By Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips
Welcome again to the latest installment of something for the weekend. We managed to get past Corby and into the second round draw which is what we wanted. I didn`t manage to get to the game as cash was a bit tight with having a break away coming up, but I heard mixed reports on how well we played. However it`s a cup game and getting through Is the most important thing, especially against a non-league team who are always looking for a scalp. The FA Cup Second round draw sponsored by rubbish lager gave us an away game against AFC Totton. I was a little worried that we were going to end up with Carlise or Charlton when the last few teams were left, but apart from not being at home probably got one of the best ties available to us. With the small ground and ticket allocation small (Best get queuing early if you want a ticket) it is great that the tie will be live on TV. It`s just a shame it`s ITV and not ESPN, as there coverage of sport in general is rubbish, but then it does give more people the opportunity to see it. The game gives us a decent chance of being in the third round and drawing one of the big Premier league teams away. I`d quite like a trip to The Sports Direct Arena or perhaps White Hart Lane, but best not get ahead of myself as the team has to do the job first.
This Saturday sees us return to league action at home against Barnet who currently sit 23rd in League Two. You`d like to think that we should win this game and we will no doubt be favourites with the pleasant chaps who like to take money off you. However once again how many times can you say the same thing about Rovers season so far? Who know what team will show up and what sort of performance we will put in? I certainly hope we win the game; we definitely need to keep the season on some sort of steady track if nothing else. Barnet have a terrible away record and have a minus 17 Goal Difference. We are capable of scoring goals and this looks like an opportunity to get a few and improve our goal difference, but (and I bet you know what I am going to say) we ship goals for fun also and writing Barnet off would be foolish, as we are liable to give them a chance and we also have had a knack over recent years of ending teams poor runs when they visit The Memorial Stadium.
It`s been a bit of quiet week on the Rovers front, with the only real notable news that Ben Swallow has been recalled and will no doubt be available for Saturday`s game. Whether he makes the match day squad will remain to be seen, but he does give Paul Buckle another option to consider as we look to get a winning run together
I do have an admission to make in that am also going to miss yet another match this season come February providing the world hasn`t ended according to many rubbish films and ancient prophecies and I have to confess that this time it is my fault. I did check the fixture list but then I decided my girlfriend was worth it, although she will have to repay me massively. Of that I will make sure.
Well I don`t really have much more to say this week other than that I hope we can earn three important points Saturday and that the game gives me plenty to write about next week as I gush about a fabulous performance, or not depending on what happens. Have a great weekend everybody.
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips