"Paid me dues, done the miles,
Shed the tears, worn the smiles,
Shook me 'ead in despair, praise
Times I’ve had on BORO DAYS"
I appreciate that Stevenage dropped the “Borough” from their name a few years back, but you try finding a quote with “Stevenage” in it … be that as it may, we welcome them to Bescot on the back of their noteworthy performance in winning (on penalties) against Hull City, and thus progressing to the 3rd round of the F. A. Cup. Their League 2 situation is still a bit dodgy, struggling in 21st place with only 11 points to show from their 14 games. Current League form looks like this:-
October 27th Harrogate (A) Drew 0-0
October 31st Grimsby Town (H) Drew 0-0
November 3rd Colchester United (A) Lost 3-1
November 14th Morecambe (A) Drew 1-1
November 21st Bolton Wanderers (H) Lost 1-2
November 24th Port Vale (H) Won 2-1
Stevenage are comparative newcomers to the Football League, so there aren’t many players who have appeared for both clubs. There have been a few loans in common though, and it’s likely that Aramide Oteh will feature for 'Boro (on loan from QPR, as he was when he was on loan to us). Previous players include Scott Laird and Robin Shroot. There don’t seem to be any managers-in-common, partially because Stevenage’s managerial history is almost monopolised by Graham Westley, with four appointments at their helm.
Darrell Clarke and his squad have had a Saturday off, of course, but the point gained at League 2 leaders Newport County (or 2 points dropped) was a welcome change from some of the dross served up earlier in the month. Speculation has been widespread that Jack Rose may be given a chance to show his prowess after Liam Roberts’ apparent howler at Rodney Parade. This game marks the beginning of December, which was touted as a possible return to fitness of Josh Gordon (fingers crossed), but there will probably have to be some tinkering in midfield as Rory Holden may be suspended following his booking at Newport. Tinkering? Well, obviously there will be some tinkering, it wouldn’t be a Darrell Clarke team without, would it?
Prediction? We were widely predicted to hammer Southend United at home, and look how that turned out. This match is almost in that category, but in the never-ending spirit of optimism prevalent on these pages let’s hope for a 2-0 home win, with goals from Scrimaldo and Elijaaaaaaahhhhh……