The 2018-19 season ended on an upbeat note with Bristol Rovers beating Championship-bound Barnsley at the Memorial Stadium last Saturday.

It was an unexpected end to a roller-coaster campaign which saw the Gas threatened by relegation for most of it, finally guaranteeing safety after the penultimate game with a hard-fought point at Fleetwood. Earlier in the season long-serving manager Darrell Clarke departed the club after a series of increasingly disappointing results had left Rovers four points from safety.

New boss Graham Coughlan was handed the task of keeping us in the third tier and he achieved that aim, although it was a bumpy road to survival with some unconvincing performances along the way.

So when the team was announced before kickoff last Saturday with no Jack Bonham or top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris in the squad many of us were expecting a hiding from the in-form Tykes who needed a big win themselves to have a chance of taking the League One title.

Kieffer Moore got the visitors off to a quick start, scrambling the ball home after Adam Smith made a mess of a cross 12 minutes in. However, Rovers got to half time without conceding again and were handed a boost just a minute before the break when Liam Lindsay was given his marching orders for a second yellow card, reducing Barnsley to 10 men for the second half.

Rovers dominated the rest of the game and deservedly levelled with Alex Rodman’s deflected strike. With time ticking away Rodman grabbed the winner, and his second of the game, when he smartly converted Liam Sercombe’s excellent cross.

It was great to end the season on a high and the team put in a good performance against quality opposition, but the fact remains that there’s much work to be done this summer if we’re to avoid struggling next term.

Chris Lines made his 500th career appearance coming on as a sub late in the game and last Monday confirmed that he will be leaving Rovers, as will captain and star defender Tom Lockyer who is seeking a challenge at a higher level . Both have been superb servants of the football club and will be greatly missed.

I hope Gasheads everywhere have an enjoyable and relaxing summer , until next season – Up The Gas!