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01/01/03 Middlesboro (H)


laughatthedingles
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Before the game I was apprehensive, despite a woeful away record, Boro are looking a decent side this season, and with a recent win over Manure under their belts, their confidence would have been sky high, however the phone rang at about 12:45, it was Gerald Jackson, I had won 15 quid’s worth of Rovers vouchers in the Radio Rovers competition, it was going to be a good day after all!

My mind quickly changed as I struggled to remain awake during yet another dull :sleep: (I’m being kind) first half home performance, I was beginning to think that maybe this was destined for a late winner from Boro, however being the eternal optimist I decided it was still going to be our day, and with Gillespie on to give us some much needed width and someone to finally exploit the awful Queudrue, things were on the up.

Once Flitcroft lunged successfully into his first crunching tackle of the game the troops fired up, with Rovers taking the game to the visitors. It did however take 8 or so minutes of the second half for us to muster our first real chance but Cole's header was weak. 5 minutes later and a Gillespie run and early centre found Cole who somehow flicked the ball over the Boro defence and found Yorke who fired home, 1-0 and Rovers on top.

Next came the cruellest moment of the game and possibly the season so far, the impressive McEveley went on a run gave the ball wide to Thompson who layed the ball back on the edge of the box for McEveley to shoot, that he did with a thunderous strike which left the Blackburn End crossbar shaking for minutes, the perfect ending to a perfect performance was that close!

In fact the only reward for a magnificent performance was cramp, which eventually forced the youngster to be replaced by Andy Todd. As Rovers fans we will feel that we should have had maximum points from the Christmas period, however 8 points from 12 considering we played Boro, West Ham and Manure at home and Liverpool Away isn't a bad return at all.

FRIEDEL (7):                              Nothing much to do, but you just feel safe in the knowledge he's there if needed.                  

NEILL (7):                                      Best game he's had for a while, and because he didn't have anyone up against him he heaped the pressure on Queudrue.  

McEVELEY (9):                               We really do look to have unearthed a real gem, however the cramp shows he may not be quite ready for what some people are calling for off him.

TAYLOR (7):                                    Back to his assured self.

JOHANSSON (7):                              Hopefully proved to his critics that he has a big future ahead of him when played in his rightful position.

DANNS (6):                                      Struggled to get to grips playing out of position, hopefully will not of dented his confidence.

THOMPSON (7):                                          It's not quite coming off for Thommo at the moment but his commitment is still their as always.

FLITCROFT (8):                                Inspired the team to victory as they looked without a leader in the first half.

TUGAY (7):                                      Exploited the gaps later on, but still loses possession at a regular rate.

MOTM COLE (9):                                        Was run close by McEveley for the man of the match award, however he shaded it for his hard work and never say die attitude.

YORKE (8):                                      Is starting to link up with Coley and are looking better and better together, and even when it may not be their day are both giving 110%.

SUBS:

GILLESPIE (8):                                 Made the telling difference.

TODD                                           Did nothing wrong.

SUBS NOT USED:

OSTENSTAD, DUNN, KELLY.

                                                                             :rover:

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