It takes a lot to ruin at day out at the seaside for me. Amazingly, Rovers managed it.
I was in high hopes when I arrived in Blackpool on Saturday. Before the game, I was sat in a chippy attached to the Tower, looking at the Central Pier, the donkeys walking along the beach and the famous brown, murky sea when I made a very bold claim: “I think we’ll win every game this month. No doubt about it”. Our performances so far this month, although not brilliant, showed promise of great things and made picking up tough wins seem easy.
I was wrong, so very wrong. Perhaps the sea air got in my system and simply clouded my judgement, or perhaps Rovers should have won but instead completely fell to pieces. Seemingly, being in a popular holiday resort allowed Fergies’ men the perfect excuse to take a day off, get out a deck chair and not even try.
When the game started, I genuinely still thought my prediction was right. Within forty seconds Rovers had taken the lead, albeit due to an own goal from Blackpool defender Taylor deflecting the ball into the back of the net following Rovers’ first attack. Blair looked great as he ran along the right wing, Marquis managed to create chances despite being up front on his own, Baudry looked strong and comfortable in his position despite possibly lacking match fitness.
Just like riding the Pepsi Max after a few suspect pints in Blackpool, everything quickly went downhill. An absolutely pathetic excuse for a tackle from Jordan Houghton just outside the box, and a quick free-kick left our defence totally unprepared and allowed Blackpool to get even. This gave a visible life to Blackpool’s game and their ‘one to watch’ Potts managed to somehow effortlessly chip the ball over Marko Marosi, putting us behind at half time. Playing the usual role of ‘onlooker’ during both first half goals was Cedric Evina; though he did seem to take a knock just before the free kick. Nobody will ever know wether it was the ongoing effect of the knock that made his movement so static or his ongoing determination to prove he’s shit at defending.
In the second half, Blackpool started things off the way Rovers did in the first half, scoring a goal in the 47th and 48th minutes. It is impossible to tell why Rovers totally fell apart in such a horrific, disappointing and downright depressing fashion. It was one of them games where passing the ball to your own players suddenly became a foreign concept, defending seemed like the most challenging task our back line had ever seen and the Blackpool side kicked lumps out of us across the park – much to the delight of the disinterested referee it seemed.
If any fans in that away end thought things couldn’t get any worse by this point, they were sadly mistaken when one of our most impressive players this season so far, Marko Marosi, was taken off due to what looked like a very serious injury to his back or ribs and couldn’t even stand up straight as the physio helped him off the pitch. Ross Etheridge, who was obviously delighted, didn’t even look at his fellow goalkeeper as he reclaimed his place in the net.
Rovers began to pick up pace during the latter part of the second half. When Tommy Rowe scored his first penalty (and the 2nd of a depressing 6th taken by Rovers players this season), its safe to say the Rovers fans were shocked. Chants about winning 5-4 echoed around the almost empty stadium and the disbelief that we’d actually netted a spot kick on this dismal day was evident on the faces of many…
This didn’t last long when he missed his second penalty of the game, cementing defeat and ruining what could have been a lovely day out.
- Ross Etheridge: Ross has been desperate to get back into the Rovers side since he was replaced by Marosi in the EFL Cup game against Nottingham Forest. Marosi has since been an exceptional goalkeeper, making Etheridge’s first team hopes seem very slim. He must be delighted at the opportunity to once again prove himself to Fergie.
- Andy Williams: I miss him. I miss his work ethic, I miss his constant threat in front of goal, I miss his slightly poor attitude when he flails his arms about or rests them on his hips, I miss how bloody brilliant we play when he’s in the side. Please have a speedy recovery Andy, we love you.
- The trouble before half time: I disagree with fighting at football games full stop, but at least this confrontation between two Rovers fans provided some actual entertainment and excitement that was very much lacking throughout. It was like watching WWE honestly. At least it meant that certain supporters were lucky enough to miss the rest of this diabolical performance.
- Marko Marosi: I’m absolutely gutted that he’s gotten injured, especially considering the progress he’s made so far this season. In addition to this, conceding four sloppy goals allows Etheridge to further stake his claim in the first team.
- Cedric Evina: It was like he was completely non-existent in defence today. Even more so than usual. I don’t even hate Evina, at times I really value his attacking play, and with the living nightmare of ATS still fresh in my mind, we should be thankful that he is playing over him. However it baffles me that Tyler Garratt hasn’t even had a look-in when it comes to making the first team instead, given the blatant weak-spot being exposed time and time again.
- Paul Keegan: The minute we went 1-0 up, I shouted “get Keegan on” and I meant it. We needed his solidity to hang on to the win we had attained, in the way SOD used to with the lovely Mark Wilson. If he can’t get a game in fixtures like this where we desperately require solidity in midfield to support a sloppy defence, when will we ever see my favourite Irishman return again?
Far from a comfortable afternoon for Rovers, but Tommy Rowe’s deft finish makes it three wins in a row…
Fergie’s side maintained the division’s best home record with another win, giving us clear daylight above the Play Off places now. Leaders Plymouth are also now within touching distance after the 1-0 win, but it wasn’t plain sailing for the home side at the Keepmoat this time out.
Visitors Colchester made things very difficult indeed, stopping our usual free-flowing passing game with excellent pressing in the middle of the park. As a result of this, we struggled to carve out many clear opportunities, with only Rowe’s strike and a John Marquis effort cleared off the line really causing any real danger to Sam Walker’s goal.
Whilst we failed to get going for 90 minutes, Colchester found no way past Rovers’ shot-stopper Mark Marosi, growing into his role as #1 keeper with every game, who pulled off a string of fine saves to earn a deserved clean sheet and almost single-handedly win the three points. John McGreal’s side also saw one or two good chances fly past the post, and on another day could easily have come away with the win themselves.
Liam Mandeville once again stepped in up front, this time for the injured Andy Williams, but struggled to match his encouraging performance against Barnet and faded from the game. However, it was strike partner Marquis who squandered the chance to kill the game off after running clean through in the second half, only to take too long rounding the keeper and seeing his low effort cleared off the line by Richard Brindley.
Three wins in a row means we should be pretty pleased to be sat aloft in 2nd in League Two, but the struggles of the past two games show we must sharpen up and get back to our usual rhythm is we want to maintain this fine early season form.
Marko Marosi – The clear Man of the Match, Marosi showed that it can be as important having a top class keeper to win you games as it is a prolific striker. A succession of excellent saves kept Rovers ahead as Colchester threatened time after time, this was perhaps his finest showing to date.
Tommy Rowe – Despite being brought off early due to an injury, Rowe showed the composed quality needed to score just before half time with a cool finish over Sam Walker to win us the game, said quality further emphasised by John Marquis’ failure to do the same in the second half.
Mathieu Baudry – No one is pushing for a start more than the Frenchman now after another assured performance from the substitutes bench. Baudry looks calm, strong and skilled with the ball at his feet, and may well get his full league debut at Blackpool next Saturday.
Cedric Evina – The left back is going more into his shell every week, and will not want to remember his performance in this one. Simple mistakes littered his game here, and he failed to contribute enough at either end to really justify keeping his place ahead of Tyler Garratt.
Liam Mandeville – We should not expect too much too soon from the teenager, but this wasn’t the kind of performance we know we can see from Mandeville. He deserved the chance to step up with Williams out for two months, but needs to have a good game next week or else questions will be asked of where Fergie goes with his attacking options after that.
Joe Wright – His form has been a pleasant surprise all season, but Wright struggled to cope with Colchester’s hustle and bustle front line and was rightly hauled off in favour of Mathieu Baudry in the second half. The Wales U21 has plenty of potential and can be a key player for years to come here but right now, Baudry looks the more ready of the two to start alongside Andy Butler.
Doncaster Rovers FC 3-2 Barnet FC: Match Report
In a win that Fergie deemed ‘the best of the season’, Rovers managed to secure victory in the dying embers of the game after facing a team with a very unusual style of play.
I don’t imagine that there were many Doncaster Rovers supporters that thought the Keepmoat would become a fortress this season. Luckily, all these doubters were very wrong with Rovers yet to lose a home fixture in the league this season. There were only two changes to the side on Saturday, with Niall Mason coming in to replace the injured Frazer Richardson and Liam Mandeville, who impressed in the EFL Trophy against Derby U23s, filling the void in the team that had been left by the suspended John Marquis. Both of these new additions performed very well, and the inclusion of a right-back that was an actual defender enabled Matty Blair to truly shine.
Rovers started very well in the first half with James Coppinger scoring an absolute worldie 15 minutes in. The record breaking captain has been hugely impressive of late and once again he hit home in spectacular fashion making him joint second in the goal scoring rankings with a whopping six goals so far this season.
Liam Mandeville also impressed creating chance after chance for the Rovers; the young player’s work ethic is something that simply cannot be faulted and he ran almost constantly for the whole game.
Then, Matty Blair happened. In my opinion, the guy has been a wonderful addition to the squad this season and he impressed again on Saturday. After an impeccable one-two with Andy Williams, he put Rovers 2-0 up just before half time.
However, with our ever consistent defending, there was always going to be a Barnet goal on the cards. It arrived courtesy of an interesting tactic which involved one of Martin Allen’s men who had a throw to rival Rory Delap. To say it was a ‘long-throw’ would be an understatement, throw-ins from anywhere on the pitch offered them an easy advantage against our oft out-jumped back four. Especially when physically big players such as John Akinde and the eventual goal scorer Dembélé were lobbed up front for every single one. It was only a matter of time until they scored from this and although it wasn’t exceptionally beautiful football (at times it was downright dull) it was certainly an effective means of turning something that is usually an insignificant part of the game into attacking play. This constant stream of arial attacking in combination with Marko Marosi’s injured hand made it inevitable we would concede.
Of course, once Barnet got a goal back Rovers began to fall to pieces yet again. It is admittedly a bit worrying that our two previous games in all competitions before Saturday had ended in last minute equalisers from the visitors to make the score line 2-2. This happened once again, with our aforementioned ‘fortress’ seemingly crumbling. This sort of mental fragility that Fergies Rovers side continually displays needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later if we are to escape the continual perils of conceding in the last minute. (Dont you dare mention his dad. Don’t do it. I know you want to!)
Barnet’s equaliser was scored by the now infamous international ‘superstar’ Luke Gambin who instead of starting for Malta and playing at Wembley against England was on the bench for most of Barnet’s game against Doncaster Rovers. Personally, I’d much rather play against the likes of James Coppinger, Tommy Rowe and Andy Butler than Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Jordan Henderson every day of the week so I don’t really have a clue what the guy was complaining so much about.
When all Rovers fans thought hope was lost, a man who has divided opinion this season ensured that attractive, patient football, rather than endless chucking the ball forward in a monotonous fashion, won the battle. Andy Williams, with his attitude/confidence problems seemingly behind him slotted home a last minute winner that i doubt anyone in the stadium thought would happen.
– Matty Blair: I think I’m slowly falling for Matty Blair this season, and when I say ‘slowly’ I obviously mean head over heel. One of the best signings of the summer, Blair was in an absolute league of his own during Saturday’s match where he scored one goal and had assists in both others. Without the added burden of having to play as a right-back, Blair can have much more control over the attacking momentum in a game. His pace is rarely matched by a defender and his crosses always seem to hit the mark. If I had my way, he’d be in the ‘winners’ section each week – but sometimes Adam writes these reports.
– James Coppinger: It seems like the Copps we knew from the days of SOD has made a return to the Keepmoat once again – and thank god for that! The guy is basically ageless and has proved wrong the doubters who claimed he was ‘too old’ and ‘past it’ at the beginning of the season. His goal against Barnet was something else entirely, perhaps one of his best, and his work ethic always has been and always will be impeccable. The guy puts some much younger players to shame.
– Andy Williams: I think Andy Williams is an absolutely incredible striker. I have given him grief this season for his lack of confidence and poor attitude in the past, which makes me even more delighted that he seems to have gotten over himself and started to net goal after goal. He is now Rovers’ top goal scorer and there’s simply no denying he deserves that accolade.
– The referee: Today’s referee was Trevor Kettle. I say no more.
– Long throw-ins: I hate them. Tommy Spurr never created goals from them when he used to take them back in the day, which fuelled the hatred. After seeing about 7000 of them on Saturday, and watching Gareth bloody Bale do the same for Wales on Sunday, I never want to see another one again.
–John Marquis: Arguably our best and hardest working player, the striker may struggle to feature in the team after the excellent performances of the front two. It doesn’t seem that fair to drop Mandeville after a performance that was faultless.
Carlisle continue to extend their unbeaten run, but should it really have been a draw
I must admit, I didn’t see Rovers being the team to end this winning streak. I was, of course, very willing to be proved wrong. It was certainly a pleasant suprise to see Richardo Calder finally starting for us instead of Frazer Richardson, especially considering the incredible impact he makes when he’s substituted on week after week. It was only a matter of time before he made it into the starting eleven. I was very shocked when I found out that Fergie didn’t use the loss against Luton as an oppertunity to mix up the back line and finally include Mattiheu Baudry. The starting line-up certainly looked promising. Was a win on the horizon?
For the duration of the first half, it certainly seemed that way. With the exception of their goal, which was scored with far too much ease for my liking as the cross took a deflection off a striker, Rovers were totally dominant. It was a very similar performance to the first twenty miniutes at Luton, with chances being created almost constantly. Coppinger was once again on form, the guy genuinely should be in the running once again for player of thr month because he is head and shoulders above everyone else in this division. Marquis was also excellent, his work ethic is something that goes unrivaled and alongside Williams (who also put a shift in on Tuesday) he cannot be stopped.
Then, an absolutely brutal, yet effective, challenge from Matty Blair (Paul Keegan, eat your heart out) totally opened up play for Doncater. Tommy Rowe and Andy Williams perfomed a little one-two outside the box before the midfielder, who was widely regarded as the signing of the Summer, hit home in the eighteenth minute – only three minutes after Carlisle took the lead.
Afterwards, Rovers were literally on fire. Calder and Blair were absolutely annihilating the visiting defenders, with nearly every single opportunity on goal coming from the right hand side of the pitch. Eventually, we took the lead when John Marquis turned a defender inside out before taking a shot just outside the penalty area to make it 2-1 just before half time.
At this point it seemed that ending the unbeaten streak was inevitable. Surely to God it was…
After the intermission, we missed our third penalty of the 2016/17 campaign when Tommy Rowe’s strike deflected embarrassingly off the bar. This destroyed any momentum we could have mustered in the second half and won’t do Rowe’s confidence any good at all.
I’m obviously not sure what Carlisle boss Keith Curle said during his team talk at half time, but it must have been something to rival the very best motivational speekers out there. Carlisle came out with a newfound sense of grit, determination and passion that made me realise why they were yet to lose. It was obvious, they wouldn’t give up without a fight. Unfortunately, it seemed that our defence didn’t possess quite so much strength with Andy Butler doing most of the work for his teammates on the back line and Marosi making stunning safe after stunning safe. It became apparrent that soon the Carlisle strike force would soon equalise.
The role substitutions played in the game for both teams was absolutely vital to how it ended. Taking off Richardo Calder totally irradicated any attacking momentum we had and that combined with Carlisle making very attacking changes meant that we were suddenly on the back foot. It was clear the Carlisle coaches knew how strong our midfield could be, and therefore totally bypassed theirs by lobbing a bunch of players up front and hoofing it up the pitch to them. Eventually, it broke and the away side equalised in the seventy-ninth minute.
– Andy Butler: Although both goals scored by Carlisle could have been easily prevented, without Butler they could have easily scored seven or eight more. I have always been a fan of him and his no-nonsense approach to the game. The classic, good old-fashioned centre half is a dying breed and one we must try our hardest to preserve. Butler is that kind of centre back, and that kind of approach to the game ensured we didn’t experience an embarrassing loss.
– Richardo Calder: I am passionate about Richardo Calder. He did very little during his appearances last season, but this year he has come into his own. Even when playing on the right, despite being left-footed, he is a proper force to be reckoned with. I have literally no clue why they subbed him off.
– Carlisle: It takes a lot of mental strength to be unbeaten in this league, and I can only applaud the Cumbrians for being able to do so.
– Anyone who takes a penalty for Doncaster Rovers: Why can’t we score penalites?! It makes no sense really that we are throwing away something that would be a guarranteed goal for any other team. This is the third player to miss a penalty this season now and I have no idea who’s going to take the next one. It is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed by the coaching staff sooner rather than later.
– Harry Middleton: Of all the players who could be brought on to make an impact, or to solidify the defence, Harry Middleton isn’t someone who springs to mind for me. I like the guy a lot, but for me he doesn’t change the game enough to be brought on in games like that.
– Joe Wright and Cedric Evina: Some of the defending during the second half was almost non-existent today, especially from Wright and Evina. Matty Blair isn’t included in this section because he created an immense amount of attacking play and is playing suprisingly well for someone who is totally out of postio, keeps improving and didn’t actually make that many mistakes – unlike the other two who are defenders by trade and really shouldn’t be letting cross after cross go past them.
Luton Town 3 – 1 Doncaster Rovers: Match report by Lizzie Robinson
The game against Luton was bound to be our first real test of the season, unfortunately we failed it miserably…
Fresh off the back of two excellent victories over Morecambe and Newport, Rovers seemed to be indestructible. The only change Darren Ferguson made to the side was bringing in newly fit right back Frazer Richardson for Harry Middleton. This allowed Matty Blair to take a more attacking role in the side, so he was no longer playing out of position.
The Rovers side started in impeccable fashion. After five minutes we genuinely could have been 3-0 up, with both Williams and Marquis failing to put away absolute sitters and a goal disallowed for being offside. Matty Blair playing on the right hand side was absolutely key, with the width he was providing allowing us to go past the diamond in Luton’s midfield with ease, creating chance after chance.
So far this season, Doncaster Rovers have scored in every single competitive game and this hasn’t changed despite our loss. Joint top goal scorer James Coppinger slotted in his 5th goal of the season, putting the visiting side deservedly in front. After this goal, however, everything changed.
During the goalmouth scramble before Coppinger scored, Luton’s captain Scott Cuthbert got seriously injured in the six-yard box. The huge amount of time taken to treat and remove the centre back from the field completely destroyed all momentum Rovers had, and was certainly the turning point of the game.
Luton began to go on the attack, fuelled by their captain’s horrible looking injury and determined to make up for his absence. Their first shot on target all game went in due to some sloppy defending and some very evident mental fragility that had arisen after the considerable break in play. Luton’s second goal was very similar, with Marriott seamlessly sliding the ball under Marko Marosi, securing a lead before the break.
Rovers came out from half time with very little improvement. The width that helped us to create chance after chance in the first twenty minutes had totally disappeared along with any momentum we’d previously had. The midfield line-up of Rowe, Haughton and later Middleton, when he was substituted on for a presumably injured Richardson, failed to create anything in the middle of the park either, with Copps beginning to disappear into nothingness. It felt like it was only a matter of time until Luton scored a third and eventually they did.
There has been some debate as to whether Joe Wright’s challenge was actually inside the box or not, it was so close that it’s basically impossible to tell. Either way, it was the final nail in the coffin and cemented defeat to the Hatters when McGeehan’s penalty hit the roof of the net in spectacular fashion.
- Luton Town FC – After two successive defeats to teams lower than them in the league, Luton managed to bounce back and perform brilliantly to defeat us, capitalising on our sudden lack of momentum after the break in play.
- James Coppinger – The guy just keeps on scoring, although his performance was far from his best today.
- The travelling fans – Despite our players failing to turn up today, the Rovers fans did in droves. A 260 mile round trip takes a huge amount of commitment, which should really be applauded considering the sheer numbers that made it to the game and had to endure such a frustrating loss.
- The Rovers defence – I certainly hoped that our back four, which has been pretty solid as of late, would make Luton’s front two Hylton and Marriott look more like a Travelodge and a Ibis Budget, but this was definitely not the case. The first two goals were sloppily conceded and it was disappointing to see a back four that was so strong a week ago, look so out of their depth. Even the addition of newly fit Baudry didn’t help matters in the way most people expected.
- Tommy Rowe – It pains me to say this, but I kept forgetting the signing of the Summer was on the pitch. He didn’t create chances the way he usually does and didn’t impress at all. One can only hope that this is merely a blip and his performances will go back to normal sooner rather than later.
- Darren Ferguson – I’m NOT saying this result was Fergie’s fault. Far from it. I’m very much in support of the Scotsman at the helm of the team. Our form under him so far this season has been pretty spectacular and the way we played in the first twenty minutes of the game showcased this yet again. However, there is no denying that he has a huge task on his hands to ensure we bounce back against an undefeated Carlisle on Tuesday and get this run of form back on track sooner rather than later.
The DRSG sends special thanks to Lizzie Robinson for this report and Adam Stubbings who wrote the preview. The DRSG website is an open platform not afraid to publish the views of any Rovers fan however extreme. If you want your content to be made available to our audience then please do not hesitate to contact us!
Adam Stubbings was at the Keepmoat yesterday to report for the DRSG as Rovers welcomed Newport County:
Our good run continues as Coppinger steals the show again…
- It is hard not to turn your eye to the record-breaker every time Rovers step out onto the pitch at the moment. This remarkable start to the season shows no sign of slowing down for James Coppinger, and he marked another big occasion with yet another Man of the Match display.
- Since switching to the 4-1-3-2 formation, Coppinger has been the beating heart of Darren Ferguson’s fluid attacking verve. The 35-year-old again asserted his superior quality on opponents Newport, capping it off with a 17th minute direct free kick harking back to glory days of the past.
- Rovers kept up their early season style by dominating possession in the first half, but a rather disjointed showing meant it remained only 1-0 at the break. The visitors could have found a way back into the game most notably when Jon Parkin faced an open goal after a defensive error only to scuff well wide under little pressure.
- Goalkeeper Marko Marosi took a big knock early on but recovered to put in a superb display, showing immediately that he was unafraid to get stuck back in by rushing out to claim a couple of 50/50 challenges in his area against Newport forwards.
- Fergie’s boys may not have improved too much in the second half but they got the job done, Andy Williams atoning for an earlier miss by making the points secure just before the hour mark. Williams finished smartly for his fifth goal of the season after being teed up by Tommy Rowe after the midfielder had showed great tenacity to chase down a defensive clearance.
- Ryan Jackson replaced the ineffectual Parkin before the former Rovers forward could get himself a second booking for persistent fouling, adding much needed pace to the Newport front line that caused us some problems but the back line held firm and secured a clean sheet.
- Marosi must be credited with a huge influence on that outcome too, springing to two excellent diving saves in the second half to keep the away side out. The young Slovakian seems to be improving game on game and has made the #1 shirt his own – today has to go down as one of his best performances to date.
- Centre forward John Marquis ran Coppinger close for the MOTM award with a display a bullish greyhound would be proud of. Marquis was everywhere again, demonstrated excellent hold up play and should have won Rovers at least one penalty in the second half.
James Coppinger – The club legend put his skilful stamp on this match early on, notching a superb free kick that has to go down among his finest strikes for Rovers. With another award handed to him before kick-off, Copps showed again that he is the man for the big occasion.
Marko Marosi – After taking a knock that nearly ended his day early, Marosi went on to earn a well-deserved clean sheet making several good saves in both halves, and also showed mental fortitude by getting stuck in to challenges despite the injury.
Rovers fans – Credit has to go to all involved in pulling off the confetti display after 26 minutes to pay tribute to James Coppinger. The array of colours exploding out of the Black Bank is another triumph for the upstart fan movement since its introduction last year.
Jon Parkin – ‘The Beast’ he may be, but on his return to the Keepmoat it was a day to forget for the veteran striker. He missed an absolute sitter in the first half, earned a deserved booking and was then hauled off just past the hour mark after an impotent display.
David Webb – The referee had a pretty decent game for 65 minutes or so, but after his linesman let him down on a blatant penalty call on John Marquis, the official then rushed forth to brandish a yellow card when Marquis was clipped in the box again, leading to an alarming spell in which Newport’s players tried in vain to wind the striker up again. Instead all they got for it was a succession of yellow cards as Marquis kept his cool and avoided serious injury.
The DRSG sends special thanks to Adam Stubbings for this report and Lizzie Robinson who wrote the preview. The DRSG website is an open platform not afraid to publish the views of any Rovers fan however extreme. If you want your content to be made available to our audience then please do not hesitate to contact us!
Rovers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again…
- If I was going to summarise the entirety of the game against Crewe in one word I’d go with ‘frustrating’. However, Rovers’ performance was anything but woeful. At times, it was absolutely brilliant which made the result as disappointing as it could get. Especially considering Rovers basically dominated play for 90 minutes. It was frustrating because we were so damn good and threw it all away.
- Having said that, Rovers didn’t get off to the greatest start, it was a bit slow and lacklustre at times. We managed to have most of the possession, but struggled to really create anything. Once we got into the swing of things however, we were suddenly unplayable but seemed unable to pose any real threat of scoring.
- The first time Crewe’s strikers got into our half, they hit the back of the net. It was very disappointing that Marosi didn’t manage to save the ball, especially considering the form he has been on as of late and how impressive most of his saves are.
- Once we had conceded, we suddenly began to fully immerse ourselves in the game. Rovers’ latest signing, Frazer Richardson, was excellent in providing much needed width to the game, and he worked very well alongside Matty Blair on the right hand side of the pitch. Houghton, Coppinger and Rowe were also essential in creating chances from the remaining areas of the field.
- Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to matter how many chances were created because not one player managed to capitalise on them. Williams and Marquis missed sitter after sitter, a particular highlight being where Marquis ran half the length of the pitch before sending a beautiful cross to Williams who somehow managed to miss a goal that seemed to be set up perfectly, and was totally unmissable. The constant missing of chances from both strikers caused Rovers fans to wonder how we were ever going to equalise if we were unable to score whilst being so dominant.
- During the second half, Ferguson made one of his most bizarre double substitutions yet when he took off Wright and Richardson and replaced them with Middleton and Calder. This left Rovers with one real centre back in Andy Butler and forced Evina and Haughton to join him in the back three, which was as odd as it sounds.
- Middleton didn’t seem to make any impact during the game, but Calder was something else entirely. The guy was unplayable, beating man after man. I was truly impressed with his performance, which was on another level in comparison to his many games for us last season.
- Eventually, we equalised. Personally, I believe that the referee (who was diabolical throughout the game) began to feel sympathy for us when we missed every single attempt on goal and simply awarded the penalty because we deserved it after trying so hard. Tommy Rowe effortlessly made Rovers level at long last and the fans celebrated like it was a winning goal, mainly because most presumed we’d just miss it given our terrible luck with penalties this season.
- Despite the substitutions helping to improve our chances of scoring, the minute Crewe began to attack we totally fell apart at the back, resulting in a late winner. This was entirely down to our sudden lack of defenders and left Rovers fans disappointed. Despite the excellent attacking performance, we ended up with a loss we didn’t deserve.
Frazer Richardson: First impressions are very important in football, and he nailed his. Although he was subbed off, presumably due to fatigue after a lack of game time, he defended well and wasn’t afraid to go forward and create chances.
Ricardo Calder: I’ve already sang the Villa loanee’s praises plenty in this report, but that still doesn’t do his performance justice. He must be getting closer to a place in the starting eleven.
Tommy Rowe: Basically because he was the only player who managed to score.
Cedric Evina: Crewe seems to be a ground that never favours the French defender, who seemed nervous despite an excellent spell so far this season. Last season he made a shambolic error that was a huge factor contributing towards our relegation, and it definitely hindered his performance on Saturday. The Crewe management noticed this and swapped the pacy Kiwomya to the right wing to fully expose his weaknesses, and boy did he run rings around him.
The front two: Both of them failed to score on numerous occasions, despite being fed constant chances. Both of them have scored a decent number of goals this season so far, and they need to ensure that they don’t get out of the goalscoring habit.
The referee: Despite him being a very experienced premier league referee, he was unbelievably biased towards Crewe (if you don’t take the sympathy penalty into account). The situation with Marquis’ head injury in the first half exemplified this, where he awarded the striker with a booking for re-entering the pitch after receiving treatment – only to realise that he had already been allowed back on by the fourth official.
Unlike the embarrassing 337 who couldn’t help themselves and don’t have the capacity understand the nature and relevance of a boycott, we didn’t attend. Because of this, and in tribute to all of our shit cunt supporters the match report will instead feature a list of our top 10 worst chants ever heard at rovers:
In no particular order heres our cringe-worthiest verses ever sung on the terraces:
1.) We’re proud of you,
we’re proud of you,
we’re proud of you,
(Sung after losing or being knocked out of tournaments)
2.) We don’t care about Rotherham,
we don’t care about Leeds,
all we care about,
3.) O’Driscoll says,
we’re bouncing round the ground,
bouncing round the ground,
bouncing round the ground.
(He never, ever said that. Nor condoned that behaviour i’d imagine)
4.) Easy, Easy, Easy, Easy.
(Sung after scoring, courtesy of the worst type of LAD culture)
5.) I am a Yorkshire man,
I am a Rovers fan,
Don’t know what i want but i know how to get it,
*muffled misplaced lyric*
Cos iiiii wanna beeeee,
(To the tune of Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols)
6.) Woke up this morning feeling fine,
got Donny Rovers on my mind,
we play football the way, the way it should
Something tells me we’re into something good
(To the tune of I’m into something good by Herman’s Hermits)
7.) Who needs Mourinho,
We’ve got Dave Pe-enney
8.) Fergie had a dream,
To build a football team,
He had no players so he had to sign them on loan,
We play from the back,
With Marquis in attack,
We’re Donny Rovers,
We’re on our way back,
De, de,, de, de, de, de…
9.) Is this the way to hammer Villa,
Every night I’ve been hugging my pillow,
Dreaming dreams of Donny Rovers,
And the goals they score for me,
We showed you how to hammer Villa,
O’Leary’s weeping like a willow,
Cyring over ref’s decisions,
And the Rovers’ victory,
Sha la la la la la la la – Rovers.
(Tin pot as fuck)
10.) Billy Billy Whitehouse,
Is better than Ronaldo,
Cos we saaaaid so,
Cos we saaaaaid so.
(To the tune of Cum on Feel the Noise by Quiet Riot. It literally doesn’t get any worse than this)
Style and finesse wins out over brute force and thuggery as Rovers see off Yeovil comfortably on a rainy afternoon at Lakeside…
Andy Williams netted a richly deserved hat trick in the 4-1 win, striking home before half the crowd had reached their seats to give us a first minute lead. This was exactly what our talismanic striker needed – a confidence boost that he took on throughout the rest of the afternoon in a perfect performance.
If not for those two late goals, the Man of the Match award had to be heading to the captain again. James Coppinger pulled the strings across the attacking line all game, demonstrating his undoubted class and netting a crisp finish to take us two up before teeing up Williams for the third to put the game to bed.
Our visitors Yeovil Town got exactly what they deserved, the game unravelling after a 76th minute red card for Bevis Mugabi. The Glovers’ came to smash us off the park and it worked for a time, but in the end our superior footballing ability won out and we were able to comfortably see out the game against ten men.
Despite the scoreline, things were not plain sailing. Tom Eaves squandered two excellent chances before a moment of madness from emergency right back Matty Blair cost Marko Marosi a deserved clean sheet, and within minutes of Ryan Hedges’ halving the deficit from Blair’s mistimed back header, débutant sub Izale McLeod fired wide when he should’ve done a lot better.
On top of Yeovil’s brutish tactics, Rovers also had to contend with atrocious officiating from both the referee and his assistants, Martin Salisbury unable to keep a lid on the tension and proving utterly incapable of applying any kind of consistency to his decisions. Coppinger and John Marquis in particular were nobbled again and again without Salisbury batting an eyelash, whilst his assistants failed to grasp the basic rules of offside and the ball going out of play.
Two players ended the day in hospital, including Mitchell Lund who went off with a potentially serious rib injury. It is to the team’s credit that we have now won three on the trot and sit third in the table despite a swathe of injuries, and reinforcements may need to be brought in ahead of Wednesday’s loan deadline.
One thing we have cracked over the summer is set pieces. The opener came from another well worked Coppinger corner, and Rovers always looked threatening from the dead ball. In addition, crosses provided the assist on all three of the other goals, proving that creating chances and exploiting our width to good effect is no longer a problem.
Andy Williams: The ultimate confidence man turned in a flawless performance, showing exactly why he is our first choice striker with a well taken hat trick. On top of that, he worked hard all day harrying the Yeovil defence, scaring the keeper and always making himself available to carve out a chance at goal.
James Coppinger: Another vintage Copps display, the puppet master in the middle of the park. He got on the scoresheet, made an assist and his set piece delivery was as good as it’s ever been too. He also chased down every ball and wasn’t afraid to get into the thick of it against a set of brutes, even earning a slightly unjust yellow card for a scuffle in the second half.
Darren Ferguson: Stuck to his guns and played football the right way, ultimately paying dividends against easily one of the most physical sides ever to come to the Keepmoat. Fergie should be commended for getting us on this winning run in the face of so many setbacks, and it’s nice to see a manager always on the edge of his technical area shouting instructions to his players.
Bevis Mugabi: The young centre back summed up his team’s performance when he was sent off for a second bookable offence. Mugabi favoured sheer brutality in his dealings with our strikers all afternoon, and it’s a shame to see a team who once played proper football kicking superior sides off the park in back end of League Two.
Martin Salisbury: The referee was nothing short of a disgrace, and if he’s officiating in the EFL next weekend then there is no hope. He got so many decisions wrong, alongside his hapless assistants, and a red card was not at all a surprise to see owing to Salisbury’s complete and total inability to control the game.
Joe Wright: One man whose performance stood out for the wrong reasons in Rovers colours was centre back Wright. The youngster is still learning his craft but had a bad afternoon here, struggling to clear simple balls away, being physically outmatched constantly despite his height and getting caught chasing shadows far too often.