Okay, so I think all the A-level work I've been getting since the start of September is catching up with me. It's been too long since I last posted, which makes it difficult to cram in all the goings on from the past couple of weeks, but I'll sum it up very simply...
We lost at home to Aldershot last weekend having played long balls very poorly and a few supporters were quick to criticise the players and management team. The squad then had a full week's training before yesterday's clash at league leaders Morecambe and we won 3-2 having played, at times, some brilliant passing football!
The whole long, hopeless balls we witnessed from Rovers last Saturday did warrant questioning from supporters, albeit in a less vociferous way, seeing as Paul Buckle stated his new side would play slick, passing, attacking football this season. But, having had a full week between matches for only the second time this season, the players came out at the Globe Arena in Morecambe yesterday and gave glimpses of a very different style of football. The ball was played on the turf and there were some superb passing and attacking from Rovers, particularly in midfield and up front. The exciting football played yesterday, as Buckle reveals himself, is exactly how he wants us to play on a weekly basis - a big encouragement for supporters.
The game itself yesterday was enthralling - it had more than its fair share of goals! Rovers took a deserved lead when Cian Bolger headed home Matt Gill's right wing corner 27 minutes in and it wasn't until the second half that the contest began to heat up. The home side equalised when Jason Price netted his first Shrimp's goal after converting Danny Carlton's cross, before Kevin Ellison saw is free-kick deflected in to the Rovers goal by the 7-man wall Scott Bevan had constructed. But, just 60 seconds later Rovers were back on level terms.
Bolger's long ball (very ironic!) towards Chris Zebroski was chested down in to the path of Scott McGleish, who hit a stunning 25-yard volley in to the far corner past home 'keeper Barry Roche. Just 7 minutes later and the Gas turned the game on its head once more when Joe Anyinsah picked up the ball outside the penalty area, before evading 3 weak Morecambe challenges and smashing a superb left footed strike in off the crossbar from a near impossible angle. The celebrations were mental and if Rovers could hold on, they'd have beaten the league leaders on their home patch - their first defeat in the league since the opening day. There were a few scares, particularly when Laurence Wilson's great curling effort hit the far post, before presenting Ellison with the easiest chance to score a goal of his long career to date. It was an open goal for the experienced midfielder but somehow he hit the ball in to the ground and over the crossbar. It was too tense to watch and it was a slice of luck for the Pirates rearguard... and about time too. It would have been incredibly harsh had Rovers not won the game and thankfully, the final whistle sounded and we could take all 3 points back down to Bristol.
We're up to 12th in the league now, just 5 points off Morecambe who remain top of the table, setting us up nicely for our home game against Cheltenham next Saturday.
It should be an exciting game and hopefully now the side will have a bit of confidence in themselves, we can get a bit of consistency about our play and push on up the league.