And so another season draws to a close, we’re now just ninety minutes away from a long summer of unsubstantiated transfer rumours and all conquering World Cup über-hype. Still, despite this frightening prospect we’ll soldier on with another episode of Viva Video.
Though we play on Rovers have known for some weeks where they are likely to finish in this season’s Championship table. A satisfying and enjoyable mid-table has been our end of season destiny ever since Bradley Wright-Phillips unmarked header nestled in the North Stand net on Easter Saturday. The same however can not be said about our final day opponents Swansea City. A win for the Swans on Sunday coupled with a favourable result at Blackpool and the Welsh side could claim the final play-off spot, a large reward for a team who have struggled to meet the game’s key principle this season, namely getting the ball in the net.
Though Rovers have progressed through three divisions in recent years it is very rare that they have played a part in last day drama in this period. Rovers’ places in the Conference play-offs was determined with several games to play, whilst the Division Three title was won at the increasingly distant Boston with a week to spare. The major anomaly in this pattern though is of course the 2007-08 season and it is that which we revisit in this episode.
In May 2008 Rovers travelled to Cheltenham Town for the final game of the season. A win guaranteed Rovers promotion to the Championship, whilst a draw may also be enough should Nottingham Forest and Carlisle fail to win their own finales. The set-up was given a further twist with Rovers opponents Cheltenham themselves still very much in the relegation picture, needing a win of their own to guarantee divisional survival.
Its OK, you know how it pans out in the end, so watching this shouldn’t be too painful. On a personal level this video is even more topical as on Wednesday I made my first trip to Whaddon Road since that fixture, and saw a win for the team I was there with to completely exorcise the demons of two years ago. As Swansea may need to tell themselves this time next week, ultimately it all works out in the end.