Wednesday, 26 October 2016

1956/57 Season Review

A pre-season tour of France, sees Rovers face crack French side Rochemonte Rapides in their final match. The star-studded French side have two superb forwards, Jules Leclair (CF 9) and Gustav Cartier (IL 10), who were kidnapped before the big match. Roy and Blackie of course rescued them and made a daring dash by helicopter back to Rochemonte Stadium. The pals just make it as the helicopter runs out of petrol and makes an emergency landing on the pitch. 

The match is fantastic and Rovers fans are given their first glimpse of "lightning" right winger Pierre Dupont, who creates the first goal for Leclair and scores a fantastic curling second. 

Two-down, Roy swings into action, netting a thunderbolt. Blackie smashed in the equaliser following a goalmouth scramble, before Dawson crossed for Roy to nod in the winner in the last minute.

1956/57 Melchester Rovers vs Rochemonte RapidesSuitably impressed with the French sportsmanship, Roy and the boys head for the post-match meal, where Pierre Dupont announces that he will be travelling back to Melchester for a trial. His trial goes well, but of course current Rovers right-wing Sam Higby sees his place in the first-eleven under threat and aims to make Pierre's life hell. 

Higby is fuming when he is dropped for the visit of Welbeck Wanderers. The match starts promisingly for Rovers, as Dupont shows his remarkable pace to set up Roy, but his shot is tipped over. Only the goalie's miraculous efforts keep Rovers out, but the desperate Wanderers eventually break. Sensing the danger Len Dolland flies from his line only to receive a hefty knock from the forward and a dislocated shoulder. Roy takes over in goal, something that Rovers fans would see regularly over the following decades! 

Roy plays a blinder and with the scores level at 1-1, launches a counter attack. Dupont picks up Roy's clearance and races upfield, the defence splits leaving Pierre enough room to crash the ball past the helpless goalie. It was his second goal of a spectacular debut! 
1956/57 Melchester Rovers vs Welbeck Wanderers

Playing with just ten, the Rovers tired as Welbeck pinned them in their own half. The pressure told, Dave Williams tumbled, carelessly placing his hand on the ball, the referee gives the penalty. A the Rovers protest the final two minutes disappear, the forward takes the kick and Roy leaps to his right, gets finger tips to the ball and just about keeps it out. The ref blows for full-time before the forward could get to the rebound. 

Ben Galloway makes Dupont's signing official and Rovers have themselves a new star right-winger! 

Sam Higby is most annoyed and has convinced himself that Pierre is trouble. Pierre's strange behaviour does little to calm Higby. But the replaced right-wing goes as far as to lock his rival in a cupboard before the match away at league leaders Portdean. With Higby changed and ready to take his place back in the first-team, Dupont appears and is restored to the line-up, infuriating Sam. 

Rovers win a classic match 4-3 with two goals for Roy and one from Blackie Gray. The equalising goal saw Roy Race "charge" the opposing goalie over the line! Thanks to Roy and Pierre Rovers get another 4-3 win, this time over Salthampton.

1956/57 Melchester Rovers vs Dunard
Much of the rest of the season revolves around Higby's attempts to convince Roy and the Rovers that Dupont is a "crook." A bizarre tale centred on a French football cup that sits in the Rovers trophy room, unravels to reveal that Pierre is not a crook and it is Higby who disgraces himself again! 

The trophy is eventually recovered, although flattened by a bus, Pierre discovers a hidden note giving the site of his family's buried treasure. The Rovers of course agree to help and travel to France to play local side Dunard with the intention of going on a treasure hunt before the game. However the same crooks that had earlier tricked Higby were already digging at the Chateau. Typically beaten and tied up, and the treasure chest in Pierre's possession, Roy, Blackie and the French winger marched to the ground carrying the glittering box. 

However a policeman was suspicious and the crowd sensing skulduggery barracked Dupont. His poor performance soon saw the Rovers three down. But the policeman now believed the Rovers' story about the ownership of the chest and Pierre returned to form in the second half. Netting the winner in the last minute to give Rovers a 4-3 victory! 


1956/57 Line up Melchester Rovers

1 - Dolland 
2 - Williams 
3 - Roberts 
4 - Griffiths 
5 - McDonald (c) 
6 - Brown 
7 - Dupont 
8 - Gray 
9 - Race 
10 - Hallett 
11 - Dawson 

Reserves: Hedlow, Dodds, Higby, Jones 

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