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  1. If ever there was a must win fixture this is surely it. After the frustration of throwing away a two goal half time lead again, in the last home game, for the second time this season, the frustrating theme, seemed to be the order of the day, even before the game started on Tuesday night. Reading sit above us in the league and have won two of their last 3 away fixtures, including an impressive 2-1 victory at Fulham. Given that I don’t want to big up the opposition, I am hoping we set off on the front foot and go at them, as I would settle for a 2-0 half time lead again, with the half time team talk being, go for a third, not sit back and protect what we have got, which seemed to be the case, with both the Luton and Coventry fixtures. If we fail to win this one, then I think the fans will start to look over our shoulders. A win, could just settle the nerves and give a tiny bit of hope to even the staunchest of fans, who seem to be losing their faith. Sadly I don’t see us winning it and predict another frustrating afternoon and go for a 1-1 draw.
  2. Games coming thick and fast! I can’t seem to find anything on tickets? All sold out? Rovers site only seems to have coach tickets available?
  3. PLAYER WATCH v Coventry City Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Nice/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 ******* ** 10 Nyambe ******************* ** 32 van Hecke *********************** ********* 20 Lenihan ****************** * 30 Ayala ***************** * 26 Edun ********************* ****** 23 Travis ********** ****** 5 Rothwell ***************** ***** 27 Buckley (64) ******** **** 10 Dolan (64) ******** ** 13 Gallagher (72) ******************* ********* 18 Poveda (64) **** ** 5 Davenport (64) **** ** 4 Diaz (72) *** * 5 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main incidents above.) 00 Edun receives from Lenihan on the left wing in our half but Dabo confronts him and he turns back and tries to pass back to Ayala but it clips a Coventry heel and falls to danger-man Gyokeres on the edge of the box. He advances, Ayala backs off and Travis and Edun manage to block his effort. Rothwell boots clear. 04 Nice ball from Rothwell to Travis who steams towards the box, he slips it through to Gallagher who’s offside. 05 An excellent long ball down the right channel from Lenihan allows Gallagher to make a good run behind two defenders and into the box. His attempt to cross is poor and rebounds for a corner. 07 Buckley slides a neat ball through to Dolan who collects and runs into the box. There’s the usual fancy stuff, a defender has a handful of Dolan’s shirt and he goes down. But Dolan is given offside. 08 A good ball down the line by Dolan for Nyambe to chase. Nyambe does well to get to the byline but his attempted cross is blocked. 10 Edun is done by the winger but Lenihan sweeps across reassuringly to bundle the ball into touch. 17 Nyambe wins a long-ball header and Travis gets a secondary header to Buckley who turns Kane expertly. Kane is embarrassed and hauls Buckley down. Should have been a yellow card! 19 van Hecke wins the ball in the middle of the park and feeds Nyambe on the touchline. He plays an excellent 1-2 with Gallagher and Nyambe crosses from the edge of the box but it’s blocked again. Eventually Coventry clear. 20 Coventry corner, the heads go up and the ball lands near the 18y line and Rothwell is wrong-footed, allowing the Coventry man an unchallenged shot on goal but it’s deflected I think and Kaminski saves nicely, he must have seen it late but got down well. van Hecke hoofs clear. 22 Edun spreads the play nicely to Buckley who threads a wonderful ball behind Kane to the on-rushing Nyambe. Nyambe beats Kane again in the box and fires in a powerful shot but the keeper makes a good save. Great move. 25 Edun loses the ball in Coventry’s D and defenders are caught up-field in no-man’s land. City stream forward. Lenihan makes a decent challenge but the ball runs for Coventry. Travis and Buckley aren’t chasing back hard enough. There’s a shot on goal and Kaminski saves well at the near post. Rothwell hoofs away. It’s not safe though and a City man gets a second shot but it’s too high. 26 Edun blocks a clearance and the rebound lands nicely for Gallagher near the box but he’s offside for the second time. 27 Buckley booked for a needless foul. Dolan wins the ball in our half but Gallagher’s poor ball hands the advantage back to City. Ayala slices the ball for a corner but redeems himself by heading the ball clear. 31 Nice ball deep into the box by Dabo and Ayala is there again to clear the danger. 34 Buckley, on a yellow, treading dangerously as he brings another City man down. He's not been so effective since he was booked. 38 Nice flick on by Gallagher to Dolan who fires off a shot from the edge of the box but it’s straight at the goalie at the near post. 39 Rothwell picks up the ball midway in City’s half but there’s five or more defenders between him and goal. He solves the problem by passing to Gallagher who flicks a brilliant 1-2 behind him and into the box, splitting the defence wide open. Joe races on to the ball at full pace, tips it over the keeper and follows the ball into the net. Amazing goal. 40 From the kick-off Gallagher dispossesses the City man and heads to goal. The challenge comes in but it’s a corner. 41 Eventually Gallagher picks up the ball just outside the box, shows good strength to hold off 2 defenders and, from 25m, unleashes a rocket but it smashes against a defender. Good effort from Sam, it looked on target. 42 Edun picks up a loose pass in midfield and feeds Rothwell who returns it perfectly to Edun near the D but he’s dispossessed and it runs to Dolan in the box but his shot too is blocked. Hectic! 43 Travis drives into the box but his pass to Gallagher is poor and it's out for a goal-kick. He had the chance to shoot…….would have been the better option I think. 44 Sloppy play by City and Rothwell picks up the ball and, as we’re becoming accustomed to, he drives forward into the box. From the left of goal he cuts back the perfect pass to the onrushing Gallagher who sidefoots it into the net. The keeper got something on it but it had enough power to do the job. 46 After a series of half-challenges by Rovers' defenders, Walker manages to put the ball in the net but he was offside! 51 Not a lot happening so far this half. Dolan just had a weak shot saved easily by the keeper. 52 Lenihan cleans up nicely but his long ball finds Gallagher a mile offside again. 53 Coventry having the better of this half so far. 54 Nicely, Nyambe shepherds the ball out for a corner frustrating the City attacker. 56 Great defensive work by Nyambe ushering Dabo further back towards his own half and his challenge sees the ball reach Gallagher who’s pass is awful but Travis clears up. 58 Gallagher receives a throw but passes directly to a Coventry man in the middle of our half! It’s danger. Poor control by Travis and the attacker drives across goal deep inside the box but Ayala gets a foot in and it’s cleared! Then Dolan gives it away. Poor stuff! 61 Gallagher gives the ball away again in the middle of our half and we’re on the back foot, the ball goes out to the City right wing and the cross to the near post, where Lenihan usually is, is met by Walker and it’s 2-1. 65 The City player stumbles and Gallagher is able to drive down the right wing but a chasing defender easily dispossesses him. Disappointing. 67 The excellent Gyokeres receives the ball in our half and holds off van Hecke’s challenge, he waltzes past Davenport as if he isn’t there, holds off Nyambe and squares the ball to Kelly 20m out who hits a good shot that beats a diving Kaminski and hits the post. The rebound hits the keeper and it’s in the net. Deary me! 69 Good response. After some good approach play, Edun puts in a great cross but Nyambe can’t get there. 71 Great long ball down the left wing from Lenihan to Gallagher but his cross is disappointing as Poveda charges in. 72 A tired van Hecke hauls an opponent down in desperation. Super Diaz comes on to rapturous applause, Gallagher off. 74 Rothwell puts a good free-kick into the box and Ayala puts his header square across the goal but van Hecke can’t quite get to it. Edun gives the ball away on halfway. Danger! Everyone is rushing back. Nice football from City and, unmarked, Gyokeres receives the ball on the penalty spot but van Hecke slides in from behind and brings him down. How was that not a penalty? BIG let-off. 78 The only way Kane can stop Rothwell’s run is to haul him back by his shirt. Yellow card. Rothwell takes the free kick and Lenihan rises to challenge two defenders and the goalie and it’s chaos. The ball is loose and it’s cleared off the goal line as Ayala closed in for the kill. 81 Gyokeres tries a shot from the left side of the box. van Hecke doesn’t do enough to close him down. 87 Edun slides a good ball out of defence on the left wing to Poveda. He turns inside nicely evading the defender and lobs the ball forward beautifully for Diaz to chase. He crosses into the box and amazingly Edun has continued running but the defender just gets there first, at the near post, to put it out for a corner. Edun is lying on the ground with his head in his hands. It was that close! Not quite enough weight on the ball from Diaz. 91 Rothwell receives the ball on the right and drives into the box. He puts in a fantastic cross to the far post and Diaz rises above the defender beautifully to meet it with his head. The goalie spreads and saves; it’s panic stations but the goalie eventually grabs the ball. The Rovers players can't believe it; now Ben is holding his head. Oh! It was offside apparently!
  4. coventry have sold a lot of tickets for this saturday,as they are on the up it should be a cracking game,rovers 3-2 coventry i reckon with butterworth coming off the bench to grab the winner😉
  5. Courtesy of m1st! Introduction: This game's always a strange one for me. I was born in Blackpool to parents who moved there from Blackburn just before World War 2. Even though I lived there till I was about 25, there was, therefore, never any danger that I would grow up one of the tangerine persuasion. However, while I don't have any strong anti-Blackpool feelings, they are, kind-of, my 'Burnley', if you know what I mean. And if you don't, you surely will by the end of the next section of this preview! Their history: Mike Jackman's History of the Rovers referred to a game played between the two clubs in 1880/81 season, but the present Blackpool club traces its origins to July 1887, when they were founded by a breakaway group from St. John's FC at a meeting chaired by a man called Samuel Bancroft. [Sorry; I haven't had the time to check whether he was related to William Bancroft, Chairman of this Great Club Of Ours in the last quarter of the last Century!] In due course, most of the players from the St. John's team re-joined the breakaways and the new Blackpool team took shape from 1887 onwards, joining the Lancashire League. They spent most of the next few seasons near the top of that League and were eventually admitted to Division 2 of the Football League in 1896. After only three seasons of League Football, they weren't re-elected to Division 2 after the 1898/99 season, which they spent back in the Lancashire League. The following season the club merged with South Shore FC, who had been giant-killers, knocking out Notts County in the 1885/86 season - the one when we won the F.A Cup for the third consecutive season; just saying! The merged club was elected to join the Football League, Division 2 in 1900 but remained in that Division for another 29 seasons - including of course, the two when we won the League title. In the season after we won the F.A. Cup for the then-record sixth time - yeah, that's right; just saying again! - and powered by some epic goalscoring by Jimmy Hampson, they finally joined us in Division One. Pool's first experience of Division One was precarious; and after two seasons of finishing one place above the relegated teams, they slipped back down to Division Two at the end of the 1932/33 season. One season later, they were back in the top Division and indeed for the first time finished above us in the League table. Two seasons after that, 1935-36, Rovers and Aston Villa became the last two of the original founder-members of the Football League to be relegated from the top division. Rovers' first season in Division 2 proved to be Blackpool's last in that Division as they were promoted to Division 1 as runners-up to Leicester City. Both teams finished in the middle of their respective tables at the end of the 1936-37 season while the following season was also a fairly mediocre one both for the Rovers and the 'Pool in their different Divisions. However, as the shadows of World War 2 lengthened, the 1938-39 season ended with Rovers as Champions of Division 2, looking forward to returning to what we on this Board would see as out rightful home! War was declared the morning after the third game of that season and the table after those games showed Blackpool top of the League while Rovers were just above the relegation zone. There were Wartime competitions until the 1945-46 season began after the hostilities had ended. Blackpool usually did fairly well in these leagues which I remember my Dad - a man born with blue eyes! - explaining to me in the 1950s was only because so many footballers were billeted near the Fylde Coast! When League football resumed in the 1946-47 season, both teams were still in the First Division, but our paths diverged at the end of the following season when Rovers were relegated back to Division Two for ten seasons until 'Carey's chicks',as some of the media of the day called them, returned to the top Division. Meanwhile, Blackpool had a golden era with three F.A. Cup Finals from 1947/48, culminating, of course, the famous 1953 Final in which Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in the last minutes of the game. They also had four players in the England team which Hungary won 6-3 later in 1953. They were definitely THE Lancashire team in the 1950s. So it wasn't good being a Rovers fan at school in Blackpool in this era! 'Pool were comfortable in Division One between the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s and finished in the top-6 in four separate seasons but never finished as Champions. Their best effort was to finish second to Manchester United in 1955/56. The following season Stanley Matthews had been named the first-ever winner of the Ballon d'Or. We returned to Division One in 1958 and the two teams played each other in Division One until 1965/66 when we were relegated. 'Pool joined us the following season but adapted better to Division Two than we did and after three seasons at that level, returned to the top Division in 1969. They only lasted one season at that level and in 1971 returned to Division Two to fill the vacancy our relegation to Division Three had created. They remained in Division Two until they, too, were relegated to Division Three at the end of the 1977/78 season. Our paths diverged three seasons later when 'Pool went down to Division Four while Howard Kendall's Blue and White Army were consolidating the place back in Division Two which we'd won the previous season. 'Pool remained in Division Four for four seasons before returning to Divsion Three in the mid-1980s. As the 1990s dawned, they were owned by the infamous Owen Oyston and had sunk back into Division Four. They were promoted from "the old Division Four" to Division Two of the English Football League - Division Three-really! - in 1992/93, as we became one of three clubs to be founder-members of both the Football League and the Premier League. Yes that's right, Just saying! 'Pool settled in the EFL's Division Two - which is now known as League One - and, with the exception of the 2000/01 season which they spent in the EFL Division Three (now rebranded as League Two) they remained there until 2007/08 season when they won promotion to the EFL Championship. Two seasons later, they won promotion to the Premier League. They couldn't maintain their promising start to the 2010/11 season and slipped back to the Championship at the end of that season. Two relegations in successive seasons saw Pool spend just the 2016/17 season in League Two before winning promotion from there to League One. Under new ownership and management, they won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs at the end of last season. Opponents' Opinion. I've a number of friends who are of a similar age to myself who, if they aren't season ticket-holders at Bloomfield Road, certainly used to be when we were younger. I asked one of these 'lads' the following three questions: Q1. Neil Critchley definitely cut the mustard as a League One boss last season, but can he hack it at the Championship level? A. "His philosophy is to play football from the back, which is a refreshing change from previous managers. "This approach has led to higher presses with players sometimes getting caught in possession. That said, he sticks by his principles. He's a track-suit hands-on manager, known from his Liverpool Youth team days, who targets younger recruits in whom he sees potential. "So it's still early days, but confidence remains that he can get us moving in the right direction." Q2. How do you think you're settling into the Championship? A. "It's been a tough start all right, but Critchley doesn't panic and this conveys itself to the players. "There have been some tough games so far but the effort the team's put in hasn't been reflected in the results and no-one's outplayed us. We've a team which has a mentality of keeping going to the end, so beware! "There were some good transfer deadline deals which were especially needed as we've suffered with injuries. "The reinforcements at the back look good, although we're perhaps missing some midfield flair. The forward line's good and we're expecting further improvements as players adjust to their new environment." Q3. Who should we watch out for danger men among your squad? A. "Up front, Jerry Yates. He's a tireless and ever so confident striker alongside recently-signed N. Ireland international, Shayne Lavery, who's quickly adapting to life in the EFL. "Watch out also for Josh Bowler and C.J. Hamilton who are both wide midfield creators." League Form: It's difficult to offer a prediction on the result, and not just because, until these last two games, neither team had met the same opponent yet this season. Pool's steadily-improving home record from a sluggish start is 2-0-3, while our away record is 1-3-0. Given that we're away, you'd expect us to go for a draw. However, we're also playing a team which is below us, so you'd hope we'd go for a win. Preferably one of Cardiff proportions!
  6. PLAYER WATCH v Blackpool Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Nice/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 **** **** 3 Magloire (80) ****** ******** -9 Carter ************** ******* 11 Ayala ********************** **** 37 Pickering ****************** *** 19 Travis ************** ***** 14 Rothwell (88) ******* ********** -10 Buckley ************** ***** 16 Dolan ********* *** 13 Diaz ************* ****** 18 Gallagher (42) *** ** 1 Edun (42) *********** ***** 9 Khadra (80) *** * 7 Butterworth (88) * 2 Highlights and Lowlights A justification for the main incidents above. 02 The Blackpool forward beats Travis and Buckley too easily midway in our half but Rothwell and Magloire combine to retrieve the ball on the edge of the box. Buckley puts in a couple of good passes but the last one catches Diaz offside. 03 A long ball comes into the box and Ayala heads away but not far enough, it falls into that central area of our own half where the midfield is often absent. Magloire is way out of position and as Blackpool attack, Ayala holds off, leaving a big gap allowing Lavery to get a shot away. Carter blocks but it bounces up in the air and agonisingly down and into the net. Soft goal, no one was defending the right hand side of the pitch! 09 More weak tackling on the edge of our box by Travis and Buckley. Fortunately the Blackpool man puts the ball into touch. 11 Pretty passing around the Blackpool box but it doesn’t look threatening, then Travis is fouled 25m out and central. Pickering puts the free-kick well over the bar. 15 Nice inter-passing from our own half into the Blackpool box…….Magloire to Buckley to Dolan to Rothwell to Buckley but his cross is blocked out for a corner. Rothwell’s corner bends into touch before it reaches Ayala…..who’s powerful header is parried by the goalie. 17 Rothwell picks up the ball midway in Blackpool’s half. He carries it forward and let’s loose from 25m but it’s deflected wide for a corner. Blackpool head the corner clear. 18 Good long ball down the wing to Lavery but Ayala muscles him off, like a true pro, on the edge of the box. Oh! Looks like Lavery is injured….not Ayala’s fault. 23 This is bad. Magloire is on the halfway line, we have a throw-in on the far side.. Blackpool win possession and the ball comes Magloire’s way. He’s drawn too far forward….but Rothwell is stood next to the danger man Anderson...But when Anderson sprints forward, chasing the ball, Rothwell lets him go! Magloire, who has much further to run, catches Anderson but he’s beaten too easily and the cross comes over. Carter was watching Madine but he had two men to cover and chose the wrong one. Pickering was pointing to various attackers but ended up marking no one. Madine’s header is brilliantly saved by Kaminski but Yates dives in to head home the rebound from 1m. 29 Magloire mis-controls and Blackpool attack and he’s out of position. Fortunately Madine, in the D, messes up and it goes for a goal-kick. 30 Dolan wins a corner. Rothwell’s effort is poor, low to the near post and it’s a goal-kick. 32 Long goal-kick by Kaminski, Gallagher makes no attempt to get off the ground and hence loses the contest. 33 Dolan wins another corner. Oh, for goodness sake! Rothwell AGAIN arcs the ball straight into touch. You bring all the big guns up...and it’s all a waste of time! 34 I’ve got to point this out…..on 34.54……..Magloire is all alone in his right hand quarter of the pitch…….no one anywhere near him…….and Blackpool have the ball on his side of the pitch! Whatever system we’re playing…..it’s rubbish. Eventually Gallagher arrives and Blackpool pass it backwards. Phew! Finally Rothwell makes a good defensive tackle and wins a free-kick. 36 Poor mis-control by Gallagher almost sets up a Blackpool attack. Now Blackpool are passing it around, fully relaxed and confident. We’re being out-played in every area. Here we go. Keogh has just run 40m down the centre of the park with no sign of a challenge! A cross comes in from the Blackpool right, over Kaminski’s head and Ayala, under pressure gets a touch, almost on the line, I’m not sure if it was going in! 38 A good long ball down the line goes over Magloire (out of position again!) to Anderson. He crosses but Carter rushes to the near post to take the ball off Madine’s foot. 42 Gallagher off, Edun on. 43 With Rovers on the attack, Rothwell loses the ball in the centre circle and the Blackpool player, seeing Kaminski off his line, takes a long punt but it’s off target. 44 Bowler is stood right in the middle of our half with no one around him, he receives the ball and has a free run to goal. Travis and Rothwell chase forlornly. Ayala puts in a great block at the edge of the box. The ball goes high in the air and Magloire and Buckley can’t get it away. That man Ayala is back on his feet and clears up the mess! Ayala and Travis having words! 48 Lovely ball from Buckley down the line to Dolan, back to Buckley and his cross is met by Edun but he’s under pressure and it’s off target and back to Dolan. He advances into the box and plays a lovely low ball square across the box, about 2m out, but Diaz and Rothwell can’t get there! Close! 45 Dolan chases back and wins the ball in the corner but is crudely scythed down. Yellow card. Pickering takes the kick and Ayala’s header, under challenge, is straight into the keeper’s arms. 48 Some nice approach work from Pickering and Edun but Rothwell, on one of his runs, runs the ball out of play! 49 Pickering wins the ball and does well to keep it in play. His cross goes over Diaz but Magloire (where did he come from?) does well to keep it in and feed Buckley. Buckley’s cross from the right wing is inch perfect to the feet of an in-rushing Diaz who thumps it into the net. Great goal. 51 Rothwell picks up a loose ball and rushes forwards. He takes on a shot from just outside the D but it’s one of his typical scuffed efforts straight at the keeper I’m afraid. 53 Edun wins the ball in Blackpool’s half and feeds Diaz who cuts inside one defender and releases a shot from outside the D. The goalie blocks but spills the ball and dives on the rebound. 63 Edun is dispossessed (looked like a free-kick to me) just outside our box and Bowler charges down on goal but Ayala gets a touch. That was dangerous! 66 Beautiful long ball by Travis to Edun in the left corner but he’s offside! 68 Some nice football from the hosts but Pickering runs across the box to cut out the crucial ball. Ayala gets his head to the resulting corner. 69 Good ball from Travis to Buckley. His ball to Diaz isn’t perfect but Diaz gets control and fires a shot from the edge of the box but it’s deflected for a corner. Good corner from Rothwell and Ayala’s there again but it’s wide. 72 Diaz receives the ball with his back to goal and flicks a lovely ball to Dolan on the wing. He races into the box and goes down under the challenge. No penalty! Some nice inter-passing around the Blackpool box ends with Pickering firing in a lovely cross but Diaz fouls the defender. 79 Lots of messy play in our right corner. Magloire is really exposed and Bowler has a free run on goal, Ayala challenges and it’s enough to put him off and his shot is just wide. 80 Magloire off, Khadra on. 82 Trickery from Khadra on his wing takes him past the fullback beautifully. His low square cross is air-kicked by the defender which fools Edun completely when he was in prime position! 83 The camera missed most of this. A ball from Buckley to Diaz and he’s offside. 84 Nice ball from Pickering to Diaz at the side of the box. He’s dispossessed but the Blackpool man slips anyway and Diaz feeds Edun in the box. He controls it and touches it to the side before releasing a decent shot but it’s deflected just past the post for a corner. 88 Rothwell off, Butterworth on. 90 Clever flick from a throw-in by Diaz to Khadra on the wing. He puts in an excellent cross from the corner flag that the goalie flaps at. It falls to Butterworth but he can’t get it under control and Blackpool clear. 93 Buckley and Kaminski mess up a throw-in……….Kaminski had to panic-kick the ball out for a throw. 95 Butterworth sends a cross into the box for Ayala but his header into the goalmouth is cleared. Ayala has another go, this time Dolan back-heads the ball and the Keeper stretches backwards to save brilliantly just under the bar. 97 This lad Khadra has something about him. He gets the ball wide on the right after some nice Rovers interplay. He gets a good cross in but the defender gets there just before it reaches Diaz and it’s a corner. Ayala is out-jumped for once! The whistle goes.
  7. PLAYER WATCH v Huddersfield Town Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Nice/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 ******** **** 11 Nyambe (20) *** *** 1 Carter ********** *** 10 Ayala ****************** ***** 30 Pickering ************ ******* 6 Travis ************** **** 13 Rothwell (74) *************** ** 24 Buckley ************ ******** 4 Dolan (78) *** *** 0 Diaz. ************* ****** 25 Gallagher (78) ********** ********* 4 Magloire (20) ****** ****** -2 Poveda (74) ** ****** -6 Khadra (78) * * 1 Clarkson (78) ** ** 0 Highlights and Lowlights A justification for the main ratings above. 00 Thomas takes the ball to the byline and Pickering gets nowhere near preventing the cross. Nyambe is beaten in the air and the ball comes back across goal to Ward who seems taken by surprise. He heads it over the bar. Should be 1-0. 01 Nyambe is caught upfield and the Town man charges down the wing and Carter fails to close him down. His cross is knocked back to an unmarked Sinani in front of goal but he blasts the ball well over. Could be 2-0! 02 Pickering again fails to prevent the cross but Kaminski collects comfortably. 11 We’ve done nothing of significant note yet! Buckley slides the ball down the channel to Gallagher but he’s offside. 12 Nyambe intercepts but the Town man continues his run and clatters into Nyambe’s head. He goes down to his knees as if he’s been hit by Mike Tyson. Nasty! 14 That’s the third or fourth long ball by Kaminski…..not one of them has been productive! 15 Gallagher wins the ball near the corner flag and lays it off nicely. Eventually a cross comes in from Travis and Sam is there to meet it but it’s a bit behind him and he heads over the bar. 16 O’Brien carries the ball forward and Nyambe intercepts his ball into the box but he stumbles and falls and O’Brien crashes the ball against the bar. It seems Nyambe hasn’t recovered from his head blow! I can’t mark him down for that. Rothwell hooks clear. 20 Yep, Nyambe off, Magloire on. Strange he hasn’t gone on as a straight full-back replacement for Nyambe. We’ve gone 3 at the back with Buckley as right wing-back. 21 Rothwell intercepts well and passes to Gallagher who simply runs it out of play! 22 Rothwell to Gallagher; it’s a straight-forward ball but Gallagher fails to control it and it’s back with Town 23 Buckley beats his marker on the wing and swings in a decent cross but the defender gets there first and Diaz fouls in the box. 25 Pickering blocks the attempted cross from the wing and it’s a corner. Very good defensive header away by Ayala. The ball comes back in and Carter gets there first and Travis boots clear. The ball comes into the box again but Kaminski collects confidently. 26 O’Brien dispossesses Buckley beautifully. He’s having a great game so far. Ayala cleans up eventually. 27 Long throw into our box but Magloire gets up well to head clear. 28 Carter is spending quite a bit of time in the attacking third! 31 Nice ball down the wing by Rothwell to Pickering but he’s held up. A bit more interplay and it goes to Diaz 25m out, he takes on the shot and it’s about a metre wide. Good effort though. 33 Buckley intercepts deep in Our half and launches a beautiful long pass to Diaz who controls expertly before laying off to an on-rushing Pickering just inside the box. Unfortunately it lacks half a metre of pace and Pickering can’t get a good contact. Goal-kick. 34 O’Brien making a fool of our defensive midfielders again. 35. Gallagher wins the ball and feeds Buckley who wanders into the middle of Rovers’ half. Koroma just muscles him off the ball far too easily and we’re in trouble. Thomas does Pickering all ends up and slides the ball square to Vallejo just outside the D and he blasts his shot into the net. Kaminski got something on it but should have done better I think. It all started with a lackadaisical Buckley strolling into trouble. 36 We should be level. Directly from the kick-off, a brilliant length of the field pass by Buckley finds Diaz, his defender falls over and he’s clear on goal but the ball gets under his feet, near the penalty spot, he loses the opportunity to shoot and the defence has time to get back. He does manage to slide the ball sideways to Dolan but his shot is blocked. 38 Pathetic short corner by Buckley to Rothwell who has nowhere to go. A rebound is collected nicely by Pickering but his shot from just outside the box goes 1m wide. 41 Lots of passes but we’re making no progress and don’t look threatening! 42 Gallagher passes to Buckley on the wing and he delivers a nice cross to Diaz near the penalty spot but the header is weak and too near the goalie. (+1 as he, at least, got into a good position). 43 There’s a big hole in the middle of our half and Town players are strolling through it with ease! A cross comes in and Ayala ducks under it for some reason? Magloire is beaten on the wing and another cross pings over…..too high fortunately. More Town possession but Travis eventually intercepts. Good run out of defence by Gallagher. More passes until we are inside the box and the ball is deflected straight up in the air. Diaz is under it but his control is poor and the ball bounces off him for a goal-kick. 45 Town throw near our byline. Magloire and Travis allow the attacker to cross far too easily. Pickering eventually puts it out for a corner. 50 Ayala heads an attempted clearance up in the air and Town attack. Sinoma gets in a hard shot but Kaminski saves well at his near post and gathers the bouncing ball. 51 O’Brien cuts us open again but a Town man air-kicks when directly in front of goal! Pickering to Diaz and a nice pass to Travis who puts Dolan in at the corner but he’s dispossessed. Two weak attempts at a tackle in midfield by Rothwell. 56 A thing of beauty. Rothwell is off on one of his runs from just inside Town’s half. He mesmerises the Huddersfield defenders and runs into the box. He squares the ball perfectly to Diaz’s feet. Ben beats the in-running defender and tucks the ball past the keeper brilliantly. Great goal……(+5 each!) 59 Well that didn’t last long. Town attack, Pickering runs out and over-commits, missing the ball leaving Thomas unmarked. His cross is met powerfully By Ward who crashes his header into the net. Man v boy there as Magloire was bullied out of the way and didn’t get off the ground. 62 Rothwell launches a lovely ball over the top from halfway. Diaz’s first touch takes him away from the defender on the left side of the box. Ben chases the ball into the box and he is scythed down near the penalty spot. Penalty kick! Diaz sidefoots it into the bottom right corner. The keeper got something on it but there was enough power to finish in the net. 68 Again Pickering fails to stop Thomas getting his low cross in but Carter clears. The ball reaches Gallagher who immediately heads it to O’Brien. He feeds Koroma but the shot is straight at Kaminski. 70 Buckley blocks a long low pass but Town retain possession. Gallagher backed out of the challenge there and O’Brien slides through a beautiful ball to Ward who smashes it from a tight angle. Kaminski blocks at his near post but Carter is needed to boot the rebound clear. 72 Kaminski throws to Gallagher on the wing but he wasn’t expecting it and he’s dispossessed. Town attack but Rothwell manages to put the ball in touch. 74 Rothwell off injured, Poveda on. 76 Nice ball from Carter to Poveda, Buckley is in space but Poveda is dispossessed and Magloire is beaten on the wing. Poveda chases back and wins the ball but then gives it away again near the box. The cross comes in and Carter heads to safety but it’s a corner. Ayala heads the corner clear from under the crossbar. The ball comes back and it’s panic time. Ayala kicks the ball away but back it comes and Ayala heads away again. Buckley collects just outside the box but he is brushed aside and dispossessed far too easily by the Town player. Magloire is easily beaten and the low cross comes in. Unbelievably it manages to pass through half a dozen players and the Town man is waiting in the centre of goal on the 6 yard box. It has to be a goal…..but no! Kaminski saves and Gallagher, who had previously slid in and missed the ball, is lying on his back and somehow manages to kick the ball over his head and away! The ball comes back in again and Kaminski turns the header over for a corner. Blimey, what a pantomime! 78 Dolan and Gallagher off, Khadra and Clarkson on. With Poveda these are strange lightweight subs for this type of game. 82 Quick feet from Khadra but to no great purpose. Eventually he feeds Poveda but he can’t keep it in and it goes for a goal-kick. 83 Clarkson loses the ball near Town’s D. It’s punted forward, Clarkson chases and magages to get a foot in but the ball is rolling for Huddersfield. Everyone is back-pedalling and out of position. The cross comes into the far post. It’s headed back to Ward who gleefully heads the ball into the net from close range. Everyone at sixes and sevens; it’s hard to apportion blame but it all started when Clarkson lost the ball in an attacking position. Ayala and Carter must take some blame as we were 5 against 1 at one stage and the goal came unchallnged through the middle of the box. 90 Clarkson’s corner is ordinary and is headed clear to Travis just outside the box and central. He tries to bend the ball in but it’s 1m wide. (+1 maybe). 93 Ayala heads forward and Buckley feeds Poveda on the wing with a neat pass. Poveda’s pass is mis-directed. Poor. 94 Buckley drives into the box and goes down. No penalty…..the Town players accuse him of diving. 95 Poveda loses the ball again.
  8. For me, the same 11 if everyone is fit that played Cardiff. Bench the same. Its live on Sky Sports red button
  9. PLAYER WATCH v Cardiff City Each incident in the match was rated on the following scale: +5 GOAL +4 Excellent play +3 Very good play +2 Nice/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. Individual Incidents (stars) and Overall Contribution (numerical score) Kaminski *** *** 3 Nyambe ******** 15 Lenihan **************** ** 26 Ayala **************** *** 26 Pickering ********** ******* 8 Travis ********* 14 Rothwell ************* **** 16 Buckley ******************* *** 27 Dolan ********** 22 Diaz. *************** *** 30 Gallagher **************** ******** 23 Carter ********* 18 Khadra ** ** 1 Edun ** * 3 Highlights and Lowlights 01 Long ball over the top from Ayala almost puts Diaz in…..the goalie just gets there first. A repeat of the first minute v Barnsley. (Buckley was the provider then.) Pickering takes a throw, receives the return and drives to the box. He lays off to Dolan who returns nicely to Pickering who centers to Gallagher but he is well marked and hooks it over the bar. 03. Great chase back and persistence from Dolan as he wins the ball, near the corner, and clears. 04 Travis wins the ball, Gallagher to Rothwell to Diaz who turns inside 2 defenders and lets a shot go from 20m but it’s saved comfortably. Nice move. 06. Ayala muscles the Cardiff man into touch about 5m from the goal line. It will be the first long throw by Cardiff. 07 Ohhhh! The City man beats 3 or 4 Rovers in the air, on the edge of the goalmouth. It hits a startled Kaminski and The rebound is straight to Morrison. Kaminski gets his arm to his header but it’s going in until Nyambe heads off the line. A goal-saving clearance! (Worth +5). Kaminski should have punched the throw I think. 13 Lovely long ball from Lenihan for Gallagher to chase. He’s away from his man and shoots from the right corner of the box but it’s weak and nearer the corner flag than the goal. 14. A quick free-kick catches us napping and a nice cross into the box is cut out neatly by Ayala. 19 Pickering is out-jumped but Ayala cleans up in the box. 23. Buckley collects the ball in the centre of Rovers half and releases an exquisite ball over the defence. Gallagher is steaming goalwards, the ball comes over his head and he controls it beautifully without letting it bounce. One more touch takes the ball to the edge of the box and he buries it in the net. Great goal! 30 Dolan takes on his fullback, runs to the line and wins a corner. Good cross by Rothwell and it’s that man Ayala again but this time his header hits the bar! Buckley returns nicely into the box but there’s a foul. Hot stuff. 31 A long headed clearance from Lenihan reaches Dolan on the wing. He takes on his man again and beats him, releasing the perfect cross into the box for an unmarked, charging Diaz to shin home on the volley from around the penalty spot. Another wonderful goal. 33 Gallagher picks up the ball, runs back and forth and, full of confidence, unleashes a shot from well outside the box but it’s just wide. 35. I like this new Gallagher, he picks up from a throw, charges towards goal, shoots from the edge of the box but it’s deflected to the keeper. 41 Rothwell goes on one of his runs, beating men here and there, a bit of luck maybe but he’s in the box and crosses dangerously but Cardiff defend well and eventually Buckley puts the ball well over the bar. 45 Oh calamity! Hard to describe this…..you have to see it! Diaz picks up the ball on halfway. He drives forward but his pass is deflected by one defender into second one and the ball rolls magically into Diaz’s path. He's Still not fully in control as he enters the goalmouth, there’s the keeper and a defender in front of him but he dummies them both by mis-kicking…….the tortoise paced shot beats the keeper and the panicked defender kicks the ball against Diaz and it’s a goal. Diaz will never score another like that if he plays till he’s 90! 47 Newly introduced Giles gets past Pickering easily and his cross beats Ayala but Lenihan is covering the near post, thank God! 52 Buckley collects a clearance on his chest and lays off nicely to Pickering who plays a long, delightful ball down the wing to Diaz. He crosses from the left corner of the box and Sam rises high to nod back across goal. Dolan is too quick for the defender, leaving him in his dust as he controls with his chest and slips the ball past the keeper. 55 Lenihan off, Carter on. A precaution I hope! 57 That man Giles again leaves Pickering for dead and reaches the goal line but a charging Rothwell sweeps the ball out for a corner. Giles delivers a beautiful cross and Morrison heads home. Not sure who we can blame there. 64. Dolan off, Khadra on. Dolan laps up the adulation as he takes the longest possible route to the changing rooms! 66 That’s 2 good defensive headers from Carter. Great stuff. Dolan leaves the pitchside having shaken hands with everyone in the ground. 67 Oh my! Giles does Pickering again and his cross is beautiful. Harris meets the ball perfectly but Kaminski tips it over the bar brilliantly. Khadra could have been better and Ayala was slow to react. 68. Excellent clearing header from the corner by Carter. 69 Khadra, on the wing slips the ball square to Gallagher, he takes it on and drives into the box but he’s dispossessed by a good sliding tackle. 71 Rothwell plays a nice ball to Khadra on the wing but he overruns it and it goes out of play. 74 Giles gets in another cross that Ayala has to deal with…..he blasts Khadra for his lack of urgency. It’s a corner. Carter blocks a powerful header with his chest, and the rebound is hit over the bar. Carter has been excellent since he came on. 76 Giles attacks down the wing, reaches the goal line and Ayala can’t prevent the cross. Giles again takes the corner but Ayala heads clear. Gallagher nearly gives the ball away near the box but fortunately the move fizzles out. 82 Edun on, Rothwell off. 83 Edun’s attempted clearance is intercepted but the danger passes. 84. Giles can’t beat Pickering this time but it’s a City throw. 85 Carter gets a foot in to break down an attack and Buckley launches one of those over the top balls for Diaz to chase and he gets a powerful shot away but it’s comfortably blocked at the near post. 86 Buckley’s pass is too long and Diaz gives the ball away to set up a Cardiff attack. Pickering is done again on the wing and a great cross comes in. Carter wins the header well but it’s a corner. Giles takes it and Carter heads clear. 88 Travis passes to Diaz in the City half and he heads towards the right edge of the box. He releases sideways to Gallagher in the D. He has his back to goal and 2 men on him. He swivels and gets a decent shot in. The keeper palms it away and Buckley runs in but loses out to the defender. It spins to Khadra and the keeper has a rush of blood and clatters Khadra to the ground. Penalty. The camera concentrates on Diaz. He looks fully focused. Beautiful penalty, low to the left and the keeper goes the wrong way. 90 Nice ball from Edun to Buckley who threads a neat ball down the line for Khadra to chase. He stumbles in the box but lays off to Edun who squares the ball to Gallagher on the penalty spot. He tries to side-foot it home but hits the defender. A disappointing end. Constructive criticism welcomed.
  10. I have only been to Cardiff once, did it piss down! All in all it was a reet good weekend. I had money and stayed at the Hilton.....Souness and the team brought the cup back that night. I think I got drunk! Head to head: W 26 D 22 L24 - close. First game at Ewood 02/01/1922 lost 1-3. Most recent, at Cardiff April 21: 2-2. Only club, not from England, to have won the FA Cup - 1927. Recent players to have played for both clubs, Rudy Gestede and Junior Hoilette. Little known fact, Rudy shares my birthday (10/10). Eight games played, Rovers giddy in sixth, 13 points, Cardiff tenth, 11 points. TM needs to feck off, but on the basis it won't happen in the next week, he will no doubt "shuffle the pack" yet again. I predict a riot, but no idea about the score. DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT....Dylan Marlais Thomas (before you all shout he was born in Swansea....he's still Welsh), a sombre poem at best....sums up the fact we should all pull together to hope at some point the Loons depart and we can rise again. Here's to a win. COYB'S.........
  11. PLAYER WATCH v Barnsley 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 Kaminski ****** Nyambe **************** ***** Lenihan ************************** ***** Ayala ******************** ***** Pickering ******************** ***** Travis ************ ***** Buckley ************** ******* Rothwell (71) ****** ****** Dolan (66) **** ***** Poveda (66) ****** ********* Brereton ****** ********* Khadra (66) ***** ** Clarkson (66) ** **** Edun (71) * ** Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings above) 01 Buckley plays a ball over the defence for Diaz to chase. It’s a nice idea but it’s just too far and the goalie gets there first to parry away. 01 Buckley just gets a foot in to dispossess the Barnsley man. 03 Buckley in Rovers half receives the ball, moves nicely inside his man and threads the ball towards Diaz, making a good run, but again it’s too hard. 05 Lovely long ball from Lenihan finds Dolan unmarked in the left corner. A lot of nice interplay from Rovers until Poveda does too much, loses control and the move breaks down. 06 The Barnsley forward beats Buckley too easily and moves into the box. Fortunately his cross was just too high. First let-off! 07 Pointless free-kick given away by Buckley. 13 That’s the third overhit long ball in a row from Buckley. This time the ball beats Poveda and runs into touch. It’s also the third time that Poveda has been frustrated by poor balls from his new colleagues. 15 Travis picks up the ball on halfway and cuts between two defenders before laying the ball off perfectly to Diaz in the box. He cuts inside and his shot hits Dolan in the head………..it was heading for the corner flag anyway. Poor effort (the position was very similar to the goal he got against Hull) . The ball bounces out and that’s a high challenge from Buckley but he gets away with it. Travis wins a challenge and the ball runs to Diaz in the box but he’s offside. 19 Oduor picks up the ball in the centre circle. Travis falls over somehow, Rothwell is ineffective and Lenihan is nutmegged just outside the box!!! Kaminski spreads himself wide and makes a fantastic save with his leg. BIG let-off! 24 Another poor pass to Poveda, this time from Nyambe. 25 Nice one-two between Nyambe and Poveda but poor final pass from Nyambe. I think Diaz was offside anyway! 27 Twice in a minute Rovers are daydreaming when the ball comes in from quick Barnsley throws. 30 Buckley chases down a long ball and is hit in the face as the goalie clears the ball. Barnsley get a free-kick for some strange reason. 32 Dolan beats his fullback beautifully and crosses from the right edge of the box…….I think Diaz opted not to go for it…..anyway the ball flashes across the face of goal. Eventually Pickering slides a peach of a pass to Diaz making a good run into the goalmouth and from a narrow angle his deflected cross bisects Dolan and Poveda agonisingly as they waited for a tap-in. Buckley gets a good foot in to dispossess his opponent. 33 Poveda gives the ball away in midfield leading to a Barnsley attack but Nyambe wins the ball back in a dangerous position. 36 Buckley intercepts a pass but can’t keep it in play. 38 Ayala beaten to a header for once but Lenihan wins the second header. After a bit of panic Ayala does well to block the ball out for a corner. Ayala and Lenihan get in each others way from the corner allowing Helik a free header but there’s not much power and Kaminski saves comfortably. The two centrebacks look at each other and shrug their shoulders. Let-off number 3. 42 Pickering slips in the corner making a clearance and Barnsley gather and put on a fair bit of pressure which we struggle to clear. Eventually Travis brings down his man just outside the box. The free-kick is blocked by the wall and cleared by Ayala. Apparently our pass success rate in the attacking third for the first half was 52% 49 Lenihan heads forward powerfully to Dolan but he’s offside. 51 Sloppy from Buckley as he lets the ball run over the line for a Barnsley throw. 52 He makes up for it with some nice control and a pass down the line to Pickering but it fizzles out and Buckley gives away a foul. 56 Poveda dispossessed again. Nicely picked up by Nyambe who puts in Dolan on the wing but his cross is poor. 57 The ball is won well by Rothwell in midfield but Buckley’s pass forward is awful. 57 Travis wins the ball and Rothwell drives forward and releases the ball sweetly to Diaz’s feet, he nets but is a mile offside! Sloppy, he set off far too early. 58 Lenihan intercepts and strolls into midfield before releasing Poveda to run down the wing. His cross is in front of everyone and runs out of play. Poveda looks really fed up! 61 Lenihan intercepts and Travis does well to feed Poveda on the wing but he is dispossessed again. 63 Nyambe wins the ball well in a tackle and feeds Poveda but his crossfield ball sails over Diaz’s head and out. Nothing’s working for the lad today. 64 Another of those ineffective “from behind” tackles from Rothwell results in a dangerous free-kick just outside the box. Deflected by the wall for a corner. Fortunately Barnsley give away a foul. 66 Clarkson and Khadra on. Poveda and Dolan off. 67 Travis beaten too easily but the resulting cross is cleared by Ayala. 67 Adeboyejo turns Khadra inside out twice in our box but the cross hits Pickering and it’s a corner. Frieser outjumps Travis and his powerful header is tipped over brilliantly by Kaminski. Another let off. Finally Diaz heads a third corner clear. 69 Lenihan heads clear and Khadra’s off like a whippet; he plays a superb ball through to Diaz to put him one on one with the goalie but his first touch is poor and the goalie closes him down. Terrible miss by Ben but I have to admit he did well to charge from our own box into the Barnsley box but it’s that poor first touch again! 70 We nearly paid for that immediately, Nyambe fails to prevent the cross and a totally unmarked Barnsley man smashes the ball past the post. How many let-offs is that? 71 Edun on for Rothwell. 74 Edun gives away a free-kick in the middle of our half. Soft. 76 Lenihan loses a header but Buckley is there to clear. 77 Clarkson upends his man on the halfway line. 77 Frieser’s long throw is half cleared by Pickering to the wing but Diaz fails to chase down and is lazily claiming a throw…..but Frieser keeps the ball in and his cross finds Helik at the near post who outjumps Ayala. The ball falls almost on the line but Adeboyejo somehow fails to touch the ball into the net! BIG BIG let off. 80 Free-kick by Clarkson is overdone but the Barnsley man fails to clear but Khadra’s control let him down. 85 Clarkson does well to dispossess the Barnsley man and break down an attacking move. Pickering slides the ball to Edun who avoids a nasty tackle neatly and sends Diaz chasing down the wing but he loses out in a shoulder to shoulder with Helik. Barnsley attack and Pickering wins the ball in the corner but Edun’s clearance is intercepted and Styles smashes a hard, low shot from 25m just past the post. 87 A low seemingly innocuous cross comes in from the wing and Pickering seems to slip and, falling backwards, spoons the ball over his head and it’s nearly an own goal! Deary me we have been lucky today. 88 What’s this all about? Nyambe is the fourth player to pick up the ball for this throw in! 88 Pickering plays a lovely long ball for Khadra to chase into the box. He beats the defender with ease and lays off to Clarkson who takes one touch and tries to side-foot the ball into the net but there’s not enough power and the goalie saves. Khadra gets the ball back and feeds Edun in the D but he loses control. Eventually Nyambe wins a corner. 90 Another panic inducing run by Khadra into the box but this time there’s too many defenders….but still good to watch! Final pass success rate in the attacking third third is 50%!
  12. Barnsley away is a fixture that holds a special place in my heart. 30 years ago a visit to Oakwell marked my first proper away fixture, my only previous experience of away games being Lancashire cup ties at Blackpool and Preston. There was a big game feel that day and Rovers turned out in numbers with the season reaching the business end, as well as offering us a chance to get a first glimpse of what seemed like our 25th new signing of an extraordinary season. The more cynical onlookers suggested that Duncan Shearer had only been bought to neutralise the threat of Swindon Town in the promotion race, but we didn’t care. Since Newell has been carried off as we battered Newcastle at Ewood, things hadn’t been clicking, and it only took 25 minutes for the signing to look inspired. A long diagonal ball from Alan Wright was flicked almost perfectly into Shearer’s path by Barnsley defender under pressure from Speedie, and he steered it in on the turn. A chant that would become commonplace in about 6 months time rang out, but that was this particular Shearer’s only real contribution in Rovers colours as he joined the failed attempts to replace the injured Mike Newell Club with Roy Wegerle over his 6 appearances. Some pretty crap defending later and we’d conspired to lose the game 2-1, this fixture being the second of 6 defeats on the bounce and part of a longer wretched run of form the modern day Tony Mowbray might even struggle to survive. It all worked out ok in the end though. Shameless plug - re-live this game and this season, as well as many others, set to a soundtrack of the day withSound of the Season at Rovers Radio - select PODCAST from menu Barnsley’s own moment in the sun came 5 years later as a second place finish took them to the top flight of English football for the first, and to date only time in their 134 year history. Under Danny Wilson, Barnsley developed a much admired and very successful passing style, and Neil Redfern proved a much more effective spearhead of their attack than the fat Dingle they binned off - I can’t see the Padiham Predator playing for anyone where it’s just like watching Brazil! Our next trip to Oakwell came in November 1997, for what was a real game of two halves. After ourstrong start to the season, a Sherwood goal in the opening period we completely dominated led me to believe a win would be routine. However, Barnsley’s second half display was at times sublime… all one and two touch stuff, little flicks, brilliant movement, spectacular efforts, and we came away grateful for the point knowing there was more than a little truth to the chants. Fast forward. Last year represented Barnsley’s best ever finishing position since that solitary Premier League season. A fifth place finish and a narrow defeat over two legs in the playoff semis making a mockery of the narrative that you can only reach the top 6 by being a “big club” or spending big money. Their owner, Chien Lee also has stakes in 5 other clubs scattered throughout Europe and iscredited, if that’s the right word, with bringing a “Moneyball” approach to his clubs. Andy Holt was battering him and this approach on Twitter this morning. The multi ownership is worrying, but football has to be unique in its constant search for and celebration of “investors”, but then complain when they look for a return… but I digress. At ground level, it’s a bit more nuanced. While their style may have suggested an analytical andstatistical approach, playing the percentages is nothing new. The signing of Daryl Dike, a catalyst of their good form in the second half of the season,also flew in the face of their supposedly rigid model. Yes, he’s young, but his loan was never going to become permanent after a $20 million buy out clause. For the past couple of years though their recruitment has been far reaching, picking up young players cheaply from all over the place. Valerien Ismael was an inspired appointment, andreplacing him was always going to be a tough task. Markus Schopp hasn’t had the easiest time of it so far with injuries (and Visas!) and results have been, at best, mixed. Expect them to play a 3-4-3 formation with Cauley Woodrow at the top, but the team and tactics have not been settled thus far, so the rest is anyone’s guess. They play Stoke tonight which might give some inkling. Mowbray must have been given some food for thought after the Hull game. The Armstrong shaped hole hasn’t been addressed, and I expect we will see various different solutions throughout the season. I’d like to see this line up against Barnsley: Kaminski Nyambe Lenihan Ayala Pickering Travis Rothwell Dolan Butterworth Brereton McBride I know there is no chance, but we obviously lack a centre forward, apart from Gallagher who is injured and of questionable quality particularly for our style of play. Elsewhere on the pitch we seem to haveenough options, or at least we will when some of the injuries return, but Armstrong going has left a void. Hal Robson-Kanu anyone? The back 4 and midfield picks itself, though I have been impressed with Buckley so far, but not as a wide forward. Prediction: Score draw. Our last two performances haven’t been without their issues, but a 4 point return added to our early season haul has given us a points tally far greater than I’d have expected at this stage. With the transfer window now out of the way, and a manager who is going nowhere for the moment, we arewhere we are. It’s great to see we actually have some really talented players and a team who are easy to get behind for 90 minutes - I plan to switch off from all the other shite and do that on aSaturday. That’s not to say that everything at the club is wonderful, far from it. Our pathetic CEO ought to have a look at how Barnsley, a minuscule club in comparison to Rovers, are now averaging higher attendances than us. A fantastic early bird season ticket offer (that had run its course way before Waggott thought about putting ours on sale), providing real value will have helped.
  13. PLAYER WATCH v Hull City Thankfully I only got to see the second half! 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 Kaminski * * ** Nyambe ** ****** Lenihan ********* * Ayala * ** Pickering ** ******* * Clarkson (54) * Travis ******* * * Buckley (54) ** * Rothwell * ***** **** Dolan (89) ******** ** Brereton * ****** ****** Khadra (54) * ******** Butterworth (54) ** ****** *** Davenport (89) * Highlights and Lowlights (Justification for the main ratings above) 45 The Hull defender fails to clear a long ball, Buckley picks up and drives towards the box. He slips the ball sideways to Ben but the pass is poor and a good chance goes begging. 46 Hull attack down the left and Nyambe has his man covered but Buckley chasing back gets in everyone’s way and allows a shot on goal but Kaminski collects the bouncing ball. 47 Neat ball from Rothwell to Pickering on the wing. He carries it forward and puts in a good cross but Ben gets under it and it’s high over the bar. 48 The Hull player attacks down the right, Travis makes a weak attempt at a challenge, fortunately Nyambe makes up a huge amount of ground to block the chance and it’s a corner. 49 Hull throw-in into the box, Lenihan is too far away from his man, Clarkson’s challenge is totally ineffective and there’s a bit of panic but it’s cleared by Dolan. 50 Buckley in the full-back position is done comprehensively by the winger, the cross is good and Magennis nets but he’s offside. Lucky!! 51 Nice long ball from Lenihan has Ben chasing into the box but it’s just too long. 54 Khadra and Buttermouth on, Buckley and Clarkson off. Immediately Khadra shows off his skills, dancing past defenders to get out of a tight spot. Blimey he’s off again, jinking in from the wing he lets off a shot but it’s deflected and the goalie collects. 55 Rothwell goes on a great run from halfway and slides a lovely ball to Butterworth on the edge of the box. He takes it on but is well marshalled and his shot is deflected behind. 57 Lovely ball down the wing from Lenihan to BBD who falls over but wins a free kick on the edge of the box. 59 Butterworth picks up the ball 25m out and unleashes a rocket. The goalie can only parry it out to Dolan but he can’t get a clean foot on it and it’s wide. It’s really livened up since the subs came on! 60 Rothwell’s corner is well placed but there’s not much pace on it. Never mind, that man Ayala thumps his header into the back of the net anyway! What a player he’s been this season! The ground’s rocking! 62 Butterworth picks up the ball in the centre-circle and the Rovers steam forward. He releases the ball beautifully to BBD who shoots from inside the box but it’s saved. 63 Khadra passes a neat ball through to BBD on the wing but his cross is disappointing. It finds its way to Travis outside the D and he unleashes a powerful shot but it’s wide. 64 Travis passes to BBD just inside the right corner of the box. He nudges the ball goalwards and crashes the ball magnificently into the net. Where did that come from? 70 The excitement is over for now. Hull are allowed to stroll through midfield, Rothwell and Travis look lethargic. A great cross is floated to the far post and Pickering did well to get his head there first when he wasn’t favourite. 73 Dolan flicks the ball over the head of the defender for Nyambe to chase. Nyambe does well to get a cross in but it’s cleared. 74 Hull are strolling around midfield again and we can’t get a touch on the ball! 75 Lovely ball from Pickering into the corner for Butterworth. He beats Smallwood and runs into the box but his shot hits the side-netting from a narrow angle. 76 Good challenge by Travis allows Nyambe to slide a ball through for BBD to chase towards the box but it’s normal service resumed as his shot is weak and misdirected! Moncur is allowed to waltz all the way through midfield, Rothwell’s challenge from behind is ineffective and Moncur smashes the ball at goal. Kaminski saves well, Moncur has another go but it’s high and over. 78 Nice ball from Rothwell to Butterworth near the D and he wins a foul in a dangerous position. Rothwell hits it over the wall but it’s too high. 80 Another stroll through the Rovers defence …..far too easy…..it ends up with a shot on goal but Lenihan blocks. 82 Brereton attempts to drive forward on the halfway line but loses possession and it’s dangerous. Moncur lines up another shot but it’s deflected for a corner. Pickering just put him off. 85 Khadra whips in a wicked dipping cross behind the defence but Hull do well to clear as Ben lurks. 86 Sloppy loss of possession from Rothwell on halfway allows Hull to attack. Potter, inside the box, smashes the ball into Nyambe’s face. Nyambe was brave there, he never flinched or turned his back as Potter pulled the trigger! The corner comes in and Kaminski under pressure fails to punch the ball clear. Fortunately he manages somehow to grab the ball at the second attempt. 88 Another “too easy” stroll from Hull but Lenihan tidies up. It comes straight back and Lenihan slides in to block a low cross at the near post. 89 Moncur allowed time to shoot again from the edge of the box! 90 A persistent Pickering holds up the winger and wins the foul. Travis wins the ball but passes it straight to Potter in our box but Davenport intercepts. Constructive criticism is welcomed.
  14. Who would be in your straight line up? Carter is back from Suspension but Poveda is out of this game. my team would be the same starting 11 that started against Luton. Carter back on bench for Maglorie. Maybe McBride for Cirino aswell
  15. GALLAGHER WATCH v Luton Town I panned Gallagher for his performance on Saturday but some fans disagreed so I thought ….as I re-watch the game…….that I’d pay particular attention to his contribution. 0 Long ball to the wing and Gallagher wins the header but Diaz can’t do anything with it. 3 Decent pass to Dolan on the wing but he is dispossessed as he tries to do too much. 5 Nyambe heads clear but Gallagher can only head into touch. Nice long ball from Buckley for Gallagher to chase. He’s too strong for the Luton defender and cuts a nice short ball towards the edge of the box for Diaz. Diaz falls over under challenge but no penalty. 6 He receives a throw-in on his chest but is surrounded and quickly dispossessed. 9 Routine pass then features in a bit of pointless head-tennis. 11 Loses header on the edge of Luton’s box. 15 Loses another header on the half-way line. 16 Not only is he not running around like his usual self but it irritates me how he just stands stationary next to two big defenders at our throw-in…..no attempt to run into space. Mind you, he’s not the only one guilty of that! 17 Another long ball and he loses out in the aerial contest. In fact de didn’t really try to compete. 18 Two attempted short passes - two failures to get past the defender. Easily pushed away from the ball as the defender clears. 20 Again out-muscled as a defender heads clear. Potts falls awkwardly. Mowbray having an animated chat with Gallagher. 21 Receives a throw-in on his chin/chest but no control and it bounces away. 22 Concedes a free-kick as he tussles for a long ball clearance. Had the Luton lad in a headlock! 24 Lovely ball from Pickering to Sam on the edge of the box but it's offside! 25 Receives another throw-in on his chest but is immediately dispossessed. 30. Receives the ball on the half-way line and holds it up just long enough to allow Buckley to take it forward. After a few more passes Pickering gets his goal. 32 Long ball from Kaminski goes over his head. 35 Collects a long flat ball but is scythed down as he turns and tries to move forward. A half-decent chance for Ayala from the free-kick. 37 No attempt to challenge for a high long ball. 40 Pickering wins the ball nicely on halfway but Gallagher fails to control, slips and a promising position is lost. 45 Messy football but Gallagher wins the challenge then more mess until Rovers win a free-kick. Comes to nothing. SECOND HALF 45 Long high ball and Gallagher fouls the defender. 47 Gets involved in the pushing and shoving with the goalie after Dolan’s simulation. 51 Rises to challenge for a long hoof upfield but way over his head. 57 Again involved in argy-bargy after Travis is fouled. But he hasn’t touched the ball this half yet! 64 YEHHH! His first touch of the half but the ball just bounces off him and is lost. 65 Poor challenge by Sam midway in our half earns him a yellow card. Free kick to Luton. Results in goalmouth ping-pong until the shot whistles wide. 67 He receives a short pass but can’t control it as the defender challenges. 68 Lovely ball from Nyambe into the box for Sam to run on to but he slips, falls and is easily dispossessed. 71 Receives the ball near the corner and beats his man but then runs the ball over the line for a goal kick. It looked promising! 75 Beaten in the air as the ball is hoofed high again. No attempt to jump. 76 And again. 80 Receives a throw-in, turns but is outmuscled and it’s a Luton throw. 81 Backing into his man he loses another high challenge without leaving the ground. 83 Promising move sees Sam receive the ball just to the right of the box, he slips but recovers, moves central but it’s crowded. Passes back to Nyambe who has a lot to do but he moves forward and gets a decent shot in and the goalie saves low. 85 Beaten in the air again. 86 Again the long ball fails to reach him. 88 Over his head again. Then a lovely ball slipped to him as he runs towards the box but he is dispossessed instantly. 89 Receives a loose ball with back to goal and no one behind him but by the time he turns the defenders are back to rob him. Dolan picks up the scraps and Sam gets it again, runs into the box but drags his shot well wide and it goes out for a throw! Disappointing. Nice ball to his feet from Dolan but he loses it immediately while in a good position. His close control is awful today. 90 Wins a challenge in our own half but it’s a Luton throw. 94 Another long high ball and Sam fails to challenge effectively. 95 Brereton hits the goalie in a one on one, it falls to Sam in a great position but his shot is blocked by the defender. Diaz or Sam should have scored. 96 He is haring down the wing and has a good chance to move in on goal but he opts to take it to the corner flag to waste time. He is immediately robbed and concedes the free-kick. Dumb. 97 The free kick isn’t cleared, we can’t get out of the half and Luton score. Gallagher is absolutely out on his feet. In the goal replay you can see that he has a chance to challenge but he is spent.
  16. https://www.brfcs.com/magazine/football/match/716858/blackburn-luton Looks like we can still barely cobble a squad together for Saturday. The team and bench look piss poor and an average Luton side will fancy their chances. Our game plan has to be to get at the incompetent Bell. Would probably go: Kaminski Nyambe Lenihan Ayala Pickering Buckley Travis Rothwell Poveda Gallagher Dolan Subs: Pears, Khadra, Butterworth, Clarkson, Davenport, Magloire, another kid chosen at random.
  17. This coming Saturday sees us travel to the North East to face a Middlesbrough team who currently sit in twelfth position on five points. As they are managed by Warnock (or Colin to some) we know exactly what to expect, it will full on and physical. Warnock and his team of Blackwell and Jepson have a reputation and their teams play on the edges of the Laws of the Game and have frequently crossed the line. However they have some dangerous players who can cause problems. Historically we have a decent record on Teeside with 22 wins and 16 draws out of a total of 63 games in which we have scored 76 goals. They moved from Ayresome Park to their current ground in 1995 and the first goal to be scored at the Riverside Stadium has played for both clubs (no prize for a correct answer). The Riverside, although rarely full these days can be quite intimidating (although not as intimidating as Ayresome Park) and getting a result is always sweeter in front of a patrisan crowd. There are some notable players who played for Rovers and Boro. Here are some cryptic clues to some of them. He was very talented. A dull colour and cooked meat. Little glade. A moose like animal and almost a type of glue. His sister had a fast car. The Specials had a message for him. A Greek island. Superman, the man of ....... Middlesbrough has played a part in my life so I like going there. Any SMC Old Boys will remember the Thorpe Cup which was a triangular tournament played between St Marys Colleges in Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Hull. I played at Middlesbrough and was put up by a family called Egremont. We went to the pictures on the Friday night and I wore my Rovers scarf. Needless to say we got chased round the town by some local skinheads. I later worked for ICI who had many plants on Teeside and did some cross site learning with other buyers. Getting to know one really well we established we were the same age, went to SMC and played football for the school. It transpired that he played in the Thorpe Cup match and reckoned he scored. I was in goal and swore I'd kept a clean sheet. He was best mates with one of the Egremont brothers whose house I stayed at. I will meet my friend on Saturday for a catch up before wishing each other all the worst for a couple of hours. Back to the game I would settle for a draw now but a win would be terrific.
  18. League Cup… I hope TM doesn’t make too many changes. Let the team gel - too many changes last season messed up the rhythm / instincts. A good performance and win on the back of the Swansea result will do the power of good for morale and belief - players and fans. Club should have done this as £5 tickets as a ‘thank you’ - packed Ewood, get the fans back.
  19. Club history The West Bromwich Football Club as we know it today, played its first match against Hudsons FC on 23 November 1878. Borrowing a ball from another local club they drew 0-0 in front of a handful of enthralled spectators, beginning a tradition of dull as f*** football that continues to this day. Ten months later, on 20 September 1879, West Bromwich Strollers were formed as an official club by a group of workers from the George Salter Spring Works, many of whom participated in the initial Hudsons match. These men from Salters, still without a ball between them (heehee) went to the nearest shop that sold footballs, in Wednesbury, where there were already the three flourishing clubs; The Old Athletic, another Strollers by coincidence and Elwells. Cooper’s Hill, a roughly triangular shaped piece of wasteland inspiring Tony Mowbray's modern 'tactics', and Dartmouth Park were alternately used. The players would carry a pair of portable goalposts with them because they were never quite sure where they would kick off. Hence the name Strollers. The first formally recorded match, as Strollers, was played on 13th December 1879 against Black Lake Victoria at Dartmouth Park and was won 1-0. Soon the name Strollers was thought to sound too casual so they changed it to West Bromwich Albion in 1880. The suffix was derived from an old foundry district in West Bromwich of the same name, where several of the members lived. The support for the Albion was such that paying spectators demanded to be entertained, for which purpose an enclosed ground was required. This was found on Bunn’s Field, also known as 'The Birches', located off Wallsall Street. With the still growing support Albion were in need of yet another venue. Four Acres became their new home in 1882. Despite a staggering 16,393 crowd in 1885 for the visit of our beloved Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion had eventually outgrown Four Acres and 'Strolled on' again, this time to Stoney Lane, only a short walk from the club’s previous grounds. By 1900 Stoney Lane had degenerated to such an extent that it had become one of the worst in the First Division, attendances had slumped to around 6,000, and the club faced a financial crisis. Another move was thought best for the revival of the club’ s fortunes. When the board took out an option on a 10 acre site, West Bromwich Albion found their permanent home at the now familiar The Hawthorns. So-called because the club’s secretary, Frank Heaven, had discovered that hawthorn bushes had flourished in the surrounding area at one time. To this day, the Hawthorns remains the highest football ground in England above sea level! It was also, incidentally, the first ground to successfully implement electronic turnstiles. The new ground brought with it the team nickname The Throstles, the Black Country word for Thrush, commonly seen in the hawthorn bushes from which the ‘ground’ took its name. My dad reckons, after chatting to Eric Morecambe in the 70s, that this nickname was the inspiration for one of his longest running gags. For example: 'Have you got the Throstles?' 'No, I always walk like this!' The joke was the oft repeated with potentially funny sounding words greeted by the same punchline; 'Have you got the sprockets/scrolls or other word topical to one of Ernie Wise's 'Plays what I wrote'. For many years a thrush ‘lived’ at the ground in a wooden cage which was hung above the player’s tunnel. Later the club had a replica of a large thrush perched on top of the half-time scoreboard at the uncovered Woodman Paddock. It also inspired the design of the official club badge, with a throstle, perched on a branch, depicted on a background of the blue and white club colours. West Bromwich Albion have alternatiely used the throstle and the town’s first coat of arms as their insignia. The arms were granted in 1882 and except the millrinds, which represent the iron and brass foundries, the items are all derived from the arms, crest and supporters of the Earls of Dartmouth, who were formerly seated at Sandwell Hall. The ostrich feathers in the crest, nowadays associated with the Heir Apparent, were introduced into English royal heraldry by Edward III, who probably derived it from his wife, Philippa of Hainault. They represent willing obedience and derenity. The shield with the stag’s head is charged with blue stars and fleurs-de-lys alluding to the sparkling water of Sandwell Spa. Less readily explained than the crest is the nickname 'The Baggies'. It is a mystery defying a solution; we do not know what to believe but you will enjoy whatever version. In its early days The Hawthorns had only two entrances, one behind each goal. On match days the gatekeepers would gather up the takings at each end and be escorted by policemen along the sides of the pitch to the centre line where there was a small office under the stand. The gate money, mostly in pennies, amounted to a considerable sum and was carried in large cloth bags. It wasn’t long before some wag in the crowd started shouting “here come the bag men!” at their appearance in front of the main stand, and this developed into a chant of “here come the Baggies!”, giving the team its unnofficial nickname. Another version claims that in early days of the club’s history, many of the supporters worked in the local ironworks and because of the intense heat, tended to wear very loose, baggy clothing. Since most of them would go straight to the match after work, it resulted in a very oddly attired bunch standing on the terraces at the Hawthorns, and led to the nickname of ‘Baggies’. A more surprising idea? The name Baggies was given to Albion’s ironworker fans by Villa supporters. They used to put on their moleskin trousers on Saturday afternoons, with belts worn instead of braces, and periodically they would give a sailor’s hitch to their unmentionables when they began to sag over their boots. When Albion and Villa clashed at the old Perry Bar Ground large numbers of Albion fans walked to the game. The ironworkers kept together in groups, many of them with their trousers at three quarters mast, and when near the ground, they were greeted with cries of `Here come the Baggies of Bromwich'” Finally, all labourers in the Black Country wore trousers from a thick material called `duck’. When new, it was snow white, but with frequent washing went a dark hue. When repairs were necessary, at knees and back, the dark trousers were repaired with snowy white `duck’. This gave a bulky appearance to the patch, so labourers with these patches were generally called Baggies, as they looked like flour bags, and hence the taunt from Villa supporters back in the old days... Random fact: West Brom full back George Shaw was the last player born in the 19th century to earn an England cap. Celebrity fans: Eric Clapton, Frank Skinner, Adrian Chiles, Lenny Henry, Joe Lycett, Liam Payne. Probably others? Previous Meetings: I honestly can't remember very many. I vaguely recall Keith Andrews scoring a fantastic volley against them once? Shared players: Mowbray (ugh), Reid, and I'm sure a great many others. Current form: 7pts from 9, rather like us! They've just swept promotion favourites Sheffield United aside 4-0, so not expecting an easy game! Standout players: You'll have to forgive my ignorance. Prediction: Dunno. Loss?
  20. Hi all, You probably won’t remember me but I was the talk of some inside info at times in the past, all legitimate, but in my latter posting days I became very aggressive. I apologise for my attitude. Turns out I was on the verge of alcoholism, and i have been through a rough few months since, well over 12 months now, it probably couldn’t have happened at a worse time. My life is still very much in the balance and I struggle daily, but I’m learning to deal better with things. Therefore if there is any posters out there who are past (well I say past, you’re never past with alcoholism) or present strugglers get in touch, I would appreciate it as much as you. I am so happy to be back on here and talk about rovers.
  21. So… Presumably back to the starting XI v Swansea and fingers crossed Morecambe was a one-off, not a reality check. To be positive, the nice new away shirt will be deployed. I am going 1-1.
  22. There is no mention of tickets for the Forest game, on the official site. Anyone know anything about it.
  23. I will start the first and much anticipated game of the season off. Whats folk thinking. Team selection ? Score prediction ? Attendence figure ?
  24. They might a non-league opposition, but I couldn't be more excited for this one. First game with fans for Rovers since the whole thing began. Sold out the allocation within 48 hours which is ace! Thought it was apt we have a proper match thread. Seemingly we'll be playing in a kit that won't be sold to fans, but they will be doing a prize draw for season ticket holders to win the signed, match worn strips. Negative COVID tests needed, but normality is on the way!
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