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tonyoz last won the day on October 20 2009

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  1. Lenihan named in Skybet team of the week. https://www.rovers.co.uk/news/2021/november/30/lenihan-named-in-the-sky-bet-championship-s-team-of-the-week-/
  2. You’re right……time plays tricks when you’re old! But it was midnight kick-off here!
  3. Errrrrrr! I got night match in my head….I’ll see if I can find out!
  4. It was a cracker……..3-0 up and cruising…..that smug happy feeling. Then Crouch comes on and creates mayhem. 3-2 and they get a penalty! Lucky escape. Danny Graham at his most effective that night.
  5. Just for fun…….here is an earlier effort for a Stoke away day……….some may remember it as the Peter Crouch show! Oh! And look out for that man Lenihan! Posted September 24, 2018 A great team performance. Sure, there will be individual mistakes but it’s great to see the rest of the team put their bodies on the line to relieve the pressure! An assessment of player performance v Stoke Each player was judged on the following criteria: Instance of excellent play * Instance of decent/good play * Instance of disappointing/poor play * Instance of terrible play * E&OE Ratings Raya * ** **** * Nyambe * ******** ***** * Lenihan *** ****************** ****** * Williams ***************** ** Bell ******** ***** * Smallwood * ******* ** Evans *** ******** ** Bennett ** ************** * Reed(78) * ******* ** Dack(83) ** ************ *** * Graham(83) ***** ************** ** Rothwell(78) ** * Brereton(83) * * Armstrong(83) * * Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings above) 6. Bennett is filling in at left back but his short pass puts Bell under pressure. He gets the ball back and retreats dangerously into the box. His attempted clearance is poor and Stoke knock the ball back into the box towards Ince but Lenihan saves the day with a great interception. 13. Ince turns Bell inside out in the box and crosses dangerously. Fortunately Allen couldn’t react quickly enough and pushes the ball past the post. Goal kick and a real let-off! 21. Some impressively persistent play by Nyambe when twice he keeps the ball in play and keeps the attack alive…..but Dack is closed down. 22. Unnecessary bobbling back pass from Smallwood puts Raya under a bit of pressure and he slices the ball into the crowd. 26. Excellent multi-player move! Bell takes the throw, Dack nutmegs a Stoke man, nice interaction between Smallwood and Bennett and the ball is pumped into the corner for Graham. Graham does brilliantly to hold off his man and lay off to Bell, Bennett and Reed are involved again and finally Smallwood pushes the ball into the box. It’s deflected but Dack is on it, he holds off the defender and sweeps the ball into the net off the right post! 30. Outrageous but wonderful dummy by Graham. Nice, one-touch football by everyone! 33. Noticeable that right now…..everyone is chasing everything! 33. Also interesting here; one sloppy pass can lead to danger! Smallwood’s pass to Nyambe is just too short, he can’t control it, Reed tries to help but Diouf sprints away from them both. It looks dangerous but Evans and Reed and Nyambe all get back to crowd the Stoke man out. Real teamwork! The ball still comes back into the Rovers box, however, but guess who’s there to head away? Danny Graham! He then sprints out to slide tackle the ball into touch. Even TM is applauding! 35. Nyambe fails to prevent the cross, Lenihan’s header is weak, Evans manages to prod the ball away, the ball comes back though. Evans wins the ball well but his pass puts Graham under pressure. He tries a dragback on the edge of the box and loses the ball! Panic time! Reed does well to harass the Stoke man out of the box but back they come. This time Williams does the clean-up. Phew! 37. Stoke corner………….the ball is headed away by Graham but it sits up nicely for the Stoke man. Evans and Nyambe hurl their bodies into harm’s way and Evans blocks the shot! Bennett flies after the rebound and Stoke are forced back to the keeper. Great to see the commitment! 42. At the moment, Evans is very noticeable because of his constant harrying. 43. Bennett launches the perfect, long ball downfield, Graham springs the offside trap and he’s away. Beautiful, professional, one on one finish; sweeping the ball into the net. What a game Danny’s having! 45. Graham shows great control as he lays off a long free kick to Bell. Williams hits a long ball downfield, Bennett controls on his chest then slides the sweetest of balls into the box for Dack. Dack squares the ball to Reed who manages to move his feet fast enough to put the ball in the net! Commentator’s quote “Surely that puts this game to bed!” Stoke fans’ boos echo round the ground. 49. Bennett is dispossessed and the cross comes in. Great positioning by Lenihan to head behind for a corner. Goal-saving effort. 51. Stoke corner. Raya comes but makes minimal contact. Cleaned up by Lenihan again. 52. Fantastic commitment under pressure from Lenihan on the edge of the box as he hurls his head at a dangerous, incoming ball. The ref calls it a foul!!! Speechless! The free kick is punched away by Raya but it doesn’t leave the box and needs Evans and Lenihan yet again to throw their bodies at the incoming shot. 54. Dack sticks in a foot to break up an attack. Graham carries the ball into Stoke’s half and lays an exquisite ball through to Dack in the D. His shot is saved and his follow-up hits the post. He’s gotta get one of those! Stoke swarm downfield, Bell doesn’t cover his man and the cross ping-pongs around. Williams and Bennett manage to frustrate the attack. 59. 37 year old, 6’7” Crouch on! He has immediate impact heading down the first corner. Dack miskicks, Williams miskicks, then Dack falls over and the ball is fired over the bar! Blind panic! 61. Bell is done on his inside again and Smallwood has to hurl himself forward to block the shot. 63. Good collect by Raya as Allen crosses into the box. 69. Berahino drops his shoulder and foxes Bell completely. More ping-pong until Smallwood smashes the ball downfield. 72. Olés from the Rovers fans! 74. For goodness sake! Another pointless overhit free kick from Raya straight to the Stoke goalie. 75. Commentators are talking about the stream of Stoke fans leaving the ground. Am I imagining it……or are the Rovers players starting to look a bit complacent? 78. A long ball into the box, Crouch beats Nyambe and heads down, Lenihan misses it, Berahino beats Williams to the ball and bundles it into the net. Raya is totally wrong-footed. 79. A lovely ball into the Rovers box, floats over Lenihan, Williams tries to cover by throwing himself at the ball but Berahino crosses, Bell sticks out a leg but Ince scores. Flipping heck! Share the blame between that lot. Cool heads needed! 81. Etobo skins Nyambe and gets to the line in the box. His cross is met by Crouch’s head 3m out. The ball hits Raya’s chest but I don’t think he knew much about it. Evans clears off the line and Lenihan boots it clear!! At least, that’s my take on it. I only have one camera angle! The stadium is on fire! Dack is injured. Pandemonium! 87. Shawcross is winning every header since Graham went off! 89. Long ball into the Rovers box, Lenihan pushes over Berahino. PENALTY!! Berahino smashes the ball against the crossbar!!!!!!!!!! As a sidenote…….. from the clearance, Brereton has the chance to do a Graham and relieve pressure but instead he falls over! 91. Stoke corner…..Raya comes for it and catches………..Worth a * at this stage! 94. Armstrong plays a nice ball out of defence to Rothwell………………Rovers have 2 on 1. Brereton makes his run but Rothwell’s ball is terrible and Stoke have the ball. 96. Final whistle but I can’t see any huge beaming smiles…………….I think it’s just sheer relief!
  6. That is a cracking statistic! He’s a leader alright…I also think he’s learnt a lot from Ayala. He does have a tendency to want to get involved with everything though so sometimes gets drawn out….but that too can often end up being positive as he rushes in to clean up up other people’s problems. Of course, when it doesn’t work, it’s not so good!
  7. Thanks Herbie, I do try to be objective, of course, but we all have our flaws! When I started doing this I didn’t use numbers, only the coloured stars. Then I thought I would experiment and try to be more quantitative by creating a scale where positive and negative contributions could be measured against each other. I mean I tried to make a +4 event as good as the -4 event is bad! For those interested I use the following guidelines to make my decisions as objective as possible: +4. Assist or creates excellent goal chance, wins penalty…………..goal saving block or tackle -4. Misses open goal or penalty………….concedes penalty or clear scoring opportunity It can never be perfect but, over a full game, I hope it gives a fair reflection of a player’s overall contribution to the match.
  8. Yes, the system gives only an indication of the contributions, positive or negative of each player. BBD can score a couple of goals and do little else of merit all game……so his overall score will be lower than you might expect. It’s still a fair reflection of his overall contribution………. so it’s not the whole story. I try to comment on all incidents of significance in the game. You can see above that Travis had a mixed bag. He didn’t feature in many serious attacks or critical defensive efforts.
  9. Thanks for that Tyrone. You know it surprises me that Lenihan gets a fair bit of stick on the boards but the number of incidents he’s involved in is always impressive. Because he’s regularly scoring high on my system I know I’ve consciously been extra strict when allocating his marks in recent games. Buckley had a good game too, he’s starting to live up to his potential. Rothwell did some excellent things but his overall score reflects the fact that he also does quite a few sloppy things too. Pickering and van Hecke were very quiet.
  10. PLAYER WATCH v Stoke City Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Pleasing/good play +1 Decent play 0 Routine stuff -1 Sloppy play -2 Disappointing/poor play -3 Very poor play -4 Terrible play -5 Own goal The ratings for each player were then combined to produce a measure of the players overall contribution to the match. Ratings Key incidents per player = coloured stars Overall contribution = number Kaminski (55) ******* * 10 Nyambe ************** *** 14 Lenihan ***************************** ****** 33 Wharton ********************* ** 29 van Hecke ********* *** 11 Pickering ******* **** 6 Travis **************** ********** 8 Buckley ******************* ***** 24 Rothwell (72) ********** ***** 14 Khadra (67) ******* ** 12 Diaz ********** ******* 6 Pears (55) ** * 4 Dolan (67) ** **** -2 Davenport (72) ** 3 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) 04 There’s not a lot happening so far. Kaminski just put the goal-kick straight out! It must be cold over there as Kaminski’s got his red longjohns on! 06 Vrancic receives the ball in midfield and leaves Travis in his wake. Eventually a cross comes in from the Stoke right wing and Kaminski takes responsibility. He gets a glove on it at the far post to push it well clear as a Stoke man charged in. He receives congratulations from a couple of teammates. 07 A good, strong, cheer-raising challenge from Lenihan sees the ball fly downfield at high speed. 08 Good, high pressing from Rovers. Neat back-flick into our half from Stoke but Travis stops that nonsense by pulling Brown back by his shirt! Lucky not to get a yellow card for that. Fortunately they stuff up the free-kick by fouling Diaz when it looked dangerous. 10 Wharton puts through a glorious length of the field pass into the inside left channel for Diaz to chase. The keeper comes out to meet him and from 20m Diaz tries to bend the ball round him with the outside of his right foot. Sadly it bends too much, missing the right post by a metre or so. A good run but, on his current form, a slightly disappointing finish. 11 More good pressing from Rovers and Khadra forces Stoke to concede a throw-in. 12 Nice distribution from van Hecke finds Buckley on halfway. He goes on a good run and squares the ball to Rothwell who tries a shot from 25m. It’s a poor effort and way off-target. 13 More good pressing, this time Buckley forces the hurried clearance. 15 Travis wins the ball in midfield and Buckley takes it up gliding past the Stoke man with ease. Diaz is in acres of space to the left but Buckley’s pass is poor and intercepted. Rothwell wins the ball in midfield and Travis takes it on before squaring to Diaz just outside the box. He nutmegs the defender who then crashes into him and both fall to the floor. No foul but the commentators are incredulous, Mowbray appeals with arms widespread. 17 Nyambe gives the ball away and Stoke attack. They make their way into the box and Lenihan gets his foot in, allowing Travis to boot clear. Dangerous….all stemming from that sloppy Nyambe pass. Lovely long pass by van Hecke and one of the Stoke defenders slips allowing Khadra to take the ball. He gets Nyambe involved on the right wing but the move fizzles out and Stoke clear. 18 Rothwell drives forward from our own half and from 30m slides the perfect ball for Khadra to chase into the box. He tries to lob the ball to the far post where Nyambe is waiting but a defender just gets the slightest of touches to put the full-back off and the ball bounces harmlessly off the top of Nyambe’s head! 20 Lenihan is winning a lot of aerial challenges. Here goes another one! 22 A long ball comes into the box and a back-pedalling Lenihan heads out but only to a Stoke player. Nyambe, Wharton and Travis are all trying to kick the ball out of the D but the ball refuses to leave! Finally, it rolls back to Vrancic who shoots but he doesn’t catch it cleanly and Kaminski saves comfortably. 23 Another nice long pass from van Hecke finds Diaz on the left wing. He controls well and lays it off to Pickering. Lots of players get touches but it’s not dangerous. Buckley gets the ball just outside the box and tries to glide past several defenders but he loses the ball and the attack collapses. 27 Rothwell picks up the ball on the centre spot and hares downfield leaving 3 or 4 defenders in his wake. He goes to curl the ball into the bottom right corner from the D but it’s comfortably wide. It would have been a fantastic goal but, in truth, it was a disappointing end! 31 Travis tackles from behind 18m out on the Stoke left wing conceding a free-kick. Kaminski punches the incoming cross clear. 34 Buckley receives the ball from a throw and goes on a mazy run through Stoke’s half before releasing to Khadra in the D but he is quickly dispossessed Khadra, on halfway, lobs a lovely long ball to Diaz near the D but he can’t control it and Stoke get the ball back. 36 Rovers are keeping the press on and the home supporters are baying their disapproval at Stoke’s lack of ambition. Great stuff! 38 A lot of poor passes going begging. Travis this time. 39 Buckley and Travis put in weak challenges in our midfield and Stoke move forward. Nyambe intercepts in the box and Lenihan boots clear. 41 We continue to hoof long balls down to Khadra. On this rare occasion we benefit as Khadra is fouled! The free kick comes to nothing, however, as Khadra receives and tries to beat one defender too many. 42 Rothwell receives on halfway and moves forward. He does a nice 1-2 with Khadra before feeding Pickering on the left side of the box. He crosses but it’s just too far ahead of Diaz. Nyambe chases and wins the ball and releases to Khadra but his cross is just too high. Nyambe receives again as we maintain the pressure and he wins a corner. Eventually it all fizzles out as Rothwell is caught offside. HALF TIME: not a great game of football but I enjoy watching our home-grown players (and the other youngsters) earn their spurs. 46 Lots of short passes as we work our way upfield until that one careless pass ends it all….Travis at fault this time. Stoke storm forwards. When the cross comes in Nyambe chests it down to Kaminski. 49 From a throw-in, Stoke work their way across field to their right wing. The winger cuts inside Pickering and Rothwell is ball-watching as the ball is squared to Sawyers just outside the D. His shot is low and may just have been going in by our left hand post. Kaminski got down well to save it anyway with a full length dive...but he’s injured himself! Corner! 50 The ball comes in and Nyambe is beaten in the air, it’s bouncing around until Wharton hoofs it downfield. The ball comes back and Vrancic on the wing teases Wharton as he approaches the box. Wharton can’t get an effective challenge in but he does enough to put Vrancic off and the shot, from the D, is well wide. Stoke are complaining that Wharton had the last touch. Goal kick. 51 Diaz controls the long ball and lays off to Buckley who tries to beat 2 men but is quickly dispossessed in the centre circle. Buckley chases after the ball and an attempted Stoke clearance hits him and bounces to Khadra halfway in the Stoke half. He controls the ball on his knee and runs forward with 4 defenders around him. Diaz is occupying 2 of them and, from the right edge of the D, he unleashes a fantastic shot low and hard into the back of the net. Out of the blue that one! 55 Kaminski hasn’t recovered from his injury so he’s off and Pears is on. 57 One of Rothwell’s trademark tackles from behind…..conceding a free-kick. Nice tackle by Buckley on our right wing sends Khadra away but he stands on the ball and possession is lost. Stoke counter-attack. Wharton prevents the cross coming in but it’s a corner. All eyes on Pears! Thirteen men in the box! Pears runs to the front post to punch the ball out of play. Good lad. But it’s another corner! They take it short but stuff up and Travis runs it clear. He lays off to Diaz who pushes the ball well into the Stoke half and it’s a kick and chase against 2 defenders. Diaz may not be favourite to get there first but they have to foul him and it’s a free-kick 30m out. Good stuff, that got the fans screaming! Rothwell puts in a great cross, Wharton goes up but it’s a fraction too high. It falls to Lenihan immediately behind him 1m from the byline, on the edge of the 6 yard box. He strikes the ball first time and I swear it’s going in until Chester, on the goal line, gets something on it to keep it out. Amazing! Lenihan and Diaz calling for a hand-ball penalty but they’re ignored. 61 Buckley wins the ball in Stoke’s half, drives forward and wins a corner. 67 Dolan on, Khadra off. 70 Rothwell puts a lovely long ball down the right wing for Dolan to chase…...Oh! Dolan is easily outpaced by the Stoke man. We don’t often see that! It looked as if Dolan was struggling! 71 Rothwell repeats the same pass to Dolan but this time he’s on his own. He gets a cross in but it’s headed away. 72 Rothwell off, Davenport on. 73 A few nice touches from Buckley recently. Here he flicks a throw-in for Dolan to chase to the byline but Dolan’s offside…...then he gets booked for holding on to the ball. 74 Nice threaded ball down the line from Nyambe for Dolan to chase and this time he isn’t out-paced by Chester. Dolan runs to the box, beats his man and is brought down. Yellow card for Chester. Well done. Pickering’s free-kick is too close to the keeper who collects easily. 78 Travis loses the ball in midfield and Stoke attack. It looks dangerous until Wharton puts in a fine interception off the toes of a Stoke man in our box. 84 Lenihan takes a free kick just inside Stoke’s half. He flights it beautifully across field to Dolan who controls well and beats his man. He runs into the box but his shot is disappointingly well off target. 86 Buckley picks up the ball just inside the Stoke half, on the right. He draws 3 men towards him before sliding a perfect ball to Diaz in the box. He only has the goalie to beat, from 12m out, but the keeper saves with his knees. Very similar to the situation where he scored the scorcher against Bristol…..but not such a tight angle. 88 Pickering joins Nyambe, both being booked for time-wasting at a throw-in! 89 Buckley sets off on a run but is clattered midway in the Stoke half. Yellow card for Wilmot. 90 Diaz booked for time-wasting. SEVEN nervy minutes of extra time! 93 Stoke work the ball forward and from 40m Tymon whips in a wicked, Buckleyesque ball on to the penalty spot where Vrancic (I think) meets it as van Hecke challenges. Pears had started to come for the cross and was slightly wrong-footed but he makes a great save low down to put the ball over the bar. Van Hecke let the Stoke man get the wrong side of him but maybe managed to put him off a bit! Lenihan heads away the corner comprehensively! He was fouled too. Rovers fans in full-voice now! 94 Diaz offside. Stoke launch the ball long, a cross comes in and Nyambe heads away. But it comes straight back…...Tymon on the Stoke left flights the ball to the far post where Fletcher rises to beat Wharton and heads square across goal …..it’s panic time in the 6 yard box as Davenport throws himself into the air and misses everything and van Hecke manages to kick clear. Stoke regain possession until Buckley robs Vrancic and sends Dolan scampering down the wing. Eventually Buckley runs it out of play near the corner flag. 95 Travis just fails to pick the pass to send Diaz clear. Rovers looking tired now and it’s boot it as far away as you can time! A huge roar erupts as the Stoke fans disagree with the Man of the Match award! 97 Full-time whistle! The usual nerve-wracking final few minutes but I enjoyed that. Rovers are turning into a proper, likeable (and young) team but still lots of rough edges.
  11. Yes, especially Buckley, Rothwell, Dolan and Gallagher. BBD too…..except he’s scoring the goals anyway! Here’s an updated “averages” chart. I added some older games but couldn’t find video of WBA or Swansea. Each player must have played at least 60 minutes to be included for any particular game. Oh, and remember….I think the earliest games I did (starting with Hull, Barnsley, Cardiff) are less accurate.
  12. Well that's better than nowt! He's a good player at this level. I wonder how much he'd cost?
  13. PLAYER WATCH v Peterborough United Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Pleasing/good play +1 Decent play 0 Routine stuff -1 Sloppy play -2 Disappointing/poor play -3 Very poor play -4 Terrible play -5 Own goal The ratings for each player were then combined to produce a measure of the players overall contribution to the match. Ratings Key incidents per player = coloured stars Overall contribution = number Kaminski **** 9 Nyambe ************ *** 13 Lenihan ******************* ******** 26 Wharton ********** *** 14 Ayala (25) **** ** 6 Pickering ******************* ********* 18 Travis ****** ************ -4 Buckley (67) **** ********* -1 Rothwell *************** *********** 26 Dolan *************** **** 18 Diaz (60) *********** ****** 15 Johnson (25) ******** **** 7 Khadra (60) ****** **** 3 Butterworth (67) *** ** 1 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) 02 Buckley is fouled 20m out just to the right. Pickering’s attempted shot is disappointingly high and wide! 03 Some sloppy work by Buckley; Rothwell retrieves the ball but passes it straight into touch. It’s a gloomy atmosphere down at Ewood! 04 Some nice interplay approaching the box between Travis, Diaz and Rothwell presents the ball to Rothwell in the D but his side-footed shot is weak, low and straight at the goalie. A disappointing finish to a good move! 07 Posh attack down the middle and Pickering allows himself to be drawn central leaving the winger unmarked. He receives the ball and crosses unchallenged. Fortunately Ayala is on post in the box to clear. 12 Posh having a bit of the ball but they’re not doing much with it. They look a distinctly average side so far. Oh! Pickering allows the winger to get his cross in again! Wharton heads clear for a United throw. 14 Rothwell tries a long ball into the box for Pickering who’s made a good run but it’s too far and runs out for a goal-kick. 15 Pickering picks up a loose pass halfway in the Rovers half and several players take a touch until Buckley receives the ball halfway in the Posh half, slightly to the right. He launches a peach of a cross into the box where Pickering sprints in front of the defender to plant a glorious, powerful header into the top of the net. Pickering ran the length of the field to get there (around the penalty spot). We’ve seen some great goals in the last few games but that’s one of the best! The commentators say it’s reminiscent of Alan Shearer, jim mk2 says Fred Pickering! 19 Rothwell runs over half the length of the pitch and passes to Diaz just outside the box. Ben tries to return the pass but a defender gets his foot in. Disappointing end. United attack and Buckley, Nyambe and Travis all fail to get a foot in. Finally Lenihan applies an agricultural challenge to the impressive Dembele to put an end to all the messing about. Free-kick 30 m out. Harris’s shot is just over the bar. 21 Szmodics near the corner flag goes past Rothwell with ridiculous ease and puts in a good cross but Ayala is there to head clear. 22 Thompson messes around with the ball in his own area and is nearly dispossessed by Diaz! 25 Hmm, again Pickering allows his winger to get in an unchallenged cross. Fortunately Wharton is on the penalty spot to put the ball out for a corner. I didn’t think we’d see this so much once we got rid of Bell! Kaminski collects the ball at full stretch. He’s hardly seen the ball! Johnson on for the injured Ayala. 28 A cross from the left by Diaz is headed out for a corner as Dolan lurked. Rothwell’s cross is too near the keeper who collects comfortably. 30 Buckley tries to thread the ball through to Diaz but it’s a poor pass and it runs to the keeper. 31 That’s a nice through ball from Posh for Szmodics but Johnson is quick to run to the edge of the box and dispossess him and we get a goal-kick. 33 Pickering has been drawn away from the wing again and right winger Ward receives the ball in the box, in bags of space. He cuts the ball back perfectly for Szmodics but Wharton is there on the 6 yard line to make a crucial block from 2m. Apparently Ward was given offside...he definitely was not! Wharton is having a fine game so far. Maybe Diaz or someone else needs to come back and help? 34 Oh my! That man Thompson is at it again. He receives the ball in no danger but Dolan does his irritating pest impression nipping at his heels. Thompson does a pirouette on the edge of his box and Dolan gets his foot in, the ball is rolling towards the keeper but Dolan chases and gets there first and squares the ball to Diaz who taps into an empty net. The easiest goal he’s scored all season. Thompson, understandably, has his head in his hands! 36 Diaz offside. 44 Rovers get a free kick 25m out in line with the right edge of the box. Rothwell delivers a perfect ball to the left corner of the 6 yard box where an unmarked Lenihan meets it, heads down hard into the ground and the ball bounces into the net. Too easy! 45 Dolan drew the foul for that last free-kick and he’s just been clattered again. A bit further out this time. I’m not sure it’s a healthy way of playing the game though! 46 For a moment Lenihan has visions of further glory as he tries a long pot from nearly 30m. Sadly reality hits as the ball soars into row Z and the whistle goes for half-time. 47 Rothwell’s tackling technique comes into question as Dembele leaves him in his dust. He feeds Ward unmarked again on the right wing. Pickering can’t keep up and the cross drops on the penalty spot. The first Posh man misses the ball by inches but Lenihan is there to hook away and make sure it doesn’t reach the second man. Very close shave. Good grief! Taylor runs down the left edge of our box and a chasing Travis looks knackered. Lenihan and Johnson can’t deal with the cross and Harris, in the 6 yard box, somehow manages to put the ball over the crossbar!! That was a closer shave! 48 This is getting ridiculous! Diaz plays a poor backpass on halfway. It’s intercepted and lands at the feet of Dembele. He runs forward and slides the ball past the last defender, Lenihan, into the path of Szmodics. It’s one on one with Kaminski who goes down to parry away the shot brilliantly. It could be 3-3………..really! But wait, there’s more! Buckley loses out in a tussle near halfway, Rothwell’s challenge is ineffective and Szmodics gets the ball in the box again but Lenihan puts in a block near the byline and it’s a corner. Diaz blocks at the near post, Dolan receives in the box, turns and falls flat on his face hoping for a foul - but it’s not! United get the ball back. Nyambe deflects an attempted cross and after some sloppy play all round Rothwell mis-controls and Posh attack again. As the ball enters the box, Lenihan hoofs it away. 50 It’s a half-hearted attempt at a tackle by Buckley on halfway and Taylor’s away. Johnson slides and manages to get the slightest of touches on Taylor’s well-directed through ball into the box. It’s enough to slow things down but Harris still gets there first. He squares the ball but Pickering takes it off the toes of the incoming Posh attacker and clears. 51 Diaz fouls on halfway. We can’t get any momentum this half! Dolan’s persistence wins a corner. Pickering fouls in the box. Diaz dribbles the ball away stupidly and gets booked! 56 Pickering heads the ball neatly to Rothwell on the left wing. He clips the ball past the defender cleverly and runs into the box. He passes to Dolan 15m out who swivels and shoots but the defender is too close and manages to block the effort. 59 Rothwell intercepts a loose pass on halfway and charges forward. Diaz makes his run into the inside left channel and Rothwell finds him perfectly. Diaz takes 2 touches into the box, the keeper comes to meet him but, from about 10m out Ben crashes the ball past him and into the net. Great finish. Very subdued celebrations all round! That’s it for Diaz, he’s replaced by Khadra. 62 Dolan doing his dancing feet thing near the corner flag is in danger of getting both legs broken but, in fact, he wins a corner! 63 A nice chip from Rothwell into the box where Travis controls well and hits a high ball into the goalmouth. Johnson seems to mis-time his jump. Buckley tries a fancy turn but loses the ball. 64 Buckley receives a pass on halfway but mis-controls and falls over. He slaps the ground and United attack. Rothwell and Wharton both fail to halt Dembele’s progress. He passes to the wing and a cross comes in. It’s partially blocked by Johnson but a shot comes in and this time Johnson clears out of the box. But it comes back from Dembele and Harris heads straight at Kaminski. He should have done better! 67 Peterborough passing it around nicely but getting nowhere. Buckley off, Butterworth on. 71 Rothwell goes on one of his runs and squares it to Butterworth 20m out. He shoots and the goalie can only parry it on to the head of Dolan but he’s just offside. The camera pans to the stands and of the 10 people in shot, 3 of them are on their phones. It’s that sort of night! 74 Again Rothwell’s tackling technique in question as he gives away a free kick midway in the Rovers half. Is it important? Yes………….the free kick goes for a corner. The corner comes in low and receives lots of mini deflections as it somehow manages to pass by everyone until Travis hooks it clear! Dangerous! How Kaminski has kept a clean sheet tonight is a mystery. 77 We win a throw deep in the Posh half. Nice flick by Pickering to Khadra who decides to take a shot but it’s far too ambitious and it’s right into the goalie's midriff. 79 Dolan receives the ball midway in United’s half and he’s off but he’s on his own against 2 defenders. Butterworth arrives and takes a shot from 20m but it’s wide. A few tired looking players out there. 80 Blimey, Travis is out on his feet I think! Oh! He suddenly finds enough energy to drop Dembele on halfway! 85 Travis passes the ball straight into touch! He’s gone! 86 A rare attack by United initiated again by Dembele. The cross comes in and Pickering heads clear. Dembele sets up another attack and Kaminski collects the cross. 87 Good, typical Rothwell run but Thompson takes him out with a forearm smash to the head! Accidental they reckon! 91 The final whistle. What a flat night. Nyambe seems to have recovered from his woes last time out. Travis looks exhausted. Rothwell Man of the Match apparently, according to the sponsors. Diaz scored twice but didn’t smile once! In the second half……..against a half decent team, we could have given away a three goal lead!
  14. I know. Have you ever seen a player improve his finishing so much in such a short period of time?? Long may it continue!
  15. PLAYER WATCH v Bristol City Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Pleasing/good play +1 Decent play 0 Routine stuff -1 Sloppy play -2 Disappointing/poor play -3 Very poor play -4 Terrible play -5 Own goal The ratings for each player were then combined to produce a measure of the players overall contribution to the match. Ratings Key incidents per player = coloured stars Overall contribution = number Kaminski ******* ****** 8 Nyambe (66) **** ************ -14 Lenihan ****************************** ****** 37 Wharton **************** ********** 14 Edun ******************* ********** 15 Davenport (59) ********* ** 8 Travis ********* ****** 7 Buckley ********** **** 8 Poveda (43) ***** ** 5 Khadra *************** ****** 14 Diaz *********** ****** 15 Ayala(43) ********************* ****** 30 Rothwell (59) ***** *** 1 Clarkson (66) **** 7 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) 04 Edun gives away a pointless free kick on our left wing, 18 yards out. As the cross comes in an unmarked Bristol man jumps and gets a touch and the ball flies across the face of goal where Wharton, on the 6-yard line, can't avoid it. His body pushes the ball towards the net but Kaminski reacts and saves brilliantly. Wharton recovers to hoof the loose ball out for a throw. (Watching the replay, Khadra is initially stood next to the Bristol danger man but ignores him and simply stands stationary in front of him as the cross comes in.) That's as close to an own goal as you can get! 07 Buckley, midway in the City half, threads one of his signature through balls into the box for Diaz to chase but the keeper just beats him to it. 09 Davenport gives the ball away in midfield and City attack. Wharton and Travis aren't good enough and the Bristol man shoots from the D but it's tame, hits Lenihan and Kaminski collects. 10 A good, strong challenge from Davenport wins the ball in our half. Khadra goes on a long jinking run and then feeds Diaz just outside the box. Ben, under pressure, tries to return the pass but it isn't quite good enough and Khadra eventually gives away a foul. 12 Hmm, we don’t see that too often, the City winger beats Nyambe for pace but Nyambe holds firm, the winger tumbles and, unsuccessfully, appeals for a free-kick. A nice 1-2 between Nyambe and Poveda sees Poveda drive into the box but a defender gets a foot in. 13 Khadra goes on an amazing run from halfway, beating 3 defenders, but the fourth puts in a hard tackle. Khadra falls just outside the box and claims a foul but it's ignored. 16 Travis loses the ball on halfway and City stream forward. O’Dowda turns Nyambe inside-out just outside the box and the ball reaches Bakinson but his goal-bound shot is deflected by Lenihan over the bar. The ball come in from the corner and Wharton just gets his head to the ball before the attackers. Kaminski was flapping a bit. Khadra miscontrols the ball and it’s a City throw. From the throw-in it all gets very hectic and we can’t get the ball out of our half! 18 O’Dowda gets in another cross and Lenihan heads clear again. Khadra, again acting as a useful outlet picks up the ball and runs clear. He passes to Diaz and keeps running. Ben returns a lovely ball into the box but, faced with two defenders Khadra goes down. No penalty....fair enough! 22 Uncharacteristically, and for the second time in as many minutes, Nyambe fails to deal with a crossfield ball towards the wing. He only manages to deflect it for a throw. 25 A nice long ball from Wharton to Diaz but he’s offside. 27 Another City attack and again Nyambe is well beaten as O’Dowda gets his cross in. There’s panic and chaos as the ball bobbles around until Travis clears up and is fouled. 29 Dear, dear......Nyambe’s nightmare continues as he concedes a foul throw in a dangerous position............a present for City’s long throw specialist! It’s panic stations as a Bristol man heads the throw on across goal and Wharton heads behind for a corner. More chaos! Martin heads on at the near post. The Bristol man on the far post somehow swings and misses and Diaz, lying on the floor, manages to kick the ball clear! A big let-off and all because of one careless throw!!! We are not coping with Bristol’s balls into the box. It’s amazing how much more composed we are when Ayala plays. (Hint!) 32 Nyambe misjudges the flight of the ball and has to bring down the City man. Yellow card! 33 A long Bristol ball sees O’Dowda outjump Nyambe 25 m out. It falls to Weimann who returns to O’Dowda near the penalty spot. Wharton slides in to challenge but the ball loops over Kaminski and into the net. Nyambe needs to be taken off...he’s all at sea. It was just a matter of time; we’ve been dire so far! 35 Wharton is caught in possession in our own half, he tries to make amends but crunches Martin. The ref plays advantage and it’s mayhem. Benarous, deep in the box, turns Lenihan inside out but his shot is just wide. Wharton is lucky to escape without a yellow card. 36 From midway in the City half Khadra launches a lovely ball on to the penalty spot where Diaz runs in to volley it beautifully past the goalie. Ben runs off to celebrate; unfortunately he was offside! 43 Poveda off on a stretcher. Ayala on! A strange choice of replacement but somehow pleasing? 47 I make that FOUR headers Ayala has made since he came on. This time it was cleaning up the debris from another corner, given away after some indifferent work by Edun. Nyambe clears the ball downfield. Half Time: A completely different performance than the Sheffield game......from basically the same players! Totally uninspired in every area of the pitch. The stats say no shots, no corners! 47 Davenport carries nicely out of our own half and feeds Khadra, his pass is blocked and Davenport picks up and slips the ball to Edun on the wing. Edun crosses square across the crowded box about 10m out but everyone misses it including the only Rover, Diaz - it was just 1m behind him! 48 Khadra is looking more lively this half and he wins a corner. He takes a short one to Davenport and receives it back. His cross is fisted clear by the keeper. 50 Oh! Nyambe opts to put the ball into touch rather than give a simple back-pass to Kaminski. It’ll be the long throw again! It’s headed clear by Ayala; who else? 56 A tug-back by Ayala, on the wing, gives Bristol a free-kick 18m out. Ayala makes amends by heading the cross clear. 58 A few neat passes find Edun near the corner flag and he gets a cross into the 6 yard box. It’s too far from Diaz who again is the only Rover in the penalty area and the keeper collects under no pressure. Diaz is pleading to his teammates to get up and support him! Lenihan fires a good long ball to Diaz, just in the City half. He runs at the defence and they back off. He squares to Buckley just outside the D and his first time shot is 1m past the left post! A decent effort but Buckley has been very quiet today! 59 Rothwell on, Davenport off. 61 A nice crossfield pass from Rothwell finds Buckley who threads a needle to find Diaz on the edge of the box. He squares to Khadra in the D. Khadra takes one touch and then fires a shot but it’s blocked by the defence. Good grief....I’m not sure why (the camera had panned away) but Kaminski ends up doing a Cruyff turn on the wing! He did it well though...sent the Bristol attacker the wrong way! 62 Wharton, Ayala and Kaminski all get involved in some seriously risky inter-passing until the keeper manages to left-foot it clear! 66 Another tempting ball into the 6 yard box by Khadra but there’s no one to meet it....again! Clarkson on, Nyambe off. Wowee! 68 A lovely long ball from Rothwell finds Khadra just inside the box. He tries to control it on his chest but it bounces to Edun who returns perfectly to Khadra but the final shot is blocked. 74 Buckley takes a throw 25m out on the right. Diaz returns it to Buckley but his cross is headed back to the edge of the box where Diaz is quick to react. From a tight angle and 8m out he smashes the ball into the roof of the net. That is one hell of a finish – great power! 76 Ayala commits a clumsy foul midway in our half. The ball comes in and Kaminski and Ayala get in each others way but Kaminski drops on the ball. Kaminski and Ayala hug each other! 79 Another long throw causes problems but Buckley boots the bouncing ball away from the 6 yard box. Diaz drives out of the Rovers half and passes to Clarkson 30m out on the right. His cross flies over everyone to find the unmarked Rothwell in the box. He can’t control it perfectly but the ball bounces nicely into the air and he volleys it across goal but it’s past the right post by a couple of metres. 80. Lenihan wins a couple of aerial challenges and Khadra shows some good control to feed Diaz on the right wing. He gives it to Clarkson on the edge of the box, his cross isn’t brilliant but Khadra rescues it and flicks it back to Edun. His shot is well off-target and the defenders clear. Rothwell commits a pointless foul. Yellow card. 83 Running back towards goal, Wharton wins the aerial battle but the clearance is picked up by Masengo 25m out. His floated cross is met perfectly by Wells just outside the 6 yard box. Ayala doesn’t get up to challenge. His header is going in the top corner but Kaminski makes a brilliant, flying, one-handed save. Corner. Wharton and Ayala make clearing headers, the ball is fired back but it’s well wide. 87 Ayala wins the ball and brings it forward before delivering a lovely ball for Khadra to chase into the box. Ayala keeps running. Khadra backheels it to Edun who delivers into the 6 yard box but the defender does brilliantly to take it off Ayala’s toes! That would have been a cracker! 89 Another scary long throw! Wharton can only head it straight up in the air; it bounces on the 6 yard line but the Rovers defenders crowd out the Bristol players. Wells puts in another cross and Ayala heads clear! It comes back and Lenihan heads it straight towards a City man but Edun gets back to intercept and boot clear. It comes back yet again but Wells’ shot from the edge of the box is weak and Kaminski collects comfortably. The final whistle goes. A poor game but at least a better second half. Ayala made a big difference to our stability at the back. The scores this week are unusual. Lenihan and Ayala outscore everybody because they were constantly called upon to make headed clearances and interceptions (I usually score them at +2 each). Wharton was ok but his aerial contests are not always dominant. Nyambe had the worst game I’ve ever seen from him and their long throw-in specialist had a field day!
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