Bristol Rovers 1 Salford City 0

3pm, Saturday 15th April 2022
The Memorial Stadium
League Two

Match Review

What a glorious sunny day in Horfield. The Long cold winter has been way too long. The pitch looks immaculate, and The Mem is pretty full.

Really nice to see Gasheads stood opposite me in the old away terrace. The small number of Salford City fans in the east end of the South Stand certainly looked rammed in there, surrounded by noisy Gasheads.

Wonderful noisy fans at The Mem, for the first time I can remember we had singing STARTING in the South Stand. There was a piece of audio heaven for a while, with Irene being sung from the South Stand, then continued from the North Terrace, and back again. Our beloved song reverberated around The Mem in perfect panoramic stereo.

On to the game.

I felt Salford City played really well actually, and for large periods of the game stifled our normal possession game. The first half, especially, they contained us very well and were effective going forward.

It required an alert James Belshaw and a strong referee to keep Salford City at bay. They had at least one decent shout for a penalty. A soft penalty, but they have been given…

Salford were a very good looking side, attacking with pace and an effective aerial attack. We did very well not to concede, a testament to the quality of our defensive unit.

Only Josh Grant struggled defensively, but I like Josh and he adds more going forward. Salford City prevented Josh from making his usual runs up the wing, exposing his weaknesses.

The first half was fairly even in the end, with Salford City the happier going into the break.

I felt we did much better in the second half, and we were able to dominate possession and settled into our normal game which then started asking Salford City questions.

As we approached the last twenty minutes, the game was balanced on a knife edge, in a situation where a draw was no good for either team.

As always this season with this team, they never give up and you hoped that a late winner would come. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Up steps boy wonder Elliot Anderson with another individual effort to send The Mem into an explosion of limbs and noise. Oh, that goal felt so good!!!!!!

I was slightly uncomfortable with the confrontation between the home fans and the away fans in the South Stand following the goal. Fully understandable, it was a super emotional occasion. Fair play to Salford City, their fans did not bite. Another set of visiting fans could have had a different outcome.

Something for the club to think about, I guess. The segregation zone was minimal. I like the fact that the away fans are limited to the east part of the South Stand.

Massive, massive three points for us, which just about keeps us on the tail of Port Vale. If we can win there on Monday then the automatics are on.

Happy, happy days. UTG!

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