A retrospective look at Rovers first league win of the season.
- Leeds aside it has been all doom and gloom for Rovers this season , finally we have a win to celebrate, and a good performance to boot.
- All the pre match talk was of Richie Wellens handing in a transfer request. While the reasons for this surprising turn of events are still unclear, what is obvious from the Fleetwood victory is Rovers are a quicker and more fluid team without Wellens in it. The second goal was a case in point as Rovers counter attacked quickly to punish Fleetwood. This was to be the story of the first half as only tactical fouls stopped Rovers from hitting the visitors on the break time and time again.
- While Wellens could still be a valuable squad player this season, his seemingly impending transfer is a relief for those of us who believe he is no longer good enough to start every game. If he does leave replacements must be sought in this area but this could be a blessing in disguise.
- Wellens fellow veteran James Coppinger has also come in for some stick from a minority of the Rovers fans this season but he answered those critics with an impressive performance. It was not just a rare headed goal but also a brilliant ball to Williams that led to Curtis Main adding a second. It was an energetic and complete performance from Copps and he will hope for more of the same with his surely now inevitable record breaking appearance looming large.
- 4876 is a poor crowd and is indeed the lowest ever recorded at the Keepmoat for a league game. It is worrying what depths attendances might reach when the cold weather kicks in. Another reason why home victories like this are so important.
- Cameron Stewart made a complete mess of the one excellent opportunity that came his way but on paper he looks a decent signing, albeit in a position that Rovers don’t really need strengthening.
Andy Williams – Whilst Copps received the official man of the match accolade it was Williams who most impressed with a complete strikers performance. All that was missing was the goal that his battling display deserved. As well as the excellent assist for Curtis Main’s goal, Williams was a handful throughout and seems to be improving with every game.
Curtis Main – Boy did he need that… hopefully Main’s goal and another strong performance will be the catalyst for him finally fulfilling his potential and not another false dawn.
Rovers youngsters – The continued success of our youth team players has been the biggest positive of an underwhelming start to the season. Middleton had his best game yet against Fleetwood – neat and tidy in possession whilst also constantly giving the visitors midfield no time on the ball. Lund too, overcame a couple of nervy moments and a nasty looking ball in the face to once again show that he is a prospect. Whilst it is troubling that we have to rely on products of the youth system so much, it is still encouraging to see them making the step up.
Rovers Defence – A clean sheet the entire back five can be proud of. Stuckmann again pulled off a couple of quality saves, Butler and Mackenzie look to be easily our strongest centre back pairing and Aaron Taylor Sinclair was brilliant both going forward and at the back. If we do eventually sign a specialist right back and a reserve centre back, we have the makings of a strong defensive unit.
The South Stand – Whilst it was lovely to see Rovers actually score some goals, they are yet to score in front of their own fans (Harry Forrester’s freak goal aside).
Richie Wellens – No matter his reasons for handing in a transfer request, Wellens stock has never been lower after Rovers put in comfortably their best performance of the season without him. Like Middleton, Chaplow was functional without being spectacular in the centre of the park but against most clubs in league one that is all you need. Thanks for the memories Richie.
Trevor Kettle – While it was disappointing to see Andy Williams go down holding his face following a tangle of legs with Fleetwood right back Conor McLaughlin, there is no doubt that McLaughlin should have been sent off for his retaliatory knee in Williams back. Kettle spotted it but then only issued a booking. An incorrect and totally inexplicable decision.
Conclusion – A much needed win for both Dickov and Rovers. Tuesdays game against Burton takes on a bit of extra significance now as it is vital Rovers build on this win to kickstart their season. For now though a win, a clean sheet and a good performance has gone a long way to improving Dickov’s faltering reputation.