Bristol Rovers 1 Swindon Town 3


Former manager Ben Garner returns to the Memorial Stadium this afternoon in what should be a fiesty game of football. Swindon Town should bring a large number of fans to the game, so I am expecting a large crowd and a noisy atmosphere. Should be good!

Swindon are just outside the playoffs in 9th, whilst The Gas are in 18th. There is only three points between the two teams, so a victory today could see The Gas jump into midtable for the first time this season.

The Gas come off a dramatic late win last week, whilst Swindon have only won once in their last five league games.

Both teams have struggled to score, so we could be in for a low scoring game. A single goal could be the difference.

Match Report

A strong away following by Swindon Town contributed to the best attendance at The Mem this season, and both sets of supporters were in good spirits despite the rain.

There was a good atmosphere before kick off, you could feel that a memorable afternoon was ahead of us.

Loved the Swindon Town goalkeeper outfit, the bright pink really stood out. Certainly wins best goalkeeper outfit this season so far for me.

The game started at a high tempo, with Rovers pushing up and dictating the pace of play. Lots of crunchy meaty tackles from Rovers if you like that sort of thing, which I do.

Swindon then started to apply pressure with some clever corners, which resulted in “Keystone Cops” defending by The Gas. Panic stations within 15 minutes, a theme that would be seen again in the second half unfortunately. We held firm though.

Lovely Bristol Rovers goal right in front of me in the South West stand, Evans placing a perfect through ball which found Anderson a yard ahead of the defender and slotted it past Mr Pink. Nice goal. Only fifteen minutes on the clock. The goal was slightly against the run of play, but was refreshing to see a well worked goal from open play.

For the remainder of the first half, both sides content to play possession football with some nice passing football on display. No hoofball putting to bed the myth that you cannot play football in League Two and be effective. I would like to see more of this.

Excellent save by Belshaw after thirty four minutes kept us in the game.

Swindon look very much like us last season. Loads of possession, no end product in the final third. They do look useful though.

Half time 1-0

Rovers had one shot on target and scored. Swindon had more chances, not sure if they were half chances from my viewpoint.

They will be frustrated to be losing at the break.

Really good to see Ash and coverage of last week’s charity game on the big screen. This was very well done. It would have been more impressive if the tannoy system actually worked properly. Still, it was a nice touch and was warmly received.

A grand total of £32,501 raised, which was then doubled by Wael. A figure of £65,002 donated to the Bristol Rovers Community trust. Very impressive!

Second half.

Belshaw makes another good save from another corner scramble on fifty three minutes..

Swindon look a completely different team in the second half and their pressure pays off after fifty six minutes with what looked like handball in the run up.

We are sitting deep and inviting them on to us. Losing possession in midfield far too easily.

Another excellent save by Belshaw, save number three.

Swindon a lot better in the second half. Dominating possession and looking dangerous. They are by far the better side, both in terms of football and effectiveness.

The remainder of the game consisted of Swindon attacking pressure, and solid stout defending by The Gas. The defending was backs to the wall at times, but with ten minutes to go it looked like we might have hung on for a hard-fought draw.

Another Belshaw wonder save, this one to the face on the goal line. Belshaw was my man of the match by far. Without him we would have lost 6-1 (or worse). I counted five excellent saves.

Swindon do to us exactly what we did to Walsall last week with what looked like a dubious penalty. I thought it hit Kilgour’s chest, but I did not have the best view. Swindon now winning 2-1.

From this point on, there was only over one winner and our defense collapsed. A soft third goal from a cross from the right side was spilled by Belshaw and calmly tucked away.

Final result. 1-3.

I do not have any complaints. Swindon looked the better side (especially in the second half). They had the measure of our tactics and played us off the park at times. It could have been very different if we were able to hang on.

We are simply not good enough to challenge for promotion, but we should be good enough to avoid relegation (I said the same last season).