As much as I love following the Dons, East, West, North and South this is one ground I won’t be sorry to miss, I’ve been three times to Gas HQ, I haven’t seen us score, and we just and so managed a 0-0 draw on my first ever visit, it’s always bloody cold, and there is no protection from the elements, if it rains, you get wet. The only decent think that’s ever happened to me there and is often regaled when we make our way out West, on one visit I pulled up at the gate for my booked parking and was shown to what I thought was a fairly decent spot, well it was, it was the Away Directors parking spot, seems they thought my fairly recognisable number plate was sufficient evidence, or was it because the guy said “Name”, I said “Colin” and the guy thought I said “Cullen”, I couldn’t possibly comment. Anyway the parking spot didn’t turn out to be too clever, after the game I had to walk against the tide of Rovers fans leaving the ground, and I got some dirty looks and a few choice comments from some right ugly looking individuals, not my worst experience at a football match, but still decidedly unpleasant.
I can just and so recall the reverse of this game on Boxing Day, we won 2-0 but how bloody miserable we were denied our traditional Christmas footie, the first time I’ve missed a game during the Yuletide break in well over 30 years I think.
The last time we played Rovers Paul Tisdale was in charge, and it’s now the larger than life Joey Barton who is the third change of manager this season, and the 5th different change of leadership with the transition of old manager to new manger being spanned by the Rovers Director of Football. It’s never boring when Joey is about and just recently he has made some harsh but fair comments regarding the tenure of Paul Tisdale, and apparently the lawyers of the former Dons manager are looking at acting.
BRISTOL Rovers THE SEASON SO FAR – Rovers are currently in 23rd spot in the league table with a record of PLAYED 42, WON 10, DRAWN 8, LOST 24, GF 40 & GA 65 with 38 POINTS to their name.
LEAGUE FORM AT A GLANCE – LLLWDL
BRISTOL ROVERS HOME LEAGUE RESULTS 2020/21
Bristol Rovers 0 Lincoln 1
Bristol Rovers 2 Doncaster 1
Bristol Rovers 0 Sunderland 1
Bristol Rovers 0 Swindon 1
Bristol Rovers 0 AFCW 0
Bristol Rovers 4 Accrington 1
Bristol Rovers 2 Shrewsbury 1
Bristol Rovers 1 Wigan 2
Bristol Rovers 3 Portsmouth 1
Bristol Rovers 0 Oxford 2
Bristol Rovers 1 Rochdale 2
Bristol Rovers 0 Charlton 1
Bristol Rovers 2 Blackpool 1
Bristol Rovers 3 Plymouth 0
Bristol Rovers 0 Gillingham 2
Bristol Rovers 1 Fleetwood 4
Bristol Rovers 0 Peterborough 2
Bristol Rovers 1 Hull City 3
Bristol Rovers 1 Burton 1
Bristol Rovers 2 Northampton 0
Bristol Rovers 0 Ipswich 2That’s a record of PLAYED 21, WON 7, DRAWN 2, LOST 12, GF 22 & GA 29.
YEAR OF FORMATION – 1883
CLUB NICKNAME – The Pirates, The Gas, Rovers.
HOME GROUND – The Memorial Stadium (12,296)
THE MANAGER – Joey Barton aged 38 and born in Huyton, Merseyside.
Barton’s career and life have been marked by numerous controversial incidents and disciplinary problems and he has been convicted twice of violent crimes. On 20 May 2008, he was sentenced to six months imprisonment for common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool City Centre. Barton served just 74 days of his prison term. On 1 July 2008, he was also given a four-month suspended sentence after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former teammate Ousmane Dabo during a training-ground dispute. This incident effectively ended his Manchester City career. Barton has been charged with violent conduct three times by The Football Association, for the assault on Dabo, for punching Morten Gamst Pedersen in the stomach and for attacking three players on the final day of the 2011–12 season.
As a midfielder he played 435 games in his career scoring 37 goals playing for Manchester City, Newcastle United, QPR, Marseille on loan, Burnley, Rangers, and finally Burnley again where he ended his playing days.
Barton has also had two scrapes with the football authorities regarding betting on games, the first time he was given a one match ban for breaking gambling rules after admitting placing 44 bets. Three months later he was given an 18 month ban when it transpired he had placed 1,260 bets over 10 years.
A year after he hung up his boots he took over at Fleetwood for his first managerial appointment and controversy was never far away, and he was charged with assault during a tunnel incident at Barnsley after a 4-2 defeat.In January of this year Barton was shown the door after a fallout with a number of players and the owner, and just over a month later was appointed as the Rovers manager.
His record as a manager is slightly above average showing a 38% Win Ratio with a record of GAMES 142, WON 54, DRAWN 38, LOST 50. His Win Ratio goes down to as little as 23% during his time at Rovers.
FORMER MANAGERS – Formed in 1883 Rovers never appointed a full-time manager until 1889 and then appointed Alfred Homer who managed the team for 21 years, they have subsequently had 35 managers, not including caretakers. Other managers include Paul Tisdale, Bill Dodgin Snr, Bobby Campbell, Terry Cooper, Bobby Gould, Gerry Francis, Malcolm Allison, Russell Osman, Ian Holloway, Ian Atkins, Paul Trollope, Paul Buckle and Mark McGhee.
FORMER PLAYERS – A few famous names like Ray Graydon, Ian Hamilton, Bobby Jones, Rickie Lambert, Gary Mabbutt, Nigel Martyn, and Tony Pullis.
MATCHDAY MASCOT – A frightening almost creepy looking pirate called Captain Gas, don’t look into his eye….he wears an eye patch over one.
FAMOUS FANS – Disgraced MP Jeffrey Archer imprisoned for perjury, and Rod Hull of Emu fame, and part time TV aerial repair man.
SHOOTERS BOOTS – Luke Leahy with 10 goals.
PLAYED FOR BOTH – George Williams, Chris Lines, Ed Upson, Scott Bevan, Mustapha Carayol, Jermaine Easter, Danny Woodards, Angelo Balanta, Dominic Blizzard, Tom Hitchcock, David McCracken, Lee Nicholls, Richie Partridge, Carl Regan, James Tunnicliffe, Elliot Ward, Mark Wright, and Jonson Clarke-Harris.
CURRENT INTERNET MATCH ODDSBRISTOL ROVERS 28/17 DRAW 11/4 MK DONS 7/4
LAST TIME ROUND – 26th Dec 2020 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0
Team – Fisher, Poole, O’Hora (Cargill), Keogh, Lewington, Sorenson, Surman (Freeman), Gladwin (Mason), Fraser, Harvie, Jerome (Johnson).
Unused Subs – Nicholls, Davies.
Goals – Gladwin 45+3’, Fraser 62’
Referee – James Oldham (3 Yellows)
Attendance – Behind Closed Doors
HEAD 2 HEAD
2020/21 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0 (Gladwin, Fraser)
2019/20 – MK Dons 3 Bristol Rovers 0 (Healey, Nombe, Agard)
2019/20 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 0
2017/18 – MK Dons 0 Bristol Rovers 1
2017/18 – Bristol Rovers 2 MK Dons 0
2016/17 – Bristol Rovers 0 MK Dons 0
2016/17 – MK Dons 3 Bristol Rovers 3 (Bowditch, GB Williams, Reeves)
2010/11 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 2 (O’Hanlon, Powell)
2010/11 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0 (Powell, Leven)
2009/10 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 0
2009/10 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 1 (Leven, Puncheon)
2008/09 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 1 (Gerba, Chadwick)
2008/09 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 2 (Wilbraham, Own Goal)
2006/07 – Bristol Rovers 1 MK Dons 1 (McGovern)
2006/07 – MK Dons 2 Bristol Rovers 0 (Dyer, Platt)
That’s a Head 2 Head record of GAMES 15, MK 9, ROVERS 3, DRAWS 3.