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 is being archived in two month chunks.
Chapter 15 – Week commencing 3rd November 2019
SUNDAY 3rd NOVEMBER
Tom Lockyer and Billy Bodin featured in the televised SKY match between Charlton Athletic and Preston North End at The Valley. Lockyer completed 90 minutes for the hosts, while Bodin was close to being called on from the Preston bench on two occasions, but after appearing on the touchline his manager decided not to use him. Preston were 1-0 winners, a result that saw them take over at the top of the table.
In Scotland Rangers won the second League Cup semi final of the weekend and will face Celtic in the Final following their 3-0 win against Heart of Midlothian. Michael Smith started this game for Hearts but had to go off in the 53rd minute.
TUESDAY 5TH NOVEMBER
Portsmouth were 4-1 home winners against Southend United in their League One clash at Fratton Park. Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison both started this match and Ellis scored twice; ‘Harrison doubled the hosts’ lead five minutes into the second half, crashing home off the underside of the bar….Harrison restored Pompey’s two goal cushion from the penalty spot two minutes from time after Sean Raggett had been fouled by Rob Kiernan.’
Shrewsbury Town were 1-0 home winners against Peterborough United. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrews’ lineup, while Aaron Chapman was again an unused Peterborough substitute.
In the Leasing.Com Trophy Wycombe Wanderers, with Joe Jacobson on the bench, were beaten 2-1 by Fulham U-21’s at Adams Park.
In the same competition Cambridge United lost 4-3 in a penalty shootout against Arsenal
U-21’s, after a 1-1 draw, at the Abbey Stadium. Reggie Lambe started for Cambridge and scored one of their penalties in the shootout, while Matt Macey was in goal for The Gunners.
Moving on to the National League, where there was one game played and that saw Hartlepool United suffer a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Solihull Moors. Luke James completed 90 minutes for Hartlepool.
In National League South Hampton & Richmond Borough lost 2-1 in their home game against Dartford. Jefferson Louis and Louie Soares were both named on the Hampton bench.
In the FA Trophy First Qualifying Round replay Merthyr Town were beaten 5-4 at home by Cinderford Town after extra time. Eliot Richards started for Merthyr and scored their third goal after 40 minutes. At that point Merthyr were 3-0 up. Gavin Williams, named on the Merthyr bench, went on in the 109th minute.
In the FA Vase Bitton were 4-0 home winners against Fairford Town. They won 4-0, though Matt Groves wasn’t among the scorers and, as there was no lineup on their Twitter feed, he might not even have played! Bitton host Cribbs in the next round after their win against Thornbury Town on Sunday and I did manage to ascertain that Joe White was missing from the Cribbs lineup!
Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George are also through to the next round following their 2-1 away win at Petersfield Town.
WEDNESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER
In the First Round Qualifying replay of their FA Trophy tie, Paulton Rovers were 3-1 winners at Phil Bater’s Larkhall Athletic. Jack Camm, Dale Evans and Lewis Powell started for Larkhall, while Neil Arndale was on the bench. Nuno Felix was in the Paulton starting XI but went off injured in the first half.
In the other replay Yate Town drew 3-3 at Tiverton Town (after extra time) but went through to the next round after winning the resulting penalty shootout 4-1. Sam Kamara started this one for Yate, while Ollie Mehew was on the bench though he appears to have been the star of the show! His 85th minute penalty made the score 1-1 and ensured that extra time would be played. Tiverton scored twice to make it 3-1 in time added on but Mehew scored another penalty in the 114th minute to make it 3-2 before Yate equalised in the 117th minute. To cap an eventful night, Mehew scored another penalty in the shootout!
In the Southern League Premier South Division Farnborough, with Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis in their lineup, were 4-0 home winners against Hendon. Scott McGleish was missing from the Hendon bench on this occasion.
It turns out that there was a very good reason why Scott McGleish was missing from the Hendon lineup last night; he’s now left them, after playing in four games and spending quite a bit of time on the bench.
FRIDAY 8TH NOVEMBER
The first game in the First Round of the FA Cup saw Carlisle United win 4-1 at Dulwich Hamlet in the Friday night televised fixture. Jeffrey Monakana was in the Dulwich starting lineup.
SATURDAY 9TH NOVEMBER
Oli McBurnie stayed on the Sheffield United bench as they stretched their unbeaten Premier League away record to six with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur.
Kelle Roos was again between the posts for Derby County, beaten 1-0 by Nottingham Forest in their local derby match at the City Ground in the Championship.
There was a rare start for Jake Clarke-Salter in a Birmingham City shirt. He was in the side that slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham at St Andrews. He also picked up a yellow card.
Another former Gas man to collect a yellow card was Tom Eaves who stepped off the Hull City bench for their home game against West Bromwich Albion. However, his side lost 1-0 against the league leaders.
Tom Lockyer was in the Charlton Athletic side beaten 1-0 by Millwall at The Den to continue their 23 year wait for a win against The Lions.
Second placed Preston North End were 3-1 winners against Huddersfield Town at Deepdale and Billy Bodin was again unused substitute for North End.
Joe Lumley was recalled to the Queens Park Rangers side for their game against Middlesbrough at Loftus Road. There was no win bonus for him, though, as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Marc Bola was missing from the Boro squad.
Reading continued their push away from the lower reaches of the league with a 3-0 home win against Luton Town. Goalkeeper Sam Walker took up his customary place on the Reading bench and that’s where he spent the afternoon.
Connor Roberts did, though, get some game time. He was sent on in the 77th minute of Swansea City’s 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough, a game where both sides scored goals in time added on.
Goalkeeper Luke Daniels was again an unused Brentford substitute and watched his side record a 3-0 away win at Wigan Athletic, a result that sees them up to ninth place just two points off the play off places.
FA Cup first round ties saw a number of former gas players in action; Jack Bonham was in goal for Gillingham, who drew 1-1 at Sunderland, while Alex Jakubiak was an unused Gills substitute. Both goals came as a result of goalkeeping errors; ‘Aiden McGeady’s low shot from the edge of the area seemed to be routine for keeper Jack Bonham, but he misjudged the roll of the ball and it slowly went under his body’…’Olly Lee’s firmly struck free kick was straight at goalkeeper Jon Mclaughlin. The Scottish international had the ball in his grasp but inexplicably he spilled it and it apologetically trickled over the line.’
Plymouth Argyle were 1-0 away winners at Bolton Wanderers. Gary Sawyer started for Argyle, as did Byron Moore who was substituted by the returning Dominic Telford, though it was the 92nd minute when he was sent on!
Cambridge United and Exeter City will need a replay to determine which of them goes through to the second round. Cambridge, with home advantage, equalised in the 93rd minute and had Elliott Ward and Daniel Jones in their starting XI and sent on Reggie Lambe in the 63rd minute. Tom Parkes started for Exeter and Jordan Tillson was a 78th minute substitute.
There was another 1-1 draw played out between Cheltenham Town and Swindon Town at Whaddon Road and Cheltenham secured a replay with a 93rd minute goal. Ryan Broom started this one for Cheltenham while Gavin Reilly was an unused substitute. Tom Broadbent stayed on the Swindon bench all afternoon.
Matt Lund collected a yellow card as he and his Scunthorpe United side were dumped out of the competition, losing 4-1 at Crawley Town.
Ipswich United and Lincoln City drew 1-1 at Portman Road where John Akinde was an unused Lincoln substitute. They must be wishing he had been on the pitch when they were awarded a second half penalty. Akinde, Lincoln’s regular penalty taker, would surely have scored. Tyler Walker’s spot kick was saved, so the two sides will have to do it all again! Interesting stat from this match was that both goalscorers have famous fathers; Andrew Dozzell’s father Jason also used to play for Ipswich while Walker’s father is former England and Nottingham Forest player Des. Tyler played against Rovers for Lincoln earlier this season.
Goalkeeper Sam Slocombe was on the winning side, though, as he and his Notts County side were 3-2 away winners at Ebbsfleet United. County also scored a 93rd minute goal to seal their victory…it was a popular minute to score, it seems!
Bernard Mensah was an unused Maidenhead United substitute and watched as they were beaten 3-1 at home by Rotherham United.
Conrad Logan and Ryan Sweeney were in the Mansfield Town side that just avoided a shock result. They were 1-0 home winners against Chorley but scored the only goal of the game in the 81st minute (better than the 93rd minute, I guess!)
MK Dons, under new management (Russell Martin) are out, though, beaten 1-0 by Port Vale at Stadium MK. Lee Nicholls was in goal for MK while Hiram Boateng was sent on in the 70th minute. Cristian Montano completed 90 minutes for Vale.
Nathan Blissett returned to the Solihull Moors squad for their tie at Oxford City. Named on the bench, he was sent on in the 71st minute of their thumping 5-1 win.
John-Joe O’Toole completed 90 minutes for Burton Albion, who drew 1-1 at Salford City, while Chris Beardsley was an unused substitute for The Brewers.
Shrewsbury Town and Bradford City will need a replay at Valley Parade following their 1-1 draw in deepest Shropshire. Ollie Norburn was in the Shrewsbury side for this one.
There was another 1-1 draw at Stevenage where Peterborough were the visitors and, once again, goalkeeper Aaron Chapman was an unused Posh substitute.
Eastleigh also drew, 2-2 at Stourbridge where Scott Rendell, who started the game, scored their 86th minute equaliser (he had earlier missed a penalty). Joe Partington was named on the Eastleigh bench and was sent on in the 58th minute.
It also finished 2-2 at Prenton Park between Tranmere Rovers and Wycombe Wanderers. Stefan Payne was an unused Tranmere substitute, while Joe Jacobson scored Wycombe’s first goal in the 26th minute.
Darrell Clarke’s Walsall are still in the competition following their 2-2 draw against Darlington. Trailing 1-0 at the Banks’s Stadium, they had a man sent off in the 82nd minute then went ahead with goals in the 86th and 89th minutes. Darlington had a man sent off in the 90th minute, then equalised in the 97th minute. Rory Gaffney was in the Walsall squad, though James Clarke and Stuart Sinclair were both missing.
In the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round, Kieran Preston was in goal for Basford United who were beaten 3-1 at FC United of Manchester.
Yate Town, though, went goal crazy at Lodge Road, where they beat AFC Totton 6-3. Sam Kamara started this one for Yate while Ollie Mehew came off the bench in the 60th minute and scored the home side’s sixth goal.
Dave Martin was in the Whitehawk side that drew 2-2 at Hastings United and it was from his 75th minute corner that his side equalised to take the game to a replay.
Salisbury are through to the next round following their 2-1 home win against Kings Langley. Darren Mullings was a 67th minute Salisbury substitute.
Also through to the next round are AFC Hornchurch, who hardly needed to break sweat as they recorded a 6-1 away win against Basildon United. Chris Dickson was named on the Hornchurch bench for this one.
Gloucester City gained a National League North point from a 2-2 draw at Farsley Celtic. Harry Hodges and Luke Russe were both in the Gloucester lineup.
In National League South Bath City were 3-1 winners against Concord Rangers at Twerton Park. Ryan Clarke was in goal for The Romans, while Ryan Brunt entered the fray as a 79th minute substitute. Jerry Gill’s side are in fifth place.
The game between Havant & Waterlooville and Slough Town was abandoned after 70 minutes, because of a waterlogged pitch, with the home side 2-0 up. Scott Davies was in the Slough side.
Hemel Hempstead Town suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Braintree Town, though they are still in sixth place with the same number of points as Bath City. Adam Cunnington started for Hemel and Alex Wall went on from the bench in the second half.
Weymouth moved up to second place following their 2-1 home win against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Josh Wakefield and Abdulai Baggie both started for them, while Jefferson Louis and Louie Soares were in the Hampton & Richmond starting XI and Louis scored their goal in the 59th minute.
In the Northern Premier League North West Division Andy Monkhouse was named on the Ossett United bench for their game at Trafford. His side were beaten 1-0 and they are bottom but one in the league standings.
In the Southern League Premier South Division Martin Horsell was in goal for Swindon Supermarine who came from two goals down to win their away game at Harrow Borough 4-2, a result that sees them up to fourth place.
In the game between two teams who have Bed in their name, Bedworth United played out a 3-3 home draw against Bedford Town. Tom Hitchcock netted the first Bedford goal from the penalty spot.
Danny Greaves named himself on the Frome Town bench for their away game against Barnstaple Town in the Southern League Division One South. I imagine he then sat back and enjoyed his side’s 2-0 win which saw them maintain their place at the top of the table.
Mangotsfield United returned to winning ways as they beat Bideford 4-2 at Cossham Street. Trey Anderson was again in the Mangotsfield side.
Moving on to the Isthmian League Premier Division and Jamie Cureton named himself in the Bishop’s Stortford starting lineup for their home game against Corinthian Casuals. However Casuals, bottom of the league, recorded their first win of the season and took all three points with a 3-1 victory.
Managerless Heart of Midlothian claimed their first home Scottish Premiership win since March with a 5-2 victory against St Mirren. Michael Smith was in the Hearts side.
In Scottish League Two Stirling Albion, with Darryl Duffy in their side, lost 1-0 at Cove Rangers and Darryl collected a yellow card.
Barry Town United, with Kayne McLaggon in their side, suffered a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Connah’s Quay Nomads, but they remain second in the table just three points behind the team that beat them.