Rovers fell to a 2-1 defeat against bitter rivals Bristol City at Ashton Gate courtesy of a late Joe Bryan goal for the hosts. It was totally undeserved given the second half performance of John Ward's young team but it goes to prove that you need to take your chances when you are well on top in games, as we were at 1-1.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, City's new star (and ultimately the ONLY difference between them and us), gave them the lead early on with a stunning goal from 25 yards out before defender Mark McChrystal equalised for Rovers quarter of an hour into the second half. Rovers squandered a few opportunities and Bryan punished our lack of clinical shooting by curling a sublime effort into the top corner after Steve Mildenhall parried a shot.
It was a bitterly disappointing moment as our League Two side deserved to take the game to penalties at least but clearly the footballing gods were against us on the night. The atmosphere was tremendous and unlike anything Gasheads or sh*theads would have experienced since the last derby meeting in 2007. The East End was alive with the constant chanting from Rovers fans and the fact City went in front early meant that their supporters cleared their throats and began to sing too. I can't begin to explain what it feels like to celebrate a goal at Ashton Gate.
I was proud when we sung 'Goodnight Irene' from the top of our lungs after we equalised but I was proud of our performance full stop. We never stopped singing and the players clearly appreciated it by the level of performance they gave us in the second half. The moment I was most pleased with from a Rovers perspective was at full-time when the brain-dead morons from Bedminster and Knowle decided to invade the pitch and throw things at innocent Gasheads. United we stood there and sang our anthem loud and proud for the watching Sky Sports customers to enjoy. Twitter burst to life with complimentary tweets about our support while the opinions on City fans was far from flattering. The funniest comment I read was that they were a 'bunch of six fingered mongs', I think from a Portsmouth fan.
Of course I am gutted we lost but we went down fighting and deserved a whole lot more. The 'mind the gap' crap that 82ers spout at every available opportunity simply doesn't wash any more and behind closed doors they'd admit that themselves. It scares them how close we ran them. Their multi-million pound team were merely one goal better than us and, arguably, they didn't even deserve it. On the pitch we're close to matching them and off the pitch we're close to surpassing them with the UWE Stadium set to built. Chins up Gasheads, we've got a lot to look forward to. They, on the other hand, haven't.
We'll be in the same division soon enough and leapfrog them a year after that. Let's continue our wonderful support at Plymouth Argyle this weekend and roar the boys on to a third successive league victory.