07.05.22 The Gas are going up

Seven goals seals sensational promotion for the Gas.

Bristol Rovers pulled off a remarkable 7-0 win over Scunthorpe to seal promotion back to League One at the first time of asking.

Rovers made three attacking changes to their line-up for the final home game of the season. In came Trevor Clarke, Luke Thomas and Glenn Whelan as the Gas looked to take the game to already-relegated Scunthorpe.

Aaron Collins was the first to threaten but went to ground a little easily in the area and referee Breakspear waved away his protests, before first Sam Finley and then Trevor Clarke let fly with long-range efforts, both of which were off target.

It was one-way Gas traffic for the first 10 minutes, but without a shot on target to trouble the 17-year-old Iron goalkeeper Watson.

A promising move in the 14th minute was curtailed by the offside flag as Luke Thomas played a neat one-two with Sam Finlay, captaining the side in the absence of the suspended Coutts.

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There was another penalty shout in the 16th minute, and a better one at that, as Elliot Anderson looked to have been felled.

However, a minute later, the Gas were ahead as Anderson’s crossed was deflected into his own net by the unlucky Delaney as Harry Anderson was waiting to pounce.

It was two-nil in the 21st minute as Elliot Anderson crossed for Connor Taylor to head home.


With Northampton 3-0 up at this stage, Rovers needed another six goals to go up automatically.

The Gas were believing, though, and every attack looked dangerous for their beleaguered opposition.

Delaney’s day got worse in the 37th minute as a fierce Trevor Clarke clearance smashed him straight in the face.

Harry Anderson did well to win a corner in the 38th and, when it was cleared, Elliot Anderson almost caught Watson off-guard, forcing the goalkeeper into a smart save at his near post.

Belshaw was finally called into action in the 43rd minute, saving a long-range speculative effort.

There was just time for an Antony Evans free-kick to warm the palms of Watson before the referee brought the first half to an end.

A late first-half Barrow goal meant Rovers came out for the second-half with a spring in their step.

They so nearly scored straight from the kick-off. Collins sliding in and only a whisker away from connecting with Elliot Anderson’s cross. Luke Thomas then raced clear on goal, only for Watson to pull off a sprawling save as the Gas upped the ante.

Scunthorpe’s Nuttall was shown the afternoon’s first yellow card for a crude tackle on Trevor Clarke. Rovers were playing some lovely football and Aaron Collins made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute, firing low beyond Watson into the bottom corner.


He nearly made it a quickfire double but his shot on the turn was deflected wide. The atmosphere at The Mem was reaching new levels as the home supporters looked to urge their side on at every opportunity.

Finley wasted a glorious opportunity to make it 4-0, shooting wide following a beautiful pass from Elliot Anderson. Evans made it 4-0 in the 61st minute; the Filton Ave Figo shooting with the outside of his right-foot and beyond Watson.


He should have scored again two minutes later but dragged wide with the goal at his mercy. Collins then tested Watson from the left-hand side of the area as the Gas sniffed out more chances.

Elliot Anderson was next to shoot on target, but a Scunthorpe head deflected over for a corner. There was a yellow for the visitors’ Beestin in the 68th minute for a late challenge on Harry Anderson.

Sam Nicholson replaced Trevor Clarke in the 71st minute. Evans won a corner and took it himself and, when it was cleared, Elliot Anderson shot narrowly wide.

Nicholson then got on the end of a deep Evans cross, but his header fell agonisingly wide of the post. The Scottish winger then won a free-kick on the edge of the area in the 75th minute. From it, Evans produced yet another moment of magic, curling beyond Watson into the top corner to make it Rovers five-nil up.


It was six just moments later as Collins tapped in from two yards out. At this stage, just one more goal could be enough for Rovers.

Then came the moment that mattered in the 85th minute as Elliot Anderson rose high at the back post to head home to send Rovers fans into delirium.


Unfortunately, some supporters ran onto the pitch, meaning referee Breakspear took both teams off the pitch, threatening to abandon the match.

Owner Wael al Qadi and then Joey Barton took to the microphone to plead with supporters to allow the game to finish because, as it stood, the Gas were going straight up.

Ten tense minutes later, the game did indeed continue, with proceedings at Barrow already concluded; Northampton had won 3-1, meaning that Rovers knew if they saw out the game, promotion would be secured.

Scunthorpe re-started the game brightly, seemingly intent on spoiling the party, winning a free-kick in a dangerous area. Thankfully, it was cleared and the Gas saw out the remaining minutes to seal a remarkable result and, with it, an immediate return to League One.


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