Bristol Rovers’ fan’s view with Dennis Payter
IT is one of football’s trendy sayings, but we do seem to have our Rovers back.
The atmosphere at the Memorial Stadium on Friday night was electric and just like the old days of epic cup ties as fans realised the importance of getting behind the side for such a massive league game against Barnet. Other sides in the bottom two divisions must have looked on in envy at the staggering attendance of more than 8,000 to see this vital relegation battle.
Yet it was difficult to comprehend that the losers of this game, or even both sides, could be still relegated to non-league oblivion given the high standard of football on display.
Both teams played fast entertaining football in a classic game as many would not have begrudged the visitors a point with their late equaliser. But this John Ward side is full of the fight we have been lacking.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Barnet attacked with pace and Ian Holloway seemed to have done us no favours by loaning winger Ibra Sekajja to The Bees from Crystal Palace as he constantly looked threatening.
I, for one, thought it was marvellous to see a former great in Edgar Davids playing against us. The idiots were shouting that he ‘never made it’, but he did captain a great Holland side and played for clubs including Ajax, Juventus and Barcelona. One of the brighter quotes was that the linesman should borrow the Dutch star’s glasses.
Despite Davids’ probing from midfield our defence now looks much more solid with captain fantastic Tom Parkes leading by example with another powerful display alongside the unflappable Mark McChrystal, who rarely put a foot wrong, while behind them Steve Mildenhall looks very reliable.
The revival of Lee Brown since Mark McGhee departed continued as his run down the left and cross for Fabian Broghammer’s well-taken goal came at just the right time.
For long periods in the first half, we had ignored Broghammer, leaving new boy Ryan Brunt to battle away on his own.
Barnet’s equaliser came from a throw right by me after the ball-boy wisely ignored my advice to lie on the ball. In the past, heads would have dropped and we would have been hanging on for a point.
Ward said after the game: “There aren’t many clubs I would have come back for. I was here before and had a terrific time and I got asked if I would come and help, and my dear friend Ron Craig would never have forgiven me if I hadn’t done it.”
It shows what an inspiration Ward is and his team’s grandstand finish showed we have just what it takes to get out of the mess we find ourselves in.
I was surprised that Derek Riordan didn’t make the Scotland squad. Maybe he insisted on playing on the left.