7:45pm, Tuesday 25th January 2022
The Gas travel to Scunthorpe this evening for a must win game, against a side that has struggled all season long and look likely to be involved in a relegation battle.
Scunthorpe are eight places below Bristol Rovers in 23rd position, having only collected 19 points so far this season. They are on a four game losing streak. Bristol Rovers are currently in 15th position, with a total of 30 points so far. A win tonight could see The Gas move up the table, and nothing less than three points is acceptable for a side looking for a late season playoff push.
2-0 The Gas. A comfortable away win to move us up the table.
The Gas take all three points in what should have been a comfortable victory which takes us to a season high league position of 13th. We are now only eight points off a playoff place.
A sloppy period towards the end saw the three goal lead cut back to a single goal, but the result never felt in doubt.
Goals from Josh Grant, Anthony Evans and Leon Clarke sealed the victory. Really good to see Leon Clarke score after his long absence through injury.
Next up is Walsall at home on Saturday.
3pm, Saturday 22nd January 2022
The County Ground
The Gas travel to local rivals Swindon Town this afternoon for what will be a very competitive game played out in a hostile atmosphere. The fact that the corresponding fixture required a hefty police presence says it all about the Swindon Town fans and the rivalry between the two clubs. We very rarely have a visible police presence at The Mem!
Swindon Town are the clear favourites to win the game today. They played us off the park in October but that was a very different Bristol Rovers side, not necessarily in terms of personnel but more in terms of attitude. The current Bristol Rovers team will fight for the whole 90 minutes. The side in October would happily roll over and have their tummy tickled rather than dig in and grind out a result.
Swindon are flying high in 5th position, and are in great shape to challenge for an instant return to League One. The Gas still languish in 16th position, but have shown flickers of life in recent weeks. I am hopeful that we can grind out an ugly draw and frustrate Swindon.
Hopefully JB can get his revenge on former Bristol Rovers manager Ben Garner this afternoon and bring home all three points!
1-1 A close, tight game ending in an away draw for The Gas!
The huge traveling Gas army went home happy as The Gas take home a well-earned point away at Swindon Town, which lifts us one place in the league table. A small, but important step and a fantastic result against one of the better sides in this division.
Swindon started the game strongly and threatened to run away with the game, with a number of excellent chances but Bristol Rovers finished the first half the better team. Sam Finley with the equalising goal. Neither team were able to score in an action-packed second half.
3pm, Saturday 15th January 2022
The Memorial Stadium
The Gas are back in league action again, following the cup defeat last Saturday. We are in a new calendar year, and now is the time that the team need to push on and show everybody that Bristol Rovers can mount a promotion push. The players have had a long break and a few players have returned from injury, so there can be no excuses from now on. We need to be consistently winning games and moving positively up the league table. At the start of the season promotion was the goal and that is still achievable, even given the poor first half of the season.
With that background, it is critical that we win the game against Hartlepool United on Saturday. They are in a similar league position to us, having only gained two extra points so far this season. Nothing less than three points will be acceptable and I am looking forward to a good and positive match.
3-0 to The Gas. The perfect way to kick start our 2022 league promotion push!
The Gas come away with all three points in a game largely dominated by Hartlepool, who will be asking themselves how they managed to lose the game. The answer was James Belshaw, who put in a Man Of The Match performance to deny at least three Hartlepool goals. He was simply outstanding. Such a good keeper!
If it was not for James Belshaw we would have lost this game 3-0 and the conversation this evening would be very different.
Hartlepool deserved to win this game comfortably, we had no right to take all three points today. For 80 minutes we witnessed a disjointed, flat performance. We looked like a group of strangers, very much like the early part of the season. It was very much looking like yet another draw, but this team have something about them and keep fighting to the end.
Two late goals and we all go home with smiles on our faces. Exactly what we needed today. Poor performance but I do not care. We have another three points and the long climb up the table has begun.
3pm, Saturday 8th January 2022
FA Cup Round Three
I have waited to the very last minute to write this preview, as we have had so many games postponed due to a Covid breakout in the Bristol Rovers camp. Even as I write this on Saturday morning, I am not 100% confident that the game will go ahead.
It has been so long since The Gas were last in action. 11th December 2021 to be exact. That 4-2 victory over Rochdale seems a million miles away and very much a distant memory.
The long awaited FA Cup third round clash with championship Peterborough United is now finally upon us. Not the glamour tie that we were hoping for, but Peterborough in many ways are example of a club that we should aspire to emulate. They have always appeared to be a well organised club as long as I can remember, and fully deserve their place in the championship, however long this current stay will be. Even if they get relegated, it would not be a surprise to see them back in the Championship within five years. Oh how us Gasheads would love to be in that position!
On to the game. Peterborough are clearly a much better side that Bristol Rovers, so avoiding a defeat will be a huge task this afternoon. The only potential hope is that Peterborough may be fielding a weakened side due to Covid / injuries. Even so, it will require a massive effort. Hopefully the boys will be up to the challenge an make it an entertaining game.
3-1 – FA Cup heartbreak for The Gas.
The Gas exit the FA Cup at the third round stage with a good performance against Championship Peterborough.
Rovers kept attacking right up to the end of the game and gave a good account of themselves. There were chances towards the end of the game to take the cup tie to extra time, but it sounded like Peterborough had the better chances over the course of the game and probably deserved to go through.
This was not the one-sided affair that it could have been, and Rovers were in no way outclassed by their Championship opponents.
Now it is time to concentrate on the league and the push for a playoff place. Promotion for our football club is critical and has to be the goal for the remainder of the season.