Congratulations! Management, players and club fully deserve the plaudits this week and on so many counts.
After the bitterly sad defeat in the FA Cup everyone has responded so well.
We have seen determination, organisation character and flair. We have been entertained and most important of all have won six points and moved up to third in the Blue Square Premier.
In Kent last Tuesday. The team proved themselves in gaining what I think was the most important win of the season. All praise to the management team. They had geared the players up for the game and during it had tweaked the formation and successfully used substitutes. It must have been a happy coach ride home.
It was certainly a happy start for the Stockport game. This time it was us doing the bullying. Straight out of the blocks. Rovers moved the ball quickly finding space and running into it. Energy and endeavour were obvious throughout the side. Stockport could not cope.
Manager Hockaday had said his team would learn from the Port Vale cup-tie and. Saturday showed us they certainly had.
The team was set up well and with the reliability of Green and Bangura in midfield Klukowski was able to make so many surges forward. Bursting through as he so often does makes him difficult to mark and his strong, confident finishing makes him such an asset. He must be extremely fit to cover the amount of ground he does during the game. He is my player of the season so far.
Others are not far behind. James Norwood for instance. He has run many miles in the Rovers cause, and has done so at full speed – both leading attacks and covering in defence. He looked exhausted when substituted and confirmed so afterwards.
He volunteered to aid my quiz team that evening in Cirencester’s Quiz of the Year. I did not take up his offer and we lost. His flair and wit were sadly missed. Next time Nors.
The fourth goal was a bonus for us, and the scorer Reece Styche. He has had a blank autumn, but in the few minutes he was on the field he showed his value.
He led a swift attack, beating defenders before passing to the inevitable Yan. A clever pass resulted in a Stokes strike, which the keeper could not hold it and Reece made no mistake.
Having heard several of our closes rivals had lost raised the mood but may I suggest we do not worry about them. This week has shown how capable we can be. The future is in our own hands. This season there have been freak results. This will continue. Rovers have the ability; have added determination and I am sure can achieve the consistency for a top position. It has been a good week – now the momentum must be maintained.
It is easy to get Remembrance Day commemorations wrong. They can be over sentimental and mawkish or worse – jingoistic and celebratory. Saturdays was perfect.
The Nailsworth Silver Band set the scene. A splendidly representative ‘platform party’ came on to the field. The spoken word and the note of the bugler rang clear across the surrounding valleys.
It was a moment both pure and true. Supporters of both sides observed the silence perfectly. We were all united in football but on that sunny afternoon we were united in so much more. The true spirit of Remembrance was so surely there.