Northampton Town v Rovers

Northampton Town v Rovers
Posted by Ian
PTS Academy Stadium
Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#41
A battling and deserved point on a day when we were far from at our best. I thought Northampton were the better side in the first half, playing the better football and dominating possession for long periods. We gave the ball away too cheaply and did not get tight enough, or press well enough, all over the pitch. The second half was much more even and we were more solid, but our football still fell short of the standards we have set in previous weeks. All of that said, I think we actually had the better chances in the game: our hosts had a lot of speculative efforts on goal but Davies actually had very little to do, and we carved out several very good opportunities on the counter attack.

I was a bit concerned today that we went long too often, with too many balls knocked in behind for Norwood to chase. This tactic caused problems for their defence on a number of occasions, but I would like us to have retained the ball better in midfield at times, which in turn would have relieved some of the pressure on the back four. I also wonder whether we need to play three in midfield away from home against the better sides. We have played 442 away from home in every match so far, which has left us very open defensively, and a 532 or 4411 formation could give us a bit more control in the middle of the pitch.

Individually, I thought McNulty, Ellis and Monthe were absolutely immense and Davies was very sharp when he was called upon. However, Caprice was a bit of a liability defensively for the second away match in succession and almost cost us a goal on a couple of occasions. Norwood was relatively quiet, but checked back inside the defender and slotted the ball away brilliantly for the goal. Stockton was no better or worse than anyone else, and set up Jennings for our best chance of the second half, other than the goal. My man of the match was Connor Jennings, who worked tirelessly and assisted Norwood's strike.

As for Northampton, I thought they were a very good side in midfield but lacked something in the final third. I think they are on a par with Swindon but Mansfield were better than them.

Another excellent Rovers following of 691. Onwards and upwards.
 
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Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#42
Agree that it's a decent point. Unsure how we finished line-up wise, but guess Mullin will have been feeling disappointed getting no match time after a good showing last week and if Zoum was used as a wide player, Tollitt might wonder why not me. Gather DMH had an iffy game today.

How did the Rovers' old boys Taylor and Buchanan fare?
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#43
Yes, DMH was very poor. Lost possession in the build up to their equaliser and then nearly repeated the trick a few minutes later.

It was the right decision to bring Zoum on. We switched to 4411 and he gave us more defensive protection and helped us hold on to a point. I thought Taylor did ok, but their local radio criticised him heavily for Norwood's goal. I did not really notice Buchanan. Crooks in midfield was their best player.

It was interesting that their manager described us as a good footballing side, despite the fact we did not really perform today.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#44
Thanks RLC. Micky made the point post match that Banks has the ability to play it long for the likes of Nors but as you say it can put pressure on us if it doesn’t come off.

Mickey also mentioned a few balls across the face of the goal and was disappointed we didn’t get more players into the box. We do need the likes of CJ, Banks etc chipping in with some goals.

Boz mentions Tollit and at the moment you do basically have Ben, DMH and Larnell Cole fighting for one place as CJ will always play. Again Connor showed his value today by setting up the goal. As you say caprice who has impressed when going forward, does sound dodgy on his travels.

A good point overall.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#45
Interesting that MM has effectively blamed DMH for the equaliser in his interview, which is how I saw it too.

As an aside, Derek Jones is a bit of a sycophant in the post match interviews. Micky was honest about our deficiencies but his comments were not followed up, which does not make for a satisfactory assessment.
 
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5 Dec 2015
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Bobby Hutchinson
#46
Six games gone, essentially only one point of play offs.
Disregard mad man Jay and it's been a great start.
Some decent clubs above us, as long as there's two below us come May!
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#47
Interesting that MM has effectively blamed DMH for the equaliser in his interview, which is how I saw it too.

As an aside, Derek Jones is a bit of a sycophant in the post match interviews. Micky was honest about our deficiencies but his comments were not followed up, which does not make for a satisfactory assessment.
Yes I wouldn’t call Derek Jones the most testing of interviewers. Same old stuff
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#48
I think Caprice will always be a little bit of a mixed bag in that he can push forward really well but defensively is a bit weak. Not the kind of player you want when the pressure is on and then on the flip side you have McNulty, Ellis and Monthe who have been very solid defensively.

I completely agree with your comments RLC about midfield. I would certainly look to the 532 or 4411 away from home. I would like to see more ball retention and control of the game. Today we had Banks and McCullough in there, two great players with the ball but there was never any element of any real control in the middle and an extra body in there would certainly help. It never felt that comfortable to watch for me as we weren't that great when we had the ball.

Regarding Derek Jones, not sure he even knows he's doing it and his questions can be somewhat flattering at times but I think he's just too nice to ask the really awkward questions. He's a great commentator though, much better than the current team.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#50
Caught up with the highlights. Well taken goal from Norwood after some good interplay with Banks. A couple of decent saves from Scott Davies too.

The footage of the Northampton goal, doesn't show the build-up when Rovers lose possession, so can't assess DMH responsibility for that. However there are covering defenders[Caprice and Ellis], who don't do much, so not at the same level as say McEveley's error in the Cup replay v Peterborough. I'm not a fan of managers singling out players for blame, indeed MM made a point of not pinning all the blame for the Swindon game on Harris' stupid red card, so puzzled why he's so keen to spotlight the DMH mistake here.
 

joe

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13 Apr 2017
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#53
I made a point about Stockton previously that he is not good enough. He is a big strong lad who should not allow himself to be bullied by anyone, he should put himself about a bit. He fails to do this and in my opinion should not play the next game.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#54
Fair enough, haven’t actually heard the MM interview yet and was reliant on your first quote above.
I had not seen the full interview when I made the first post. MM does not mention anybody by name, but reading between the lines it is clear he was not happy with DMH's contribution in the build-up.

The goal was principally DMH's fault in my (and probably Mellon's) opinion.
 

ADD

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2 Jun 2018
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Norwood
#55
Correct he pulled out of a challenge because he didn't fancy it..... that is to my mind even more annoying than making a physical mistake
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#56
I still haven't seen the build up for their goal, but would make these observations;
DMH didn't come across as cowardly in his first spell with Rovers, indeed he won headers those of greater stature didn't even try for. I've only seen him in a 25 minute sub appearance v Port Vale, when he didn't seem to have declined that much.
Dylan didn't get much playing time in his loan spell at Chesterfield, with hindsight perhaps a bad move for him. Think he picked up an injury while there, so perhaps understandable that he tries to avoid repetition. However some Spireites felt he wasn't ready for L2 football then, so the same might apply 6 months on.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#57
I would not necessarily single him out as cowardly yesterday. I just thought he had a crap game and gave the ball away a lot.

Regardless of DMH's performance on Saturday, I think Smith is more talented and a more important player to us.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#58
DMH is probably just a typical winger. He’s not going to put his foot in and throw in a strong tackle. Neither would Tollit or Larnell Cole.

As has been mentioned, playing 5 in the middle away from home could give us a bit more steel in there.