Sunday 8 May 2022

We play them next season, Part 4 - The Gas

It was an incredible finish to the League Two season yesterday.   The Cobblers must have thought they had secured the third automatic promotion place by winning 3-1 at the Dunes Hotel Stadium.

However, facing what was largely relegated Scunthorpe United's Academy side, Bristol Rovers secured a 7-0 win at the Memorial Stadium to grab the last promotion place.  When the seventh goal went in, 10,000 Gasheads invaded the pitch and the game had to be stopped for 20 minutes with the referee threatening to abandon it altogether.

Rovers were near the bottom of the table earlier in the season, but manager Joey Barton was always resolute in his belief that they would go up.

We have played Rovers quite a lot in recent years as we have often been in the same division.   There is something about football fans in Bristol which makes them a bit crazy, possibly because the city punches below its football weight with two teams and a strong local following for egg chasing.

There have been incidents between Charlton and Bristol City supporters in the past and Gary Nelson recalls being intimidated by some of their supporters on Charlton station in one of his books (this was when players sometimes used public transport).

A few years back a Gashead living in Birmingham offered me a lift when Charlton were playing away there midweek.  I couldn't make it.  We put five past them that night and he said he would have left me stranded in Bristol.

They could be quite a threat next season as they will have confidence and momentum from what is being described as 'The Miracle at the Memorial.'

As far as the play offs are concerned, Northampton must be regretting having their keeper sent off two minutes from the end of the game at Barrow.  Some think that Port Fail might make the grade which would offer the chance of a trip to Beautiful Downtown Burslem.   Mansfield, where George Lapslie still plays, are formidable at home.

Although they finished in the last play off place, Swindon Town are the form team.  The Rocking Robins have been a bit of a bogey team for us (remember that play off semi-final?) and they could be back to torment us next season.

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