Author: richard

Bristol Rovers Women 3 Forest Green Rovers Women 1

6:45pm, Saturday 23rd April 2022
The Memorial Stadium
Friendly

Match Report

I had the pleasure of watching my first Bristol Rovers Women game, held at The Memorial Stadium as part of the #HerGameToo double header.

I cycled home after the Men’s game then returned shortly after with my wife, who was attending her first football match.

Really difficult to estimate the attendance. We were in block C of the East Stand, and blocks A and B were pretty full, there were people sat in the West Stand and a number of people in the North and East terraces. It was at least 500.

Forest Green started brightly, having the better of the opening period and scored following a mix up in defence. A really soft goal to concede.

Any fears that Forest Green were going to run away with the game were dispelled almost immediately as The Gas Girls got into the game quickly. The Gas Girls grew into the game as the half wore on and played some nice possession football, asking questions of the Forest Green defence.

I felt we had the better of the half, having more possession. Both teams look fairly evenly matched though.

0-1 half time.

Second half starts the same, with the Gas Girls attacking. One thing I noticed is that the Gas Girls certainly love to shoot at distance. The Men’s team could probably learn a thing or two…

Despite the Bristol Rovers attacking and greater possession, Forest Green were always a threat, and could easily have scored three or four goals in the second half. They came the closest to scoring on 51 minutes when they hit the post from a shot from the edge of the box.

As the second half progressed, it was looking like we would get no reward for our efforts as Forest Green’s defence refused to be breached.

Just when I thought I was going to watch two Bristol Rovers games in a row with no home goals, the game changed with a moment of brilliance in the 74th minute.

The Gas Girls, attacking the North Terrace, approached the 18 yard box on the left hand side and a skilful one-two with a back heel to set up Annys Turner (11) to open the scoring for The Gas by looping a shot over the keeper. What a moment and thoroughly deserved.

The Gas Girls continued to press forward and took the lead on 83 minutes. Georgia Vandries (7) ran into the 18 yard box and curled the ball around the helpless Forest Green goalkeeper with an exquisite volley with the outside of her right foot. A quality finish. The Gas Girls take the lead at The Mem!

We had late drama as Forest Green earn a penalty on 87 minutes following a clumsy challenge.

Briony Lomas (13) had only recently come on in place of Betty Platt (1) and she became an instant hero by saving the penalty. That resulted in rapturous scenes in the East Stand. Good stuff! Come on!

Throughout the course of the second half, The Gas Girls made a large number of substitutions, which allowed the squad to all get match time which was nice. A side effect of this, though, was that there was confusion at times towards the end, and Forest Green had a number of late golden chances to equalise. They failed to take these chances though, which was a relief.

Forest Green went down to ten players right at the end after a professional foul prevented a one-on-one goal attempt. No complaints there. Cheerio!

Libby Bell (10) went off injured right at the end of the game after a nasty challenge in midfield. She managed to limp off and the stretcher was called for. I hope she is ok.

One of the many substitutes, Gift Ihejieto (18) sealed the victory deep into injury time to send the watching Gas home happy!

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Gas Girls game, was impressed with the quality of the goals and the overall play. It was refreshing to see a complete lack of play acting, time wasting and trying to get players booked / sent off. It was like football used to be.

It was a really good team performance, with positive contributions all over the pitch. The team was well organised, you can see why this team have been champions for three years in succession.

Stand out players for me were (In no particular order):

Katie Davies (2)
Katie Rawlings (4)
Anna Hubble (6)
Georgia Vandries (7)
Libby Bell (10)
Annys Turner (11)
Layah Douglas (12)
Kelly Cutler (14)

Both goalkeepers Betty Platt (1) & Briony Lomas (13) played their part in keeping the scoreline down.

I went home happy after my long day at The Mem. The Gas Girls did much to take my mind off the earlier disappointment following the Men’s game. I will be watching more games in the future.

I think the performance today bodes well for next season in the South West Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division.

UTGG

Bristol Rovers 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

3pm, Saturday 23rd April 2022
The Memorial Stadium
League Two

Match Report

Forest Green earn the point they require to secure promotion as both sides have to settle for a goalless draw in a feisty end of season promotion clash.

A bitterly, bitterly disappointing result in what was a must win game for us. It felt to me like our key players were just not on their game today and we did not do ourselves justice against arguably the best side in this division.

On a positive note (which is really hard), we gained a point which secures our 5th position and keeps us in control of our own destiny with regards to the playoffs. Somehow we are still in touch of third position, although it is looking unlikely now.

All we can do is beat Rochdale and Scunthorpe, and then hope that the footballing gods are on our side. Stranger things have happened..

Back to the game, at the full time whistle I was disappointed but felt that we were fortunate to get the draw. Forest Green had a number of golden opportunities to score and they really should have done. Once again, player of the season James Belshaw earned us yet another point. Where would we be without him? 12th probably.

I left immediately on the final whistle, so did not witness the idiots on the pitch. I can understand the enthusiasm of the Forest Green supporters, but that does not justify spilling onto the pitch. I am also annoyed that a number of our supporters went to meet them. We really, really do not need any attention from the authorities given our past history with pitch invasions.

Fair play to Forest Green, they have earned their promotion by being consistent all season. We will meet them again. Can’t say that I was impressed with the language of their chants during the game, or their behaviour afterwards. Not impressed at all!

On to Rochdale, a potential banana skin that we must avoid. Three points is a must!

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!

Tranmere Rovers 1 Bristol Rovers 1

Saturday 9th April 2022
Prenton Park
League Two

Match Review

The Gas are held to a draw against fellow playoff contenders Tranmere Rovers which keeps the playoff dream alive. Both teams could have won the game but a draw was probably the fair result. A good away point for The Gas.

The last seven days confirms to me that we are not finishing strongly enough to challenge for an automatic promotion place, yes I know that anything can happen and there will be twists and turns in the remainder of the run in, but our winning form needed to continue in order for us to realistically grab third place.

To be in a playoff position after the truly awful start that we had is very impressive. We need to keep our nerve and finish the job and secure the playoff position. Our lack of goals seems to be holding us back right now. We are dominating games but not taking advantage of the periods within a game where we dominate. Hopefully this can be rectified next season, as we are very close to being a perfect League Two promotion team.

For me, the dream of promotion is still very much alive and we have an excellent opportunity. We have five more cup finals and you never know…

Bristol Rovers 2 Bradford City 1

3pm, Saturday 2nd April 2022
The Memorial Stadium
League Two

Match Report

Bristol Rovers overcame a resilient Bradford City side to keep their automatic playoff hopes alive for another week. Goals from Sam Finley and Connor Taylor won the game for The Gas. Rovers are 5th in the league table, level on points with third placed Port Vale.

The game started at a cracking pace, with Rovers making all the early action. Lots of possession in dangerous areas but with no end product.

As the half wore on, Bradford City got back into the game and were starting to exert some pressure of their own, but never looked likely to score.

Sam Finley had an excellent game, full of energy and creativity. He was at the heart of everything going forward an quite rightly earned the man of the match award. He was excellent.

Trevor Clarke struggled all game at left back, but this was not surprising given the lack of match time. He was solid enough and make some positive contributions. Hopefully the match time will do him good.

Sam Nicholson chased everything as always, and linked up with Sam Finley well but was fairly quiet overall today.

Elliot Anderson had a quiet first half, but was his usual excellent self in the second half, unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when he was fouled whilst through on goal. Despite being held, he got his shot away was was off balance.

The defence were solid all game, Hoole looks assured, Taylor and Connolly were rocks as always. Belshaw had very little to do all game.

Collins led the line well, and was unlucky not to score today. His best chance came in the second half when clear on goal but was then taken out in a classic professional foul. We were all surprised when the Bradford player got away with a yellow. Looked a clear red from where I was. Collins also missed a couple of half chances which would have put this game to bed. On another day we would have won this game 3-0.

Rovers were much better in the second half, and once Bradford got their freak goal right on kickoff, it was mostly all Rovers. I think most people in the stadium missed the goal. I only saw it after the net had bulged. That was not the start to the second half that we wanted. Luckily, this Rovers team has character and fights right to the final whistle.

Luke Thomas made a really good impact off the bench, he caused lots of problems down the right.

Lovely goal by Sam Finley, excellent finish. I can’t wait to see that one again! We certainly have been blessed with some quality goals this season!

The winner came from a scrambled goal by Connor Taylor from a set piece on the left side, really pleased for him getting his second goal for The Gas. Worrying few minutes for him with his chest problem afterwards. Glad to see he could continue. I hope he is ok.

The game was fairly comfortable in the end, we managed to see the game out with no late drama. We deserved to win. Dominated possession and chances. It was a professional performance and exactly what was needed.

Three points gained, we are still in the hunt for playoffs / automatic promotion. On to Tranmere and another cup final.

Carlisle United 1 Bristol Rovers 0

Saturday, 26th March 2022
Brunton Park
League Two

Match Report

The Gas fall to a single goal away defeat at Carlisle and drop to sixth in League Two. Still well in the promotion hunt with four teams on 63 points and only three points off the automatic positions.

This was another close game where a single goal was likely to result in all three points being won. Bristol Rovers dominated possession but Carlisle got the all important goal.

A disappointing afternoon but it is only one game and only three points dropped. We go again on Saturday with the visit of Bradford City to The Memorial Stadium.

Champions!!!

The Gas Girls secure their second successive promotion with a 4-0 victory over Weston Mendip Ladies. A truly impressive first three seasons for the Gas Girls!

It has been a pleasure to follow the first three seasons of The Gas Girls. They have been impressive throughout that period, winning the league every season. Also, their community work has also been noted and received high praise. They are role models for young ladies all across the region and in many ways are showing the men how a community club should be run.

The first winning season was struck off when the Covid pandemic hit, which was a real shame as the new football club hit the ground running and would have got promoted at the first attempt.

The second winning season was even more impressive than the first and we were successful in applying to join the higher division.

Despite playing in a higher division, season three was the most impressive so far, The Gas Girls dominated the division and proudly earn their position in the 5th tier of the Women’s football league pyramid. Next season we will play in the “South West Regional Womens Football League – Premier Division”.

The Gas Girls have also (quite rightly) been given the opportunity to play a friendly against Forest Green Rovers Women (who will be in the same league next season) at the Memorial Stadium in a Bristol Rovers double header. As a Bristol Rovers Men’s season ticket holder, I am really looking forward to that one. At the time of writing, this game is due to be held after the men’s game. I would personally have preferred the Gas Girls to play first, but it’s a landmark occasion and one I hope is repeated in the future. I would love the Gas Girls to play all their home games at The Memorial Stadium, one can only dream…

Bristol Rovers Women vs Forest Green Rovers Women – Saturday 23rd April 2022.

Season 3 – 2021/2022

South West Regional Womens Football League – Northern Division
Played 16
Goal Difference 65
Points 43
League Position 1

League Table

PositionTeamPWDLGDPts
1Bristol Rovers Women1614116543
2Almondsbury Women1410131431
3Frampton Rangers Ladies169161328
4Bristol Ladies Union15636321
5Downend Flyers Women15546-919
6Oldland Abbotonians Ladies15618-1416
7Cheltenham Town Ladies Dev14545-510
8Weston Mendip Ladies142210-248
9Weston Super Mare Ladies150312-433
South West Regional Womens Football League – Northern Division

Results

DateOpponentsTimeHAScore (Bristol Rovers)Score (Opponents)Extra Time / PenaltiesResult
Sun 05 Sep 2021Almondsbury Women14:00A41W
Sun 12 Sep 2021Pucklechurch Sports Ladies14:00A113-1L
Sun 19 Sep 2021Almondsbury Women14:00H31W
Sun 26 Sep 2021Bristol Ladies Union14:00A72W
Sun 10 Oct 2021Cheltenham Town Ladies Dev14:00A71W
Sun 17 Oct 2021Downend Flyers Women14:00H51W
Sun 24 Oct 2021Frampton Rangers Ladies14:00A31W
Sun 31 Oct 2021Oldland Abbotonians Ladies14:00H51W
Sun 07 Nov 2021Weston Mendip Ladies14:00A41W
Sun 14 Nov 2021Weston Super Mare Ladies14:00H40W
Sun 21 Nov 2021Longlevens Ladies14:00HC
Sun 28 Nov 2021Frampton Rangers Ladies14:00H90W
Sun 05 Dec 2022Bristol Ladies Union14:00H22D
Sun 09 Jan 2022Weston Super Mare Ladies14:00A80W
Sun 16 Jan 2022Oldland Abbotonians Ladies14:00A01L
Sun 06 Feb 2022Cheltenham Town Ladies Dev14:00H60W
Sun 13 Feb 2022Weston Mendip Ladies14:00H40W
Sun 20 Feb 2022Almondsbury Women14:00AC
Sun 27 Feb 2022Downend Flyers Women14:00A60W
South West Regional Womens Football League – Northern Division

Scorers

Player NamePositionTotal GoalsLeague GoalsCup Goals
Zoe Fielden-StewartForward18180
Annys TurnerForward13130
Laura CurnockForward880
Georgia VandriesForward761
Lily GreensladeForward550
Libby BellMidfielder550
Kelly CutlerForward330
Poppy WarrenDefender330
Jacqueline Maddock330
Rossana RochaForward220
Anna HubbleDefender220
Natalie ColesDefender220
Jess LumberMidfielder110
Chloe CampbellMidfielder110
Jamie-Leigh Worlock110
South West Regional Womens Football League – Northern Division

Season 2 – 2020/2021

Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1
Played 6
Goal Difference 31
Points 16
League Position 1

League Table

PositionTeamPWDLGDPts
1Bristol Rovers Women65103116
2Bristol And West Ladies6501615
3Abbeymead Rovers Ladies6312010
4Longwell Green Ladies6213-37
5Cotswold Rangers Women6213-67
6Pucklechurch Sports Ladies620456
7Gloucester City Ladies6006-330
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Results

DateOpponentsTimeHAScore (Bristol Rovers)Score (Opponents)Extra Time / PenaltiesResult
Sun 06 Sep 2020Bristol and West Ladies14:00H60W
Sun 20 Sep 2020Chipping Sodbury Town Ladies14:00A42W
Sun 04 Oct 2020AEK-BOCO Ladies14:00H113-4 PensL
Sun 11 Oct 2020Bristol and West Ladies14:00A31W
Sun 11 Apr 2021Cotswold Rangers Women14:00H70W
Sun 18 Apr 2021Gloucester City Ladies14:00H220W
Sun 25 Apr 2021Pucklechurch Sports Ladies14:00AC
Sun 02 May 2021Longwell Green Ladies14:00A00D
Sun 09 May 2021Abbeymead Rovers Ladies14:00HC
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Scorers

Player NamePositionTotal GoalsLeague GoalsCup Goals
Georgia Vandries11110
Libby Bell770
Rossana Rocha440
Zoe Fielden-Stewart440
Jamie-Leigh Worlock321
Jen Atherton220
Rossana Rocha220
Annys Turner330
Anna Hubble220
Jess Lumber110
Hannah Thompson110
Katie Davies110
Kelly Cutler110
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Season 1 – 2019/2020

Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1
Played 10
Goal Difference 32
Points 30
League Position 1

League Table

PositionTeamPWDLGDPts
1Bristol Rovers Women1010003230
2Bristol and West Ladies85031315
3Cheltenham Women9504615
4Bristol Ladies Union (Dev)7412213
5Longwell Green Ladies9405112
6Pucklechurch Sports Ladies6312210
7Abbeymead Rovers Ladies9207-176
8Longlevens Ladies10000-390
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Results

DateOpponentsTimeHAScore (Bristol Rovers)Score (Opponents)Extra Time / PenaltiesResult
Sun 08 Sep 2019Abbeymead Rovers Ladies14:00A50W
Sun 15 Sep 2019Longlevens Ladies14:00A81W
Sun 22 Sep 2019Bristol Ladies Union (Dev)14:00A43W
Sun 29 Sep 2019Bristol and West Ladies14:00A30W
Sun 20 Oct 2019Forest Green Rovers Women14:00H70W
Sun 03 Nov 2019Cheltenham Town Ladies U2114:00A40W
Sun 10 Nov 2019Pucklechurch Sports Ladies14:00H30W
Sun 17 Nov 2019Frampton Rangers Ladies14:00H03L
Sun 01 Dec 2019Cotswold Rangers Women14:00A120W
Sun 08 Dec 2019Longwell Green Ladies14:00H30W
Sun 15 Dec 2019Longwell Green Ladies14:00A21W
Sun 12 Jan 2020Abbeymead Rovers Ladies14:00H50W
Sun 02 Feb 2020Longwell Green Ladies14:00A60W
Sun 01 Mar 2020Bristol and West Ladies14:00H81W
Sun 08 Mar 2020Pucklechurch Sports Ladies14:00H
Sun 15 Mar 2020Bristol Ladies Union (Dev)14:00H
Sun 29 Mar 2020Cheltenham Town Ladies U2114:00H
Sun 10 May 2020Pucklechurch Sports Ladies14:00A
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Top Scorers

Player NamePositionTotal GoalsLeague GoalsCup Goals
Georgia Vandries17
Rossana Rocha14
Libby Bell11
Gloucestershire County Womens Football League – Division 1

Northampton Town 0 Bristol Rovers 1

Saturday, 19th March 2022
Sixfields Stadium
League Two

Match Report

The Gas gain a priceless three points at promotion rivals Northampton Town with a first minute goal by Harry Anderson. This takes us up to a new season high of 4th and knocking on the automatic promotion door.

This was a tight game and Northampton hit the crossbar a both side had chances to score. Listening on the radio, I felt that we were good value for the three points and managed the game well.

A massive result that continues the truly amazing run that we are on, and strengthens our promotion challenge. We are now right in the mix for the race for automatic promotion / playoffs and sets up nicely for the game against Carlisle United next Saturday, which is another must win game for The Gas.

Bristol Rovers 1 Colchester United 0

Tuesday, 15th March 2022
The Memorial Stadium
League Two

Match Review

Bristol Rovers continue their ascent up the League Two table with a nervy win against Colchester United. A season high league position of 7th and a spot in the playoffs. Who would have thought it?

I felt we just about edged this tight game. Fair play to Colchester United, they are a much better team than their league position of 19th would suggest, and they came to play.

Tonight we started much better than on Saturday, and were much more positive at the start. There were brief flashes of skill from Anthony Evans, who had a good game but sat far too deep for my liking.

Both sides had chances to score throughout the whole game. Colchester United were very dangerous at set pieces, we really could not defend their corners at all. They were very creative with their deep corners being headed back across goal.

They also put James Belshaw under more pressure in the box than I can remember all season. A very physical side. The closest Colchester came to scoring was at the end of the first half with a goal cleared off the line. The ref blew for a foul on Belshaw anyway.

We also struggled with the pace of Colchester’s wing men. Their number 6, for example, was fast!

We asserted control towards the end of the first half, and dominated possession throughout large periods of the second half. My only complaint was that we sat far too deep and the possession football (which I do like) was too often across our 18 yard box. Far too deep to mount any kind of attack.

As always, the players gave everything, chased everything and largely nullified the Colchester attack.

As a result of the deep, patient approach, the result was always in doubt and the game was nervy towards the end. I was concerned that they would nick a goal.

Lovely build up play for Elliot Anderson’s goal. Another man of the match performance from Elliot, and a classy goal to win the game for us.

After the terrible start to the season, it is truly mind-blowing to see us in a playoff position, and still only three points off second place with nine games to go. We are in an incredible position and have a golden opportunity to bounce back to League One at the first attempt.

Yes, we are not perfect and there will be some tough games to go but we have the momentum.

On to Northampton and a promotion six pointer. UTG.

Bristol Rovers 3 Harrogate Town 0

3pm, Saturday 12th March 2022
The Memorial Stadium
League Two

Match Report

This afternoon we witness a Gas masterclass on how to win a football game in style.

Forget League Two, we had goals this afternoon that would have been fit for a World Cup final.

Aaron Collins with the right foot curler from the edge of the box.
Elliot Anderson with a perfect reproduction of the Ricky Villa goal for Tottenham in the 1981 FA Cup Final.
Aaron Collins with the cheekiest of chips over the keeper.

Gas heaven.

We also witnessed football being played the right way. I cannot enthuse enough about how well we passed the ball around. Lovely one touch possession football. I am of course ignoring the first 20 minutes when we played as strangers.

We have the makings of a REALLY GOOD Bristol Rovers team here. Defensively solid, a creative midfield with bite and a classy striker who is full of confidence.

It is difficult to pick out individual players as the whole team contributed to the result. It was an excellent team performance. What a player Elliot Anderson is though. Classy, hardworking and effective. Aaron Colins was a pleasure to watch today, the guy is on fire. Loved the little boxing celebration down by us in the South West stand. We certainly knocked the stuffing out of Harrogate Town, that’s for sure.

I also love Luca Hoole. Effective and solid defensively, with some nice creative touches and excellent distribution. Taylor and Connolly were rock solid as always. Finley was everywhere and the heart of everything. Outstanding performances throughout the team.

We started nervously, something we seem to do quite a bit, and something we need to avoid when we meet the big boys in the next few weeks. Harrogate could easily have nicked a goal or two at the start, with some dangerous crosses fizzing across our box. As in recent games, by the midway point of the first half we took control, scored two goals and never looked like conceding let along losing the game.

Belshaw got a really good welcome by the Harrogate fans as he ran over to his goal at the start of the second half. Good to see the respect.

The third goal killed the game as a contest, and for once we could all sit back and enjoy a game of football with no drama…

A big home crowd, festival atmosphere (loved the band before the game – nothing better than walking into the ground with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Foo Fighters. Happy days!), dominant performance, wonder goals. This afternoon had everything.

It sure feels good to be a Gashead right now. I am loving it!

Another season high league position of 8th, just outside the playoffs on goal difference only. We are only three points off second place!

(Going) Up The Gas!