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Author Topic: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray  (Read 755 times)

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bradford exile

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season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« on January 23, 2012, 10:28:46 PM by bradford exile »
SEASON 1974-75

Season 1974-75 began with friendly games against Huddersfield Town and Dunfermline in which both games finished in draws 1-1.
 
Huddersfield included in their line up a young player called Spriggs who a few years before had been discarded by the Rovers as to small. Now that seems to ring a bell. The young teenager duly undid Rovers with a fine first goal from all of 25 yards to give the visitors a half time lead. O’Callaghan equalised for Rovers mid way through the 2nd half.

Dunfermline  who had already dispatched Middlesborough and York City in their two previous friendlies started well and were a goal up after just five minutes. A penalty from Mackie after Rovers full back Carver had been adjudged to have handled in the box.

Doncaster displaying grit and determination piled on attack after attack for the rest of the half, but Dunfermline held steadfast and finished the half still a goal to the good. Rovers began the 2nd half as they had finished the 1st, but were to miss chance after chance until in the 78th minute Peter Kitchen struck a well taken goal to earn the hosts a deserved draw.

Rovers kicked of their season with a game at Belle Vue against Stockport County although they started without Brendan O’Callaghan who had been rushed into hospital with a mystery illness. According to Manager Maurice Setters O’Callaghan had been playing well and looking good for the new season. Setters stated that he had been awoken by a call from O’Callaghan’s landlady to say he was complaining of terrible pains in his legs.

After he was examined by the doctor he had been rushed straight into hospital. X-Rays showed nothing said Setters and no one seems to know what is wrong. O’Callaghan was due to see a specialist on the Monday at which time it was hoped that he would be ok.

Unfortunately Rovers would be without his services for some time.

The game against Stockport County resulted in a 2-1 home win for the Rovers with Higgins getting both Rovers goals, but only after Stockport had shocked the home fans by taking an 11th minute lead through Gulliver. The game was watched by a crowd of 2,383. It also gave the home fans a first sight of emergency loan signing Robert Lee from Leicester City
Rover’s next game was in the Football League Cup and was sandwiched between the game against Stockport County and their away league game at Exeter City.

Rovers were drawn at home to play Mansfield town and in a tight exciting game Rover’s ran out winners by 2-1. Rovers took the lead in the 23rd minute through Peter Kitchen.

Mansfield levelled the scores two minutes into the second half with a goal by O’Connor but a penalty to Rovers in the 69th minute was rammed home by Archie Irvine to give Rovers a fine win. In the draw for the 2nd round Rovers were drawn away to play Bury at Gigg Lane.
 
Rover’s away game at Exeter City’s St. James Park was a game that Rovers should have won.

In front after just 2 minutes by Robert Lee’s first goal they let Exeter back into the game and a goal the first half on 43 minutes and then in the 65th minute both by Bowker sealed Rovers fate.

Worse was to follow as Rovers entertained Newport County at Belle Vue and were soundly beaten by 2-0. Three games into the new season Rovers were lying in 16th position.
Rovers’ next game was a trip to Vetch Field for a game against Swansea City another team that had not had the best of starts.

In a pulsating game the final score of 3-3 flattered neither team. Swansea fans enjoyed the spectacle of one of their players, Geoff Thomas scoring a hat trick whilst Rovers fans were happy that their team had come away from a great game with at least a share of the spoils. Goals from Kitchen (2) and Uzelac earning Rovers a point.

In the Football League Cup Rovers travelled to Gigg Lane and a match against Bury. Although Rovers put up a gallant fight Bury had too much fire power for them and they ran out 2-0 winners, Spence scoring both goals for the home side.

Rovers were out of the Football League Cup, but surely this now meant they could concentrate on their precarious league position. One would have thought so as Rovers entertained Rochdale and recorded a great victory by 4-1. From the moment that debutant goalie Graham Brown pulled of a miraculous save after just 11 minutes it was virtually all one way traffic.

Murray scored twice to put Rovers 2-0 up, and though Rochdale rallied with a goal to bring the score back to 2-1 Rovers were undaunted and further goals from Murray to complete his hat trick and Kitchen made it 4-1. Add to this the fact that the usually so dependable Archie Irvine missed from the penalty spot and the 1,928 fans in attendance went home to their beds to sleep soundly.

Five games into the season and Rovers were in 14th spot.

Scunthorpe United arrived at Belle Vue the following Saturday and hopes were high of a good result following the Rochdale game. Unfortunately as nearly always happens it was another case of “after the Lord Mayors show”. The visitors shocked the home fans by taking a 32nd minute lead through Dudley Roberts and try as they may Rovers could not find a way to unlock the Scunthorpe defence. Rovers should have had a penalty when Lee was held back in the box and it took an own goal by Markham the Scunthorpe defender to level the scores. At least a point had been rescued but Scunthorpe sitting three places of the bottom went away happy.

The point against Scunthorpe was good enough to lift Rovers into 11th place in the table.
One point from the next four games sent Rovers into a downward spiral.

Rovers travelled to Gresty Road for a game against Crewe Alexandra. In the 47th minute Rovers led through a Robert Lee goal, but Crewe hit back to preserve their unbeaten home record. Goals from Reed (pen) and Riley securing the win.

Another game on the road saw Rovers go down by 2-0 at Northampton Town’s County Ground, goals from Maybee and Buchanan securing Towns win.

A South Yorkshire Derby against old foes Rotherham United followed at Belle Vue and in front of 4,710 fans they fought out a 0-0 draw. With Rotherham riding high in the league their fans had travelled en mass expecting to see their team triumph.  In an end to end game both sides held fast in defence and Rovers became the first team this season to stop Rotherham from scoring.

Rovers were on their travels again the following Saturday when they travelled to Sealand Road the home of Chester (they did not become Chester City till 1983).

Goals from Loska, James and Draper gave Chester a 3-0 win. One point of note was that Chester began season 1974-75 as the only club in the league that had never won promotion.
Rovers were now once again perilously close to the basement of the division and a home game against Brentford was seen by many as a must win game.

Rovers had not won for six games, so a 2-1 over Brentford brought much needed relief to the Doncaster camp. The scoreline did not do Rovers justice as time after time they missed chances to put the game to bed. Robert Lee gave Rovers the start they needed with a fine header only 2 minutes into the game but poor finishing and Rovers old failing of letting opponents back into the game saw Brentford equalise through Simmons in the 20th minute.

After the interval Rovers once again took charge of affairs and were rewarded when Woolgar restored their lead.

It was a much needed win, but with only 3 points between themselves and the bottom team in the league Rovers were still in a very precarious position.

A Yorkshire Derby against Bradford City at Valley Parade followed and Rovers once again failed on their travels going down by 2-0. Goals from Hutchins and Ham giving the victory to the hosts. It was another poor display from the Rovers and prompted the reporter in the Telegraph and Argus to rate them as the worst team he had seen at Bradford that season.
Rovers’ season would now go from bad to worse. Out of the next 5 games and a possible 10 points Rovers would only take 3 of those points.

Rovers now had back to back home games at Belle Vue but in the first could only manage a 2-2 draw against Lincoln City. Rovers had fallen behind to an 8th minute goal from Symm before Lee and then Kitchen had put them in the lead, but Graham grabbed a late equaliser for Lincoln. The game attracted an attendance of 2,034.

In the following game against Darlington, Rovers capitulated completely.

Darlington took a 9th minute lead through Young and although Rovers equalised in the 24th minute through Murray the old failings were still there as they allowed Darlington to steamroller them into submission. Goals from Sinclair and Young completed Rovers afternoon of misery along with the 1,549 attendance.

Two home games had gone with only one point to show when Rovers travelled to Borough Park for a match against Workington.

Goals from Kitchen, O’Callaghan and Higgins gave Rovers their first away win of the season. It was a much needed boost but it was not to last.

Rovers’ next two games were both lost.
 
Firstly Rovers travelled to Torquay United and to their Plainmoor ground. At half time Rovers were still in the game but down to 10 men. Steve Uzelac being sent off for an ugly tackle just before half time.

Torquay’s Parker committed an ugly foul on Irvine that saw Irvine have to be carried off but Parker wasn’t even booked, and as if to rub salt into the injury it was Parker who scored both Torquay’s goals after 47 and 52 minutes.

Rovers now returned to Belle Vue for a game against high flying Shrewsbury Town. The visitors were unbeaten in their previous nine away games and proved too strong a side for Rovers.

Shrewsbury took the lead in the 8th minute through Bates. Rovers rallied and in the 49th minute O’Callaghan equalised. But Shrewsbury were not to be denied and Haywood caned Rovers in the 67th and 71st minutes to tie up the game. Try as they may there was no way back for Rovers.

On the road again Rovers were thrashed 4-0 at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank and Rovers were now in the dreaded bottom four and looking down the barrel of Re-election once more
It was no surprise when on the 15th November 1974 the board of Directors announced that Mr Maurice Setters had been suspended from his post as Manager.

John Quigley was chosen to take over as caretaker manager until a replacement could be found.

Quigley’s first game in charge was to be a real baptism of fire.

Against the league leaders Mansfield Town at their Field Mill ground Rovers galloped into a 2-0 lead with goals from Higgins and Curran, running the game for the first 30 minutes. Then the old frailties started to appear. A hat trick for Ray Clarke and goals from Eccles and Bird completed the rout.

The following Saturday Rovers travelled to Oswestry Town in the first round proper of the FA Cup.

If it took the emphasis of their dismal league performances it did little to give them any respite. Firstly on the journey down to Shropshire three players were physically sick on the coach and several others complained of feeling unwell. That was problem No1.  Problem No2 was when the part timers equalised Brendan O’Callaghan’s 7th minute opener.

Jackie Price a 24 year old factory inspector collected a through ball and put the ball passed Brown in the Rovers goal.

Thankfully for Rovers Kitchen scored a brace of goals in the second half to ensure victory. But it had not been an easy passage.

Rovers reward was an away tie in the 2nd round proper against Chesterfield.

In the league Rovers were 3rd from bottom with only 13 points. Directly below them were Scunthorpe a point behind on 12 points and Workington then followed with 9 points.
A journey to promotion chasing Reading followed and at Readings Elm Park two goals from Dick Habbin sent the Rovers back to South Yorkshire empty handed.

Habbin would feature prominently for Rotherham the following 2 seasons before eventually signing for Doncaster in 1977 playing 60 games and scoring 12 goals.

John Quigley’s first taste of success in the league was a home game against Hartlepool United. In front of an attendance of 1,357 Rovers ran out 3-0 winners with goals from O’Callaghan (2) and Kitchen. The win left them still 3rd bottom of the league but with the teams below them dropping points they now had a three point advantage over Scunthorpe whilst a 5 point gap had opened between Rovers and Workington.

In the FA Cup Rovers travelled to Saltergate the home of Chesterfield FC.

Chesterfield were in the third division, but Rovers did not let that put them of their game. Unfortunately in a tense and tight game Chesterfield ran out victors by 1-0 watched by a crowd of 5,267. Chesterfield’s scorer that day was a certain Ernie Moss who would play a significant part in Rovers future several seasons later.

An injury to Ray Ternent caused Quigley to move into the transfer market and Les Chappell was drafted in from Reading in time to play in Rovers home game against Cambridge United.
Rovers failed to get to grips with windy conditions and throughout the game never really tested the Cambridge keeper. It was no surprise when Cambridge took the lead on 53 minutes through Tully. Rovers never stopped trying and were rewarded in the dying minutes when the referee awarded them a penalty for handball.

Irvine stepped up to take the kick but a brilliant diving save from Cambridge keeper Smith ensured they left with all the points.

Spotland the home of Rochdale FC was to be Rovers next stop, and it would prove to be another bleak away day for them.

Two goals just before half time from Fielding and Hutchinson sealing the victory.
Defeat was made even worse with the sending of off Alan Murray. Murray booked for a foul had been dismissed for arguing with the Referee. Even so Rovers 10 men still never gave up trying.

Back at Belle Vue Rovers entertained Southport and with 1,356 in attendance fought out a 1-1 draw. Les Chappell scored his first goal in a Rovers shirt after 15 minutes. Rovers failed to capitalise on that and were hit with a sucker punch after 82 minutes when Taylor equalised for the visitors.

Scunthorpe’s Old Show Ground was the next to host Rovers. No goals but plenty of incident in a hard fought battle. Scunthorpe’s Collier had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half which the home side controlled. In the second half it was Rovers who dominated play but the nearest they got to scoring was when a short range effort from Kitchen came back of the bar to Chappell who’s follow up was cleared of the line.

On the road again Rovers were undone by Hartlepool United at the Victoria Park Ground. A goal from Rovers Uzelac was not good enough to save Rovers from a 2-1 defeat.
Rovers were still 3rd from bottom but the chasing two had gained some ground with Workington only below Rovers on Goal average whist Scunthorpe were three points adrift at the bottom.

With promotion chasing Reading being Rovers next opponents ay Belle Vue it would turn out to be an unlucky Friday the thirteenth for Rovers even though the game was played on Saturday 18th January.

Rovers had played well against a strong Reading side and had deservedly gone ahead in the 53rd minute through O’Callaghan who after taking a neat return pass from Curran gad easily beaten the Reading keeper. Just as it looked as if Rovers would get both points a mistake by Carver allowed Reading striker Friday to nip in and score his Thirteenth goal of the season. Rovers had been robbed again

Rovers next game was also at Belle Vue against the “old enemy” Barnsley. In a tense South Yorkshire Derby the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw. Barnsley were by far the better team in a one sided first half and took the lead through Peachey who hammered in a low shot which Rovers goalkeeper Brown allowed to slip under him.

Barnsley missed several good chances after this and should have had the game in their pockets, but their poor finishing cost them dearly as in the 69th minute Kitchen who had replaced Higgins salvaged a point for the home side.

Dropping points at home had not done Rovers any favours and they travelled down to Shrewsbury Town’s Gay Meadow lying in 23 spot in the table. Only Scunthorpe were below Rover’s now but only by one point.

When a team goes away and scores four goals they would expect to come away with more than a share of the spoils, not so Rovers who were beaten by 7-4 on that Saturday.
Shrewsbury through Harwood were two goals up at half time but no one in the ground expected the goal rush that would happen in the second half.

Firstly after 49 minutes Kitchen pulled a goal back for Rovers. 2-1. Shrewsbury responded with goals from McGregor and Bates (2) 5-1. Then it was Rovers turn with goals from Reed, Curran and Kitchen 5-4. The game was wide open but Shrewsbury sealed the win with goals from Harwood and McGregor in the 87th and 90th minutes.

At 5-4 Rovers had chances to equalise but they were spurned and they travelled back to South Yorkshire empty handed.

On Monday the 3rd of February rovers unveiled their new manager, none other than Stan Anderson.

The Evening Post headline read “We Shunned 64 to sign up Stan”. It was hailed as a great coup to get Anderson on board, and George Rayner Rovers Chairman told the paper that even as Anderson was signing there were representatives from Newcastle and York City knocking on the door wanting to speak to him.

In an interview with Joe Slater in the local press Anderson said he had come to Rovers as he felt there was great potential at the club, and in a message to the fans he said “My only message is that we must do better than just improve things. We must look further ahead than simply to get out of the bottom four”

Chairman Mr Rayner told the press “We decided that we had to have a football team at Doncaster or pack it in. We believe we have the right man to lift the team.
 

Anderson’s first game at the helm was a home encounter against Torquay United. 2,166 turned out to meet the new manager, and his new charges did not let him down. In a sparkling performance Rovers ran out 3-0 victors with goals from O’Callaghan, Murray and Curran. The win lifted Rovers back to 3rd from bottom on goal average above Workington.
 
Rover’s new manager Stan Anderson and Barnsley manager Jim Iley were old mates. They were in fact two thirds of the half back line that took Newcastle into the first division in 1964-65. Anderson missed just one match that season and between them Anderson and Iley scored a total of 13 goals.

Friends they may have been but there would be no love lost in Rovers next game, an away fixture at Oakwell in the return South Yorkshire Derby.

Rovers were unchanged from the team that beat Torquay and were on top from the start. Barnsley made several chances early on but Rovers absorbed the pressure and hit back with quick raids.

A traditional derby game with plenty of effort and no little skill built up to a thrilling and furious climax.

Rovers went ahead after 49 minutes when O’Callaghan beat Stewart in the Barnsley goal.
 
The excitement mounted as Barnsley went for an equaliser but Rovers held out for a deserved victory and two more points for Anderson’s new charges. The attendance of 6,276 had been treated to an exciting and entertaining game.

With two wins under their belt confidence was high in the Rover’s camp. Two wins, four goals scored and none conceded had Rovers fired up for the visit to Belle Vue of promotion and title chasing Mansfield Town.

Rover’s biggest gate of the season, 7,276 welcomed the teams onto the Belle Vue pitch and Mansfield made their intentions clear, and that was to spoil the party for the home fans.
Mansfield dominated the first half and were ahead after just one minute, Foster hammering home from a corner kick and in the 38th minute they increased their lead through Eccles after a mix up in the Rovers defence. As half time approached Rovers pushed forward and were rewarded when Uzelac scored a well taken goal on 44 minutes.

In the second half Rovers began to push forward more and more and egged on by their vociferous fans they equalised through Kitchen with a superb shot from just inside the area.

Minutes later the revival was carried a stage further as to the delight of the home fans Curran scored to put the Rovers in front after good work from Murray and Kitchen.

Mansfield were not to be denied and roared back themselves to equalise with a second Eccles goal on 79 minutes. It was end to end stuff and a treat for the fans of both teams.

With time running out and both teams still looking for a winner it fell to Kitchen to finish things of in the last minute scoring from close range to put Rovers back in front. This time it was too late for Mansfield to mount a revival.

The win moved Rovers out of the bottom three; in fact they were now in 20th position in the league.
 
Their last three games since Anderson took over had all resulted in victories and the revival looked on.

You could forgive Rovers fans feeling a little light headed, after all this was the first time that they had felt optimistic for many a season.
 
An away game at high riding Newport County’s Somerton Park was next on the agenda. With Rovers on the defence for most of the first half it was a jolt to Newport when Rovers took the lead in the 42nd minute with a goal from Kitchen.

Graham Brown Rovers goal keeper was much the busiest of the goalkeepers saving well from Woods and White before making a flying save from Jones and managing just to put the ball over the crossbar.

Rovers came under intense pressure but a goal from O’Callaghan secured both points for Rovers and a fourth straight win under Anderson’s guidance.

Doncaster was buzzing and as usual the age old question was being asked “what if we had got Anderson earlier, where could we be now”. And it became an even louder question after Rovers dispatched their next opponents Northampton Town back home pointless.

At Belle Vue Peter Kitchen scored two goals one in each half to give Northampton Town a lesson in chance taking. Watched by an attendance of 5,329 Rovers Kitchens goals were the difference between the two sides, but Northampton who matched Rovers for work rate and commitment just didn’t have anyone to take the chances they created.

Still Rovers fans were not complaining, five wins out of five and 18th in the league.
In the last five games Rovers had a maximum 10 points, had scored 12 goals and conceded only three. Out of the last five games Rovers had kept four clean sheets.
 
The Rovers fans felt with justification that there was much room to be optimistic.

The optimism increased even further when Stan Anderson confirmed his intention to stay at Rovers by signing a new three year contract. Rovers Chairman Ben Rayner told the press “This should allay the fears of many supporters who have raised the point with me.

The whole atmosphere in the club is electric with everyone looking ahead”.
 

Shame then that Rotherham should spoil the party.

With five successive victories under their belts, one could forgive the Rovers players and fans feeling optimistic about the short trip to Millmoor to face their local rivals.

Rotherham pushing for a promotion spot were lying fifth in the league with games in hand over some of the teams above them and had been enjoying a relatively good season.

It was to turn out to be a dire match and nothing like you would expect from a South Yorkshire Derby game.  Both teams were very much under par although Rotherham had the better of a drab first half. In front of a gate of 8,049 swelled by many Rovers fans Rotherham’s Trevor Womble scored the only goal of the game to send Rovers back the short trip to Doncaster without reward.

Had the bubble burst? Well Rovers answered that question in emphatic style when travelling to Edgley Park the home of Stockport County.

With both sides struggling on a bone-hard surface chances were at a minimum.

The closest either team got to scoring was when Stockport’s 16 year old centre forward Massey had a shot headed of the line.

It looked all on a goal less draw until in the 77th minute when Curran took a chance from all of ten yards to put Rovers in front.

In the last minute with Stockport pressing for an equaliser Rovers broke from their own half and Curran, this time the provider laid on a goal for Murray.

Rovers were once again on the winning trail.

And it didn’t stop there. At Belle Vue on the following Friday Rovers entertained Swansea City. A gate of 5,011 were entertained to an exciting game between two teams hell bent on attack.

In the 13th minute, Rovers prompted by skipper Archie Irvine and midfielder Les Chappell stormed into the lead. From Steve Reeds free kick the ball dropped nicely for Curran to chip a sublime shot into the net from 15 yards.

Reed headed Rovers second goal just nine minutes later from a cross by Chappell. Rovers were 2-0 up and looking good value for their lead.

But don’t underestimate this Swansea side, after 46 minutes they were back in the game. A goal from Swansea skipper Evans who was allowed time and space to slot the ball home.

Rovers roared back and in the 59th minute Kitchen tapped home Rovers third goal after good work by Curran and O’Callaghan.

Still it wasn’t over and still Swansea refused to lie down. Swansea skipper Evans scored his second of the match in the 69th minute to set up a tense finish but Rovers managed to hold on and claim all the points.

Doncaster had now won seven of their last eight games since Anderson had taken over and were lying in 16th position in the league. It was a position Rovers fans could only have dreamt of some weeks ago.

The fact that Rovers lost their next two games did little to quell the optimism of their followers.

Rovers travelled to the Abbey Stadium the home of Cambridge United. Cambridge were still harbouring hopes of a promotion push and were lying 7th in the leagues when Rovers came visiting.

Eccles put Cambridge in front in the 17th minute only for Kitchen to level the scores after shortly after. So far so good then, half time 1-1, but within 20 minutes of the restart Cambridge had put the game out of Rovers reach. Cambridge’s leading scorer Shinton scored two minutes after the re-start and again in the 65th minutes. Both goals either side of a goal from Smith.

Rover’s heaviest defeat in nine games. It left Rovers still in 16th position in the league.
The following Saturday Rovers were once again on the road, this time travelling across the Pennines to visit Southport’s Haigh Avenue ground.

At half time Rover’s led by a Peter Kitchen goal, scored after just 11 minutes. Although in front Rovers had Brown to thank for keeping them in the game and he had been by far the busiest of either keeper.

In the 51st minute Southport were awarded a penalty after Reed had been adjudged to handle the ball. In the aftermath Brown and Curran were both booked for dissent. From the kick Martin equalised.

With the game heading for a draw Southport snatched a last gasp winner. Hinch placed a shot past Brown and although there were two defenders on the line they were unable to keep the ball out.

Back to back defeats were something of a rarity these days and it meant Rovers dropping back to 19th in the league. With the bottom four teams having to re-apply for election to the league it meant Rovers for all their hard work were still just one point above the bottom four.

Rovers and Swansea City both had 33 points followed by Stockport on 32 points, but Stockport had games in hand. Of the bottom three teams Darlington and Workington both had 28 points whilst Scunthorpe were rooted to the bottom on 27 points. There was still plenty of work to do if Rovers were to escape the ignominy of having to go cap in hand to re-apply for election.

With points urgently needed Rovers entertained Crewe Alexandra at Bell Vue.
Crewe’s manager needed no introduction to many of the Rovers fans, a certain Mr Harry Gregg.
Crewe were on an unbeaten run of 12 matches but were undone by two Brendan O’Callaghan goals.

His first came after just five minutes and try as they may Rovers just could not capitalise on their lead, so at half time there was only one goal in it.

Shortly after the re-start Crewe equalised through Purdie in the 47th minute.

With the game flowing from end to end and both teams creating chances it fell once again to O’Callaghan to win it for Rovers with just three minutes remaining.

The attendance of 4,845 had been entertained once again to an intriguing game.

Reports in one or two papers at this time intimated that Anderson’s statement that “no players would be leaving the club” may have to be revised as Everton boss Billy Bingham had been keeping tabs on striker Terry Curran for some weeks.

A second successive home game saw Rover’s entertain Workington Town at Belle Vue. Workington were lying next to bottom of the league and it was expected that Rovers could and should pick up two more points to ease their league position.

It was not to be however and a gritty performance from Workington and a fine goalkeeping display by their goalkeeper Rogan kept Rovers at bay. The game finished 0-0 in front of 3,232 fan. Rogan was Workington’s hero and saved time and again from the Rovers forwards.

At least the point kept Rovers going in the right direction in the league.
With just four games left things were looking quite good for Rovers but Anderson knew they couldn’t let up.

A trip to Griffin Park home of Brentford resulted in a 1-1 draw but Rovers should have taken both points.

A goal from Kitchen in the 40th minute gave Rovers a half time lead. It was Kitchens 20th goal of the season.

Just minutes after the break French hit the equaliser for Brentford.

With seconds remaining Curran beat two defenders and sent a low shot that had goal written all over it, but Sherwood in the Brentford goal somehow made a dazzling save at the foot of the post to deny him.

Another point had been earned and had moved Rovers closer to safety. There was now a three point gap between Rovers and fourth bottom Stockport and only three games to play.

With Stockport playing on Friday evening and beating Northampton Town by 1-0, Rovers knew just what they had to do as they entertained Bradford City at Belle Vue.

Rovers had a score to settle with their West Yorkshire rivals after their 2-0 defeat at Valley Parade and they set about their task with some relish.

At half time Rovers led by 2-0 goals from Chappell after just five minutes followed by a Peter Kitchen goal in the 28th minute.

Rovers pressed relentlessly in the second half looking for more goals and they were rewarded after 80 minutes when Kitchen scored his second to effectively kill the game of. But there was no sitting back on their laurels as only two minute later Chappell grabbed his second and Rovers fourth.

Bradford never gave up though and centre half Cooke who had now been pushed up into attack grabbed a consolation goal.

With two games left to play it looked as if Rovers were home and dry, but what a shock Rovers and their fans would get the following Tuesday as on home soil again the visitors to Belle Vue Exeter City almost did a smash and grab raid.

In an exciting game Rovers were 2-0 down in the first half. Rover’s keeper Brown was hurt in a collision in a goalmouth melee and had to spend four minutes of the pitch while being attended to. When he returned he was still groggy and both of Exeter’s first half goals were scored during this period firstly a goal from Hodge and then Beer scoring the second.

In the second half Curran pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute but Rovers joy was short lived as Robertson put Exeter 3-1 ahead.

Rovers dug deep and their fighting spirit showed through as goals from first Chappell and the Kitchen earned them a share of the spoils.

The game had been a fantastic advert for fourth division football and the crowd of 4,251 had been entertained royally.

Rover’s last game of the season was away at Darlington’s Feethams ground. With nothing at stake now for Rovers the game was a non event, unlike Darlington who were fighting Re-election. Darlington needed to beat Rovers to stand any chance of avoiding re-election and they set their stall out to do so.

Doncaster’s Brown was absent from the game as a result of his injury in the game against Exeter so Miller made his debut in the Rovers goal.

It was to be a debut of fire for the young debutant as Darlington ran in four goals in a frantic first half.

A hat trick from Webb and a solitary goal from Holbrook set Darlington up for a great win.

In the second half all Rovers had to play for was pride and they salvaged a little of that
when O’Callaghan grabbed a consolation goal in the 81st minute.

A great win for Darlington but it was to little avail as Stockport grabbed the point they needed in a 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe in a basement battle.

The second half of the season had been a roaring success for Rovers, and with the arrival of Stan Anderson the fans had at long last had something to cheer.

Early exits from both cup competitions had given little cheer to their followers, but now the season ahead looked full of promise.

Rosso Exile Deux

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #1 on January 24, 2012, 09:26:38 AM by Rosso Exile Deux »
A good read especially if one particular paragraph is corrected to read:

\"With Stockport playing on Friday evening and beating Northampton Town by 1-0, Rovers knew just what they had to do as they entertained Bradford City at Belle Vue, a game which featured the debut of Rosso Exile Deux.\"  :)

Wokingviking

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #2 on January 24, 2012, 10:48:01 AM by Wokingviking »
I was on TOP of the home dug-out for that Exeter game.  There's be probably 5 or 6 little boys all lying down on there.  Great times!

Brilliant piece Ray.

And as for Rosso Exile Deux... so, who was that masked man?!?

The Red Baron

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #3 on January 24, 2012, 12:29:20 PM by The Red Baron »
Ray- great memories. Thank you. I can remember that season well and I thought after Stan Anderson took over we played some tremendous football. I never liked Maurice Setters much as a manager, although he deserves credit for the number of young players- Kitchen, Elwiss, O'Callaghan, Curran, Steve Wignall etc- who came through under his tenure.

We ended that season thinking Rovers were on the upward curve at last, after a number of years in the doldrums. Sadly it didn't work out like that and it wasn't until Billy Bremner came in that we finally got out of the basement.

On the Exeter home game, Stan Brookes took over in goal when we were 0-2 down and only let one more in. It was a fantastic game, but very typical of the sort of excitement we got in the early days of Anderson's reign.

With two games left to play it looked as if Rovers were home and dry, but what a shock Rovers and their fans would get the following Tuesday as on home soil again the visitors to Belle Vue Exeter City almost did a smash and grab raid.

In an exciting game Rovers were 2-0 down in the first half. Rover’s keeper Brown was hurt in a collision in a goalmouth melee and had to spend four minutes of the pitch while being attended to. When he returned he was still groggy and both of Exeter’s first half goals were scored during this period firstly a goal from Hodge and then Beer scoring the second.

In the second half Curran pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute but Rovers joy was short lived as Robertson put Exeter 3-1 ahead.

Rovers dug deep and their fighting spirit showed through as goals from first Chappell and the Kitchen earned them a share of the spoils.

The game had been a fantastic advert for fourth division football and the crowd of 4,251 had been entertained royally.

The Red Baron

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #4 on January 24, 2012, 12:31:52 PM by The Red Baron »
Quote from: \"Rosso Exile Deux\" post=214920
A good read especially if one particular paragraph is corrected to read:

\"With Stockport playing on Friday evening and beating Northampton Town by 1-0, Rovers knew just what they had to do as they entertained Bradford City at Belle Vue, a game which featured the debut of Rosso Exile Deux.\"  :)


As a player, or as a supporter, may I ask?

The Red Baron

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #5 on January 24, 2012, 12:33:12 PM by The Red Baron »
Quote from: \"Rosso Exile Deux\" post=214920
A good read especially if one particular paragraph is corrected to read:

\"With Stockport playing on Friday evening and beating Northampton Town by 1-0, Rovers knew just what they had to do as they entertained Bradford City at Belle Vue, a game which featured the debut of Rosso Exile Deux.\"  :)

Rosso Exile Deux

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #6 on January 24, 2012, 01:45:07 PM by Rosso Exile Deux »
Supporter

Sprotyrover

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #7 on January 24, 2012, 03:54:17 PM by Sprotyrover »
Quote from: \"The Red Baron\" post=214949
Ray- great memories. Thank you. I can remember that season well and I thought after Stan Anderson took over we played some tremendous football. I never liked Maurice Setters much as a manager, although he deserves credit for the number of young players- Kitchen, Elwiss, O'Callaghan, Curran, Steve Wignall etc- who came through under his tenure.

We ended that season thinking Rovers were on the upward curve at last, after a number of years in the doldrums. Sadly it didn't work out like that and it wasn't until Billy Bremner came in that we finally got out of the basement.

On the Exeter home game, Stan Brookes took over in goal when we were 0-2 down and only let one more in. It was a fantastic game, but very typical of the sort of excitement we got in the early days of Anderson's reign.

With two games left to play it looked as if Rovers were home and dry, but what a shock Rovers and their fans would get the following Tuesday as on home soil again the visitors to Belle Vue Exeter City almost did a smash and grab raid.

In an exciting game Rovers were 2-0 down in the first half. Rover’s keeper Brown was hurt in a collision in a goalmouth melee and had to spend four minutes of the pitch while being attended to. When he returned he was still groggy and both of Exeter’s first half goals were scored during this period firstly a goal from Hodge and then Beer scoring the second.

In the second half Curran pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute but Rovers joy was short lived as Robertson put Exeter 3-1 ahead.

Rovers dug deep and their fighting spirit showed through as goals from first Chappell and the Kitchen earned them a share of the spoils.

The game had been a fantastic advert for fourth division football and the crowd of 4,251 had been entertained royally.


The Exeter game was in my opinion one of the best I've ever watched and has stuck with me all of these years fantastic night and boy did the crowd get behind the team.

I also was very naffed off after Rotherham away as the t**ts put the back window in on our 'Kildares' Coach

bradford exile

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Re: season 1974-75 Enjoy Regards Ray
« Reply #8 on January 25, 2012, 09:06:44 AM by bradford exile »
Cheers TRB....I will check into that  The match report I have does not mention Brookes going into goal, but to be honest it's not a very good one. Many thanks for the input guys

Regards

Ray