ROVERS won in style at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, thrashing Alfreton 7-0, but it was not enough to pip Barnet to the Conference title.

The outcome meant the Pirates are having to battle it out in the play-offs in a bid to return to the Football League at the first attempt.

A Conference record crowd of more than 11,000 ensured an electric atmosphere as the game kicked off.

Gosling earned a recall and he showed what we had been missing from the young Gibraltar international as he curled in a magnificent shot to give the Gas the lead in the 20th minute.

For a brief spell Rovers were top of the league, and we just had to hope that Gateshead would do us a favour at the Hive and keep Barnet at bay.

Sadly that was too much to ask as the Bees scored in the 25th minute to regain the advantage.

We were still clinging on to the hope that Gateshead could pull off a shock and gain an equaliser, as the Gas were turning on the style at the Mem.

Alfreton looked like a side that were getting relegated, while Rovers were on top of their game, with Lines excelling in midfield and the lively front pairing of Taylor and Harrison looking a constant threat.

More goals followed as Harrison and two from Taylor made the score 4-0, when news reached us that Barnet had scored their second.

The dream of clinching the title and automatic promotion had gone but the players did not rest on their laurels, as further goals from Mansell, Monkhouse and Parkes secured an incredible 7-0 win.

However it is important not to get too carried away by the scoreline as our play-off opponents Forest Green will be a far tougher proposition than Alfreton.

As the Gazette went to press the first leg of the play-off semi-final was being played at the New Lawn last night.

The second leg is at the Mem on Sunday, when another large crowd will be hoping to roar the Gas to a Wembley play-off final on May 17.

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