Storm Dennis came roaring into the west country last weekend bringing gale-force winds, driving rain and, rather unexpectedly, a Bristol Rovers win, writes Steve Knowlson.

Managerless Blackpool made the long trek down to Bristol for a game played in dreadful conditions, with the strong winds and torrential rain challenging the ability of the teams to put on an entertaining spectacle for the hardy fans who had turned out in the teeth of the storm.

The visitors started the game with the wind behind them and settled into the conditions far better than Rovers. Blackpool’s caretaker boss, David Dunn, only had to wait two minutes for his first goal in charge of the Tangerines when Gary Madine struck an unstoppable shot past Blackman in the Rovers goal to hand his side an early advantage.

Rovers struggled playing into the wind for the rest of the half, failing to test the Blackpool keeper, until we were handed a lifeline two minutes before the break when Heneghan was given his marching orders for scything down Jonson Clarke-Harris with a two-footed lunge from behind.

Evidently, Ben Garner gave his men a storm-force rollicking at half-time and they came out for the second 45 with a renewed sense of purpose against the 10 men of the Seasiders.

Rovers slowly took control of the match pushing Blackpool back into their half and finally started to test Maxwell in the visitor’s goal. Our equaliser came from an unlikely source when young central defender Alfie Kilgour advanced towards a back-pedalling defence and unleashed an absolute screamer into the top corner from more than 30 yards out.

Ten minutes later in the 84th minute sub Josh Ginnelly stuck out a boot and deflected a Clarke-Harris strike past the wrong-footed Maxwell to deliver a much-needed three points – although Blackman was called upon to make a crucial stop at the death when Delfouneso was played in on goal.

The result delivered a first victory for Garner since he took the Gas hot seat in December and halted a winless run that had stretched to 14 games.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to the North East to play high-flying Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.