ROVERS experienced a mixed week, gaining a vital three points with victory over Newport on Saturday, followed by a disappointing defeat to Accrington on Tuesday night.
The 3-1 win in the Severnside derby at the Mem was played in appalling conditions in the first half, as a hailstorm, swirling wind and torrential rain combined to make the contest a lottery.
Fortunately it was Newport who were up against the elements and their goalkeeper in particular was struggling to cope as his kicks failed to reach any distance and one goal kick even came back, boomerang-style, to go out for a Rovers corner.
As half-time approached the Gas took the lead as Mohamed, making his debut after signing on loan from Port Vale last week, produced a clinical finish.
Although his lack of match sharpness and fitness told towards the end of the game, it was a promising start from the winger.
Fortune continued to favour Rovers as they stepped out for the second half to see the atrocious first half conditions had abated, allowing for a more even contest.
We still had to weather a storm of a different kind, however, as the Exiles threw everything at us to try to get back in the game.
The unflappable McCrystal and the rest of the well organised defence dealt with the threat they posed with great assurance, but at times we missed the injured Harrold up front to give us an outlet.
It was an excellent battling performance by the Gas and superb goals from Richards and O’Toole confirmed the win.
The good work was undone on Tuesday night, however, as Rovers lost 1-0 at home to Accrington Stanley. The game looked destined to be a goalless draw as the Gas dominated possession for large spells of the game but lacked a cutting edge up front, until Stanley scored in injury time.
The Pirates are now four points away from the drop zone in 20th place. We need to return from a tough-looking trip to promotion-chasing Chesterfield on Saturday with at least a point to avoid being back in the relegation mire.