Well what a great time the 109 fans had in Bournemouth last weekend for the Southampton game.
Pity I had only 107 hotel spaces booked, but after a few frantic phonecalls we managed to accomodate the other two people. The hotel, the food and the company were all first class, the only thing that spoiled it was the result at St Mary’s, and before anyone asks, no we didn’t bump into any of the players in the nightclubs.
They even put up the largest deck chair in the world on the beach near the hotel, pity the stripes were going the other way.
Onto the game, up to the Saints scoring the first goal, there was little to separate the teams, as Rovers limited the potent strike force of Lambert and Sharp, Dioufy missed a sitter, but you just knew the script had been written that Sharpy would score, but he had to rub it in with the second, after Beye made a hash of clearing the ball.
He got booked for his celebrations (rather harsly) thankfully it was not at our end. I thought he could have acknowledged the Rovers fans who sang his name at the end of the game. Some fans might say he is not our player any more, but look at the support he received over the past few seasons from the Rovers fans.
But then again some of the the Rovers players did not go over the top applauding the Rovers fans either which I thought was poor.
On the way back to the hotel we drew up alongside a service bus in Southampton, the driver proudly dispalyed his Pompey lanyard, and announced that no way would he pick up any Saints fans up at the next bustop, which was comical.
We left for home on Sunday night all having had a great time. But one fan, Charlie Sylvester, who has not missed a Rovers game for years decided to hitch it to Tuesday’s game at Palace, visiting as many pubs en-route as he could. Charlie is well known for his fixation of collecting pubs - he has visited, he has more than 9,000 to his name now, thankfully he made it to Selhurst.
We went to Palace on the train, thankfully the journey was incident free this time, except the non-existent 22.05 train to London Bridge from Norwood Junction, which left us a bit squeeky bum time to catch the last train home.
The game was another Rovers should have won, again things did not get of to a good start, when Shelton Martis limped of in the warm-up, why oh why Dean put him in, in the first place as he just is not match/physically fit to play especially as we had Sam Hird and Jimmy O’Connor, who were fit to play, sitting in the stands.
Palace started well but we matched them, had most of the possesion, and Ikeme only had one other save of note to deal with, but they took the lead after a sloppy clearance from John Oster, but give the lads the credit they fought back, and sub Chris Brown rifled home to equalise for the lads, to send the 268 Rovers fans jubilantly celebrating.
We had numerous chances to win the game, but the lack of a proven goalscorer on the park, we had to settle for a draw.
Tonight see’s us up against Birmingham City, one of the bookies favourites for promotion, but their European exploits has seen their league form roller coaster. They lost 4-1 at Pompey last weekend, so if they can do it why not us.
John Ryan who is always banging on about getting new supporters to the Keepmoat, well this Friday I’m dragging my Mom who is 82, kicking and screaming to the game, as she celebrates her Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Although a native of Birmingham, hopefully she will be cheering the Rovers on or she does not get a lift home.
My Dad will be on the sofa at home, who says romance is dead.
Another fan making his first trip to the Keepmoat is seven-year-old Eathan Carson from Weston Super Mare who is one of the mascots on the night.
Eathan and his Dad John have no connections with Doncaster but are Rovers daft. They got intrested through Don Jest, another lifelong Rovers fan from Weston, Eathan and John started following Rovers three years ago, any have been to quite a few southern-based away games, and came out drinking with us on last seasons Supporters Club weekend in Weston.
They can’t wait for the match. Don’s nephew Joshua from Bradford who is a season ticket holder is also a mascot, also Don’s brother Ray, Josh’s grandad. Nothing like keeping it in the family!
If you live in the Retford, Harworth or Rossington area why not use the supporters home coach departing 6.00, 6.20 and 6.30 respectively from the above places with no need to book. Please book early for the last three away games of the season, and support the lads.