Next Up: Dover Athletic (H)
October 6 2017
A look ahead to Rovers' televised game at home to Dover on Wednesday night.....
If there is one (fringe) benefit of still being a National League club, it is the regular television exposure we get via BT Sports coverage of non-league football. In days gone by, we would have hoped that being on the telly may have influenced 'Steve' in Irby/Oxton/Moreton to lay down his LFC mug and support his local team instead. Now, it's just a chance to 'tape' a game that we can re-live again at our pleasure. In fact, when I feel the need for a boost of positivity, I often watch last seasons away win against Chester. Actually, that's a bit of a lie. My boys ask me to put it on and forward it to the pitch invasion bit because they love watching the bloke with the long hair (Jesus), running towards the Chester fans flapping his arms like a bird.
Having said that, TV coverage means that we have to tolerate commentators theorising about our current predicament and generally talking rubbish. I wonder how long John Virgo's lad (Adam) will wait before he says that the fixture should be a league game, or when he says Tollitt for the first time. 'Virgs' is a good bloke actually and engages with fans quite a lot on social media - I think he likes us as well, despite a few recent twitter spats with Rovers fans.
We will probably hear the usual stuff about Orient's poor run of form, our poor start, the recent signing of Dylan Mottley and TRFC about to turn the corner. Fair enough I suppose as air time has to be filled and it's pretty standard to go through stuff like that. But I have unearthed a few nuggets of info that AV might think about including on his crib sheet:
1. Seven days before the famous Exeter game that kept us in the league in 1987, Orient added to our relegation fears by beating us 3-1 at Prenton Park.
2. In 1988-89 when we were promoted into the old Division Three, Leyton Orient came up too through the play offs.
3. (False teeth inserted) From 1985 to 1991 an average of 4661 fans have sat in Prenton Park to watch the two teams battle it out as lower league rivals.
Feel free to deploy these as you see fit, Adam.
The last word needs to go to us though. Mickey Mellon was asked about the status of the game in his post-match comments straight after the final whistle on Saturday, and I make him right in what he said. The manager stated that it's irrelevant that the game 'should' be a league fixture because it just isn't, both teams are non-league and should just get on with it.
Well said, gaffer.
So let's enjoy being on the telly, be proud of our fan base, feel satisfied that we are building the infrastructure of a League One club and go out and win the game. Hopefully the game will then be replayed on hard drives for months to come as evidence of our title credentials. It's ok if there isn't a pitch invasion again though.