Monday, 18 August 2014

Two Minutes With... Bristol Rovers

Last Tuesday evening saw us face our first opponents at The Hive, with recently relegated Bristol Rovers the visitors. In the opening instalment of Two Minutes With, Henry Burridge (@HJBurridge) gives his thoughts.
Tuesday 12th August 2014
Barnet 2-0 Bristol Rovers
Akinde ’22
MacDonald ’43
How did you get to the game?
I grabbed a ride with a few friends. The traffic was surprisingly light and we ended up reaching The Hive about 5 o'clock!
What did you make of The Hive?
I thought it was a tidy little ground, if unspectacular. Getting there so early, we popped in the main bar beforehand and I was really impressed; I can't remember a bar at a football stadium that looks that good! With the other pitches and facilities around the ground itself, it's a great set-up for a lower division club.
If you went to Underhill, how did The Hive compare?
My dad grew up five minutes down the road from Underhill, so it always had a sense of nostalgia for me. It's always a shame to see grounds like that go as they have more character than modern replacements, and more so considering the way Barnet were forced out.
The Match
What did you make of the game?
From our perspective, it was pretty poor – we never got going in the first half and left too much to do after the break. I thought Barnet played some good football and a few Rovers fans have underestimated the quality of the Conference.
Who (from either side) impressed you?
John Akinde, sadly. Being a former Bristol City player - not to mention a poor loan signing for us - I could've bet my overdraft on him scoring. He took his goal really well and showed a lot of strength against our centre backs.
Who (from either side) could have done better?
Our manager, Darrell Clarke. He changed the formation and a number of the players from a reasonable display against Grimsby in our opening game. I'd imagine Will Puddy, who was making his debut in goal for us, will be disappointed with the second goal as well.
Was the score line a fair reflection on the game?
Yep, we were too slow in possession and made too many poor decisions. You can tell that we had a disjointed pre-season. I can only remember us giving Graham Stack one proper test all night.
Who do you play next and how do you think you’ll do?
We lost 2-1 to Altrincham on Saturday and Clarke made a load of changes again. The goals we conceded were shocking and the result has really hit the fans hard; it's stirred up a lot of the unrest from last season again. We've got Telford at home this weekend and desperately need a result to get supporters back onside, although that might be a slow process.
Price of match day ticket
5/10 - £17 for a standard end terrace always looks a bit steep, but it's the same at most grounds now. I'm going to miss getting student tickets this season...
Purchases made at the ground
10/10 - I ordered myself a bacon baguette from the main bar and was stunned to find it freshly cooked, packed full of meat and great value for money. Never eaten anything better at a football ground! Finding they serve Stowford Press was also a pleasant surprise.
7/10 - We stood at the back of the terrace, which wasn't too high but still nice and tight to the pitch.
Quality of football
6/10 - From our point of view it wasn't great, but Barnet looked a tidy side, even though we were resigned to the contest being basically over at half time.
Overall experience
7/10 - A new ground, good cider and naff football; it's a pretty standard Rovers away day!
Total - 35/50

No comments:

Post a comment