Looking for Gas

With your wonderful armchair traveller, Keith Brookman.

As the title suggests, this is an attempt to track down as many former Rovers players, who are still involved in the game, as possible.

Most will have played first team football for Rovers in the past, while others are still contracted to the Gas, but either out on loan or work experience.

What began as something to do on the opening day of the 2018/19 season, became a little bit of an obsession for former Rovers Head of Media Keith Brookman, as you will see from his weekly ‘In Search of Gas’ updates last season, which are archived HERE

The latest instalment is given below, and the rest of the season will be archived in two month chunks.

LATEST INSTALMENT

Chapter 3 – Week commencing 11th August 2019

SUNDAY 11TH AUGUST

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

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

MONDAY 12TH AUGUST

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

TUESDAY 13TH AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WEDNESDAY 14TH AUGUST

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

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

FRIDAY 16TH AUGUST

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

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

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

SATURDAY 17TH AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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