After the final whistle, BBC Radio Manchester were downbeat about the game, bemoaning the state of the pitch and the lack of quality on show.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Previously, my Man City-supporting mate took the view that Rovers clearly edged the game on chances, and on general play. Defences were on top throughout, but I thought I'd seen two competent sides slugging it out. Whilst Rovers looked the more likely to score - we'd had the better of the few chances on offer at either end - I couldn't help feeling that we might get mugged with a late Rochdale winner.
So the game was on a knife-edge - surely the BBC could have found something interesting in that!
After Fleetwood, I mentioned to AMPG that any report from me would come across as a tirade against the referee. But anyone at Spotland today would surely have found it difficult to explain the decision-making of Mr Mark Brown. Early in the first half, he gave a long lecture to their number 6 (McGahey). Five minutes later, he delivered another extended ticking off to Henderson who'd left a foot on Lockyer, causing him to leave the field. When Lockyer returned, the inevitable followed: Henderson went down; no lecture for Lockyer, however: straight in the book.
Also on Radio Manchester, I heard the expression (about Bury, as it happens) "they play on the edge of the free-kick". That certainly applied to Rochdale, for whom every ball in the air was an opportunity for backing in, nudging or pushing; these offences were never penalised by the ref.
I've copied the BBC report of the game, in full, below, but - sorry BBC - I'd have to disagree with this paragraph:
"Reuben Noble-Lazarus had the first effort on target when he met Harrison McGahey's cross from the right with a downward header at the back post 18 minutes in, Rovers keeper Joe Lumley diving to his right to block the attempt.As it turned out, that was the best chance of the opening period, although Rovers midfielder Ollie Clarke should have done better with a shot from the edge of the area that he scuffed towards the Rochdale goal".
Surely the best chance in the first half was one which would not have counted towards a shot on, or even off-, target. A great spell of inter-passing between Bodin, Partington (he can play!) and others resulted in James drilling a wicked ball low and fast across the Rochdale 6-yard box, where 3 Rovers attackers and 3 Rochdale defenders made it even money that the ball would ping into the net...unfortunately, a Dale defender got his foot to it first and cleared.
In the second half, there was a heart-stopping moment when, ten yards outside Rovers' area, a Rochdale defender seemed to blast a half-shot/half-pass towards an advanced team-mate. The ball was only partially controlled, but fell kindly to the Rochdale striker...I seem to have blotted out of my mind what happened next, but it ended well for us! Conversely, Rovers had two great chances on the break; Lee Brown's and Rory Gaffney's chances are described elsewhere. However, as often happens with Rovers these days, the last 20 to 30 minutes provided an increase in tempo, as we had a "right good go" to win the game. I would have thought that a neutral spectator would have found that entertaining...?
In fairness to BBC Radio Manchester, at least they consistently and correctly referred to us as Bristol Rovers!
League One Rochdale 0 - 0 Bristol Rovers
Rochdale dropped out of the League One play-off places after a goalless draw against Bristol Rovers. The soft playing surface did neither side any favours and goalmouth incidents - let alone chances - were few and far between.
Reuben Noble-Lazarus had the first effort on target when he met Harrison McGahey's cross from the right with a downward header at the back post 18 minutes in, Rovers keeper Joe Lumley diving to his right to block the attempt.
As it turned out, that was the best chance of the opening period, although Rovers midfielder Ollie Clarke should have done better with a shot from the edge of the area that he scuffed towards the Rochdale goal.
The second half followed in similar vein. The best move of the game arrived in the 72nd minute, a Rovers breakaway which started with an interception from Clarke, breaking up play between Peter Vincenti and Mark Kitching.
Clarke's run forward ended with the ball being worked to the left and Stuart Sinclair playing a delicious pass into the path of Lee Brown, racing forward from deep down the left flank.
The full-back provided Dale's debutant goalkeeper Ben Wilson with his first real test of the day, a rising drive from an angle which the goalkeeper beat away.
Hibs are my Scottish team. Went to Edinburgh for a long weekend four years ago with friends and took the opportunity to watch a game at Easter Road.
They hibbs fans were a mad bunch, proper mental. All they was singing was there own teams songs! Shame that logan fella wasn't playing for them. Fair play to them travelling all the way down from scotland with the flags.