Walsall 1 Bristol Rovers 2

The Gas travel to fellow League Two strugglers Walsall in what could prove to be a tightly fought game. Both teams have started the season badly and lie just above the relegation zone, Walsall have eight points to the seven points of Bristol Rovers.

Way too early to call this a relegation “six pointer”, but this is a game that The Gas would be hoping to win. However, the injury situation will make things difficult this afternoon. The best outcome this afternoon is a tight 1-0 victory for The Gas, if we keep a clean sheet then anything is possible.

Walsall strike first with a goal after 30 minutes. The Gas edged the first thirty minutes with more possession and more shots on target, but fail to score. We do appear to struggle to make the most of any period of possession that we have.

The first half ends 1-0. The Gas once again punished for a single defensive error, without creating enough clear cut chances to score themselves.

Rovers score two late goals though Connor Taylor and Sion Spence to take all three points!. The away fans were in great voice throughout the second half, always encouraging the team on and it paid off with the first away win since December 2020.

Really, really good to see us win today. Takes a little bit of of the pressure off the team, albeit against a very poor Walsall side.

A win is a win!

Bring on Swindon at home next Saturday!

UTG.

Bristol Rovers 1 Leyton Orient 3

The Gas welcome Leyton Orient to The Mem in what is likely to be a challenging game.

Leyton Orient sit pretty in 4th position, only having lost one of their last five league games, whilst The Gas sit in 21st position.

Another glorious sunny afternoon for football, let’s hope the game lives up to the weather.

Good away turnout by Orient. Their fans were large in number any fairly vocal all game. They have a good shot at promotion based on what I saw today.

An early headed goal from Orient, largely against the run of play. From my vantage point in the South West stand, it looked fairly soft.

The second Orient goal conceded not long after, following good approach play from the right. Orient reacted to a loose ball in the box and a nice finish to the bottom corner eluded Belshaw. I didn’t have the best angle to see but it looked like Belshaw had little chance. It was a well executed low show. Unfortunately.

A third, again from build up play from the right. A simple cross met with a header from 10 yards. Belshaw unlucky not to keep it out, but it just crossed the line.

The game turned nasty and niggly as the half wore on. It felt like someone was going to get sent off before the game is up. Leyton Orient are very streetwise and know which buttons to press to wind our players up.

0-3 at half time and The Gas leave the field to a Chorus of boos.

Dreadful, dreadful half. To be fair, Orient did not have many clear cut chances but they scored them all.

We look lost and low on ideas going forward.

Second half was much better, we had more control over the game. This may be because the game was lost and Orient had settled for the win.

What I did not understand was the constant time wasting tactics from Orient in the second half. It’s not like they were defending a narrow 1-0 lead, the game was won!

The Gas got a consolation goal through a late penalty, converted by Pitman. Let’s face it, that was the ONLY way we were going to score today.

The referee was annoying, constantly wanting to stop the game. Just to be clear before I watch the post-match JB interview, the ref did not affect the outcome of this game at all.

Leyton Orient were simply better than us, plain and simple.

Brown looked lively. Finley had a good game in the centre of the park, chasing everything. Saunders and Thomas tried to get some energy into our attack towards the end.

So, game 8 in the league is over and we sit three points off the bottom in 22nd. I feel confident in saying that this is not where we expect to be! I will leave it at that!

UTG (or more accurately Going Down The Gas)

Hartlepool United vs Bristol Rovers

The Gas visit newly promoted Hartlepool United at their Victoria Park ground.

Hartlepool have the interesting and unique nickname of “Monkey Hangers”. Apparently this is a term applied to the whole town as a result of the hanging of a monkey during the Napoleonic Wars. That is about as interesting as it gets with regards to a football club nickname.

A tricky fixture on paper for The Gas, playing an in-form Hartlepool team at a time when we have an awful away record.

A quiet first half ends with with neither side being able to score. Hartlepool with the better chances, James Belshaw with another crucial save. Leon Clarke going off injured is a worry on his full debut. Turns out that it is a hamstring injury, which is not good news at all.

Hartlepool open the scoring with twenty minutes to go. The Gas respond with some late chances, the best falling to Brett Pitman, who was unable to score a header a close range after being thwarted by the Hartlepool goalkeeper.

The lack of goals has once again resulted in a narrow defeat, a familiar story continuing on from last season. We have to find a way to increase our scoring rate if we are to progress up the table and challenge for promotion.

Bristol Rovers 1 Crawley Town 0

A goal from Leon Clarke ninety seconds into his Bristol Rovers career earned The Gas a point at relegation rivals Crawley Town.

This was a tight, scrappy game, where both teams had a number of chances. The Gas withstood late pressure from the visitors but managed to hold on, players throwing themselves in front of the ball for the cause. James Belshaw was my personal man of the match with three excellent goal-saving saves. Very impressive.

Very good win today. I felt Crawley were the better team today, and had the better chances.

If it wasn’t for James Balshaw in goal, we would have lost this game. He was the difference today.

Leon Clarke looked very useful up front, lovely headed goal to mark his debut as well as some clever hold up play and touches.

Connor Taylor was excellent at the back, making many critical interceptions and having a solid game throughout. Anthony Evans looked lively, some nice pieces of skill and good attacking wing play.

I felt we were very poor in the first half, and looked better in phases during the second half.

A very welcome three points today, just what we needed on the back of Tuesday’s win. I feel that better opposition would have beaten us easily today, but a step in the right direction. One game at a timeā€¦ We are now 16th in the table, which is a lot more comfortable.

This was a game I expected us to win, but Crawley pushed us all the way.

Slight signs of progress perhaps?