minute of their 2-0 defeat at St Albans City.

Theo Widdrington and Bradley Goldberg were named in the Welling United side for their home game against Dartford but ended up on the losing side as the Darts were 3-0 winners.

The big game in this area was the Twerton Park clash between Bath City and Chippenham Town, which the Romans won 3-2 and they moved into third place in the league standings.  Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt started for Bath, while Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham starting XI.  Rigg, playing against his former club, opened the scoring after only five minutes but Ryan Brunt equalised on 13 minutes. The visitors edged in front again but two second half goals sealed a victory for Jerry Gill’s side in front of a crowd of 1,397.

Jeffrey Monakana was named on the Dulwich Hamlet bench for their home game against Hampton & Richmond Borough who named Louie Soares on their bench. Monakana was sent on in the 87th minute, too late to prevent his side losing 2-1.

Andy Monkhouse returned to the Ossett United starting lineup for their home Northern Premier League North West Division fixture against Pontefract Collieries but they suffered a 2-0 defeat.

Adam Dawson made his debut for Radcliffe in their Boxing Day home game against Atherton Collieries and was on the winning side as they won 1-0.

Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City 070215
Adam Dawson made a Boxing Day debut for Radcliffe.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Brookman]
In the same division Clitheroe were 1-0 home winners against Widnes. Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side.

In the Southern League Premier South Division Salisbury, with Liam Armstrong in goal but without the services of Darren Mullings, were 3-1 home winners against Wimborne.

Walton Casuals suffered a Boxing Day bashing, losing 6-1 at home against Chesham United. However, Rene Howe did score the consolation goal for Casuals though it’s not clear if Wayne Brown was in the squad.

Merthyr Town were 2-1 home winners against Yate Town. Ben Swallow and Gavin Williams were named on the Merthyr bench and Swallow was sent on in the 67th minute. I’ve not been able to track down the Yate lineup so no idea if Sam Kamara turned out for them.

In Division One Central Tom Hitchcock scored a 90th minute goal for Bedford Town but it wasn’t enough as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of St Neots Town.

Bristol Manor Farm won their home game 2-1 against Willand Rovers in Division One South. Steve Kingdon was in the Manor Farm starting XI while Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist and Ollie Mehew were named on the bench.

Lewis Powell scored a hat trick for Larkhall Athletic as they recorded a 3-1 away win against Highworth Town. Jack Camm and Dale Evans were also in the ‘Larks’ lineup while Neil Arndale was on the bench.

Mangotsfield United also won 3-1, at home against Paulton Rovers. Trey Anderson was once again in the Mangotsfield starting XI.

In the Isthmian League Premier Division Lyle Della-Verde made a goalscoring debut for Enfield Town who were 5-3 home winners against Haringey Borough.

Closer to home, Bitton played out a 2-2 home draw against Cadbury Heath but I have no idea if Matt Groves was involved for them.

Cribbs suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of local rivals Hallen. Kieran Hodges was in goal for Cribbs, while Joe White was named on the bench. There was a Ray Johnston on the bench for Hallen and I can only assume it was their manager and former Rovers goalkeeper.

In the Scottish Premiership Heart of Midlothian were beaten 2-0 at home in the Edinburgh derby by Hibernian. Michael Smith was in the Hearts side now three points adrift at the foot of the table.

Motherwell, with Peter Hartley in their side, stay in third place after their 2-1 away win at Ross County. They left it late, though, as their winning goal didn’t arrive until the 92nd minute.

Leaders Celtic also won 2-1 on their travels, beating St Mirren. Once again Fraser Forster was in goal and once again Scott Sinclair was missing from their squad.

In the Welsh Premier League Barry Town United, with Kayne McLaggon in their side, drew 1-1 at home against Cardiff Met.

While Jeff Hughes was in the Larne lineup that took a point from a goalless home draw against Carrick Rangers, Seanan Clucas was missing from the Dungannon Swifts side that lost 5-0 at Glenavon.

SATURDAY 28TH DECEMBER

In the National League Yeovil Town missed the chance of going top of the National League as they were beaten 3-2 at Sutton United. Gabriel Osho started this game for the Glovers.

Boreham Wood and Eastleigh played out a 2-2 draw and while Ricky Shakes went on from the Boreham bench in the tenth minute, Danny Woodards stayed there all afternoon. Joe Pattington and Scott Rendell completed ninety minutes for Eastleigh.

Bernard Mensah started, and finished, on the bench for Maidenhead United who were 2-0 home winners against Wrexham. Not the ideal way to spend the day before your 25th birthday!

Sam Slocombe kept a clean sheet for Notts County who were 1-0 winners at Solihull Moors, a win that saw them move up to sixth place in the table. Nathan Blissett was an unused substitute for the Moors.

Sam Slocombe’s Boxing Day clean sheet saw Notts County into a National League play off place. Photo courtesy of media@notts countyfc.co.uk

Sam Slocombe’s Boxing Day clean sheet saw Notts County into a National League play off place.   [Photo courtesy of media@notts countyfc.co.uk]

In National League North Cameron Ebbutt was an 87th minute substitute for Gloucester City, beaten 1-0 at home by AFC Telford United.

Danny Greenslade also ended up on the losing side as his Hereford United side lost 2-1 against Leamington at Edgar Street.

York City also lost 2-1, at home against Guiseley. They stay in second place in the league, though. Perhaps they had better start playing Andy Bond again as he was an unused substitute!

In National League South Chippenham Town suffered their second loss of the holiday period, going down to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Dorking Wanderers. Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham starting XI.

Welling United, with Theo Widdrington in their side, lost 2-1 at Eastbourne Borough. Bradley Goldberg was also in the Welling squad and he was sent on in the 65th minute.

Hampton & Richmond Borough played out a goalless draw, a result that saw the Romans drop a place to fourth. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt both started for Jerry Gill’s side while Louie Soares was an 87th minute substitute for Hampton.

Hemel Hempstead Town and Slough Town drew 1-1. Alex Wall was a 75th minute substitute for Hemel and Scott Davies also came off the bench to make an appearance for Slough.

Jeffrey Monakana made a start for Dulwich Hamlet but ended up on the losing side as they lost 4-1 at John Still’s Maidstone United.

Weymouth stay in sixth place following their 2-1 home win against Oxford City. Abdulai Baggie and Josh Wakefield both started for Weymouth and Baggie scored their second goal in the 87th minute.

Josh Wakefield who is now a regular in the Weymouth side
Josh Wakefield who is now a regular in the Weymouth side

In one of the three Isthmian League Premier Division games, Chris Dickson scored from the penalty spot for Hornchuch, 3-0 home winners against Brighlingsea Regent.

In the North Division Adam Cunnington started for bottom club Romford who were thrashed 6-0 at Aveley.

In the South East Division Whitehawk, Dave Martin was in the side that collected a point from a 2-2 draw at Hayward Heath, a result that keeps them in fourth place.

In the Northern Counties League Premier Division Barton Town, with Craig Disley in their side, were 3-0 home winners against AFC Mansfield.

Matt Groves scored for Bitton in their 5-1 home win against Odd Down in the Western League Premier Division, while Cribbs suffered their second 4-2 defeat of the holiday period. They were beaten at Buckland Athletic but I’m afraid I have no idea if Kieran Hodges and Joe White were involved.

Darryl Duffy was in the Stirling Albion side that won 2-0 away at Stenhousemuir in Scottish League Two.

Lochee United, with Garry Kenneth in their side, were 3-2 away winners at Tayport.

In the Irish Premiership Dungannon Swifts shipped five goal again, losing 5-0 at Crusaders. Once again, though, Seanan Clucas was missing from their squad.

Larne, with Jeff Hughes in their side, also lost. They suffered a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Cliftonville FC.

 


Chapter 21 – Week commencing 15th December 2019

SUNDAY 15th DECEMBER

In the Scottish Premiership Peter Hartley stayed on the Motherwell bench all afternoon and watched his side slip to a 2-0 home defeat against Rangers.

Fraser Forster kept another clean sheet for Celtic as they also won 2-0, at home against Hibernian to maintain a two point lead over Rangers at the top of the table.

In the Danish Superliga FC Midtjylland suffered a rare defeat, losing 3-1 at home to AGF Aarhus.  Once again Mikkel Andersen spent his Sunday afternoon warming the Midtjylland bench.

TUESDAY 17TH DECEMBER

On the day it was confirmed that Graham Coughlan would take over as Mansfield Town manager his assistant, Joe Dunne, ensured that Rovers became the final team to make it through to the Third Round of the FA Cup. They beat Plymouth Argyle 1-0 at Home Park and there were three former Rovers players in the Argyle starting XI, namely Gary Sawyer, Byron Moore and Dominic Telford.

Dominic telford, one of three former Rovers players in the Plymouth side that faced Rovers in the FA Cup. Photo courtesy of Dave Rowntree
Dominic Telford, one of three former Rovers players in the Plymouth side that faced Rovers in the FA Cup.   [Photo courtesy of Dave Rowntree]
In the FA Trophy First Round, Bath City were 2-0 winners against Sholing at Twerton Park, thus reaching the Second Round of the competition for the first time since 2015. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt both started this one and it was Brunt who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute.

In a First Round replay Hampton & Richmond Borough made it through to Round Two for the first time since the 2010/11 season with a 2-0 win against Tonbridge Angels. Jefferson Louis and Louie Soares were both named on the Hampton bench.

Salisbury got as far as issuing a teamsheet for their home replay against Eastbourne Borough, but never got as far as kick off. The game was called off because of thick fog. Darren Mullings had been named as a starter for Salisbury.

In the Southern League Premier South Division Yate Town suffered a 2-1 defeat against Weston super Mare at Lodge Road. Sam Kamara was in the Yate side.

In the same league Walton Casuals, with Rene Howe and Wayne Brown in their side, suffered a 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Hayes & Yeading United who were without the services of Lyle Della-Verde.

Larkhall Athletic suffered a 3-1 defeat at Barnstaple Town in their Division One South encounter. Jack Camm and Dale Evans started for the Larks, while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were named on the bench.

Barry Hayles was again named on the bench for Merstham who took on Haringey Borough in the Isthmian League Premier Division and he saw his side win 1-0.

WEDNESDAY 18TH DECEMBER

Oxford United were in Carabao Cup action and took on Manchester City at the Kassam Stadium. They lost this quarter final tie 3-1 with Matty Taylor scoring their goal just after half time.

Colchester United were also involved and they too exited the competition at the quarter final stage, beaten 3-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford. Harry Pell started this one for Colchester.

Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic moved five points clear at the top of the table with a 2-0 win at Heart of Midlothian. Michael Smith was in the Hearts side while Fraser Forster was in goal for Celtic though once again there was no sign of Scott Sinclair in their squad.

FRIDAY 20TH DECEMBER

In the Welsh Premier League Barry Town United returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Aberystwyth Town. No real surprise that the only goal of the game was scored by Kayne McLaggon.

SATURDAY 21ST DECEMBER

Oli McBurnie scored the only goal of the game as Sheffield United were 1-0 winners against Brighton & Hove Albion in their Premier League clash down on the south coast; ‘Scotland international McBurnie latched on to goalkeeper Dean Henderson’s long ball to smash the winner home in the first half.’

Two former Gas players were involved in the goalless Championship game between Cardiff City and Preston North End at the Cardiff City Stadium. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was, apparently, in excellent form and denied Billy Bodin a first half goal when he made a point blank save from the ex Gas man.

Preston North End v Leeds United FC, EFL SKY BET Championship, Deepdale Stadium, Preston, UK, 10 April 2018
Billy Bodin, whose Preston North End side are in fourth place in the Championship.   [Photo courtesy of PNE website]
Swansea City, with Connor Roberts in their side, are back in a play off place following their 1-0 win against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.

Two more former Gas players were involved in the game between Queens Park Rangers and Tom Lockyer at Loftus Road. Joe Lumley was in goal for the home side and Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton side as their sides played out a 2-2 draw with Charlton scoring the equaliser in the 95th minute.

Derby County’s Scott Malone was sent off just four minutes into their game against Reading at the Madejski Stadium and the ten men were beaten 3-0. Two former Gas goalies, Reading’s Sam Walker and Derby’s Kelle Roos, watched the action unfold from their respective benches.

Tom Eaves headed home Hull City’s first goal, in first half stoppage time, against Birmingham City and his side went on to win 3-1.

Tom Eaves, who scored for Hull City last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Ben, Hull City FC
Tom Eaves, who scored for Hull City last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Ben, Hull City FC]
Brentford’s Luke Daniels, another former Gas goalkeeper, also stayed on the bench and saw his side take a valuable point from their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. West Brom are the league leaders with 50 points, 13 ahead of Brentford down in fifth place.

There were no fewer than four ex Gas players on show at Gillingham where the home side were 3-1 winners against MK Dons. Goalkeeper Jack Bonham was between the posts for the Gills while Alex Jakubiak was sent on in the 93rd minute. Lee Nicholls and Hiram Boateng both started for MK.

Miton Keynes Dons v Ipswich Town, Sky Bet League One, Football, Stadium MK, Miton Keynes, 17 Sep 2019
Hiram Boateng is a former gas loanee likely to play against us, for MK Dons, on New Year’s Day.  [Photo courtesy of Ben Ward]
Chris Beardsley was an unused Burton Albion substitute and saw his side register a 3-1 home win against Rochdale. John-Joe O’Toole was still missing from the Burton lineup through suspension.

Coventry City were 1-0 home winners against Lincoln City at St Andrews. Cian Bolger was in the Lincoln side while John Akinde was sent on from the bench in the 64th minute.

Can Bolger, whose Lincoln City side were beaten 1-0 at Coventry City at the weekend. Photo courtesy of Tom Bullivant, Lincoln City FC
Cian Bolger, whose Lincoln City side were beaten 1-0 at Coventry City at the weekend.   [Photo courtesy of Tom Bullivant, Lincoln City FC]
League leaders Wycombe Wanderers went down to a 1-0 defeat against Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium where they had Adebayo Akinfenwa sent off in the 26th minute, just three minutes after Oxford had scored the only goal of the game. Matty Taylor was a 69th minute substitute for Oxford while Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side and was the recipient of one of the eight yellow cards issued by referee Lee Swaby.

Down at Fratton Park Portsmouth’s Ellis Harrison also collected a yellow card, but his side were 1-0 winners against Ipswich Town who, as a result, dropped from second to third place in the league. Lee Brown was again missing from the Portsmouth who remain in tenth place.

There was a Tranmere Rovers debut, and a clean sheet, for goalkeeper Aaron Chapman. The shot stopper moved to Prenton Park, on loan from Peterborough United, a few days before this game and helped his side to a 1-0 home win against AFC Wimbledon. Stefan Payne watched this one from the Tranmere bench.

In League Two Matt Harrold was a 77th minute substitute for Leyton Orient who ended a ten match winless run with a 3-2 victory at Cambridge United. Elliott Ward, Daniel Jones and Reggie Lambe all started for Cambridge but Lambe was sent off on the 84th minute after picking up his second yellow card of the game.

Colchester United, with Harry Pell in their side, were 3-0 home winners against Carlisle United and sit just one place and one point outside the play off places going into the Christmas fixtures.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall raced into a three goal lead against Exeter after only 31 minutes of their game at St James’ Park, but had to settle for a point as the home side hit back to draw 3-3. Tom Parkes was a 28th minute substitute for the Grecians while James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair started for the Saddlers and Rory Gaffney was sent on in the 80th minute.

Adam Smith was in goal for Forest Green Rovers for their home game against league leaders Swindon Town which ended 2-2, the home side’s equaliser arriving in the 95th minute. Tom Broadbent was missing from the Swindon squad for this one.
Former Rovers boss Graham Coughlan and his assistant Joe Dunne took charge of Mansfield Town for the first time and saw their side draw with another side managed by a man with Rovers connections in Keith Curle. The game ended 1-1 and while Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield side, Conrad Logan stayed on the bench. Chris Lines was missing from the Northampton side but Andy Williams was sent on in the 63rd minute and Joe Martin after 80 minutes.

There was another 1-1 draw at Vale Park, between Port Vale and Cheltenham Town. Cristian Montano was in the Vale side, while Ryan Broom and Gavin Reilly both started for Cheltenham who dropped down to fourth place.

The three former Gas men in the Plymouth Argyle squad, Gary Sawyer, Byron Moore and Dominic Telford, were left kicking their heels after their game at Macclesfield was called off. The reason given was that Macclesfield had been issued with a zero capacity notice by the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG). The SAG was not satisfied that the home side had met all of the requirements to stage the game. Macclesfield offered to play the game behind closed doors but the EFL didn’t agree to the request.

Moving on to the National League and, following their 2-2 draw at AFC Fylde, Yeovil Town go into the busy Christmas period in second place. Gabriel Osho was in their side for this one.

Aldershot Town moved four points clear of the bottom four with a 2-1 home win against Stockport County. Alefe Santos was a 72nd minute substitute for the Shots.

Boreham Wood also recorded a 2-1 home win, against Harrogate Town. Ricky Shakes and Danny Woodards were both on the Boreham bench and Shakes was sent on after an hour, while Woodards had to wait until the 92nd minute before he was called on!

Eastleigh, with Joe Partington and Scott Rendell in their side, were 3-2 winners at Bromley, a result that leaves them in twelfth place just four points away from a play off place.

Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe’s injury prevented him from taking his place between the posts for Notts County, but they managed a 4-2 win at FC Halifax Town without him and, like Eastleigh, are four points off the play off places.

Maidenhead United suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Barnet. Bernard Mensah was again named on the bench for Maidenhead and was sent on in the 75th minute.

There were just two former Gas players in action in the National League North, one of them being Danny Greenslade who was in the Hereford United side that played put a goalless draw against Guiseley at Edgar Street.

The other was Andy Bond, who was in the York City side beaten 1-0 at home by Darlington. York stay in second place, though, three points behind leaders Kings Lynn Town and having played a game more.

Cameron Ebbutt’s Gloucester City debut was put on hold as their scheduled home game against leaders Kings Lynn Town was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Chippenham Town collected three valuable National League South points as they were 2-1 home winners against Chelmsford City. Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham side.

Bath City were a goal down at Eastbourne Borough but scored twice in the last three minutes of the game to win 2-1 and they go into Christmas in fourth place in the league. Ryan Clarke started this one for Bath, while Ryan Brunt came off the bench to feature in the entire second half.

Alex Wall was in the Hemel Hempstead Town side that took a point from a 1-1 home draw against Tonbridge Angels.

Jeffrey Monakana, meanwhile, was an unused Dulwich Hamlet substitute and watched his side win 4-1 at Hungerford Town.

Weymouth suffered a rare home defeat, losing 1-0 against St Albans City and dropped down to sixth place. Josh Wakefield started for Weymouth while Abdulai Baggie was sent on from the bench in the 63rd minute.

Three National League South games were called off because of waterlogged pitches.

Basford United, of the Northern Premier League Premier Division, suffered a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Hyde United. Kieran Preston was in goal for Basford and all four goals he conceded arrived in the opening 25 minutes.

In the North West Division Ossett were beaten 3-2 at Mossley and remain in the bottom two, above Pickering Town on goal difference. Andy Monkhouse was named on the Ossett bench and was sent on in the second half, though I can’t be sure how much game time he managed as the club’s Twitter account doesn’t say. However Ossett were winning 2-1 at the time so it was at some point between the 72nd and 81st minute!

Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side beaten 3-1 at Brighouse Town, a defeat that leaves them in seventh place, two points away from a play off place.

In the Southern League Premier South Division, four games likely to have involved former Gas players were called off because of waterlogged pitches.

One game that did go ahead was at Salisbury where the home side, with Liam Armstrong in goal and Darren Mullings also in the side, were 2-1 winners against Poole Town.

Walton Casuals, with Rene Howe in their lineup, were beaten 3-2 at home by Blackfield & Langley and remain in 13th place in the league table.

In Division One Central Tom Hitchcock and his Bedford Town side gained a point from a goalless draw at Didcot Town and they remain in sixth place, one point outside the play off places.

Four games were called off in that division and five more were off in Division One South while the game between league leaders Frome Town and second placed Thatcham Town was abandoned with just 15 minutes to go and with Frome leading 2-0. Frome boss Danny Greaves can’t have been happy with that decision!

There were no former Gas representatives involved in any of the five games that did go ahead, though Paulton Rovers assistant manager Paul Tovey did see his side beat Highworth Town 3-1

Merstham, of the Isthmian League Premier Division, played out a 1-1 draw at Carshalton Athletic, though Barry Hayles wasn’t in their squad for this one.

In the Midland League Premier Division Sam Oji skippered Highgate United to a 3-2 home win against Coventry Sphinx.

Fraser Forster had an off day for Celtic in the Scottish Premiership…he conceded a goal! His side still managed to win, though, beating Aberdeen 2-1 at Celtic Park.

Heart of Midlothian were beaten 2-1 by the only side below them at start of play, Hamilton Academical a result that saw them swap places with their hosts. Michael Smith was in the Hearts lineup and the only way for them now is up!

Motherwell, though, moved into third place following their 1-0 away win against Kilmarnock. Peter Hartley was in the side that has now kept a clean sheet in four of their last five games.

In Scottish League Two Darryl Duffy was sent on from the bench by Stirling Albion in their home match against Edinburgh City. However, his side were beaten 1-0, the winning goal arriving in the 91st minute.

Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that recorded a 4-0 home win against North End in the Scottish Junior League (I think!)

In the Irish Premiership, Seanan Clucas was in the Dungannon Swifts side that took a point from a 2-2 home draw against Institute.

Jeff Hughes, though, was on the winning side as Larne recorded a 2-0 away win against Warrenpoint. Both goals were scored in the last five minutes of the game.

Tom Lockyer - a Championship regular with Charlton Athletic. Photo courtesy of Tom
Tom Lockyer – a Championship regular with Charlton Athletic.[Photo courtesy of Tom himself]

Chapter 20 – Week commencing 8th December 2019

SUNDAY 8th DECEMBER

In the Premier League Sheffield United maintained their unbeaten league record away from home with a 2-1 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road. They had a little bit of help from Oli McBurnie who was sent on from the Blades’ bench in the 83rd minute.

Swansea City suffered a heavy defeat in the Championship, losing 5-1 at West Bromwich Albion. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side that dropped to 11th place in the table.

In Scotland Celtic and Rangers met in the Scottish League Cup Final at Hampden Park. Celtic were 1-0 winners with their only shot on target, on the hour mark. Three minutes after scoring they had a man sent off for a foul in the box which resulted in a Rangers penalty and that was saved by Fraser Forster who picked up the Man of the Match accolade.

In the Danish Superliga leaders FC Midtjylland were 2-1 away winners at Brondby and, as usual, Mikkel Andersen watched the game from the Midtjylland bench.

TUESDAY 10TH DECEMBER

In the Championship Leeds United moved back to the top of the table following their 2-1 home win against Hull City for whom Tom Eaves played the entire 90 minutes.

Marc Bola was again an unused substitute for Middlesbrough picked up a point from a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and have lost just once in their last six games.

Preston North End brought their run of four consecutive defeats to an end with a 2-1 win against Fulham at Deepdale. Billy Bodin started this one for Preston.

Tom Lockyer was back in the Charlton Athletic side for their home game against Huddersfield Town. He collected a yellow card and his side, who failed to register a shot on target during the game, lost 1-0 with the winning goal arriving in the 92nd minute.

There were four FA Cup second round replays played and Adam Smith made a rare appearance for Forest Green Rovers in their game at Carlisle United. He ended up on the losing side, though, as Carlisle were 1-0 winners.

Eastleigh are also out, after losing 3-1 against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. Scott Rendell started for the losers, but Joe Partington was missing from their squad.

Exeter City lost 1-0 at National League side Hartlepool United, 1-0 after extra time. Hartlepool, with Luke James in their side are one of only two non league sides to make it through to round three. Tom Parkes completed 90 minutes for Exeter.

Tom Parkes is looking to gain promotion with Exeter City this season. Photo Courtesy Ben Stock ECFC
Tom Parkes is looking to gain promotion with Exeter City this season.  [Photo Courtesy Ben Stock ECFC]
There were no former Gas players on show in the fourth game of the night, but there was Gas interest. Coventry City were 2-1 winners against Ipswich Town at Portman Road, which means they travel to face either Rovers or Plymouth Argyle in the third round.

Yeovil Town moved into second place in the National league following their 2-1 win at Chesterfield and Gabriel Osho was once again in their lineup.

Chippenham Town collected a valuable National League South point from their goalless draw at Maidstone United. Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski all started for Chippenham against John Still’s side.

Maidstone United Director of Football John Still, whose side were beaten 3-2 by Concord rangers in last Saturday’s FA Trophy First Round tie. Photo courtesy of Ian Tucker & Steve Torvell, Maidstone United FC
Maidstone United Director of Football John Still, whose side were beaten 3-2 by Concord rangers in last Saturday’s FA Trophy First Round tie.   [Photo courtesy of Ian Tucker & Steve Torvell, Maidstone United FC]
WEDNESDAY 11TH DECEMBER

In the Championship goalkeeper Sam Walker again took up his customary place on the Reading bench and watched his side gain a point from a 1-1 draw against Barnsley at Oakwell.

Jake Clarke-Salter was missing from the Birmingham City lineup through injury and his side suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Queens Park Rangers for whom Joe Lumley was in goal.

It seems as though it was all about Gas goalies on this particular night and there were two more involved at Griffin Park where Brentford beat Cardiff City 2-1. Luke Daniels was on the Brentford bench while Neil Etheridge was between the posts for Cardiff.

Continuing the shot stopper theme, Kelle Roos spent the evening on the Derby County bench and watched his side gain a point from a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park.

There was another 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium between Swansea City and Blackburn Rovers. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side for this one.

THURSDAY 12TH DECEMBER

Celtic were in Europa League action and travelled to Romania to take on CFR Cluij. Having already qualified as Group E winners, a much changed side were beaten 2-0. Scott Sinclair completed a rare 90 minutes for the Glasgow side, but goalkeeper Fraser Forster was rested.

FRIDAY 13TH DECEMBER

Charlton Athletic were involved in the televised Championship game with Hull City at the Valley and had to settle for a point after conceding the equaliser in the 96th minute. Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton side and Tom Eaves started for Hull but had to go off injured in 76th minute.

The wheels appear to have come off the Barry Town United bus. They suffered a 4-1 home defeat against The New Saints in the Welsh Premier League. Nevertheless, there were many positive comments on their twitter feed following their defeat against the league leaders and reigning Welsh Champions. Kayne McLaggon started for the home side.

SATURDAY 14TH DECEMBER

Oli McBurnie was a 61st minute substitute for Sheffield United who were 2-0 winners in their Premier League game against Aston Villa at Bramall Lane.

In the Championship there was a surprise in store for Queens Park Rangers at Oakwell where they lost 5-3 against Barnsley. Not a good day for goalkeeper Joe Lumley and his defenders!

One day I’ll write about goalkeeper Luke Daniels taking his place in the Brentford side and completing 90 minutes, but not this week! He was again on the bench at Griffin Park where his side beat Fulham 1-0 to move into fourth place in the table.

Kelle Roos was again on the Derby County bench and watched his side lose 1-0 against Millwall at Pride Park.

Cardiff City, with Neil Etheridge in goal, were 3-0 down against Leeds United at Elland Road but hit back to take a point from a 3-3 draw. They equalised when down to ten men so it was a good day at the office though Etheridge was responsible for conceding the penalty from which Patrick Bamford scored the third Leeds goal.

Billy Bodin collected a win bonus as he was in the Preston North End side that recorded a
2-1 win against Luton Town at Deepdale.

Goalkeeper Sam Walker spent another day on the Reading bench and watched his side take a point from a goalless draw against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Swansea City were 3-1 home winners against Middlesbrough who finished the game with nine men following the red cards picked up by Marcus Browne and Paddy McNair. Connor Roberts was in the Swansea side but Marc Bola was missing from the Middlesbrough squad.

Connor Roberts, a regular for Swansea City and Wales. Photo courtesy of Chris barney, Swansea City FC
Connor Roberts, a regular for Swansea City and Wales.  [Photo courtesy of Chris Barney, Swansea City FC]
In League One Portsmouth’s Ellis Harrison scored again, though unfortunately it was at the wrong end. He headed into his own net for an Accrington Stanley equaliser at the end of the first half and his side conceded another three times after the break to lose 4-1. Lee Brown was missing from the Pompey squad.

John Akinde’s sixth goal of the season was enough to give Lincoln City a 1-0 home win against Tranmere Rovers who had Corey Blackett-Taylor sent off on 40 minutes. Cian Bolger was also in the Lincoln side while Stefan Payne was a 75th minute substitute for Tranmere.

MK Dons ended a 12 game run without a win by registering a 1-0 home victory against Oxford United at Stadium MK. Lee Nicholls and Hiram Boateng were both in the MK Dons side and Matty Taylor completed 90 minutes for Oxford.

A 91st minute goal by Shaun Whalley, for Shrewsbury, saw them win 2-1 against Coventry City. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side and picked up a yellow card.

Wycombe Wanderers are now seven points clear at the top of the league following their 2-0 win against Burton Albion at Adams Park. Joe Jacobson was in the Wycombe side for this one, while Chris Beardsley was an unused Burton substitute.

Alex Jakubiak scored Gillingham’s goal in their 1-1 away draw against Fleetwood Town after being sent on from the bench on 69 minutes. Jack Bonham was in goal for the Gills.

The point they gained from a 1-1 home draw against Cambridge United was enough for Cheltenham Town to move into third place in League One. Ryan Broom completed 90 minutes for Cheltenham, but Gavin Reilly stayed on the bench all afternoon. Daniel Jones, Elliott Ward and Reggie Lambe all completed 90 minutes for Cambridge.

Cristian Montano was in the Port Vale side that collected a point from a goalless draw at Crawley Town.

The point gained by Mansfield Town from their 1-1 draw against Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road wasn’t enough to save the job of manager John Dempster who was sacked a few hours after the final whistle. Almost immediately it was announced that Rovers had turned down a Mansfield approach for the services of Graham Coughlan to replace him. Ryan Sweeney was in the Mansfield side for this one, while Conrad Logan spent the afternoon warming the bench.

Matt Harrold was an unused Leyton Orient substitute for their home game against Bradford City and saw his side take a point from a goalless draw.

Northampton Town recorded a sixth straight home win, beating Forest Green Rovers 1-0 at Sixfields. Chris Lines started for the Cobblers and was replaced by Andy Williams in the 80th minute, while Joe Martin was an unused substitute. Adam Smith was again in goal for the Gloucestershire Rovers.

Plymouth Argyle eased to a 3-0 home win against Morecambe at Home park. The visitors went down to ten men in the 42nd minute following Ritchie Sutton’s red card. Gary Sawyer, Byron Moore and Dominic Telford all started for Argyle.

Byron Moore pictured in action for Plymouth Argyle. Photo courtesy of Dave Rowntree, official photographer Plymouth Argyle FC
Byron Moore pictured in action for Plymouth Argyle.  [Photo courtesy of Dave Rowntree, official photographer Plymouth Argyle FC]
Exeter City, with Tom Parkes in their side, took all three points with a 1-0 win at Salford City, a result that keeps them in second place just three points behind leaders Swindon Town.

Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side that picked up a point from a 2-2 draw against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

Swindon Town were 2-0 home winners against Oldham Athletic at the County Ground, and once again Tom Broadbent watched proceedings from the Swindon bench.

Walsall took a point from a 1-1 home draw against Macclesfield Town. James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair started for the Saddlers and Rory Gaffney went on from the bench in the 84th minute.

A number of non league games were called off because of waterlogged pitches, meaning that a number of former Gas players were left kicking their heels on Saturday afternoon.

However there were a number of them involved in FA Trophy games and this is how they fared; Paulton Rovers finally played the outstanding Third Qualifying Round replay but, after leading 1-0 at half time in their home game against Sholing, they went down 2-1 thus missing out on a First Round tie against Bath City at Twerton Park. Nuno Felix was in the Paulton side for this game.

Moving on to the First Round games and Sam Slocombe kept a clean sheet for Notts County who were 1-0 winners at Chesterfield. This clash of two former league clubs attracted a crowd of just 931.

Chris Dickson was in the Hornchurch side that made it through to the Second Round. They were 1-0 winners against Dulwich Hamlet who named Jeffrey Monakana on their bench.

Chris Dickson has been in excellent for for Hornchurch this season and last Saturday they won through to the second round of the FA Trophy. Photo courtesy of Peter Trinder, photographer, Hornchurch
Chris Dickson has been in excellent for Hornchurch this season and last Saturday they won through to the second round of the FA Trophy.  [Photo courtesy of Peter Trinder, photographer, Hornchurch]
Weymouth went out of the competition, though, losing 2-1 at Barnet. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the side that almost forced a replay against National League opponents.

Salisbury live to fight another day after their 2-2 draw at Eastbourne Borough. Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side who now face a home replay on Tuesday.

Yate Town, however, were well beaten by National League opponents Eastleigh. They lost 6-1 against a side that included Joe Partington and Scott Rendell, who scored one of their goals. Sam Kamara was in the Yate lineup.

Luke James was missing from the Hartlepool United side beaten 3-2 at Harrogate Town, but Bernard Mensah made a rare start for Maidenhead United who were 4-2 home winners against Hemel Hempstead Town. Alex Wall started for Hemel Hempstead and scored their second goal on 59 minutes.

Both Ricky Shakes and Danny Woodards sat on the Boreham Wood bench for the entire 90 minutes of their game at Royston Town and saw their side beaten 2-0.

Solihull Moors and Darlington will need a Wednesday evening replay at Darlington following their 2-2 draw. Nathan Blissett started for the Moors.

Tonbridge Angels scored twice late on to earn a replay after their 2-2 home draw against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Louie Soares was in the Hampton side, while Jefferson Louis was named on their bench. They replay on Tuesday evening.

Alefe Santos started for Aldershot Town, but it wasn’t a good day for his side as they were beaten 5-1 by fellow National League side Torquay United at Plainmoor.

Welling United also bowed out of the competition, losing 3-1 at Yeovil Town. Gabriel Osho was in the Yeovil side, Bradley Goldberg started for Welling and Theo Widdrington was named on the bench and managed some game time in the second half (no idea when he was sent on!).

In the Northern Premier League Premier Division Basford United collected a point from a 1-1 away draw at Warrington Town. That result leaves them in third place in the league standings. Kieran Preston was in goal and picked up the Supporters Man of the Match award.

Andy Monkhouse was back in the Ossett United squad for their trip to Marine in the North West Division. He was named on the bench and got a taste of the action though what minute he went on is anyone’s guess! Ossett were beaten 3-0 and are one place off the bottom of the league, on goal difference from Pickering Town.

Andy Monkhouse, who returned to the Ossett United squad last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Neil Spofforth, Ossett United FC
Andy Monkhouse, who returned to the Ossett United squad last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Spofforth, Ossett United FC]
Ben Swallow started for Merthyr Town in their Premier South Division home match against Walton Casuals. Ben Swallow started for the Martyrs and Eliot Richards was sent on from the bench on 67 minutes, but they lost the game 2-0. Rene Howe scored for Walton and he played alongside Wayne Brown, who collected a yellow card during the course of the 90 minutes.

Wayne brown, currently playing for Walton casuals, pictured in the colours of his parent club Sutton United. Photo courtesy of Sutton United twitter
Wayne Brown, currently playing for Walton Casuals, pictured in the colours of his parent club Sutton United.  [Photo courtesy of Sutton United twitter account]
Tom Hitchcock scored a 39th minute goal for Bedford Town in their home Division One Central game against Kidlington, a result that leaves them one place and two points off the play off places.

Mangotsfield United, with Trey Anderson in their side, were beaten 2-1 at Melksham Town. Andy Sandell did, I believe, start the season with Melksham, but appears to have disappeared off the radar. Does anyone know if he’s still playing?

In the Isthmian Premier League Premier Division Merstham were beaten 4-2 at home by Lewes. Barry Hayles was on the bench for Merstham.

Highgate United, with Sam Oji in their side, took a point from their Midland League Premier Division game at Worcester City, drawing 2-2.

Craig Disley took up his usual place in Barton Town’s midfield and helped his side take a point from a 1-1 draw at Knaresborough.

In the Western league there were 1-0 wins for Cribbs and for Bitton. Kieran Hodges was in goal for Cribbs, who won at Westbury United and I assume that Joe White was up front. Bitton’s victory came at Street and, once again, I can only assume that Matt Groves was involved for them.

In the Scottish Premiership Michael Smith was in the first heart of Midlothian side selected by new manager Daniel Stendel. They lost again, though, St Johnstone inflicting a 1-0 home defeat on them and leaving them just one place above bottom club Hamilton Academical on goal difference.

Scottish League two side Stirling Albion left Darryl Duffy on their bench all afternoon as they took a point from a 1-1 draw at Queens Park.

In the Irish Premiership Jeff Hughes was in the Larne side that took a point from a 2-2 home draw against Coleraine, but Seanan Clucas was missing from the Dungannon Swifts side beaten 3-2 at Ballymena United.


Chapter 19 – Week commencing 1st December 2019

SUNDAY 1ST DECEMBER

Our only ex Gas man playing regularly in the Premier league, Oli McBurnie, was a 73rd minute substitute for Sheffield United in their 1-1 draw against Wolves at Molineux.

For the second week running Rovers faced a side skippered by one of their former players. Last week it was Ollie Norburn, at Shrewsbury, this week Gary Sawyer of Plymouth Argyle as the sides met in the second round of the FA Cup at the Memorial Stadium. Byron Moore also started for Argyle and Dominic Telford was a 56th minute substitute. The game ended all square at 1-1 so it will be part two at Home Park on 17th December.

Bolton Wanderers v Plymouth Argyle, Bolton, UK - 9 Nov 2019
Gary Sawyer who skippered Plymouth Argyle against Rovers in the FA Cup.  [Photo courtesy of Dave Rowntree, official photographer Plymouth Argyle FC]
Exeter City, two goals up against Hartlepool at one stage, drew 2-2 at St James’ Park, and face a long trip to the north east for their replay. Tom Parkes was an unused Exeter substitute, while Luke James was in the Hartlepool side and collected a yellow card.

Gillingham eased through to round three and it was a clean sheet for goalkeeper Jack Bonham as the Gills were 3-0 home winners against Doncaster Rovers. Alex Jakubiak stayed on the Gillingham bench for this one.

Northampton Town reached the third round of the competition for only the second time in 14 years. They were 3-1 home winners against Notts County and had Chris Lines and Andy Williams in their lineup, while Sam Slocombe was in goal for County.

Peterborough United’s Aaron Chapman was again on the bench for them and watched them go through to the next round with a 3-0 home win against Dover Athletic.

Stefan Payne, meanwhile, was an unused Tranmere Rovers substitute and watched on as his side were 5-1 home winners against Chichester City.

In the Scottish Premier League Celtic were 4-1 away winners at Ross County. Fraser Forster was in goal for them and Scott Sinclair was again an unused substitute.

MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER

Billy Bodin made a fleeting appearance on our TV screens as he was sent on from the Preston North End bench in the 91st minute of their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion who had scored what proved to be the winning goal from the penalty spot a minute earlier!

In the last of the second round FA Cup ties Solihull Moors went close to providing an upset. They were 3-0 up at home against Rotherham United but conceded four goals in the final 14 minutes to go out 4-3. Nathan Blissett was sent on in the 75th minute of the game as a Solihull substitute.

The FA Cup third round draw gave Rovers or Plymouth Argyle a home tie against Coventry City or Ipswich Town.

TUESDAY 3RD DECEMBER

The one game in League One saw Burton Albion held to a 1-1 draw by Southend United at the Pirelli Stadium. John-Joe O’Toole’s evening ended early as he was red carded on 33 minutes with Burton a goal down, but the ten men hit back to equalise in the 49th minute. Chris Beardsley was again an unused substitute.

In the Leasing.Com Trophy Harry Pell was in the Colchester United side beaten 2-1 at home by Stevenage.

Ollie Norburn was also on the losing side as Shrewsbury Town suffered a home defeat. They held Manchester City U-21’s to a 1-1 draw but were beaten 6-5 in the resulting penalty shootout.

Lee Nicholls and Hiram Boateng both featured for MK Dons who progressed to the third round of the competition thanks to a 2-0 home win against Coventry City.

Port Vale are also through. They beat Mansfield Town 4-2 on penalties at Vale Park following a 2-2 draw. Ryan Sweeney played for Mansfield while Conrad Logan was an unused substitute. Cristian Montano was missing from the Vale squad.

There were two former Gas players on view at Fratton Park where Portsmouth were 2-1 winners against Northampton Town. Ellis Harrison remained on the Pompey bench all night while Joe Martin started for the Cobblers.

Walsall are also through as they were 3-2 home winners against Chelsea U-21’s. James Clarke and Rory Gaffney both started this one for the Saddlers who scored the winning goal in the 94th minute.

In the National League Eastleigh suffered an FA Cup hangover, or so it would seem. Following their draw against Crewe Alexandra at the weekend they were brought back down to earth as they suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Wrexham. Joe Partington was missing from the Eastleigh squad, but Scott Rendell completed 90 minutes.

There were two former Gas players on the pitch, and one on the touchline, at Edgar Street where Hereford and York City played out a 2-2 draw. Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side, while Andy Bond was in the York lineup. The watching former player? Andy Collett who is York’s goalkeeping coach.

Danny Greenslade, now fully recovered after injury, and once again playing regularly for Hereford. Photo courtesy of Jamie Griffiths, Hereford United FC
Danny Greenslade, now fully recovered after injury, and once again playing regularly for Hereford.  [Photo courtesy of Jamie Griffiths, Hereford United FC]
Paulton Rovers’ sojourn in the FA Trophy continues as they played out a goalless draw at Sholing in their Third Round tie. Nuno Felix was in the Paulton starting XI.

Bristol Manor Farm suffered a second home defeat in the Southern league Division One South in a matter of days. Unbeaten Thatcham Town were 3-0 winners at the Creek where Steve Kingdon and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist started for Farm and Ollie Mehew was named on the bench.

Jamie Cureton was in the Bishop’s Stortford starting lineup for their Isthmian League Premier Division home match against East Thurrock United. They won the game 1-0 and, inevitably, it was ‘Curo’ who scored the winning goal…a 93rd minute penalty!

In the South East Division Dave Martin was in the Whitehawk side that lost 3-1 against Peacehaven in the Sussex County FA Senior Cup.

Highgate United, with Sam Oji their side, bowed out of the Midland Football League Cup at Racing Club Warwick. They lost 4-2 on penalties following a goalless draw.

WEDNESDAY 4TH DECEMBER

There were more second round Leasing.Com Trophy games (EFL Trophy) and Tom Parkes and Jordan Tillson were both in the Exeter City side that went through to the next round following their win against Oxford United at St James’ Park. After a goalless 90 minutes the home side were 3-0 winners in the penalty shootout, scoring their first three penalties while Oxford missed their first three (all saved by Dino Visser).

There was another penalty shootout at London Road where Peterborough United, following a 1-1 draw against Ipswich Town, lost 6-5 in the penalty shootout. Aaron Chapman was in goal for Peterborough for this one.

A third penalty shootout took place at the Memorial Stadium where Bristol Rovers drew 1-1 with Leyton Orient but triumphed 4-2 in the spot kick lottery thanks to two saves by goalkeeper Jordi van Stappershoef. Matt Harrold returned to the Mem for this one and was sent on from the bench in the 73rd minute. He didn’t score from open play but converted one of the two Orient spot kicks in the shootout. Rovers recorded what many believe to be their lowest ever attendance. The official figure was 865 and 106 of them were Orient fans.

Matt Harold who scored on of Leyton Orient’s penalties in last week’s shootout at the Memorial. Photo courtesy of Simon O’Connor, official photographer Leyton Orient FC
Matt Harrold who scored one of Leyton Orient’s penalties in last week’s shootout at the Memorial. [Photo courtesy of Simon O’Connor, official photographer Leyton Orient FC]
Tranmere Rovers didn’t need penalties to beat Manchester United U-21’s and managed to win 3-2 in front of another huge crowd…632. There were 17 minutes of added time in this game due to an injury to Rushian Hepburn-Murphy which him saw him stretchered off.

Larkhall Athletic were in Southern League Division One South action and recorded a 1-0 away win at Slimbridge. Jack Camm, Dale Evans and Lewis Powell were all named in the starting lineup while Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were named on the bench. No idea if Bater and Arndale were needed as, to quote the ‘Larks’ Twitter account…’Limited tweeting tonight – too cold!’

Swindon Town eased into the semi finals of the Wiltshire Premier Shield with a resounding 7-0 away win at Westbury United. Tom Broadbent was in the Swindon side and completed the first 55 minutes before being taken off.

Swindon Supermarine were also due to play in the competition but their game at Bradford Town was called off because of fog!

Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham Town side that took on Highworth Town in the same competition and they made it through to the semi final stage, beating their hosts 1-0 thanks to Rigg’s second half goal.

In the Scottish Premier League Celtic moved two points clear of Rangers at the top of the table following their 2-1 home win against Hamilton Academicals. The winning goal arrived in the second minute of stoppage tome, two minutes after Hamilton had equalised. Fraser Forster was in goal for Celtic while Scott Sinclair was an unused substitute…again!

Michael Smith was in the Heart of Midlothian side that collected a point from a 1-1 home draw against Livingston. The managerless Edinburgh side could have done with all three, though, as they sit just one point ahead of bottom club St Mirren.

Motherwell were 3-0 winners at St Mirren but Peter Hartley, who scored at the weekend, was missing from the Motherwell squad.

THURSDAY 5TH DECEMBER

Oli McBurnie was again in Premier league action as he completed 90 minutes for Sheffield United as they hosted Newcastle United. Unfortunately, both for him and The Blades, the ‘Geordie’ United ran out 2-0 winners.

SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER

In the Championship Derby County goalkeeper Kellle Roos spent another afternoon on the bench and watched his side lose 1-0 against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Another Gas goalie, though, was on the winning side. Neil Etheridge was between the posts for Cardiff City who beat Barnsley 3-2 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Tom Eaves was another former Gas winner, as he was in the Hull City side that recorded a 2-1 home win against struggling Stoke City.

Marc Bola was an unused Middlesbrough substitute for their home game against Charlton Athletic. They beat Charlton Athletic, who were without Tom Lockyer, 1-0 thanks to a goal scored in the first minute of the game.

Queens Park Rangers, with Joe Lumley in goal, were 2-0 winners against Preston North End at Loftus Road to record their first win in eight games. For Preston, who sent on Billy Bodin as a 57th minute substitute, it was a fourth successive defeat and saw them drop out of the top six.

Sam Walker again warmed the Reading bench and watched his side lose 3-2 against Birmingham City at the Madejski Stadium. Jake Clarke-Salter started for the Blues but was substituted after only 17 minutes with what was thought to be a dislocated shoulder.

Luke Daniels also spent the afternoon bench warming and watching his side lose. The Brentford shot stopper saw his side go down 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday.

Lincoln City won their first league match in six outings as they beat Burton Albion 2-0 at the Pirelli Stadium. The suspended John-Joe O’Toole was missing from the Burton lineup, naturally, but Chris Beardsley was again an unused substitute. Cian Bolger and John Akinde were both in the Lincoln side.

Lee Nicholls and Hiram Boateng both started for MK Dons who picked up a point from a 1-1 draw against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Gillingham, who beat Sunderland in last month’s FA Cup tie between the two sides, were winners again when the sides met in league action at the Priestfield Stadium, winning 1-0 with the only goal of the game being scored in the 89th minute. Jack Bonham was in the Gillingham goal while Alex Jakubiak was stayed on the bench all afternoon.

Matty Taylor was in the Oxford United side that played out a goalless draw against Shrewsbury Town at the Kassam Stadium, thus extending their unbeaten league run to 11 games. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side.

It was Goals for Gas day at Fratton Park where Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison scored for Portsmouth, held to a 2-2 draw by Peterborough United for whom Aaron Chapman was on the bench. Here’s how the goals came about…’Lee Brown drilled a left footed free kick under the jumping Peterborough wall.’ … ‘Ellis Harrison put Pompey in front with a low angled shot inside the area that trickled over the line.’

Ellis harrison - on target for Portsmouth FCPortsmouth last Saturday. Photo courtesy of Neil Weld
Ellis Harrison – on target for Portsmouth FC last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of Neil Weld]
Stefan Payne was again an unused Tranmere Rovers substitute as they came from behind to draw 1-1 against Accrington Stanley at Prenton Park.

Moving on to League two and leaders Swindon Town recorded an emphatic victory against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. Once again Tom Broadbent was an unused substitute for the Wiltshire Robins.

Mansfield Town, with Ryan Sweeney in their side and Conrad Logan an unused substitute, suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Cheltenham Town, thus adding to the pressure on manager John Dempster. Ryan Broom completed 90 minutes for the Gloucestershire Robins, while Gavin Reilly stayed on the bench.

Exeter City were a goal down at home to Northampton Town but hit back to win 3-2, a result that sees them up into second place. Tom Parkes was an 80th minute substitute for the Grecians while Chris Lines and Andy Williams started for the Cobblers who left Joe Martin on the bench.

Cambridge United took all three points in their home game against Plymouth Argyle, winning 1-0 to secure their first win in seven games. Daniel Jones and Reggie Lambe started this one for the U’s, while Elliott Ward was on the bench. Gary Sawyer, Byron Moore and Dominic Telford all started for Argyle.

Harry Pell’s 93rd minute goal secured all three points for Colchester United in their home game against Salford City and they are now in eighth place.

Leyton Orient took a point from a 1-1 draw against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, where Matt Harrold was a 72nd minute substitute for the O’s.

Darrell Clarke’s Walsall were 1-0 winners against Port Vale at Vale Park and there was a welcome return to action for Stuart Sinclair. James Clarke also started for the Saddlers while Rory Gaffney was an 85th minute substitute. Cristian Montano was in the Vale side…not a happy reunion with his former manager on this occasion!

National League leaders Barrow were 1-0 home winners against Aldershot Town and are three points clear at the top of the table. Alefe Santos was a 72nd minute substitute for the Shots.

Bernard Mensah was sent on from the Maidenhead United bench in the 65th minute of their game at Dagenham & Redbridge. He didn’t score but did collect a yellow card!

Ricky Shakes went on for Boreham Wood in the 61st minute of their 2-0 win at Dover, but Danny Woodards spent the afternoon on the Boreham bench.

Joe Partington and Scott Rendell were in the Eastleigh side that drew 1-1 at home against Ebbsfleet United and it was Rendell who scored the Eastleigh goal.

Notts County, with Sam Slocombe in goal, also drew 1-1, against Sutton United at Meadow Lane.

Luke James and his Hartlepool United teammates were beaten 2-1 at Woking. Pool are down in 14th place and will need a considerable improvement in form if they are to avoid spending another season at this level.

Solihull Moors, who sent Nathan Blissett on from the bench in the 78th minute, lost 2-0 at Wrexham.

He never played for Rovers, but Gabriel Osho came to Rovers from Reading, on loan, in January of this year. He’s now signed for Yeovil Town, also on loan, and made his Glovers debut in their 2-0 home win against FC Halifax Town.

Gabriel Osho made his debut for Yeovil Town last Saturday. Photo courtesy of JMP UK
Gabriel Osho made his debut for Yeovil Town last Saturday.  [Photo courtesy of JMP UK]
York City are still in second place in National League North after playing out a goalless draw at Kettering Town. Andy Bond was an unused substitute for this one.

Danny Greenslade was in the Hereford side that slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Curzon Ashton, a result that leaves them in 13th place in the table still seven points from a play off place.

In National League South Bath City stayed in fifth place after their goalless draw against league leaders Wealdstone at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke and Ryan Brunt both started this one for Jerry Gill’s side and the game was watched by a healthy crowd of 1,203.

Weymouth dropped to fourth place following their 1-0 defeat at Dorking Wanderers. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie were both in the Weymouth starting XI.

Will Puddy, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham Town side beaten 2-1 by third placed Havant & Waterlooville. The result leaves Chippenham with only three clubs below them in the table and just two points from being in one of the two relegation places.

Scott Davies was in the Slough Town side that remained in second place thanks to a 1-0 home win against Braintree Town.

Hampton & Richmond Borough took a point from a 1-1 away draw at St Albans City. Louie Soares was sent on from the bench in the 93rd minute, while Jefferson Louis warmed the same bench all afternoon.

Bradley Goldberg was in the Welling United side that registered a 2-1 home win against Hemel Hempstead Town. Alex Wall started for the losing side who played all but 22 minutes of the game with ten men following the first half dismissal of Sam Ashford.

Deon Moore started for Billericay Town, beaten 3-2 at Tonbridge Angels.

Basford United of the Northern Premier League Premier Division were 3-2 home winners against Ashton United and remain in third place, just two points behind leaders South Shields. Kieran Preston was again in goal for the winners.

In the North West Division Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side that took a point from a 1-1 draw at home against Marine. It was a fourth against third match and that’s where both remained after sharing the spoils.

Yate Town returned home with a point from their Southern League Premier South Division game, drawing 1-1 at Gosport Borough. Sam Kamara was in the Yate lineup for this one.

Merthyr Town, with Ben Swallow in their lineup, were beaten on their travels, losing 2-1 at Hendon.

Darren Mullings was in the Salisbury side held to a 1-1 home draw by Blackfield & Langley who scored their equaliser in the 90th minute. Salisbury ended the game with ten men, the visitors with nine.

Walton Casuals were beaten 5-1 in Cornwall where they lost 5-1 against league leaders Truro City. Rene Howe started for Casuals, while Wayne Brown was sent on at the start of the second half.

Martin Horsell kept a clean sheet for Swindon Supermarine, who were 2-0 away winners at Wimborne Town and there was a first Supermarine goal for Alex Henshall… ‘@AlexHenshall11 rolls it in from 18 yards with the aid of a deflection. Great initial ball from the winger, plays in McDonagh who has his effort saved, rebound falls to Alex who finishes from the edge of the box.’

It’s tough going in this league as the top five sides all took maximum points.

Bedford Town dropped out of the play off places in Division One Central following their 4-2 defeat at Welwyn Garden City. Tom Hitchcock scored their second goal, in the 72nd minute.

Tom Hitchcock - scored for Bedford Town last Saturday but ended up on the losing side. Photo courtesy of Bedford Town FC
Tom Hitchcock – scored for Bedford Town last Saturday but ended up on the losing side. [Photo courtesy of Bedford Town FC]
Mangotsfield United, in Division One South, shared six goals with AFC Totton at Cossham Street and find themselves in ninth place in the table. Trey Anderson was in the Mangotsfield lineup for this one.

Paulton Rovers were 4-2 home winners against Bristol Manor Farm. Nuno Felix was in the Paulton starting lineup, while Steve Kingdon and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist were in the Farm starting XI and Ollie Mehew was named on the bench.

Larkhall Athletic moved into sixth place following their 2-1 away win at Sholing. Lewis Powell scored their first goal and he was joined in the starting lineup by Dale Evans and Jack Camm. Geraint Bater and Neil Arndale were on the bench for the Larks.

In the Isthmian League Premier Division Bishop’s Stortford were 1-0 away winners at Cheshunt and there are no prizes for guessing that it was Jamie Cureton who scored the only goal of the game. He struck after just nine minutes.

Tom Hitchcock - scored for Bedford Town last Saturday but ended up on the losing side. Photo courtesy of Bedford Town FC
Jamie Cureton – just can’t seem to stop scoring!  [Photo courtesy of Nathan Cracknell, Bishop’s Stortford FC]
Chris Dickson scored a hat trick for Hornchurch, who also won away from home, 3-2 at Wingate & Finchley. His side are fourth in the table, six points adrift of leaders Folkestone Invicta.

In the North Division Romford are still bottom of the table in spite of their 2-1 away win at Felixstowe & Walton United. Adam Cunnington was in the Romford side but didn’t get on the scoresheet.

In the South East Division Dave Martin was in the Whitehawk side that recorded a sixth straight league win. They beat Ramsgate 3-1 and are in third place just three points behind leaders Hastings United.

Highgate United, of the Midland league Premier Division, were 2-0 home winners against Sporting Khasla and once again Sam Oji was in their starting XI.

In the battle of the Towns in the Northern League Premier Division, Barton Town came out on top as they beat Garforth Town 3-1. Barton skipper Craig Disley didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet on this occasion.

In the Western League Premier Division Matt Groves was on target for Bitton, though they went down 2-1 against Roman Glass St George and find themselves down in ninth place in the league.

Kieran Hodges and Joe White were in the Cribbs side that suffered a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of third placed Clevedon Town.

In the Scottish Premiership Peter Hartley was a 75th minute substitute for Motherwell, 1-0 home winners against Heart of Midlothian who had Michael Smith in their lineup.

Darryl Duffy, back after suspension, was included in the Stirling Albion squad for their home game against Brechin City. He stayed on the bench all afternoon and saw his side slip to a 4-2 defeat.

Garry Kenneth was in the Lochee United side that went out of the Scottish Junior Cup as they suffered a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Neilston in their second round replay.

Another side dumped out of a cup competition was Barry Town United, beaten 1-0 at home by Newtown in the third round of the Welsh Cup. Kayne McLaggon was in the Barry starting lineup.

In the NIFL Premiership Seanan Clucas returned to the Dungannon Swifts side and they recorded a 3-1 home win against Warrenpoint.

Larne were also 3-1 winners at Glenavon and Jeff Hughes was once again in their starting XI.