Gillingham V Bristol Rovers 14.4.17

We were travelling a greater distance than last week so obviously we would leave later, at a more sensible 8.30 from Temple Meads. There will be just the four of us for the last two away games. Coventry Bob, Ron, Andy and myself shared seats in coach D for our trip via Paddington and St. Pancras to the Medway Riviera. Peter was going by Megabus and we would meet up later in the day. At Kings Cross Ron went for a long walk around the station. As he was walking away from any pubs I returned to the station to await his return. Beer less we went on towards Gillingham but opted to try a few pubs in Rochester rather than crawl the streets of the breeze block of the Medway towns.

Pre-Match pubs

Eagle Tavern 8


It is convenient for the station and one to remember in future. The pleasant landlady was helpful and pointed out the best of the towns pubs as alternatives when we left. It was fairly busy for an early lunchtime. We could fill a convenient table and I could enjoy my rather average Sharps Atlantic (6). It was also the first opportunity to consider the homework for the week. I issued the team a list of all the pubs we had visited this year and I left them to think of how we might vote for the best. The list appears at the bottom of this page.

The next choice was just across the road.

Two Brewers 6

two brewers

This is a very friendly pub. The beer, a Whitstable Bay Pale Ale (7) was good. It is a place that is crying out for a bit of refurbishment. The slightly damp atmosphere was complemented by tired wallpaper and carpets. It was actually a very nice pub but nowadays it wouldn’t be winning any awards for comfort.

The prospect now was a walk around the Cathedral. We gave up half way there as we found a pub, not in the guides but with a garden view of the Castle and Cathedral.

Ye Arrow


A Greene King Pub which is similarly in need of some love and care. We ventured in to the courtyard and sat at tables among the concrete ash trays and scaffolding for non-existent gazebos. We had a view of the tourists and tourist sites. The beers again were very good. I had a St. Edmunds Ale (7)

We caught the train at 2 and walked in good time to the game. The others went to final pub but gave it up as a bad job.

Peter was with me as I approached the turnstiles. He walked in to his gate and walked straight back out talking of some dodgy dealings. He had a ticket in his hand but was shouting about being charged £10. I was a little confused. I had paid £20 for my ticket a week ago as an early bird ticket, i.e. expecting the cost on the day to be £22. What Peter was unhappy about was the odd disincentive to buy a ticket early by an apparent £10 discount for tardiness. The other chaps were reluctant to go through without some form of means for equal payment. They were eventually assuaged with vague promises of a refund when we went back to the Rovers. In the end the Gillingham staff decided the best plan was to put the price up to £22. I am still thinking the home fans entered for a discount £10 and they had to offer a similar price on the day. In a bizarre way we had argued ourselves out of some fans paying less money on the day.

The Game

Gillingham 3 Bristol Rovers 1 Attendance 5,916 (790 Gas)


This game was dull. Both sides didn’t want to give anything away and would rely on being the stronger in the final minutes and perhaps nick all the points. At 80 minutes it was 1-1 and sure enough it was Rovers who threw players forward in an attempt to get the win. Gillingham cleared a corner with a big boot up field. This is where the greenness of young players came to play. Their one brute of a forward was marked by Stuart Sinclair with Clarke Salter as support. Yep, we could all see that mismatch. It cried out for the bigger centre half to do the muscle bit. But no, like a shell shocked bystander young Jake watched Stuart’s attempts at ankle biting to fail miserably and the game was over. To add a third by leaving just one player back in the fourth minute of injury time was just plain silly.

My Ratings

Joe Lumley 7 Lee Mansell 5, Ryan Sweeney 6, Tom Lockyer 7, Jake Clarke- Salter 5, Lee Brown 7, Billy Bodin 5  Chris Lines 5, Stuart Sinclair 5, Ellis Harrison 6  Byron Moore 6 .

Subs: Cristian Montano 5, Jermaine Easter 6, Luke James 6

Entertainment Value: 1

Man of the Match: Lee Brown

After-Match pubs

Past and Present 9


The real ale grapevine was saying that many had visited this new micro pub before the game. We walked to it, past the station and were not disappointed. It was in the classic micro pub style with a few nice additions. It had a cupboard as a bar. It has a smaller number of beers, I settled for a Dark Star American Brown (7). The pub also has a small courtyard. We were able to chat with fellow Real Ale hunters from Gillingham and as always it became an information sharing chat about good pubs to find in the next few weeks.

Pub of the Day: Past and Present

Beer of the Day: Whitstable Bay Pale Ale in the Two Brewers

The Journey home

A straightforward trip with no other beers as timings were tight at each station. It was a relatively sober Stedders who as picked up by Rose at 10.

Next up: Peterborough Away 22.4.17

Our pub of the year list

BOLTON   Sweet Green Tavern  
    Great Ale at the Market  
BRADFORD   Made for Bradford  
    The Record Café  
    Sparrow Beer Café  
    Beer House  
    New Beehive  
    Jacobs Beer House  
BURY   Clarence  
    Rose and Crown  
CHARLTON   Wetherspoons Victoria  
    White Swan  
    Argyll Arms  
CHELSEA   North Star  
    The Dove  
    Blue Anchor  
    The Swan  
    Rutland Arms  
    Chesterfield Ale House  
    Beer Parlour  
    Derby Tup  
    Red Lion  
    Chesterfield Arms  
COVENTRY   Drapers  
    Town Crier  
    Old Windmill  
    Town Wall Tavern  
    Twisted Barrel  
CRAWLEY   Redz Bar  
    Swan Three Mile Cross  
FLEETWOOD   Old Town Hall Poulton le Fylde  
    Thatched House Poulton le Fylde  
    Royal Oak Hotel  
    Kings Arms  
    Strawberry Gardens  
MILLWALL   Southwark Brewery Tap  
    Simon the Tanner  
    Mad Bishop and Bear  
MILTON KEYNES   Bull and Butcher  
    Red Lion  
NORTHAMPTON   Mail Coach  
    King Billy Rock Bar  
    Albion Bar  
    Old Black Lion  
OLDHAM   Piccadilly Tap  
    Piccadilly Tavern  
    Port Street Beer House  
    Crown and Kettle  
OXFORD   Jude the Obscure  
    Jericho Tavern  
    Rusty Press  
    White Rabbit  
PORT VALE   Bulls Head  
    Johnny’s Micro Pub  
    Duke William  
    Bursley Ale House  
PORTSMOUTH   Rose in June  
    Artillery Arms  
ROCHDALE   Flying Horse  
    Piccadilly Tap  
SCUNTHORPE   Sheffield Tap  
    Honest Lawyer  
    White Lion  
SHREWSBURY   Salopian Bar  
    Admiral Benbow  
    Coach and Horses  
    Three Fishes  
SOUTHEND   Golden Lion  
    Mad Bishop and Bear  
SWINDON   Weighbridge  
    Glue Pot  
    Swindon Cricket Club  
WALSALL   Black Country Arms  
    Lyndon House Hotel  
    Post Office  
    Pure Bar  
WIMBLEDON   Beer House  
    Hole in the Wall  
    Willoughby Arms  
GILLINGHAM   Eagle Tavern  
    Two Brewers  
    Ye Arrow  
    Past and Present  

1 Comment

  1. I paid £16 for an advance ticket (as a Senior). The man in front of me at the turnstile (also a Senior) paid £5. So, I reckon I’m owed £11 change. Clare McDonagh, Tickets Supremo @ B.R.F.C. is liaising with G.F.C. about this discrepancy.


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