All the talking points from the emphatic 2-0 victory over Colchester:
- Copps assist. Williams goal. From open play. In front of the Black Bank. A number of demons finally exorcized there. Fitting for Halloween.
- For Copps the pressure was higher than usual after his compatriot Richie Wellens was dropped to the bench. With two assists and the man of the match award his selection was more than vindicated.
- Team selection was bold all over the pitch with Ferguson opting to play three at the back and wing backs. This worked to a degree with Lund looking much more comfortable having been relieved of the duty to do any kind of attacking but Cameron Stewart clearly struggled at right wing back and Rovers were lucky that Stuckmann was on fine form to deny a couple of dangerous looking shots that resulted from Stewart’s defensive indiscipline.
- A massively inexperienced central midfield duo of Middleton and debutant Conor Grant was also a gamble for Ferguson but both were excellent in breaking up play and feeding Tyson, Williams and Coppinger further forward. Grant in particular looked assured in possession and his stunning opening goal was the icing on the cake of a very strong performance. Chaplow and Gobern must have winced as Grant’s strike hit the back of the net…
- Colchester have conceded the most goals in the football league this season and it is easy to see why. If James Coppinger is outmuscling Tosin Olufemi as he did for the opening goal then you know something is very wrong. It looked at first that Copps had overhit the pass for Williams goal but he actually played it perfectly, allowing the ball to run across Williams body taking the Colchester goalkeeper out of the game.
- The switch to five at the back made for a much stronger defensive unit with Butler resuming normal service after a shaky few games and Taylor Sinclair also putting in an unexpected strong performance. Any Rovers defence that doesn’t feature McCullough is a winner in my eyes.
- Ferguson will have a welcome headache when Rovers return to league action away at Blackpool in a fortnights time. Last season’s player of the season Nathan Tyson was superb against Colchester and did everything but score. When fit Tyson simply has to start. This leaves Williams and Anderson battling it out for the second striker spot. It is nice to have an embarrassment of riches rather than just an embarrassment.
- A word for the Rovers substitutes. It was great to see Keegan back again and he was mightily impressive during his 15 minutes on the pitch making a number of crunching tackles and reading the game perfectly. What a difference the Irishman could make if fully fit. This brings us nicely onto Curtis Main… As always Main ran himself into the ground before providing the most Curtis Main moment he has possibly ever produced with an exquisite touch and turn to create the space for himself before shanking his finish well wide. Don’t ever change Curtis.
Thorsten Stuckmann – The big German has undoubtedly been our best player this season and he was on stunning form to deny a previously free scoring Colchester side. His second half save to deny Darren Ambrose’ header was Stuckmann’s best moment in a Rovers shirt yet.
James Coppinger – His match winning moments may be less frequent than in years past but this was a performance to silence the growing number of Copps’s dissenters saying he had nothing left to offer Rovers. The challenge now is to install some consistency.
Andy Williams – This may be a turning point for Williams or it may just be a one off but either way he enjoyed it and so did the fans. The standing ovation for the former Swindon striker upon being substituted was both warranted and heart warming.
Conor Grant – A debut goal to remember for the 20 year old loanee to cap a strong performance. Welcome to the Keepmoat Conor.
Harry Forrester – Oh dear… dropped by Dickov and seemingly even more out in the cold under Ferguson. It is difficult to see Forrester staying beyond January if he doesn’t get some game time soon.
Richie Wellens – Rovers looked a much more energetic and quick side without Wellens on the pitch. Maybe his status as an automatic starter is finally at an end. It has been a long time coming. Wellens still has a lot to offer but he is not someone to build a side around. If only Dickov had realized in two and a half years what Fergie has after 4 games.
Man of the Match – Thorsten Stuckmann
Copps did have a good game and Conor Grant was excellent but all their attacking exploits would have been in vain if not for a number of first half saves from Stuckmann. Possibly Paul Dickov’s only positive contribution this season was signing the Big (CENSORED) German.