Bristol Rovers 7-0 Scunthorpe United: Gas do unthinkable to leapfrog Cobblers to automatic promotion
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Players of Bristol Rovers celebrate following promotion to League One following the Sky Bet League Two match between Bristol Rovers and Scunthorpe United at Memorial Stadium on May 07, 2022 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Bristol Rovers will be a League One side next year after a quite unbelievable final day victory over already relegated Scunthorpe United at the Memorial Stadium.

After their remarkable comeback last week away to Rochdale, the Gas knew that they had to win by a large score if Northampton Town also won away at Barrow. 

It was two nil at half time, but a remarkable performance - albeit delayed massively due to a pitch invasion - saw Gas go up on goals scored in a truly special day for Rovers.

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  • Story of the match

Joey Barton’s side came flying out of the blocks at the start of the game but had to wait until the 18th minute for their first goal. Oliver Lobley deflected a cross into his own net to open the scoring at the Mem before centre back Connor Taylor scored four minutes later to double the lead.

It stayed 2-0 at half time, and with Northampton Town winning away at Barrow Gas knew that only a large score would give them any chance of going up automatically.

They truly delivered in the second half, with Scunthorpe completely there for the taking. First, Aaron Collins bagged the first of his brace on 53 minutes, curling in from the edge of the area. Nine minutes later, it was 4-0 - Anthony Evans firing in to rouse the crowd into thinking the impossible could be done. 

Evans’ superb free kick raised the noise level even more, making it 5-0 - before Collins slotted in from close range to make it 6-0 a short time later.

Now Gas only needed one goal to steal third spot off the Cobblers and it was Elliot Anderson who headed home at the back post to spark a wild pitch invasion and cause significant delay as the referee took the players off the pitch temporarily to calm things down. 

Eventually the game was resumed over fifteen minutes later and Gas saw out the game and another pitch invasion at the end saw wild and jubilant scenes as the Gas bounce back at the first time of asking under Joey Barton.

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  • Week to never be forgotten for the Gas

After being 3-1 down on the hour mark last week against Rochdale, Gas fans must have - at that point - written off going up. They may have even written off the playoffs, such was the close points difference at the top of League Two.

Credit must go to Barton and his players. In October, they were 18th and in danger of relegation. Fast forward to today and they will be playing League One football next year. He has created a team that plays superb football and never know when to give up.

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Credit must also go to the Gasheads. They’ve supported their team through thick and thin this year with lots of off-the-pitch distractions that threatened to derail their season. They haven’t let that happen and they join Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City in promotion to the third tier. 

The Gas fans will celebrate long into night, and so they should. It will be a challenge for them in League One next year, but on this evidence you wouldn’t bet against Barton’s team from being dark horses for a top half finish - or maybe even a playoff push given the right additions.

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