Non-League Football: Rovers on a run away from past misfortune
Friday 12 February 1999
Rovers' much-publicised descent to near oblivion seems to be over, and the torrid recent past should finally be laid to rest next week when Ken Richardson, the former owner, is due to sentenced for conspiring to burn down the inaptly named Belle Vue stadium in 1995.
"It's taken some time, given the circumstances we inherited, but we've made a start," Ian McMahon, the club's chief executive, said yesterday. "We're unbeaten in six games now, and have won the last three, including away games at Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering."
Likely to be in the Rovers starting line-up is the Spanish defender Ignacio Ybarra, once of Real Zaragoza and now on a month-to-month contract. Other new faces may be joining him soon, as the manager, Ian Snodin, has been given the go-ahead to target players in the English and Scottish leagues. "We only want players who are better than those we already have," McMahon said. "We are looking."
Elsewhere in the Conference, the leaders, Kettering, host Telford knowing that their teenaged striker, Ben Wright, is unlikely to be with them much longer. After recent trials with Bolton, Preston and Leeds, a spokesman said: "I think it's a matter of when he goes now, rather than if." In anticipation of Wright's departure, the club have signed on loan the 20- year-old Burnley striker, Philip Eastwood, with a view to the move being made permanent.
One of the weekend's key ties will see the Conference favourites, Cheltenham, play at Morecambe. Although second in the table, Cheltenham are just a point behind the leaders and have three games in hand. They will be heartened by the decision this week of their manager, Steve Cotterill, to stay at Whaddon Road rather than move to the Second Division club, Wycombe Wanderers, who asked him to become assistant to his former Wimbledon team-mate Lawrie Sanchez.
"I would love to complete what I've started with Cheltenham and I owe it to the chairman, directors, supporters and players to stay," Cotterill said.
Among those likely to be facing Cheltenham tomorrow will be Morecambe's Japanese utility player Kiesuke Takano, who is not only believed to be the first man from his country to have played football in an English national league, but who also his own Appreciation Society, formed by around 80 Lancaster University students attracted to the club by a discount tickets scheme.
Latest in Sport
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in unspectacular win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Manchester United transfer news: Robin van Persie could leave this summer with Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller on United wish-list
Arsenal vs Manchester United match report: Wayne Rooney and a Keiran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
Arsenal vs Manchester United player ratings: Who was the star man? Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney, Kieran Gibbs or David de Gea?
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants kill 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...
£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...