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Neil Howarth column: Benno has said sorry to us all for his red mist moment

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

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FOUR points from Bristol Rovers away and a tough home match against Fleetwood is a decent enough return and one we should be satisfied with, but when you are leading at home in injury time you can't help but be disappointed.

Late goals that you concede always hurt but it's important that we look at the bigger picture and take the positives from the game that mean we are still on an unbeaten run.

I heard on the Football League Show on Saturday night that we have had the best start to a season for 12 years and the three points on Saturday would have taken us up to third in the league.

It wasn't to be but we are still handily placed and keen to keep our unbeaten run going.

Last Wednesday was a good night for the club.

Bristol Rovers is a difficult place to go, especially when they were buoyed by a couple of new signings and also their first win of the season a few days earlier.

It's an intimidating atmosphere but after the first ten minutes I thought we were excellent and pretty much took control of the game.

We had plenty of opportunities to add to our goal tally and when they were pumping balls into our box for the last five minutes we stood up to it.

We saw the game out and thoroughly deserved the three points.

Chris Zebroski returned to his former club and got the all-important decisive goal.

He played up front in place of Shaun Harrad and caused their back four problems all night long. Unfortunately he was on the receiving end of some disgusting chants from the opposition supporters but he ultimately had the last laugh.

The number of times a player gets stick off fans but then goes and pops in a goal never ceases to amaze me.

To be fair to Bristol Rovers however, some of their officials apologised on behalf of the club for the supporters chants and we even had phone calls back at the Abbey Business Stadium from supporters of Bristol Rovers apologising as well.

It's the same at every club. You can always find a few idiots that tarnish the club's name.

With us playing on the Wednesday night last week we had a day's less rest than Fleetwood had after their victory up at York City on Tuesday.

The win at Rovers took quite a lot out of the lads physically so we did very little in training on Thursday and Friday.

Our aim was to prepare for Fleetwood as normally as we could while also making sure the lads were fully recovered and ready to go.

I thought we played well on Saturday and despite going a goal behind – which involved a foul on Steve Elliott in the build up to the goal that the whole ground saw except the referee – we regrouped well and scored two goals to take the lead.

We then conceded a free kick in the build up to their equaliser that nobody in the ground thought was a foul apart from the referee before switching off to concede the equalising goal.

Fleetwood's captain then ran past his celebrating team-mates to barge into Steve Elliott which Alan Bennett saw and went to confront him.

Benno was obviously frustrated at conceding the equaliser and the reaction of their captain and by giving the referee the opportunity to send him off was wrong.

Benno has since apologised but the needless taunting by his opponent has now got him suspended for three games.

The first game Benno will miss is the Oxford Johnstone's Paint Trophy match.

This is a competition that we want to do well in as the rewards at the end of this tournament are as big as any player would want. We had a taste of Wembley last season and it would be great to go back.

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