Ticket gesture can inspire us to victory

Long stretch: Rovers' James Hayter in the thick of the action during last weekend's disappointing defeat at Hull.                        Picture: Steve Taylor
Long stretch: Rovers' James Hayter in the thick of the action during last weekend's disappointing defeat at Hull. Picture: Steve Taylor
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AFTER last week’s comment about Preston’s equaliser in our last home game being offside, it has come to light that the assistant referee on the East Stand side was from Scunthorpe.

Surely a conflict of interest comes into play, even if Preston were also down in the bottom three, as it stopped us pulling away from the pack?

Or is it just me?

Anyway it’s back to squeaky bum time, although with the points in the bag I am very confident we can survive.

There is no doubting that today’s game against fellow strugglers Crystal Palace is a real six-pointer, and to this, I think it’s a great gesture from the board to issue free tickets, and refunds to fans who had brought their tickets for the game (except season ticket holders).

If those extra fans can become the 12th man and get us three points then the exercise will have been a success.

The loss of gate revenue money is a drop in the ocean compared to losing our Championship status.

Saturday at Hull was another exciting game, with plenty of chances missed by both sides.

Rovers defence looked very dodgy in the opening 20 minutes and we fell behind to a goal by ex-Scunthorpe player Richard Garcia. But after surviving a few more scares, Franck Moussa equalised after Simon Gillett ‘s shot had come back of the post.

The hosts were awarded a controversial penalty. I think only Mr Blunderberg, sorry Clattenburg spotted a push by Shelton Martis, which earned him a booking.

Rovers again started cold in the second half and conceded a soft and easy headed goal by man-of-the-match Matty Fryatt.

I still think he was offside, but the assistant referee on the main stand side had a nightmare.

His arm seemed to be glued to his side as he never raised his flag.

Hull substitute McLean somehow missed from a yard out with the goal at his mercy, but for the last 20 minutes Rovers were camped in the Tigers half.

Had it not been for an brilliant display by the home keeper, with saves from Hayter and Moussa, things may have been different - this after David James match-winning performance against us at Bristol a couple of weeks ago.

I have never heard Sean so angry in the post-match press conference. describing the team a ‘disgrace’ because we entertained the Hull fans and did not do the basics correctly.

After today’s game - and I still can’t understand why we are playing today as we never player Good Friday as many fans work today and have next Tuesday off - I hope the situation will be better.

We play Barnsley at Oakwell on Monday where a repeat of last season’s result will be fine - Copps (James Coppinger) scoring a winner for the Rovers.

I’m looking forward to the seeing the Rovers’ mascots.

The brothers are both season ticket holders (and Junior Rovers) as is their granddad, but their dad is a Dingle season ticket holder.

Apparently, their dad brought the youngest one a Barnsley season ticket, which he duly ripped up and said: ‘Imp a Rover.’ - good lad!.

A plea to you all today. Get behind the team, even if things are not going our way. Bang the drum louder, scream and shout, and cheer Rovers onto a win.

Thanks to manager Sean O’Driscoll, media manager Steve Uttley, Chris Mortley and Sean Lockwood for attending the last Fans’ Forum at the Styrupp on Monday night. Over 50 fans were in attendance for for a a great Q & A session.

On a personal note, my Inca Trek training is still going well.

On Sunday, along with the wife and dog and a couple of friends, I did 17 miles in the Yorkshire Dale, plus another 15 mile walk on Tuesday, then an eight mile bike ride via the pub prior to refereeing a local match at night. Madness has set in.... but it’s worth it.

I am having a bingo quiz at the Royal Oak in North Leverton Retford DN22 0AD, this Sunday to raise sponsorship for the NSPCC/ Rovers Inca Trek.7.45 start

Buses to Barnsley on Monday dep Retford 12.00, Harworth 12.05, Bawtry and Rosso 12.15, Hare and Tortoise 12.20, Infirmary 12.30, Keepmoat 12.45 and Sprotborough 12.50. Price £8.00 (adult), £7 (OAP) and £6 (Juniors). Please add £2 for non members.

Also with a big crowd today, why not use the home match bus from Kettlewells Retford? It leaves Retford at 1pm and picks up at Harworth pit gates 1.20 and Rossington Styrupp and the Labour Club 1.30.