The Hills are alive with the sound of popping corks as Rovers turned on the fizz to produce a sparkling display of possession, passing and goal scoring. To give birthday boy Simon Hill a game to remember.
The veteran defender enjoyed another comfortable afternoon on the Silver Street turf. With what was a master class in defending, showing all the imperious skills of a man who for the last 20 years has played football at the top of his game.
Rovers started well and introduced the home fans to new signing Kevin Hill who was helping us out for the day. He slotted into left back and took the ‘granddaddy’ title off name sake Simon for the day.
Rovers’ wing wizard Luke Alden opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a trademark dazzling run; turning defenders inside out before unleashing a thunderbolt they flew through the keeper to give Rovers a deserved lead. For the rest of the half Rovers huffed and puffed a bit in front of goal with chances going a begging.
Winterborne were not just about defending. Their main threat came from the set piece and piled on the pressure with a number of corners and the odd free kick. But Simon Hill, Kevin Hill, James Clampin and Jake Wannell all kept the Reds away from the goal leaving keeper Paul Gibbins as virtual spectator.
Into the second half and Rovers first corner saw Kevin Hill rise highest at the far post to head home. The home fans were in raptures to be told that Hilly had scored. Simon’s mum and sister were in shock with what would have been a great birthday present only to be deflated that it was the other Hill that had scored.
A minute later Craig Veal far out on the right saw the keeper off his line, hit one from 35 yards and watched the ball nestle into the net. 3 nil Rovers and they were flying. Either brave goal keeping or last ditch defending kept the Rovers front line at bay. Veal got his second after good work from Alden and Western.
Dean Stamp was brought on with 10 minutes to go and he set up the third for Veal with a delightful chip over the keeper that seemed destined for the back of the net only for the inform striker to nip and make sure.
But the afternoon belonged to the birthday boy and the back line who slugged it out in the first half and who helped control the game in the second. Another Rolls Royce performance and another clean sheet.
35 years ago today: Notts Forest win the league and Liverpool the European Cup, Fleetwood Mac with Rumours were top of the album charts and Space Invaders were the FIFA14/GTA 5 of that year.
Rovers: Gibbins; Wannell ©. S Hill, Clampin, K Hill; Steele, Rogers, Hopkinson, Alden; Western, Veal. Subs: Jee for Clampin 46, Wadham for Alden 75, Stamp for Western 80