A View From The Gate

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The Mem From BS3 is a new section, where the Bristol City editor gives his views on Bristol Rovers. Thanks Pete for the article

As a lad from East Bristol, Fishponds in fact, although I now live Across the water in the Forest of Dean, it is somewhat of a mystery that my father and subsequently my brother and myself came to join the Ashton Gate faithful. The rest of dad’s family were, after all, steeped in the blue and white quarters, waxing lyrical about Bamford and Fox, Pitt and Sampson, Ward, Biggs, Hooper,Watling, Sykes , the excellent Geoff Bradford et al. I never regretted that my dad brought me up as a City fan, our team of the fifties was comparable to the Pirates and it was thought at that time that Bristol might soon have two First Division sides, heady days.

I always preferred Ashton to Eastville, felt more at home there and, Over the years I have enjoyed the battles with our local rivals, always the most nerve wracking games of the season. Of course, I want City to win the derbies and to finish above the Rovers, but other than that, I do not wish the Gas will, after all most of my family still support them. The thing that I have always admired about Rovers is the marvellous support they have received from their crowd, not always as large as over at Ashton, but usually more vociferous and certainly less likely to turn on their team.

I well remember night matches at Eastville in the late fifties and Sixties when the roof seemed to be lifted by the sheer volume of the crowd. How they inspired the Rovers of those days, in one never to be forgotten match they trailed Leeds United 4-0 at half time , roared back to level terms and were unlucky not to get the two points. Fight backs were never unlikely at Eastville and who could forget the 4-0 drubbing of the Busby Babes, take it from me, sides did not relish a trip to the Gasworks in those days.

This club spirit has been maintained over the years which makes recent results very difficult to comprehend.

The new management duo of Lennie and Paul are obviously on the right track as away results would indicate and have certailnly improved the public image of the Club after the somewhat uncouth Mr. Atkins.Decent home results, usually the norm, would have seen a play off place a certainty and automatic promotion a possibility, but the desperation to gain promotion from the current division, has led to tension that is conveyed
from crowd to team, and leads to a lack of confidence when playing at the Mem.

Gasheads unite ! Cheer your lads on , even when things are not going their way, there is still time to make this a season to remember. Recreate the old Tote end roar and we might be back to those nerve wracking derbies next
season for I’m now confident that my boys are staying up and the six points will come in very useful next season !.

By Pete, Vital Bristol City

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