THE January sales are a marvellous opportunity if you really need something, Mrs Light tells me.

Manager Mark Cooper obviously knows something. Knowing what his faltering team needed the evidence is he has shopped wisely and well.

Look at the evidence! A clean sheet and three much needed points were belated Christmas presents for us long suffering fans.

A much more street wise Rovers team kept Port Vale under control and at the final whistle joy was unconfined. Our new signings had truly delivered.

Newcomers Farrend Rawson, Gavin Gunning and Rueben Reid were our three wise men. Rueben brought the special gift of a goal. Epiphany was truly celebrated at the New Lawn.

It was not a pretty game, but no one worried about that. It was what we all wished to see, a team prepared to dig in and fight for victory.

It was a victory based on a strong defensive core, backed by a confident Brad Collins in goal, but it is goals that win games and Reuben’s winner was a stunner. He and Christian Doidge are going to be a difficult duo to deal with.

More new signings are expected. If they measure up as the three we saw on Saturday. Inevitably there will be departures and Sam Russell may well be moving on.

One of soccer’s good guys Sam was cruelly discarded by Ady Pennock but wisely brought back for a second spell by Manager Mark Cooper. He made crucial waves at Wembley that kept us in the game as Tranmere began to threaten, but I will remember him for more than that. Always pleasant, friendly and an adopted Stroudie Sam was more than just a footballer. He was and is an all-round good egg. Good luck Sam wherever you move.

Local sporting historians may be interested in a collection of items concerning Stratton Football and Cricket Club. These are not in perfect condition but dating back nearly 100 years they are of considerable interest. Cirencester 640125 will find me. I am afraid I have no room for them as I have a cricket collection given to me by John and Mike Messenger that takes precedence and space is limited or so Mrs Light says!

Next Saturday Swindon Town entertain Forest Green. Hopefully I will be in the Press Box for the game. I was last there fifty years ago when Swindon beat West Ham in the FA Cup. There had been a marvellous game at Upton Park which ended in a 3-3 draw. Bobby Moore, beaten for speed pulled Don Rogers to the ground. Today a red card would have resulted, but those were different days. Swindon won the replay 3-1. One of the goals was scored by Ken Sheen. Talking to Ken recently he told me he thought he was offside but all of us there were pleased to see Swindon, a lowly division three side overcome a West Ham side that included not just Moore, but Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst.