By Nathan BeesThe Carlisle United victory last weekend could very well prove to be the breakthrough moment in our season.
The fact we hadn’t won at home in the league since August was clearly starting to play on the minds of players and supporters, so it is a huge relief that we have now finally put that to bed. Scoring two goals and keeping a clean sheet against a team who started the day above us in the League Two table is a big confidence boost.
It sends out a message to the rest of the division that you will not get an easy game at The Mem, contrary to what our previous results may have suggested.
Despite the fact our home form has been poor up to now, we still find ourselves in 8th place and within touching distance of the play-offs. If we are now able to produce results at The Mem there is no reason why we cannot cement a place in the top seven, which is exactly where Darrell Clarke has said numerous times he wants us to be.
We are on the right track and can now start looking forward to each and every game, instead of cowering as we have been when we see that our next fixture is at home!
Tomorrow sees us begin a run of three games in 7 days with a trip to Crawley Town and it is one that I am looking forward to. We head to Sussex in good spirits and there is no reason why we can’t be optimistic about our chances.
Crawley will provide a tough test, though. They sit just 4 points behind us in the table and have recorded some impressive results over the first few months of the season. After a sluggish start on their own patch, Mark Yates’ side have performed a lot better recently and will be in buoyant mood themselves, meaning it is likely to be a hard fought game.
The pleasing thing is Darrell has a stronger squad of players to choose from this weekend. Ellis Harrison and Tom Lockyer are back from international duty with Wales U21s, and Cristian Montano and Chris Lines have also given the manager food for thought with excellent performances against Carlisle. There is strong competition for places and that can only be a good thing as it means whoever starts has to play well in order to stay in the team.
Hopefully a good number of Gasheads make the trip to the Checkatrade.com Stadium tomorrow and see another strong Gas performance that ends with us claiming 3 points.
Come on Rovers, come on you blues!
Twitter - @nathbees