Bristol Rovers fan column: Defeats against Portsmouth and Rochdale increase relegation fears

Gazette Series: Bristol Rovers FC Bristol Rovers FC

ROVERS’ hopes of avoiding the drop are still hanging by a thread after a disastrous Easter weekend.

The Pirates lost both their games, going down 3-2 at Portsmouth on Saturday and suffering a 2-1 defeat to promotion-chasing Rochdale at the Memorial Stadium on Monday.

We showed plenty of spirit at Fratton Park, coming from behind to equalise twice, but ultimately Pompey had too much for us. However, it was good to see Harrold on the scoresheet twice and his second in particular was a brave header.

The performance gave fans renewed hope after the woeful Torquay performance the previous week that the players were up for the fight.

They started brightly against Rochdale and gained a reward for their commitment and desire when Mohammed opened the scoring. Roared on by a crowd of over 8,000, things were looking promising at half-time but our opponents wasted no time in levelling and took the lead soon after.

It was apparent then that heads had dropped and we never looked like rescuing the situation for the rest of the game as Rochdale were far superior in all departments. We were also hampered by injuries as Smith, Woodards, Gillespie and Beardsley were all ruled out and the youthful forward line of Lucas and Harding we had fielded by the end of the contest will not trouble many defences.

The situation could be worse but fortunately the teams around us failed to make up any ground, with Wycombe and Northampton both failing to capitalise on our setbacks.

As a result the Gas are still outside of the relegation zone but only on goal difference.

All eyes are now on Saturday’s trip to relegation rivals Wycombe in what is a huge must-win fixture. Both sides are locked on 47 points but the Chairboys are one place higher than Rovers as they have a better goal difference by one.

We cannot pin our hopes on the final game of the season, or on Northampton continuing to slip up, so it is vital to return with three points.

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