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  1. PLAYER WATCH v Preston North End 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 = numbers Pears ** * 3 Nyambe ********** **** 13 Lenihan ***************************** ******* 39 Wharton ********************** ***** 29 van Hecke ****************** **** 24 Pickering ********** ** 16 Travis ************** ***** 16 Buckley (65) *********** ******* 10 Rothwell (84) ************* **** 12 Khadra (75) ********* **** 7 Diaz ************** ** 24 Johnson(65) ********** * 17 Dolan (75) * 1 Edun (84) * * 0 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) Absolutely atrocious weather at Ewood today; the rain has been falling for hours and is still lashing down. The pitch is pretty much water-logged and every bounce of the ball causes a highly visible splash. Every pass is in danger of falling short as the ball is held up by the soggy surface. 00 First long throw from Riis into the Rovers box. An attacker beats Travis and Lenihan to the ball but his header loops high and safely into Pears’ hands. These long throws could be dangerous in these conditions. 03 Great ball behind the Rovers defence from Evans on the Preston right wing puts Browne clear just outside the D. Fortunately the pitch holds the ball slightly and Lenihan and Nyambe manage to get back. Browne avoids them and is still in control but his shot is scuffed wide and rolls harmlessly by the left post. 04 It’s noisy down at Ewood. For the second time, Khadra tries to be too fancy and is dispossessed. It’s not the game for that kind of stuff! 08 Lenihan rushes to take a free kick near the half-way line but it’s blocked by Browne who hasn’t retreated 10m. Wharton tries to clear up but heads the ball back to Browne’s feet. It’s dangerous but van Hecke intercepts the attempted through ball and clears downfield. 11 Preston’s long ball game is causing Rovers problems. Evans puts Lenihan under pressure but again van Hecke tidies up. 12 Rothwell, who’s been very quiet, robs an opponent midway in the Preston half and he’s haring towards the left side of the box. He checks his run, the full-back slips and Rothwell slides the ball to Travis in the D. He is slow to react and a defender comes in to challenge making Travis scuff his shot badly. That was a chance but probably the water held up the ball more than Travis anticipated? 13 I think this is the first time Pickering has touched the ball with purpose! He’s far upfield supporting Khadra with determination and blocks the ball out for a throw-in. A Preston pass holds up in the water near half-way and Diaz is on to it. He beats Cunningham and runs into the right side of the box. He attempts to square the ball across the 6 yard box but it’s deflected and Buckley picks it up near the byline on the left. This time Cunningham outjumps Diaz as Buckley’s cross comes in and Preston clear. Lenihan applies an unnecessary agricultural challenge to Browne on the Preston left and gets a yellow card. 19 Most of the recent play has been in Rovers half. We can’t launch any decent attacks and Preston keep to their successful long ball strategy. 20 Wharton wins his aerial challenge and Khadra just leaves Buckley a bit short with his touch but Buckley slides into the challenge and wins the ball. Rothwell picks it up and fires a nice long low pass out to the jet-shoed Khadra to chase on the wing, 10m out. Khadra beats his man and puts in a good cross but the defender gets in front of Diaz and heads to Buckley on the penalty spot. He can’t control it first time but recovers, does a drag back, creates space and fires towards goal…….Commentator Warren Lucy’s groan can be heard on Bolton Road as Buckley’s left -footed effort is well and truly scuffed along the floor gently to the keeper. 22 The rain’s slackened apparently but Rovers are playing too much intricate stuff. This time van Hecke leaves his pass short and Preston re-gather. Eventually Preston press forward and a ball into the box is intercepted by van Hecke but he simply passes to McCann just outside the box. Happily his shot is well off-target. 28 For the third time in as many minutes, Lenihan intercepts decisively and fires the ball forward and we end up with a throw-in deep in Preston territory. 29 He’s there again, 3 headers in ten seconds! More sustained Preston pressure. We just can’t exert any control, losing most of the second ball contests. Another Riis long throw. It bounces around in the box until Rothwell blocks and it’s a corner! And here’s a training ground move as the corner is hit low to the near post for Evans to flick a shot in. Great reaction save from Pears as he dives low to his left and manages to gather the loose ball before anyone else can react. Good save! 35 Preston attack from a free-kick on their right and Pickering can’t stop Evans crossing into the box but it’s too long and the attack fizzles out. 37 Travis commits a foul in the middle of Rover’s half. The free-kick comes in and Nyambe is beaten in the air. The header drops near the penalty spot and Travis rushes to clear but again Preston are first to the loose ball. Eventually another cross comes and Evans gets there before van Hecke but he can’t get good contact and it’s well wide and a goal kick. 42 We earn a free-kick near halfway on the right. At last we send up the big guns…….Lenihan and van Hecke but Rothwell sends a low flat ball down the wing for Diaz but it all falls to pieces as Preston easily clear the poorly directed ball. What a waste! To make matters worse, Buckley passes straight into touch! Lenihan and van Hecke splash back dejectedly to our half. 43 Stranger and stranger! Van Hecke wins another aerial challenge but before Rothwell can collect, he’s obstructed by the ref who stops play. He then decides to give the drop ball to PNE with no obligation to return the ball to Rovers. Mowbray is apoplectic and is shown a yellow card! Amazing stuff! The crowd are fully awake! Another free-kick presents Earl with a shooting chance from the edge of the box but it’s high. 46 Half time: A barrage of high balls has kept our 3 centre-halves on their toes. Fortunately they’ve coped well so far but Preston are on top and we have to find some answers second half! 60% possession to PNE! 45 Well, this is better immediately! Van Hecke to Nyambe to Buckley to Diaz down the right wing. Diaz gets a cross in but the defender heads clear. More nice stuff as Buckley wins his challenge and slips a delightful ball through to Khadra at the left corner of the box. He beats the first man but not the second. Disappointing end - he tried to do too much again. 48 Pears puts a free-kick straight into touch! 49 Another long throw from Riis and van Hecke heads away but only as far as McCann - his shot is blocked away. Earl returns but Pickering gets in a nice interception, Buckley flicks a lovely ball down the wing for Khadra who races forward but is challenged and has to settle for a throw. Unfortunately it all comes to nothing in the end with a poor Lenihan cross straight into the goalie’s hands. 52 Pickering takes a throw to Buckley near the left corner flag. He’s closely marshalled by 2 defenders but manages to scoop the ball past them to Khadra who immediately crosses to find Diaz on the left corner of the 6 yard box. Ben’s glancing header is of the highest quality and the ball whistles into the net near the right post. Pure quality from start to finish! The crowd are on their feet. EIEIEIO! 55 Wharton fouls a Preston man midway in the Rovers half on their right. Whiteman delivers a wicked cross behind everyone and it’s a relief to see the ball go out of play for a goal kick. 57 Lots of half challenges around the Rovers box until Pickering finally gets in the important challenge to end the messing about….goal-kick. Good stuff from Harry! 58 More nice work from Evans sets Riis free on the left wing. He turns Lenihan inside out before delivering a quality cross into the 6 yard box but Pickering is there again to make the crucial intervention. Finally we get a goal-kick. 63 Lenihan wins a couple of headers but Evans takes him out on the second one. Rovers players charge in to protest. Van Hecke gets pushed over and as he jumps to his feet seems to catch Cunningham accidentally with his head. Now he falls to the ground! Oh dear! Van Hecke can’t believe he’s being booked! 65 Buckley off, Johnson on. It’s not been ideal conditions for John but he’s getting a great ovation. Johnson is in immediate action as he wins two robust aerial challenges. I like it. We get a throw in. 68 Nyambe holds off 2 defenders and runs to the box where he is scythed down….no foul!! Then Travis commits an innocuous foul and is booked! Go figure! Another Riis long throw, Johnson gets up and Lenihan clears with a bicycle kick. A cross comes in from Riis and this time Wharton plants his body between the goal and Evans…Evans falls over and claims a penalty….dream on! 70 Nice interplay on the left wing between Rothwell, Pickering and Khadra and Harry wins a throw near the corner flag. 71 Khadra wins a corner. Rothwell delivers and Johnson’s header is blocked but Johnson recovers the ball and passes back to Rothwell who puts his head down and…..runs the ball out of play! Johnson has made a real difference since he came on with his physicality and energy (yes really!) here his sliding tackle forces an error. Pickering is much more involved too. A bit of sustained pressure from Rovers. 75 Diaz wins a corner. Khadra off, Dolan on. A huge cheer for Dolan. 82 A bit of Preston pressure around our box. Earl on the left plays the ball against Nyambe’s outstretched arm………..big claims for a penalty but thankfully they are ignored! Evans is booked! Huge let off! 84 Rothwell off, Edun on. 87 Another aerial challenge won by Lenihan, Pickering chases it and lofts a long ball to Diaz on the left wing. Diaz uses his strength and controls well, he beats his man brilliantly and storms towards goal. With the inside of his right boot, he tries to bend a shot from the edge of the 6 yard box but the keeper goes down at the near post to save. Dolan can’t quite get there but it falls to the unmarked Travis on the edge of the box. He has plenty of time but his shot is awful and flies high and wide! 90 Panic ping pong in the box until Pears falls on the ball. Van Hecke claps him on the back and Travis slaps his hand! Prepare for more nervous nineties! (5 minutes). 91 Edun gives away a free-kick on our left wing. The high ball comes in and van Hecke is beaten in the air, more ping pong, it’s off Lenihan’s knee then finally Nyambe clears acrobatically from the edge of the box. Diaz sprints to apply some pressure on the Preston man who is forced to pass back to his keeper. More seconds consumed! 94 Rovers throw and Johnson lobs a long ball for Diaz to chase. He’s offside but he keeps chasing the ball and a lot of time is run down! 95 Preston fire one last chance into the box and Johnson heads clear. He’s been a really effective sub today….The whistle goes and the players embrace. Big lap of honour. It’s been a hard match to assess. Too many disjointed incidents and not a lot of quality due to the conditions. I did my best.
  2. 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.
  3. Such is the roller-coaster ride of Rovers' rampant and ridiculous rabble of ragamuffins, that it seems no-one (else) feels capable of stepping forward to preview the game against Championship whipping boys Peterborough United this coming Wednesday (yes, less than 48 hours away and not a word, not a peep, not a whisper of a match thread). Till now. To the Board's rescue comes the mighty, but largely clueless, keyboard warrior formerly known as Wild Irish Rover, but now oddly monikered 'WIR Second Coming' ever since a strange clash with a long gone Mod in the dark days of goodness knows when. Long ago. I digress. Wednesday evening sees the return to Ewood Park of Darren Ferguson's Peterborough United (theposh.com) with the two sides poised for an epic, if somewhat baffling, battle of half wit / half worry-wort with there being only one clear winner - the weather. Posh are in something of a tail-spin sitting at 22nd in the division, having won only twice since September, and collecting only 3 points from their past 5 games. Rovers are in much healthier shape, going into the game having taken 10 from a possible 15 points, even whilst establishing a new club record for a home defeat along the way. Ferguson is apparently regarded as an up and coming manager in the game of association football, so far being saddled with a less than glittering track record to date taking in the heady heights of Posh (currently his 3rd stint), Preston Knorr Th'End and Doomcaster Rovers where no trees were torn up, or football boots thrown in dressing room spats despite his being the spawn of a Red Devil. Head to head over the years has been unpredictable, other than to say you can predict the next game is going to be unpredictable. It looks like there has never been a scoreless draw between the sides, so perhaps lump on some cash at the bookies. No, perhaps not. Rovers' propensity to vacillate continued at the weekend of course, with the same group of players that gave a footballing and motivational lesson to a side only just out of the Premier League being harried, bruised and battered off their stride by a very poor bunch of cider-quaffing louts. Only the kwality of our Plastic Chilean mascot rescued a difficult point from our otherwise huff and puff / lack of Arte et Labore - long may El Diaz continue to bosh in the goals in such fine 'Gamst Stylie' I say. Players who have graced (or disgraced) both teams include... Derek Dougan - (Centre-Forward, turn-coat and late of this parish since 2007) (a chorus of loud boos from many a Rovers die-hard, or at least those who are still alive despite being able to recall the treachery associated with that name). Bit of a Posh Doog, at the time, no doubt. Serhat Tasdemir (Attacking Midfielder born in Blackburn) - Finding players who've been at both clubs is definitely a trivial pursuit opportunity - but apparently this chap was released by Rovers and is now plying his trade with Barnet, having made some appearances at London Road. Niall Mason (Defender / Defensive Midfielder) - early career featured a spell with Rovers, eventually signing professional terms with Aston Villa but never appearing for them, and instead arriving at the Posh via another Rovers (doomcaster). Prediction for Wednesday Evening? Heart says Rovers have to stamp some kind of authority on this one, despite being dictated to by Brizzle at the weekend - So perhaps a fine 2-0 Head says you can only bank on being baffled at the mind-games played so expertly by our gloriously deluded leader as we hurtle towards kick off. Could go either way, but based on form alone, plus the Posh' awkward 'habit' of taking the game to Rovers at Ewood, an unsurprising result might be 2-3 in Fergie time. I won't be there - am having to self isolate with the family, and can confirm that this Covid thing is real. Currently completely unable to taste or smell anything - NOTHING AT ALL - which is a weird thing. All I can say is, I still expect a strong whiff of bullshit emanating from Ewood Park in the run up to the game, but I am hoping that it will be the sweet smell of victory for the mighty Blue & White, rather than the stench of bewilderment for the few hardy souls brave enough to venture out for this one. O Come on Ye Blues!
  4. 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!
  5. Hope as many of you can make the trip Bristol on 20 november The "other lot" are at home against Tranmere so you might bump into Tranmere followers en route to Bristol Please buy your match day tickets in advance as their will be no pay on the day and this will not be altered I understand the ticket allocation is 1,500,how are the sales progressing? Just been checking the away folloeing in the last few seasons. 2015/16 953 2016/17 556 2018/2019 ????????? unable 2019/20 659 2020/21 Covis restrictions Match day programmes will be on line only and I am lead to understand they will be FREE to look at on line for match day ticket holders Parking is normally in the streets around the area as long as you are there by 1pm please don't block drive ways or park on corners. COMING BY ROAD Head to avonmouth junction 18 on the M5 and follow the route A4 Bristol Airport along what is known as the Portway under the Clifton suspension bridge and the ground will appear in the distance TRAINS If you are coming down by train,an appeal to purchase the tickets to PARSON STREET station.Its the same price and it gives us(Bristol City) ammunition to get better facilities for the official train station for Ashton gate until we get a new train station opened nearer to ashton gate Train time are XX:27 past the hour which takes you two thirds of the way to the ground and then walk the rest of the way ,although there is a 13:56 departure from Parson Street which is good arrival time for the train from the North of England at 13:40pm On the return its a good time from Parson Street at 17:25pm On your way to the ground we have our statue of John Atyeo in the home section at the Winterstoke Road end Casualty and Holby City were filmed in the City don't ask me about either of the programmes cos I think their both rubbish The young ones was also filmed in the BS7 area of the City(actually its Bishopston) Finally the block of flats on the left behind the dolman stand side as you are in the away end is "the" block of flats in "fools and horses" Bring your camera and turn up early if you want to take any photo's Pubs possibly best one are in the cumberland road basin area novia scotia pump house and the cottage. suggest park your car and then walk to the ground. Harbourside area of the central area is very good BBC Radio station is radio Bristol which has frequencies and 94:9 and DAB (and 95:5 up till 3pm), with full match day commentary on BBC radio Bristol which should be on 94:9(if not it will be on Bristol DAB Bristol seems have become the English Hollywood with recent dramas filmed in the City being The outlawsShowtrial, The Girl Before and Chloe and The Long Call Please circulate to other football sites you deem necessary If you need any further info ask away and I don't bite
  6. 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!
  7. Blackburn Rovers vs. Sheffield United Its preview time once again! This takes me back to when previews were the norm on BRFCS, a simpler, pre Venkys era, where mythical figures like ABBEY, Bob Fleming (still of this parish?) and the nodrog ran riot. The glory days of Premier League mid-table obscurity, where fans bickered over the ambitions of the Walker Trust and hierarchy to push the club forward and how tepid the tactics and football had become under the watch of Big Sam. Self indulgence alert, I think this is the first ''proper'' preview I've done since the Norwich City home game in the fateful relegation season of 2011/2012. On that occasion we were victorious, a 2-0 home victory with goals from El Gato Formica, our OG South American star and Mr days away from signing the contract....Junior Hoilett. With an undefeated run in previous previews, lets hope we can continue the trend! Fast forward nearly 10 years and this bring us to the match this Saturday, Sheffield United at home, and, in a shameless nod to the ''good old days'' I'm going to party like its 2007 and try and give you a classic BRFCS preview. The Form (last 5 games) *Pre the midweek Fixtures Rovers - L D L W W Sheffield United - L W L W L The Opposition The feel good story of the recent, pre pandemic, Premier League. The 2019/20 version of the Blades under stewardship of local manager and boyhood fan of the club Chris Wilder were the team everyone outside of the top 7/8 clubs aspired to be. Powered out of their six year purgatory in League One, by the brilliant man management skills of Wilder, a style, culture and philosophy was born in their historic 2016/17 campaign. In came John Fleck and Jack O'Connell, along with the goal scoring Leon Clarke, plus a solid core of Billy Sharp, who scored 30 goals that season and club captain Chris Basham, along with a crucial switch to the fluid 3-5-2 formation and an EFL juggernaut was born. 2016/17 - League One Champions, 100 points, 14 clear of second placed Bolton Wanderers and 18 clear of 3rd placed Scunthorpe United. 2017/18 - Championship consolidation and a top 10 finish, further shrewd signings of John Lundstram, George Baldock and Enda Stevens laid the foundation for the 2018/19 - Championship runners up and automatic promotion that followed. Oliver Norwood, John Egan and David McGoldrick joined an already well oiled machine to power United back to the Premier League for the first time since 2006/07 and the whole Carlos Tevez affair. Anyone who was at Ewood on 3rd October 2018 will remember that team and their ruthless efficiency as the Blades ran out deserved 0-2 winners thanks to a Billy Sharp brace, in my opinion, one of the most impressive displays I've seen by an opposition Championship team at Ewood in the last several years. 2019/20 - Premier League, after a shaky opening few fixtures, Wilder's men settled impresively into their new surroundings and began to thrive. A top half Premier League team from the middle of October and sat in 7th position in the table with ambitions of Europe as the pandemic struck. Cue the collapse? Yes, but it maybe wasn't as bad as you'd think. Sheffield United's post lockdown record P10 W3 D2 L5 Pts 11 But three defeats in a row at the end of the campaign foreshadowed what was to come. 2020/21 - Premier League, including the last three games of the previous season, the Blades went 20, yes TWENTY, Premier League games in a row without a victory! Not only that, but in that time a home draw against Fulham and a point at the AmEx Stadium was as good as it got! 2 points out of a possible 60. In the relegation zone all season and duly relegated back to the Championship with six games remaining. Wilder was dismissed after 28 games. 2021/22 - Championship, Back to the second tier, now under the stewardship of Slavisa Jokanovic, the Blades have had a mixed start, but remain a real threat due to their talented squad. At some point you feel that the team will 'click' and go on a run of victories, lets just hope its after this Saturday! The Team The lineup vs. Blackpool last weekend. Not to forget squad players Chris Basham Oli McBurnie (Scottish international - £17.5m signing) Billy Sharp Rhian Brewster (England u17 World Cup winner in 2017 - £23.5m signing) David McGoldrick (Irish international striker) Ben Davies (on loan, former Preston defender, signed by Liverpool in February 2021) Rhys Norrington-Davies (Welsh international and part of their EURO 2020 squad) Sander Berge (Norway international - £20m signing) Connor Hourihane (Irish international) Adlene Guedioura Oliver Burke (Scottish international - £6m signing) You really do get the sense of the squad depth and under achieving talent they have at their disposal. A Foot in Both Camps A forum favourite, players who have played for both teams. This one may be harder than most to put a decent team together? Matthew Kilgallon, Jack O'Connell (youth for Rovers), Jordan Slew, Keith Gillespie, Alan Kelly Jr, Nathan Blake, Mark Patterson, Marcus Bent, Andy Morrison, Frank Talia (never made a full appearance for Rovers, but plenty as sub), John Curtis, Alan Wright, Ashley Ward, Craig Short, Garry Flitcroft, Jon Stead, Colin Kazim-Richards, James Beattie, Lee Williamson, Andy Taylor (youth for Rovers), Jay McEveley, Harry Chapman. Managed both Ken Furphy, left Rovers to manage Sheffield United in December 1973. Howard Kendall Coaching connections Brian Kidd, Lee Carsley Famous Fans As you'd expect with a big city like Sheffield, the club has several famous fans. Most famously Sean Bean. Jessica Ennis-Hill, Joe Root, Kell Brook and Paul Heaton amongst other famous Blades. From the archives 146th Anniversary Credit to the club who have made the tickets for this game, the 146th Anniversary of Blackburn Rovers Football Club. £14.60 for Adults in all areas £10 for Seniors £5 for 18-13 year olds £3 for 12-17 year olds £2 for 0-11 I wonder what Messer's Lewis and Constantine would think of how far the club has come since the inception in in 1875. Overall record vs. Sheffield United (1875 - present) 149 previous meetings Rovers 54 victories Sheffield United 59 victories Draws 36 Memorable matches 15th January 1894 - Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Sheffield United - Chippendale, Haydock 2 and Calvey with the goals (first ever meeting) 29th March 1907 - Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Sheffield United - Aitkenhead (the score from the black and white footage above) 3rd March 1930 - Sheffield United 5-7 Blackburn Rovers - Bourton 4, L. Bruton, Puddefoot and J. Bruton (highest scoring match between the two) 19th April 1986 - Blackburn Rovers 6-1 Sheffield United - Garner, Patterson 3, Thompson and Barker. In front of just 4,736 fans. Was anyone from this forum there that day? 16th March 1993 - Sheffield United 2-2 Blackburn Rovers - Sheffield United won 5-3 on penalties. FA Cup Quarter Final Replay 15th January 1994 - Sheffield United 1-2 Blackburn Rovers - A fine Shearer double, as United finish with 9 men! 1st April 2000 - Blackburn Rovers 5-0 Sheffield United - Duff 2, Ward, Ostenstad and Jansen (the first of back to back 5-0 victories on 1st April, see 1st April 2001) 9th September 2006 - Sheffield United 0-0 Blackburn Rovers - Brad Friedel saves two penalties at Bramall Lane! (Neill also missed a penalty for Rovers) 3rd February 2007 - Blackburn Rovers 2-1 Sheffield United - Morten Gamst Pedersen with a dramatic last minute free kick winner (the last time Rovers beat Sheff Utd) Predictions I'll leave that for you to discuss. I hope Rovers can continue their good home record in a tough week against Fulham and Sheffield United. Two victories would really kick start a playoff push! Here's hoping!
  8. PLAYER WATCH v Sheffield 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 ******* *** 11 Nyambe **************** *** 14 Lenihan ********************** ******* 26 Wharton *********************** ******* 24 Edun *************** ********* 5 Davenport (77) *********** ****** 8 Travis ************** ** 19 Buckley ********************* ***** 30 Poveda (92) ********************** **** 34 Khadra (66) ************* ******** 15 Diaz *************** ********* 18 Dolan (66) ***** * 7 Rothwell (77) ** 3 Butterworth (92) 0 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) 01 A long clearance from United flies down their right wing. Wharton ánd Sharp are in hot pursuit. Wharton is nearer the ball but Sharp is quicker and Wharton is under pressure. He tries to put the ball out but doesn’t make proper contact and Sharp is away. His cross from the byline is perfect and Brewster volleys powerfully into the roof of the net. There’s a big character test ahead! 04 The United fans are still in full voice. Then there’s an excellent long, crossfield ball from Travis to Khadra who controls beautifully, skips infield and beats his man who then has to hack him down just over 30m out. Yellow card. Buckley’s free-kick is headed clear. 06 Lenihan gives a crude foul away midway in our half. Edun, for some reason, decides to stay in midfield leaving Khadra to mark the whole of our left flank! When the United winger gets the ball he passes behind Khadra and into the box. Edun chases but inexplicably falls flat on his face! Fortunately Wharton is well-placed to cut out the cross. 07 Edun fires a nice ball from halfway down the inside left channel to Diaz, 40m out. He goes on one of his runs and the ball is bobbling all over the place, off his knees and ankles, but he somehow bamboozles 3 men until he goes down in the box. It looked like a clear penalty to me, tugged back by Egan - he’d only the keeper to beat! The ref thinks differently, Diaz can’t believe it, Mowbray is screaming at the ref and the crowd roars its fury! 09 Buckley puts a foot in and Poveda is off on a jinky run. He puts a nice ball through to Diaz on the edge of the box but Ben somehow misses the ball! The crowd are wide awake now. Good Rovers pressing. 13 Lovely long ball by Lenihan lands perfectly for Diaz on the edge of the box; he nets but was offside! 18 Good United move sees the right winger get a cross in but again Wharton is in position, in the box, to intercept for a throw. From the throw Edun and Khadra are too easily beaten by White but Travis runs across the box to challenge and it’s another throw. 21 Well placed free-kick by Khadra from midway in the United half but Lenihan can’t quite get there as the keeper hesitates. 27 Buckley dispossesses a United man in midfield and Travis plays a lovely ball to Khadra, 35m out, but it’s poor control by Khadra and the defender slides in to clear. From the throw, Wharton misjudges the ball and United steam forward. It’s dangerous but Nyambe sprints back and manages to get his foot in and Rovers clear up. 28 Lovely through ball from halfway by Poveda finds Diaz on the edge of the box. Ben tries to cut it back to Buckley but it’s blocked. Disappointing, Ben holds his head. 32 Another good free-kick by Khadra from midway in the Sheffield half, on the right (same place as the last one!) into the 6 yard box. The defender does really well to get there just before the ball reaches Wharton! Two quick corners keep the pressure on. 35 A beautiful long crossfield ball by Buckley from halfway falls perfectly for Edun near the corner flag. His cross is blocked but Davenport picks up the loose ball and gives it to Khadra 20m out. Fancy footwork keeps three defenders at bay and he lets fly from the left edge of the D. There’s a slight deflection and the ball hits the back of the net. Nice goal. 37 Wharton misjudges a ball into the box and Sharp pinches the ball. Lenihan’s robust challenge clears the danger. 40 Edun is stranded in midfield again as the ball reaches a totally unmarked Bogle at the edge of the box and where is Khadra? Khadra eventually gets back to deflect Bogle’s shot for a corner. This defensive partnership of Edun and Khadra is just not working though! 41 A good long run by Diaz but his final pass is short…..he picks it up again and feeds Nyambe high up on the wing. His cross finds Poveda in the box and he brings the ball down on his chest but a defender clears it off his toes. Davenport wins it back on the edge of the box but his rushed shot is well over the bar. 43 Poveda is well beaten by Stevens on the wing. His dangerous cross is met by Lenihan but only reaches the edge of the box. Fortunately, this time Brewster scuffs his shot wide. 48 More trickery from Poveda on the right wing before he slips a pass to Diaz in the box. Ben doesn’t control it fully but he follows the ball to the byline and his attempted cross is deflected across the face of goal. Khadra chases it down and some nice interplay sees Nyambe with a chance of a shot on goal but there’s a reason he never scores as the ball disappears into the heavens! 53 A Rovers throw in the United half. Buckley collects and glides between 2 men, he reaches the box and slides a glorious, square, low ball across the face of goal but there’s nobody there to tap in! Then there’s some fancy footwork from Khadra on the left wing which leaves the defender in his wake but his cross is too high. The camera focuses on Travis who is winding everyone up! Great stuff. Then there’s a dangerous length of the field counter move by Sheffield and White receives in the box but Davenport slides in to block his cross….corner. Good lad! 55 It’s loud now! Travis wins a free kick just inside United’s half and takes it quickly to Khadra on the wing. He slips it to Edun who puts a great cross into the goalmouth but Diaz can’t make contact………….close! 56 Fleck fires a lovely ball, from halfway, over our defence, catching out Wharton and it falls to Sharp but his shot is well-saved by Kaminski’s legs. Wharton chases Sharp towards the rebound and puts the ball out for a throw. 58 Good strength from Lenihan wins the ball for Rovers and breaks up a dangerous attack. Poveda picks up near our box, on the right, and starts a long run. He lays off to Travis just inside United’s half. Travis carries forward and Poveda keeps running……..he’s pointing to the right of the box, behind the last defender. Travis threads the ball exactly to that spot and Poveda collects near the byline He squares the ball perfectly for the fast arriving Diaz who nets from 1m. Fantastic goal and Ewood erupts! Terrible swallow dive celebration by Ben but I forgive him. 60 Fantastic, length of the field pass by Wharton finds Diaz who controls well and turns the defender inside out but he’s come too wide and his shot is well off-target. The atmosphere is electric. 61 A Sheffield attack breaks down and Khadra is on the ball in a flash and drives forward with real pace. He lays off to Diaz on the wing and keeps running. Diaz delivers it back to Khadra inside the box but he overruns it. He recovers but the defenders close him down and block the shot. A square ball to the unmarked Poveda would have been a better option! 66 Dolan on, Khadra off. 67 White’s neat turn does both Lenihan and Davenport but his pass into the box is too hard for Sharp and Kaminski collects. White crosses from the left and Davenport makes an important interception but he deflects the ball only inches over the bar. A couple of corners follow and Kaminski punches the second one clear. 68 It comes back and eventually Buckley wins the ball. Diaz picks it up and he’s off, Poveda and Edun are keeping pace with him. It’s 3v3. He slips it left to Poveda on the edge of the box and his first-time shot from a narrow angle is saved at the near post but the keeper can’t hold it. Poveda collects again and does a 1-2 shimmy round the prone goalie and taps the ball past the last defender into the net. Brilliant by Poveda. WE WANT SEVEN!! 71 A fantastic, long, crossfield ball by Buckley bends behind the last defender and lands at Diaz’s feet. Ben takes it into the box but stumbles, falls over and the ball is lost. 73 Poveda, midway in the Sheffield half plays a beautiful, defence splitting pass through to the charging (but well-offside) Diaz. White gets the better of Travis, Lenihan and Davenport so they foul him. 74 Edun is dispossessed in our own half, Travis is nutmegged and White lobs a perfect ball over our entire defence to the feet of Mousset. Kaminski makes a great save, it’s pandemonium as it falls to Mousset again. This time Lenihan blocks 3m out and Wharton gets a crucial foot in …but it falls to White 12m out and his shot crashes against the woodwork and goes out of play! The gods are with us! 76 Dolan does some fancy stuff near the corner flag and gets clattered for his cockiness. Buckley puts the free-kick well over…..disappointing. 77 Davenport off, Rothwell on. 80 I reckon everyone is now thinking “Is there enough time for them to score 2?......or3?” 81 Beautiful lobbed ball by Travis to Diaz on the left wing but he’s offside! 82 The ball comes into the Rovers box, Lenihan’s there to block but it’s not clear. Nyambe thinks he’s shepherded it out but no…...White keeps it in (dubiously!) and crosses. Again Lenihan’s there to put it behind for a corner. 83 Buckley picks up the ball midway in the Rovers half and carries it forward. He releases the inch perfect ball to the pleading Diaz midway in the visitors half. There’s no one in front of him and he runs to the edge of the box but his shot is too near the keeper and it’s saved. 85 White lobs another fantastic ball over our defence to Mousset but he can’t control it and it’s a goal-kick. Kaminski’s kick is weak and Edun can’t get it under control and Sheffield attack. Lenihan and Travis clear up. Eventually Diaz gets the ball midway in United’s half. He does that magical “I haven’t got it under control...but I have really” thing of his and squares it to Buckley. He passes to Poveda who beats 2 men in the D and rolls it forward a metre to Buckley who is free and clear but his shot hits the post. It rebounds to Diaz who completely mis-hits the ball in front of an open goal! He was offside anyway! 90 A lovely floated ball into the box gets the better of Lenihan, Edun and Wharton but the Sheffield player can’t control it and Kaminski collects. 92 A nice touch as Poveda is named Man of the Match….he is subbed for Butterworth…..but gets a standing ovation! 95 The whistle goes and that’s the perfect answer to Wednesday’s debacle! Well done everybody! Another nice scene as Poveda and Khadra come out on to the pitch to wallow in the celebrations.
  9. 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!
  10. PLAYER WATCH v Fulham 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 ****** ***** 7 Nyambe *************** ******** 9 Lenihan ************ **** 15 van Hecke (32) ** *** -3 Edun *********** ********** -2 Johnson ************ *** 9 Travis ************* **** 14 Buckley *** *** 3 Rothwell (61) ******** ******** -2 Dolan (61) ****** ***** 3 Diaz *** ******* -7 Carter (32) **** **** 1 JRC (61) **** *** 2 Butterworth (61) ** -5 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) I wasn’t going to do this but decided it was my duty! It’s the most difficult one I’ve done because so many players were culpable for the goals that it was hard to allocate blame. But I tried my best! Let me know what you think! 03 Johnson passes straight to Mitrovic on halfway who notices that Kaminski is off his line and tries a long shot. Off-target fortunately. (Pathetic, half-hearted attempt by van Hecke to block by the way.) Rothwell picks up a loose ball and runs towards the box, he lays off to Edun near the byline but his cross is too close to the keeper. 05 Good, robust challenge by Nyambe wins the ball from Kebano but Rothwell presents the ball back to Fulham with a woeful short pass. They sweep it out to the wing and Reid drives it to the line where he goes past Rothwell with ease and Edun is scared to put a foot in inside the box. Reid puts the ball on a plate for Kebano, near the penalty spot, who gleefully smashes it into the net. 07 Unnecessary risky play around our own box as Fulham put on the press and inevitably Edun gives it away. After many Fulham passes Edun makes a good interception to win the ball back. 10 Decent long ball down the channel from Lenihan but Diaz is offside. 12 Blimey, they’re passing us to death at the moment! 16 Nyambe is done comprehensively by Kebano near the corner flag and the cross comes in. van Hecke hoofs away. But it comes back! Fulham are tearing us apart around the box until Rothwell gets a foot in and a foul on Buckley halts the torment! 17 Impressive attack down the Fulham left but Lenihan is in place at the near post to intercept the cross for a corner. 18 The corner comes in to the near post and Mitrovic swats Nyambe aside to smash his header into the net. What’s that all about? Why put Nyambe on the most dangerous header in the opposition team. Who made that decision? Mowbray before the game or was it the captain’s decision on the field? Dumb! 19 Travis to Nyambe on the wing and he plays a nice ball to Dolan just to the right of the box. Dolan wriggles into the box but his shot is weak and straight at the keeper. Disappointing finish. 23 Travis wins the ball half way in the Fulham half and passes to Buckley who slides a lovely pass through to Diaz inside the box, tight on the right, but his shot, from that angle and distance, is ambitious and well over. 29 van Hecke leaps and attempts to decapitate the Fulham man. Dearie me! Red card all day long. It’s a nightmare from here! Buckley off, Carter on! I’m not sure I would have taken off our most creative player in these circumstances but there you are! 34 We haven’t touched the ball since the re-start. Kebano beats Nyambe again and puts in a flat cross which Lenihan intercepts for a corner as Mitrovic hovered. 38 More neat play from Fulham and this time it’s Nyambe who blocks the cross at the expense of a corner. 41 Neat footwork as Edun beats his man and launches a long ball down the wing but Diaz is offside. That’s hard to forgive as we aren’t creating much and to waste it like that……………. 43 Deja vu. Just like the first goal but this time it’s Wilson who drives to the line and it’s Edun who is done all over before Wilson lays it on the penalty spot and Reed fires at goal. This time Kaminski makes an excellent save. Should be 0-3. 44 Lenihan is caught stranded upfield and Fulham stream forward. Mitrovic runs into the box and Kaminski saves his shot. This time Nyambe out-muscles Kebano and comes away with the loose ball. Half time. 46 Good long run out of defence by Edun, he passes to Dolan and heads for the Fulham D but the return pass is poor and the keeper collects. This is weird; the keeper boots the ball to halfway and Rothwell gets into a minor physical tussle with Wilson and the Fulham man comes away with the ball. Instead of chasing him down Rothwell stands there with his arms spread, complaining pathetically, while Wilson spots Kaminski off his line again and tries his luck. Kaminski scrambles back in vain but luckily the shot, from halfway, is a couple of metres wide. Fulham have obviously talked about Kaminski’s habit of pushing up, he needs to be more careful! 49 A long ball from Lenihan reaches Dolan with the help of Johnson and hares away towards the box. He tries to lay off a short pass to Diaz but again it’s not good enough. Diaz was offside anyway! 50 Fulham the first to every ball. Mitrovic receives the ball in the middle of our half and there’s no one anywhere near him! He puts a perfect through ball into the box for Reid to chase but Kaminski saves the shot. LUCKY! 52 Poor passes from Johnson and Rothwell stunt all momentum as Fulham continue to pass it around with confidence. They stroll through midfield with ease, Travis and Lenihan fail to stop them and Robinson fires wide from inside the box. A bad miss! 53 Carter and Lenihan are defending high up the pitch and Carter is drawn well into the Fulham half. Mitrovic leaves him stranded with a wonderful crossfield ball to Wilson on the opposite wing. Wilson goes past Edun far too easily and nutmegs Kaminski and it’s 0-3. Edun is holding his head in his hands. 55 Nice control by Travis and he finds Diaz just inside the box but he’s offside AGAIN! 57 Nyambe is dispossessed on halfway and a lovely ball through the middle of our defence creates chaos. Edun is drawn right across the field leaving Wilson completely unmarked on Fulham’s right. Mitrovic finds him in the box and he smashes the ball into the net. 59 Nice long ball from Lenihan finds Diaz on the wing and his header finds Edun in the box, he’s tackled near the byline but wins a corner. 61 Rothwell and Dolan off, Rankin-Costello and Butterworth on. 64 Edun wins the ball in midfield and runs forward, then finds Diaz on the wing with a lovely pass. Diaz crosses to Butterworth in the box but it’s intercepted. Apart from rare sorties like this, Fulham are in complete control, different class. 69 We win a free-kick deep in the Fulham half. We send up the big guns but Diaz and Butterworth decide to take a short one and it falls to pieces and the free-kick is wasted! Lenihan and Carter trudge back. But we still have the ball, Diaz receives it near the right corner and beats 2 men and runs into the box. His attempted cross is cleared. From the throw in there’s more neat footwork from Travis and JRC gets a decent cross in but Diaz’s header loops gently into the keeper’s hands. 73 Edun pulls back the winger by his neck. Yellow card. 77 Edun intercepts near our box but he then fouls a Fulham man….again around the neck! It’s a short free-kick and there’s some lovely inter-passing until Kebano gets it deep in the box. He turns so fast that Edun is left for dead and his deflected shot crashes into the net. 80 Fulham totally dominant. Kebano, with the ball, stationary on the wing teases Butterworth then darts past him to deliver a beautiful cross into the 6 yard box. Carter is done by Muniz who puts the ball in the net. 84 Fulham continue to give us a football lesson in all areas of the pitch. Kaminski has had to be agile a couple of times. 89 Reckless sliding challenge from JRC earns a yellow card. Neat football from Fulham again as they sweep the ball across the pitch. JRC is watching Robinson on the wing but allows himself to be drawn towards the ball and Robinson is away when the ball is switched wide. His cross is excellent but Lenihan and Carter have to do better as Muniz beats them to the ball and it’s 0-7. The humiliation is complete!
  11. Setting the Scene Wednesday’s match sees Blackburn facing off against one of the championship’s form teams in Fulham, who have won the last four on the bounce. This includes their latest match, a 3-0 victory over fellow favourite West Brom. However, Rovers also come into the game with two recent victories against Derby and Reading, so we should be in with a chance. With Fulham in 2nd and Blackburn in 7th, the match is great opportunity for us to stake a claim for the playoff positions or for Fulham to cement their status as one of the favourites to go up. The Opposition Having been relegated from the Premiership in 18th position, by a margin of 9 points, Fulham are hoping to return to the promised land at the first attempt. At the end of the season, manager Scott Parker left the club to take up the manager position at fellow Championship favourite Bournemouth. In his place, Fulham brought in Marco Silva, the former Hull City and Watford manager. In the summer, and unlike some relegated clubs, there was not a large exodus of players and in fact Fulham spent ~£12.5 million on bringing in Harry Wilson from Liverpool to add to their attacking options. With all the talent at the club, Fulham were predicted to be towards the top of the Championship. 10 wins in their first 15 games and boasting the league’s highest scoring attack, they are looking likely to fulfil their aim at the first time of asking. Star Man Too good for the Championship (60 goals in 97 games) but perhaps not good enough for the premiership, Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrović is the man to watch. Having a tremendous year (18 goals in 15 games), we will have to keep him quite to have any chance in obtaining the 3 points on Wednesday. However, just behind Mitrović in the scoring charts, one Ben Brereton-Diaz is having a career reborn (12 goals in 15 games) and let us hope his form continues. Player Connections Fans will be able to spot quite a few former Rovers in the current Fulham team: former loanees Tosin Adarabioyo (red card suspension) and Harrison Reed as well as Fulham captain Tom Cairney. Looking back over the last twenty years I will start off with my least favoured shared connection. Midfield morons Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy, and his reported £50k a week contract, enjoyed successful careers at Fulham before we were unfortunate enough to witness them at Ewood. Clinical finisher Andy Cole left Blackburn, after relations between him and manager Graeme Souness deteriorated, to enjoy a successful one year with Fulham. Former Rover Damien Duff enjoyed successful spells with both clubs, making over 100 appearances for each. Premier league winning centre half Ian Pearce finished his league career at Fulham before retiring to non-league football. Competitive Record The first time the two clubs played each other was in the 1920/1921 FA Cup in a 1-1 draw. Since then, Blackburn have played Fulham in 93 total competitive fixtures having won 38, drawn 25 and lost 30. The largest scoring game between the two was when we unfortunately lost to Fulham 7-2 on a Boxing day fixture in Division Two 1956. Our recent record against Fulham has been quite poor, winning none of the last four games, with our last win being a 3-0 victory at Ewood in 2016 with Ben Marshall, Shane Duffy and Danny Graham making up the scorers. Final Thought There is nothing quite so satisfying as a well hit volley Come on you blues!!
  12. PLAYER WATCH v Derby County 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 *** * 6 Buckley ********* ***** 11 Lenihan ************************** ******** 34 van Hecke **************** *** 23 Edun ********* ***** 10 Johnson ****************** ******* 15 Travis ******** **** 11 Rothwell ************ **** 15 Dolan (74) ******* *** 4 Diaz ************ ***** 19 Gallagher (85) *************** ******* 10 Khadra (74) ** * -1 Poveda (85) * -1 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main ratings given above) 01 Edun receives high up, on the wing, and puts in a great, first-time cross. Gallagher rises at the far post but his downward header goes wide. That’s a bad miss, it should, at least, have been on target. 03 Nice ball down the left wing from Johnson to Gallagher. Sam carries into the box but his shot is weak and wide. 05 Lenihan has to cover the right full-back position as Derby attack. Dolan is drawn in too and is bamboozled near our own corner flag allowing the winger to put in a dangerous cross. Lenihan is still out of position. Thankfully, Edun gets there first but it’s up in the air. Van Hecke hoofs clear. 07 Some nice approach play from our own box, involving half a dozen players. Finally it’s Dolan to Buckley on the wing, 20m out. His cross behind the defence across the face of goal is sublime. Diaz leaps in at the far post to meet it (with his shin I think) but the goalie saves. Diaz follows up and just manages to push it over the line. Derby try to play on but the ref isn’t fooled! 11 Hmm, Lenihan is being drawn forward to challenge more often than usual. No big problem yet but, without Ayala, it’s risky leaving a hole at the back. 13 Gallagher wins a corner on the left. Rothwell delivers to the far post and, under heavy challenge, van Hecke gets in a good header which grazes the right post. 14 Buckley is nutmegged by the winger but the attempted cross is cut out well by Lenihan. 19 Buckley wins the ball and drives over the halfway line drawing defenders towards him. He passes to Gallagher who lays it off nicely to Dolan. Dolan threads the ball through the defence towards the D, Diaz chases and collects and moves into the right side of the box. It’s quite a tight angle but Diaz slips the ball expertly under the keeper and into the net. Great finish! 22 Travis picks up in the middle of the Derby half and plays a neat 1-2 with Gallagher. Travis slips the ball square to Diaz just inside the box but his shot is scuffed and the goalie collects easily. Shame! that was hat-trick time Ben! 24 Good pressing from Rovers. 25 Lenihan leaping out of the line again, this time it’s a foul. Rothwell just seems to be running around at the moment - he’s not contributing much. No tackles, no passes. 27 Shinnie scythes down Gallagher with a crude challenge…..he’s lucky it was just a yellow. The Rovers players are incensed. At least Rothwell’s set-pieces are decent; the free-kick is met by Lenihan who heads back into the box but it’s cleared well by the defence. Corner. 31 Derby attack down their right and Johnson can’t stop the cross coming in from the edge of the box; Sibley brings it down but Lenihan intercepts, in the nick of time, and boots clear. A high ball comes back towards our box and Rothwell allows it to bounce, Lenihan is out-jumped and Travis tries to run clear but is dispossessed. Chaos! Eventually Buckley puts it out for a throw. 36 The commentators mention that Lenihan comes forward again, on the right, to challenge for a header…... further forward than we’re used to. It could be a conscious thing to protect Buckley? 37 Neat footwork from Rothwell midway in Derby’s half and it’s back to Johnson who slides a lovely pass down the wing to Diaz. He approaches the box and lays a beautiful pass behind the last 2 defenders to Gallagher on the far post. Sam fluffs his lines and puts it behind. Bad miss! 38 Bird picks up the ball in his own half and goes past Edun and Rothwell effortlessly. He slips it to Morrison in the box, van Hecke can't get there but his shot is too close to Kaminski and it’s well saved. 45 A loose pass from the Derby goalie is picked up by Diaz who squares the ball to Gallagher on the left edge of the box, he squares to Johnson inside the box but his side-footed shot is saved by the keeper’s legs. It falls to Dolan who takes a touch but then nudges it past the right post. We should be 4 or 5 up! 54 Lenihan brings down a Derby man just to the right of our D. The powerful free-kick goes through the wall and a diving Kaminski palms it round the post. 58 Lawrence beats Lenihan on the edge of the box and the Rover has to foul his man. Yellow card. Similar position to the last free-kick but the shot is well over the bar. 62 All a bit sloppy this half. We’re sitting back more too. 73 Not much happening. 74 Derby having all the possession. Lawrence shoots from just outside the box but it’s wide. Khadra on, Dolan off. 76 A long bit of Derby possession but no real danger. 77 Long Derby throw and Davies beats Lenihan on the near post and manages to flick the ball over his head. Edun brilliantly gets ahead of the attacker on the edge of the 6 yard box to head clear. It comes back though and Johnson heads clear. 79 Derby the first to every loose ball at the moment. 85 Buckley brings down the Derby man and stops a dangerous run but it’s a yellow card. Gallagher off, Poveda on. The free-kick leads to a lot of Derby pressure. Khadra is left for dead on the Derby right wing, he rugby tackles the attacker and it’s a free-kick just outside the box. Yellow card. The free-kick comes in, bounces off a head back to the edge of the 6 yard box and Davies hooks it into the net. That same old feeling! 91 More panicky, chaotic play from Rovers. Eventually Travis takes out a Derby man midway in our half. Yellow card. The free-kick comes in, Diaz loses the aerial challenge on the edge of the box and the ball reaches the penalty spot where Morrison brings it down and Richard’s shot hits the post. Lenihan helps to bundle the ball out of play. Pure panic! van Hecke heads away the resulting corner. Another cross comes in and this time Lenihan heads away. 93 A long hoof downfield from Derby and Edun is beaten in the air and the ball flies into the box. Van Hecke can’t prevent Richards charging on to the ball but his shot flies past the right post. Rovers living very dangerously as usual…..Richards pounding the ground in frustration! Outrageous time-wasting from Kaminski! 96 The whistle goes and Diaz punches the air! Phew!
  13. I thought I would start a match day thread for tomorrow game, any going to the game? Sadly I'm not due work commitments but good journey to anyone going. What would people starting 11 be? Kaminski Carter Lenihan Van Hecke Edun Buckley Travis Rothwell Gallagher Brereton Dolan I wouldn't play any Nyambe, Ayala and Pickering as we got 3 games this week.
  14. 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.
  15. PLAYER WATCH v Reading 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 *** ** 2 Nyambe (59) ************* ***** 18 Lenihan ******************* ***** 26 Ayala (37) **** * 3 Edun ********** **** 12 Travis ***************** *** 24 Rothwell (87) *********** ******* 13 Buckley ***************** ***** 23 Dolan ************** *** 29 Diaz ********* *** 8 Gallagher ******************* ***** 31 van Hecke (37) **************** ***** 22 Poveda (59) *** ****** -4 Johnson (87) ** * 1 Highlights and Lowlights (A justification for the main incidents above.) 05 Edun physically ushers out the Reading attacker and wins a throw. Blimey, opposition throw and we can’t get a touch as Reading attackers pass it about with impunity on the edge of our box! A shot goes narrowly over the bar! 06 Hmm! I think that’s the 3rd Gallagher flick on header from long balls already! Now Dolan is off down the wing, he avoids the defender and makes it to the byline, gets a cross in but it’s headed away by the defender on the near post. 07 Lovely long ball from Lenihan down the wing to Nyambe who controls brilliantly on his chest. He manages to get a cross in but it’s straight at the goalie. 16 Rahman turns Nyambe inside out in the box before firing off a shot but it’s over the bar. 17 Travis loses the ball in midfield and and Laurent hares down the wing. Nyambe makes up a lot of ground to challenge in the box and Laurent goes down. Cheat! 19 Rothwell is off on one of his runs but his attempted cross into the box fails to beat the first man. 21 Nice ball from Buckley to Gallagher in the box; Sam shields the ball well and lays off to Rothwell but his ball into the box is poor and the keeper collects. 22 Nyambe tries to clear a long ball but it falls at Laurent's feet and he tries a shot from 30m. Fortunately it’s well off-target. 23 Reading carry the ball all the way downfield, Nyambe can’t stop the cross coming in and Edun is beaten in the air but Yiadom’s header, from the penalty spot, is straight at the, well-positioned, Kaminski. 24 Buckley sends a lovely ball down the inside-left channel to Gallagher who chases it to the byline but his cross is delivered straight into the keeper’s hands. Rothwell steals the ball and puts in a short ball to Diaz on the edge of the box….but it’s a poor pass and Reading collect. 28 Turgid stuff. Reading dominating possession and when we do get the ball we are passing it from one defender to another in our own half! 30 At least it’s good to see Travis getting back to his normal self. Another good interception. 31 Rothwell picks up the ball in our half and he’s off again! From the centre-spot he releases a beautiful, defence splitting ball for Gallagher to run on to 35m out. He carries it into the box, cuts inside a defender and bends the ball round the diving keeper but it hits the joint of crossbar and right-hand post. So close to a fantastic finish by Sam. 33 Nyambe collects high up the pitch on the wing. He teases the full-back then drops his shoulder and sprints to the byline, gets a cross in but it’s headed away at the near post. 37 Needless foul by Buckley earns him a yellow card and it’s a dangerous position. Oh! Ayala walks off injured! The free-kick crashes into the wall and the danger passes. 39 Nice pass by Nyambe to Dolan straight down the wing. Dolan beats his man with ease and passes to Buckley. He crosses into the box where Gallagher challenges but the goalie was always favourite. 42 Nice ball from Nyambe to Gallagher 25m out, Sam turns his defender expertly and unleashes a shot from the right edge of the box but it’s 2m wide at least. Disappointing ending. 47 Reading pass their way through the middle of our defence too easily but it’s Lenihan to clear up again. A very poor half of football to be honest! 49 Rovers corner. Rothwell slides a flat ball across the ground to Gallagher unmarked to the right of the penalty spot but he puts it well over the bar. Training ground move but Sam should have been on target. 52 Lots of Rovers inter-passing in our attacking third, then Buckley neatly side-steps round his marker on the wing and passes inside to Nyambe who does a clever 1-2 with Dolan and Nyambe collects deep in the box at the byline. His cross is deflected luckily by a defender’s chest into the keeper’s arms. Good move. 54 Fantastic long ball by van Hecke finds Gallagher just onside in the inside left channel. He heads for goal but his flicked shot is at a narrow angle and straight at the keeper. 56 Buckley’s playing well at the moment, getting his foot in and showing good control in tight situations. 57 The second poor pass, in quick succession, from Rothwell as his ball to Dolan goes straight into touch. Now Reading attack and our defenders are back-pedalling. Diaz is chasing and manages to get his body into the box to block out the dangerous final pass. Foul given to Rovers. 59 Nyambe off injured. Poveda on. Buckley drops to right back! 60 van Hecke wins the ball on halfway and Poveda slips it to Rothwell midway in the Reading half and he’s off towards the box. Dann almost gets a tackle in but Joe just keeps control and his shot nutmegs another defender, hits the post and runs across the face of goal. Gallagher has a tap-in. 62 Reading almost level immediately. They cut through the centre of our half again. Poveda, Lenihan, Buckley and van Hecke all struggling to get near the ball. Puscas, sliding in, somehow manages to miss the final touch. What a let off! 64 Rovers work it nicely upfield and Dolan picks up midway in Reading’s half on the left wing. He heads straight for goal, cuts inside a defender and fires a fantastic shot from just outside the box. It bends round the keeper and into the right corner of the net. Super goal. 66 Dolan robs the fullback and steams into the box. He slips the ball towards the penalty spot but it’s between Poveda and Rothwell and the chance is gone. Van Hecke can’t keep pace with Puscas and we’re in trouble but Lenihan again comes across to intercept. He wins the foul. 68 Reading free-kick. Lenihan seems to miss his header, the ball bounces and it’s chaos but Travis hooks away for a corner. We’re missing that commanding Ayala presence as no one attacks the high ball from the corner, it’s bouncing around again and, this time Lenihan clears. 69 Danger again as Puscas crosses from the wing but Buckley gets up well to clear. 71 van Hecke is struggling and brings down the Reading man just to the left of the box. Yellow card. The free-kick comes in low and flat to the edge of the box and Buckley does well to rush out and block the shot. Eventually Gallagher wins the ball and clears. 76 We're inviting Reading to attack! There’s no out-ball. I’ve seen this before! 78 Poveda is dispossessed in our own half. He has to foul the Reading man. Poor play and a yellow card. 80 Dolan, on the wing, brings the ball out of defence and beats Drinkwater. He’s by the corner flag and this time nutmegs Drinkwater and slides the ball to Poveda in the box. Poveda tries to beat 3 defenders with the inevitable conclusion. Reading hoof clear. 84 Travis makes an important challenge in the box and van Hecke picks up the loose ball and lofts a nice long ball for Poveda to chase. Van Hecke keeps running. Poveda crosses to Diaz who heads the ball back across goal to the charging van Hecke. It bounces on the 6 yard line but van Hecke can’t direct it on goal and it’s just wide. What a fantastic goal that would have been! 86 Rothwell off, Johnson on. 88 Gallagher and Johnson combine to win the ball on halfway. Dolan picks up and gallops down the wing. He cuts inside and shoots trying to repeat his earlier success but this time the keeper brings out an excellent save. Diaz wanted the pass! Buckley takes a short corner to Travis who immediately loses the ball! Reading stream forward but Johnson takes one for the team. Yellow card.
  16. 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?
  17. 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!
  18. 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😉
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. For me, the same 11 if everyone is fit that played Cardiff. Bench the same. Its live on Sky Sports red button
  22. 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.
  23. 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.........
  24. 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%!
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