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January Blues

It's January. The month that is easily, even at the best of times, the bleakest time of the year for most people. The fun of Christmas festivities are over, work is suddenly busy again and it's bloody freezing. Just chuck a national lockdown into this month and it's 31 long, dismal days; an endless depressing cycle. But hey - football is still going ahead. I'm grateful to still have some sort of routine. I plan my Saturday around the 3pm kick off and try to get home from work in time for the Tuesday night games. Of course, it's no where near the same level of excitement as a normal match day. Sitting on my sofa with a beer isn't quite the same as losing my voice on the terraces after an Alfie Kilgour 40 yard screamer. But it'll do for now.

 

BLACKPOOL (H)


January started off so well, didn't it? It was only the second day of the month and we had already witnessed a positive come-back win against Blackpool at The Mem. I wouldn't say it was our best performance but sometimes all you need is two minutes of magic to turn a game on it's head.

The fight back began when Brandon Hanlan neatly tucked the ball away into the bottom corner on 34 minutes. Then on 36 minutes - how about that acrobatic volley from Sam Nicholson?!?! The skill and agility involved to get himself into such a position to effortlessly dink the ball into the top corner was brilliant. Most players at this level would have just panicked and smashed the ball into old Doris' back garden on Muller Road. What a winning goal and a great start to 2021. Did we really get this guy on a free?!

 

SHEFFIELD UNITED (H)


The FA Cup is such a wonderful competition. It's a chance for the underdogs to cause an upset. Except it's no fun unless you are the underdogs. We've had our fair share of pathetic results against lower league opposition such as Chesham, Bath City, Barnet and Barrow. You can imagine my fear when we drew Darlington in the second round. Thankfully, we battered them 6-0 (rightly so) on this occasion and sailed through to round 3.

I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted from the third round draw, to be honest. Part of the FA Cup magic is so us fans can travel to grounds we never normally get a chance to go to. I'd have been gutted if we drew the likes of Liverpool or Man City away when it's behind closed doors. Luckily it was a home draw, so not much to miss out on. I would have liked to see players such as Egan, Lundstram and Basham live at The Mem, though. I know it's been a rough season for them so far but these are players who finished 9th in the Premier League last season. For us to narrowly lose 3-2 and put up a strong performance against them is really something to be proud of. This game was the weekend before my 26th birthday so I treated myself to a bottle of Prosecco during the match. Sadly, some of it ended up on the floor after Max Ehmer unexpectedly smashed in an equaliser from close range. I can't say I've jumped up off the sofa much this season but this game had me on tenterhooks. It's a shame we couldn't hold on for longer than a minute but the overall performance from The Gas had me buzzing nonetheless. Or maybe it was the Prosecco. Who knows?

 

CHARLTON ATHLETIC (H)

Charlton home. This game was the weekend after my 26th birthday so I treated myself to a bottle of Prosecco. Kidding. No alcohol for me this time round but boy - did I need it! The buzz from the FA Cup match, along with my life, was sucked out of me during this match. It was a poor, unexciting match which was divided by an embarrassing Charlton goal scored straight from a corner.


I'd be ashamed of my nephew if he had conceded that in one of his under-7's football parties, truth be told. If you ever have trouble sleeping, don't waste your money on the Calm app, just watch the Bristol Rovers v Charlton Athletic game. It will send you right to sleep.

 

CREWE ALEXANDRA (A)


Gaaaaahhhhh!!! Basic. Basic. Basic. This was a game that could have easily gone our way, particularly after a spectacular comeback to claw it back to 2-2. However, in true Bristol Rovers fashion, we conceded again within a matter of minutes. Had their third goal not happened so soon, I believe we could have gained a point or more from the game.

It was very frustrating but the performance itself was actually quite encouraging. So long as we sort out the silly mistakes at the back, we most certainly won't go down. I admire our fighting spirit but come on Rovers - it needs to last a little longer than a few minutes.



On a positive spin, Ehmer's goal was a mirror of his one vs Sheffield Utd and McComick's was a cracker. Both goals suggest Tisdale and the boys are putting The Quarters to good use - which are promising signs indeed. It's been a strange old season thus far but no matter what Twitter may suggest, we aren't a sunken ship just yet. We are miles better than the tippy tappy Garner-ball we had before. The sooner we see the return of Sam Nicholson and Erhun Oztumer, the better. I'll end this blog with a bit of humour from Paul Tisdale's post-match presser to keep you all smiling through lockdown. Keep the Faith, Gasheads. We move on to Oxford.

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