Game 49 Bristol Rovers V Dagenham and Redbridge 7th May 2016

Or: We are going up, say we are going up.

The last day of the season has various rituals to be performed. Winning promotion is never one of them. Writing this blog all season was all about this end result and how it turned out was as dramatic as dramatic could be. It true Stedders style it started and ended in the mundane and gloriously normal.

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Game 48 York City V Bristol Rovers 30th April 2016

Or: Ronnie’s Revenge

Way back in June of last year, this fixture was the one that stood out. It was to be a last ever visit to the Bootham Crescent ground, a celebration of them getting a new ground and hopefully the final away trip of a relatively successful season. I didn’t think for one minute that automatic promotion might be on the cards, that York would already be relegated and the last visit to their ground might be delayed again and be taken off the cards by the difficulties of their playing in the National League. There was plenty to recommend this trip. It did not, however hit the wish list of our usual crowd of beer travellers. While we booked up a hotel for three nights the rest decided on a day trip that included a 6.30 start from BTM and a post 10 return to base.

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Game 47 Bristol Rovers V Exeter City 23rd April 2016

Or: The Queen isn’t the only one to have more than one birthday.

This version has been delayed by my membership of Noema-Barnetts barmy army this afternoon. He and Krusty put Worcestershire to the sword after tea and while Marshall scored his nineteenth century for Gloucestershire, Kieran neared his first.

So back to yesterday.

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Game 46 Stevenage V Bristol Rovers 19th April 2016

Or: Football without a mobile phone

Going to football for me has many rituals that must be completed. One deviation may cause intolerable hardship and invoke poor results as a consequence. So it was that by 2 o’clock I knew we were going to Stevenage with no hope of victory. I arrived at the requisite 3 minutes to the agreed hour and reached for my mobile phone to confirm arrival with the late walking Rolls Royce twosome toddling around the corner. It was not in my pocket, coat, or on the floor of the car. I had left it at home. I had a decision to make? Go home and delay the trip to the game or go without it? The prospect of delay is even worse, as is retracing routes, so it was all or nothing. We set off without my phone and I would have to just grin and bear it.

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Game 45 Bristol Rovers V Yeovil Town 16th April 2016

Or: Is it really 51 years of watching the Rovers?

If I had the mind of a conspiracy theorist then I might suggest an election for Bristol Mayor is on the horizon.  My theory would comment on the coincidence that, for the second time running, the Bristol Transport system worked like clockwork and I arrived seamlessly in the city centre with half an hour to spare. My twitter feed is full of the red trousered one hailing his own successes and I half expected him to pop up on the city centre and welcome me personally for my afternoon of Bristol merriment. The plan involved meeting old friends and new and, as luck would have it, the first pub opened at eleven and we were all in the pub some time before regular opening at 12.

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Game 43: Bristol Rovers V Crawley Town 2nd April 2016

Or: Back to winning ways.

The trouble with Bristol District travel is that occasionally, very occasionally, all buses run to time, connections meet up and the traffic is light. I have learned that it can take anything between 30 minutes and two hours to travel the same 8 mile routes in to town at the same time on the same day of the week. This morning I caught the 10.25 and was in the Triangle in Bristol at 11.12, a full 48 minutes early after a 47 minute journey.

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Games 41 and 42 Cambridge H and Carlisle A

Game 41: Bristol Rovers V Cambridge United 25th March 2016

Or: Getting back into the groove

It was a while since I had missed a match. I couldn’t go to the Newport Game so the Saturday trip to town was refreshing and much anticipated. We had to go to Max’s funeral. Max was a good friend to, and of, Rose. There was no question whatsoever that she would be there and that I would be there to support her at such a difficult time. The Newport game was played out to our flights back home from Sanday to Kirkwall, on to Glasgow and then on to Heathrow. My personal best thought came after we equalised and I was sure we would go on to win. The taxi driver was assured of a win but we would be amazed to find a 4-1 message when next we signed in to the internet.

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Rose gave me a lift to the pub at 10 before opening. The tardy twosome gave up on their Wetherspoon’s breakfast to ensure they were on time at 2 to time.

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