Pre-season friendly, 30/7/98
Bristol Rovers 0(0)
Team: Day, Gibbs, Kennedy, Page, Palmer, Robinson, Hazan, Hyde, Lee, Easton, Ngonge
Team: Noel-Williams (for Ngonge) , Gudmundsson (for Hyde) , Pluck (for Robinson)
Team: Lee, Hazan
On the moon
Report by Rupert Licht
Setting off at three, Adrian Spender and I arrived at the Memorial Ground at
the ridiculously early time of half past four - more than three hours before kick-off.
Accusations that this was done because I was nervous of missing out on a
match programme are completely unfounded! Still we went to the pub and
various assorted South-West Hornets turned up and we played guess the
attendance. For the stattos, hold on to your groins - on the 25th July for
Rovers' first friendly against Port Vale the attendance was 1,500. On Tuesday
night against West Ham the crowd was 8,000. Surely for the mighty Horns there
would be people locked out banging to be let in...
...or not. When we got in the ground about 10 people were there.
A few more turned up but the atmosphere was quieter than a reserve game.
Most of the
Bristol Rovers fans appeared to be scarecrows.
Onto the game, well, it was
quite an impressive performance in my book. The defence contained the pacy
Barry Hayles very well and limited Rovers to a minimum of chances. In
midfield, Hyde and Hazan combined to form a very effective duo. For the
first goal, Gibbsy put in a great cross and Jason Lee scored with a good
header. The second goal was a great cross from Michel Ngonge put away with a
thumping header from Alon Hazan.
In the second half, Michel Ngonge was ordered to be substituted by the
referee for a rather innocuous foul and Gifton Noel-Williams replaced him.
Gifton was quite effective, causing quite a bit of havoc - if he had had his
shooting boots on he could well have scored a couple of goals. Gudmundsson
went close and all in all this was another good workout with the right
attitude. The match really told us what we already knew - we are light years
above Second Division standard.
It was a fun night, being part of only 806
people at a match is rather unsettling and is a bit like watching a match on
the moon, I suppose. There are more trips on the Watford spaceship to come,
who knows what strange planets we will visit?