Bristol Rovers’ troubles deepened yesterday as they were soundly beaten by struggling Southend United.
Rovers are 13 points clear of Tranmere Rovers, who do have a game in hand, so relegation seems unlikely, but they were still second best against a side who have been destined for League Two almost since the first ball was kicked.
The Gas have won just once in the last 18 fixtures, but they looked like taking an early lead through Alfie Kilgour who hit the post. It was only a brief glimpse of their attacking prowess though and Sol Campbell’s side broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when exciting prospect Charlie Kelman lashed home from outside the area.
The youthful Shrimpers back four then made an error, Elvis Bwomono allowing Jayden Mitchell-Lawson to break clear and finish to level the scoreline going into half time.
Southend, who are 16 points adrift of safety, retook the lead ten minutes after the break when another young player, Terrell Egbri, bagged his first senior goal. The home side made the points secure with ten minutes to go, Alfie Kilgour getting the goal he hoped for in the first half, but at the wrong end of the field as he turned Stephen McLaughlin’s cross into his own net.
The defeat leaves the Gas is 15th and with just one win since the week before Christmas. Their next three fixtures are against Sunderland, Ipswich and Peterborough, all sides gunning for promotion. Whilst many neutral observers think they’re safe already, there are some dissenting voices amongst their support who are very worried indeed. Most seem to think there is only one solution, as you’ll read below.
Absolute shambles! Garner has to go! I said from day one that he was the cheap option and so it’s proved. I can appreciate we all need to start somewhere but we’ve gone from playoffs to looking over our shoulders at the relegation zone. He’s not up to the job, plain and simple.
— Tim Mansfield (@mucker80) March 7, 2020
— Andy RV Harvey #🇬🇧iLoveEuropeiHate🇪🇺 🇬🇧 (@andyrv1960) March 7, 2020
All of the foundations that DC built, that Coughlan tried to keep going have been completely ruined by this joker
— Darren Gould (@dmgould) March 7, 2020
I'm sorry to say this but if garner isn't gone soon I'm certainly not renewing my season ticket. Clearly he can't instill enough fight into his players. Didn't go to today's match but last week was probably the poorest I've seen in years. Very embarrassing.
— christopher (@chrisweir1234) March 7, 2020
The only thing that should change going forward currently is the manager. Completely and utterly out of his depth
— Jake Richards 🏴 (@JakeRichards84) March 7, 2020
Garner and Stanes out NOW. Been a lifelong fan and season ticket holder for 25 years and this is the worse football I’ve seen us play in all those years. Have to seriously consider long and hard whether I will give my hard earned money to the clown Stanes to waste next season.
— Ian Moss (@ian_moss19) March 7, 2020
It’s quite obvious some or most of the players do not believe in him or they just don’t want to play for him full stop the only thing that has changed since we were 4th in the league is the manager he must go absolutely clueless he’s destroyed the half decent team glochlan put
— chris james (@James1uk) March 7, 2020
Garner out now. No excuses. Killing our club.
— CW Gas (@cw_gas76) March 7, 2020