Torquay 2 Bristol Rovers 3

by on 22/08/05 at 11:49 am

Rovers play their get out of jail free card in a 5 goal thriller on the English Riviera in a game with too much unpleasantness for Dr Dee to fully enjoy.

I find it odd going to away games, it’s a bit like being on somebody elses house when they are not there. You don’t know where to stand or where the spoons are or how the TV works or anything. Being in the uncovered terrace we decided to stand as near the half way line as possible. This however proved to be a big mistake as we were far too close to the away dugout.

I don’t think I have ever been in a Rovers crowd so edgy as this game, it’s normally a nice friendly experience with a nice drink before hand and no aggro. But after seeing the enormous queue for the away terrace and feeling the tension, we decided to eschew the normal pint of cider in Boots and Laces and go straight in to the ground.

Rovers lined up in a predictable 5-3-2 with the only attacking option coming from a slightly out of focus Ali Gibb at right wing back. The midfield trio of Hunty, Campbell and the Dog no doubt intended to shore up our defensive shortcomings. Jefferson Louis preferred to Dick Walker up front and Hinton replacing the departed Swanny on the right side of the back three.

With the match on a couple of the things I like least about football raised their ugly heads. First a couple of 15 year old identikit chavs in the open enclosure decided to run towards the action when a couple of Rovers fans got found out in the Popular terrace and a group of blokes of an age to know better spent almost the entire match shouting abuse at Atkins. It wasn’t even funny, it was just absolutely foul mouthed and witless abuse along the lines of f*ck off Atkins you c*nt. If anyone tried to remonstrate with them they had a stock answer of you don’t know what your talking about, I care about the club and I don’t want to see it in the conference (or words to that effect) screamed in to your face by someone with chronic beer induced halitosis. I’m not keen on Atkins’ starvation diet, but I would rather have him at the club than these eejits. I thought the whole point about being a Gashead was the wit, humour and intelligence we display certainly compared to other clubs in the area. This just makes me not want to be a part of the same club as the chav wannabes, the aging brainless hoolies and the witless abusers

Back to the football, it was pretty typical fare. Long balls from the back three with Louis trying to hold them up and wait for support which didn’t arrive. Shearer rolled the ball out to Hinton to find Gibb a couple of times and we huffed and puffed and had a few tame headed efforts from right wing crosses and corners. It was looking like the predicted 0-0 until instead of tracking his man Steve (all the pies) Elliott put his hand up for an extremely unilkely offside to allow Leon Constantine to waltz through one-on-one with Shearer a few minutes before half time. Rubbish defending a-bloody-gain.

So we are 1-0 down with limited attacking options and caught out again by defensive errors in a gameplan based entirely on having a strong defence. Cue half-time and chants for what a load of rubbish and we want Atkins out. Fair enough I suppose. At that point I was fed up with the rather lifeless football on offer at ??15 a head.

I suppose I should have reported the Atkins abusers to the stewards, but there was a steward about five yards away and he didn’t do anything all match, plus I wanted to watch a match of football without being screamed at by some zombie. During half time a couple of Gasheads decided to make their own entertainment and staged a penalty shoot-out with a beach ball. All harmless fun you might think. The stewards didn’t think so and forcibly ejected them therefore antagonising the rest of the away support resulting in more scuffling with the stewards. Hmm, if you go on the pitch at an away game, you should expect to be ejected, but the stewards could have shown more tact and diplomacy rather than frog marching a couple of relatively harmless fat old blokes off in front of 1500 already agitated away fans.

Ali Gibb was subbed at half time by Ryan Williams who slotted in to the midfield with The Dog dropping back to right wing back. We huffed and puffed for ten minutes until The plodding Jefferson Louis was replaced by Dick Walker. Then two mintues later, Torquay absolutely tore our static and clueless defence apart in a slick passing move that resulted in a goal for ex-Shithead Matt Hewlett. Of course the Atkins Baiters loved this and upped their torrent of abuse. Some old man with puffy yellow eyes tried to jump over the dugout with a particularly incomprehensible level of advice for Atkins. It’s strange that the only thing the fuckwits seem to have in common are their strangely yellow puffy eyes. Maybe they all have some strange virus that rots their brains and causes Turettes like symptoms. Maybe they are all sexually frustrated and take their anger out on Ian Atkins?

Atkins started changing the formation about again. Pushing Hinton to right back in a flat four defence. 2-0 down, we just had to start attacking. The formation didn’t really matter, what mattered was the mindset of attacking. A ball came to the feet of Walker just outside the box and he played little dink in to Junior Agogo who put it acrosss the keeper and in to the corner of the goal from an angle just inside the left side of the penalty area. Ten minutes later with numerous changes of formation and the addition of Craig Disley in place of the ineffective Stewey Campbell and John Anderson playing as a makeshift centre forward Agogo again received the ball and brought it down just outside the box before dribbling it past the entire Torquay defence and chipping it over the advancing Andy Marriott for an early contender for goal of the season. Hoorah we had snatched a draw for the jaws of defeat, but wait a second, we’re in their box again Junior again showing prehensile ball control and knocking the ball to Walker who takes a touch and lashes tha ball in to the top corner of the net. Ecstasy.

Am I going to any more away matches? I don’t know, there was far too much about this one that was unpleasant. The fighting, the brainless abuse, the turgid football. I think the Atkins haters have gone too far, Atkins out may be acceptable and you can understand the sentiments, but f*ck off Atkins you C*nt for 90 minutes just makes you look stupid and will probably have the opposite effect to the one they desire. Atkins team has certainly got some balls for pulling off this comeback. I just wish we could start our comebacks in the first minute against teams with fragile defences like Torquay.

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