With your wonderful armchair traveller, Keith Brookman.
As the title suggests, this is an attempt to track down as many former Rovers players, who are still involved in the game, as possible.
Most will have played first team football for Rovers in the past, while others are still contracted to the Gas, but either out on loan or work experience.
What began as something to do on the opening day of the 2018/19 season, became a little bit of an obsession for former Rovers Head of Media Keith Brookman, as you will see from his weekly ‘In Search of Gas’ updates last season, which are archived HERE
The latest instalment is given below, and the rest of the season is being archived in two month chunks.
Chapter 33 – Week commencing 8th March 2020
SUNDAY 8TH MARCH
The afternoon’s only game in the Championship saw Derby County win 3-0 against Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park. Goalkeeper Kelle Roos was on the Derby bench for this one.
Jordan Tillson was in the Ross County starting lineup for his side’s home game against Rangers in the Scottish Premiership. They suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against the side destined to be runners up this season.
In the Danish Superliga FC Midtjylland were 2-0 away winners at Randers FC and, once again, Mikkel Andersen watched proceedings from the Midtjylland bench.
MONDAY 9TH MARCH
Gloucester City were 2-1 home winners against Farsley Celtic in National League North, and this was how the winning goal, in the 92nd minute, was described on the club’s Twitter account; ‘City steal all 3 points at the death thanks to an ice cool finish from Bernard Mensah…’
TUESDAY 10TH MARCH
John-Joe O’Toole was in the Burton Albion side that drew 2-2 against Bolton Wanderers in their League Two clash at the Pirelli Stadium.
Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town are fourth and fifth respectively following their 2-2 draw at Fratton Park. Ellis Harrison started for Pompey while Lee Brown was an unused substitute.
In the National league, Angelo Balanta was in the Dagenham & Redbridge side that lost 2-1 at home against AFC Fylde, a result that still leaves Fylde seven points from safety.
There was good news for Darryl Duffy, who went on from the Stirling Albion bench in the 56th minute and scored with ten minutes remaining. There was also bad news for the former Gas striker…his side were beaten 7-1 at home by Cove Rangers!
In the Northern Premier League North West Division Clitheroe, with Craig Stanley in their side, were 1-0 away winners at Runcorn Linnets.
Salisbury, with Darren Mullings in their side, were in Southern League Premier South action at Harrow Borough and returned home with a point following a 2-2 draw.
Lyle Della-Verde was in Isthmian League Premier Division action for Enfield Town and helped his side gain a 1-0 win at Bishop’s Stortford.
In the Western league Premier Division Bitton lost 3-1 at Chipping Sodbury Town, though I have no idea if any of their former Gas contingent were involved.
WEDNESDAY 11TH MARCH
Rene Howe scored after just two minutes of Farnborough’s game against Taunton Town in the Southern League Premier South Division. The goal set his side on the way to a 4-0 win. Ross Staley was in the Taunton side.
Alex Jakubiak was in action for St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership and they were 1-0 home winners against Heart of Midlothian. Michael Smith was in the Hearts side who are now four points adrift at the bottom of the table.
SATURDAY 14TH MARCH
In spite of the ban on what they called elite football (Premier League and English Football League) due to COVID-19, there were some games played in the National Leagues and the Northern Leagues and this is how the former Gas players involved fared.
Eastleigh, of the National League, were beaten 4-0 at Notts County who moved into third place. Joe Partington was in the Eastleigh side, while Scott Rendell was a 79th minute substitute.
In National League South Dulwich Hamlet were without Jeffrey Monakana for their home game against Hemel Hempstead Town. They were 2-1 winners in this one. Theo Widdrington started for Hemel and was replaced by Deon Moore in the 78th minute.
Chelmsford City, with Elliott Ward in their side, lost 3-0 at Dartford and find themselves ensconced in tenth place on 44 points.
Bradley Goldberg was sent on in the 79th minute of Welling United’s 2-0 home win against Billericay Town.
In a clash between two of the favourites for a play off place, Weymouth came out on top as they registered a 2-1 home win against Slough Town. Abdulai Baggie was sent on from the Weymouth bench in the 76th minute and Scott Davies was a 52nd minute substitute for Slough.
Bath City are in fourth place following their 1-0 win at Hungerford Town. Ryan Clarke was again missing from their side, but Ryan Brunt was sent on from the bench at the start of the second half.
Chippenham Town picked up a point from a 1-1 home draw against league leaders Wealdstone. Will Puddy, Luke Russe, George Rigg and Chris Zebroski were all in the Chippenham side for this one.
In the Northern Premier League Premier Division Basford United suffered their third consecutive home defeat, losing 1-0 against Scarborough Athletic. Kieran Preston was between the posts for Basford and was voted Man of the Match by their supporters.
In the North West Division, Craig Stanley was in the Clitheroe side that were 4-0 winners at Droylsden, a result that leaves them in sixth place.
Tadcaster Albion, whose ground was badly hit by flooding recently, played their first game for five weeks and, with Andy Monkhouse in their side, suffered a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Workington.
All games in the Southern and Isthmian Leagues were called off.
As far as former players now plying their trade overseas are concerned, Stephen Byrne has provided this catch up on how some have fared in the last week.
Kenan Dunnwald went on as substitute in the 83rd min as Bonn lost 3-1 at home to Essen.
Stephane Leoni’s Sarre-Union side won 1-0 away to Biesheim, in a game played behind closed doors because of Coronavirus.
Bo Henrikesn’s Horsens shocked second in the table Copenhagen (who have Bryan Oviedo in their side, who played for Sunderland against Rovers last season) by winning 1-0 away from home.
I still have no idea where Oumare Tounkara is now. I assumed he would be back in France, but he doesn’t appear to be. Likewise, I have lost track of Trevor Morgan, who may still be national coach of Bhutan, but his club (Pune City) has folded. He might be back in Australia.
Mustapha Carayol was not in the Adana Demirspor side which drew 2-2 at Fatih Karagumruk in the second tier in Turkey. He has played recently but was not in their squad on Saturday.
Charlie Colkett played as Ostersunds lost 2-0 at Hacken.
Michele di Piedi’s Glacis United were without a game and their scheduled Gibraltarian National League play off against Boco Gibraltar on Saturday was called off.