Rovers 1-0 Oldham

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#1
It's always nice beating Oldham so can't complain too much. Thought the game was dreary in parts but overall it was a decent performance restricting Oldham to a couple of chances (2 on target). Ash was excellent again alongside Goodison and doesn't deserve to lose his place when McChrystal comes back, he's been really good last few games. Akins MOTM. Not sure about that..

Good win nevertheless that keeps us within touching distance of the top six.

Tiriyaki given 2/3 minutes. Come on Les, give him a decent run in the side. Can't be any worse than Showumni.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#2
I thought it was a a really good performance today against an Oldham side who close the space in midfield, are gritty and are difficult to play against. We showed greater patience today in retaining possession in our build up play rather than going long too early, and benefitted, creating several decent openings.

Agree with Ian that Ash Taylor was man of the match: I lost count of the number of important blocks and headers he got in, and to have seven clean sheets from 13 league games is fantastic. Akins had another good game, Baxter was up and down and I think struggled with the lack of space in midfield, but again showed his goalscorer's instinct. It is shaming for our other strikers that he has scored more goals in 5 games than they have since the start of the season. Enoch worked hard, but still looked badly out of sorts to me, poor close control at times and no real goal threat: the big man really has to start scoring soon, although I thought he got some rough treatment fom Mzoko today which the referee did nothing to prevent.

We probably shouldn't underestimate how well we did defensively to restrict an Oldham side that have been free scoring away from home this season. Fon Williams did not have a save to make, and I think our two full backs should also be given credit for our defensive showings so far: neither Raven or Buchanan are particularly great going forward, but defensively I think they are far superior to the players we had in those positions last season. The back five as a unit is solid as a rock.

A great result when considering Oldham's away record, and the sort of game we would not have won last season. With Devaney and Robbo set to return next week, a few winnable games coming in the next few weeks, and Rovers still in touch with the top six, things are looking pretty good.
 

DIW

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19 Aug 2009
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Goodison
#3
Funnily enough I also had Ash down for MOTM, and since the Carlisle game he has been truly excellent. Thought we again laboured at home, although seeing as we scored early this was less of a worry this time round. We are looking very solid at the back and in midfield but seriously lacking a cutting edge. Akins not bad, and got a few crosses in, McGurk a bit disappointing today.

3 points though. Lets have another 3 next week.
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#4
neither Raven or Buchanan are particularly great going forward, but defensively I think they are far superior to the players we had in those positions last season. The back five as a unit is solid as a rock.
Completely agree. Buchanan has really impressed me since he's come in, excellent signing. Raven has been far better than I had remembered. I'm sure he's improved since, but again, is solid at the back.

If only we could score more goals, we'd be quite a force.
 
29 Jul 2009
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Ian Muir
#5
I thought Baxter was mom the ball he played for enoch in the second half was fantastic he has got a good touch good vision and looks a good player.

It was very pleasing to beat Oldham its been a long time coming onto walsall next week and we owe them one from last season
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#6
As a side note, it was a really disappointing gate yesterday considering the family initiative, and the fact that Oldham brought 800 - 1,000 fans. Although the previous couple of home performances hadn't been great, it is alarming that a lot of the stay aways seem to be staying away for good now.

Also, why was Holmes on the bench rather than Kay ?
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#8
A good win for Rovers against a physically strong Oldham side. While at the time it didn't seem like we had the bulk of the possession (54%) they didn't test Fon Williams much, while the Whites had a few chances to add to the lead, notably the McGurk header onto the bar. The 4 minutes of stoppage time, which morphed into 6 was a bit tense, but we held out for the 3 points.

Defensively did a good job, despite Goodi and Raven not being at their best. Buchanan was good, though there were a couple of times when his inability to use his right-foot slowed things. OFN mostly sound, save one really weak punch near the end. However would agree Ash was excellent here, my MoM too.

Further forward, bit of a mixed bag. Welsh had a decent game on the whole, making some good block-tackles and actually tested their keeper with a free-kick, but passes went astray. Weir and Baxter drifted in and out of the game, Jose further up the field than the Bournemouth game showed some nice touches. Disagree with DIW over McGurk, who I thought played well, highlighted by nearly scoring at one end, then tracking back to defend at the other. Akins was really entertaining, couple of great step-overs, also running onto throw-ins into space and some good ball into the box. The defensive coaches won't be so keen on the pass-backs into the penalty area though.

Enoch still seems out of sorts, though has a claim on the goal, as his touch took it away from the keeper. I would have given Mustafa more time on the pitch, though still feel we may be better served trying Lucas or Adam up front. Also felt that putting Max on so late was a booking or sending-off waiting to happen, at that time in the game introducing Zoum rather than a young lad wanting to get himself noticed would have made more sense.

Disappointing crowd of 5117, only a handful more than Yeovil and more than 2k down on last season's opener, despite over a thousand travelling fans. The Kop seems particularly sparsely filled since going back to opening both parts. Kop was fairly quiet in the first half, where most of the singing seemed to be led from the Main Stand of all places, though perked up, as did the whole ground in the second. However if we're getting crowds of this size for the nearest thing to a derby on a nice day, then expect a few crowds of only 3k against southern sides in winter.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#9
though still feel we may be better served trying Lucas or Adam up front.

Disappointing crowd of 5117, only a handful more than Yeovil and more than 2k down on last season's opener, despite over a thousand travelling fans.
I would like to see McGurk played up front, as he did really well there at the end of last season, and I still get the impression he is more comfortable in this role than out on the left.

Regarding the gate, we had category C prices for the Yeovil game and had an extra 1,000 home fans in the ground compared to Bournemouth, Wycombe, Oldham etc. Maybe something for the board to think about, given that Birkenhead has been hit harder by the recession than virtually any other town in the country ?
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#10
Don't want to go completely OT, but people are going to think twice about paying £20 per adult, not sure how much for children. But going as a family certainly adds up. People don't have that cash to play with and I don't blame them for keeping it in their wallet. Football certainly isn't cheap even watching 3rd division football.

McGurk really isn't being used to his full potential. He's a striker not a winger and that's why we don't see the best of him. He doesnt have the pace or trickery to be a winger and is always knackered come the end of games. But he does his best. Certainly would try him up front considering our current goalscoring problems.
 

SonkORLY?

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8 Sep 2008
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Eddy Sonko
#11
Don't want to go completely OT, but people are going to think twice about paying £20 per adult, not sure how much for children. But going as a family certainly adds up. People don't have that cash to play with and I don't blame them for keeping it in their wallet. Football certainly isn't cheap even watching 3rd division football.

McGurk really isn't being used to his full potential. He's a striker not a winger and that's why we don't see the best of him. He doesnt have the pace or trickery to be a winger and is always knackered come the end of games. But he does his best. Certainly would try him up front considering our current goalscoring problems.
If we halved the price, would our attendances double? The current price structure seems like the best option for the club, although the value of having a packed stadium on a match-day (and how that might affect our performance on the pitch) is difficult to quantify.

Certainly don't think McGurk lacks trickery, and his delivery from the left is generally of a good standard. Plus he's left footed, and we don't really have an alternative while Devaney is out injured. On many occasions this season we have spent 90 minutes lumping useless balls forward to Enoch, who - if nothing else - has the natural athleticism to chase people around, challenge for headers and generally be a pain. Not sure Adam would enjoy doing that very much. Also, he has not been prolific from the left.

It would be difficult to argue that Akins doesn't deserve a chance at playing in his preferred position, but not sure he's composed enough to be the solution to our problems.

Would still like to see more of Muz.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#12
On the attendance front we got about 800 more for the Yeovil game than Wycombe, teams who brought roughly similar support (~20 more from Wycombe). If the Wycombe game had been a category C and the same increase in attendance ensued, we'd have made about an extra thousand in gate receipts, with the potential for more monies from other sales. Agree with RLC that in the local economic circumstances, any effort to get more bums on seats is welcome.

Certainly don't think McGurk lacks trickery, and his delivery from the left is generally of a good standard. Plus he's left footed, and we don't really have an alternative while Devaney is out injured. On many occasions this season we have spent 90 minutes lumping useless balls forward to Enoch, who - if nothing else - has the natural athleticism to chase people around, challenge for headers and generally be a pain. Not sure Adam would enjoy doing that very much. Also, he has not been prolific from the left.
Agree in part about McGurk. I don't think there has been as much lumping of long ball this season and if you don't have a big man up front, it's less of an out from the player in possession further back. Also Adam is no mug in the air and is perfectly capable of doing the closing down and chasing role up front. In his current role, he tends to take too many long distance efforts on goal suggesting a frustrated striker.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#13
Won't repeat too much except to say agree about Ash - he has excelled recently and must keep his place ahead of McChrystal.

As for the Enoch/Tiriyaki debate - again Enoch didnt impress but I was happy for Les not to change it until we had to run the clock down. We werent exactly under pressure and whilst we werent that threatening I agreed with Les that if it wasnt broken don't change it. Had we been getting deeper and deeper and all that then fair enough change it.

As for the attendance - lets face it, times are hard. I noticed no difference from any other game considering it was a family day. They were offering family tickets for £41 for 2 adults/2 adults which is still a lot of money when you think of the weekly family shop/petrol etc.

You just have to look at other attendances to see we don't do that bad.

Another solid display, 3 points, and on we go to another home game next week.
 
1 Jul 2010
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Dave Higgins
#15
I mentioned a few weeks a go that McGurk is possibly one our more technical players who has shown he has an eye for goal so while Robbo was out I had suggested Mcgurk could play just behind Enoch or Tyriaki - my prefernece would be for Tyriaki as I think he has a quick brain and may complement McGurk. Might have to play Zoum wide left until others return, but with McGurk in the hole we could play through the middle a bit more. Onwards and upwards - still a good result. :)
 
3 Apr 2007
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Goodison
#16
I don't understand this apparent phobia for not playing players in their actual positions, why can't we just play McGurk upfront? Not "in the hole", on left, upside down or whatever other bizzare suggestions are out there. Play him as the lone striker in the 4-5-1, just because he's not a big lump doesn't mean he can't hold his own upfront. Or if he can't, heaven forbid, we could play 2 upfront!
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#17
Yep McGurk was highly thought of as a youngster by Martin O'Neill at Villa playing as a front man and only got released coz of his injuries.

When he got in our side playing down the middle at the end of last season, he scored goals (Bournemouth away most notably).

I think he should be given a run down the middle but don't think Les will do it unless he had someone along side him like Chicken or Enoch.

But lets not bee too negative - we're not that far away from the top 6
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#19
On the McGurk debate, obviously I was only suggesting that he should be tried up front when Devaney returns, as I don't like the idea of Zoum playing left midfield.

Adam held his own playing the lone striker role towards the end of last season, and was also prolific in that spell: you don't have to be a stereotypical big lump to play this role, and it may actually suit us given our change of playing style this season.

If Enoch starts scoring soon, I have no complaints with him keeping his place, but we can't go on relying on Taylor and Baxter (who is probably leaving soon anyway) to get us out of jail.

I have to say, from the full ninety minute performances I have seen from Mustafa, I would still prefer Enoch at this time.
 

SonkORLY?

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8 Sep 2008
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Eddy Sonko
#20
I don't think we are that desperate yet.
Quite. Baka is atrocious anywhere other than left-back.

McGurk out wide makes sense while Devaney is out - I think that much is pretty difficult to argue with. I don't think his recent poor-ish form can be justified simply by the fact he is playing left-wing, either. He's played 42 games in his professional career, 30 at Tranmere - where has he played most of the time? On the left. He's not unfamiliar with the role, so no excuses.

I don't doubt that Adam could be a good striker for us, and may be a good option there at some point, but there really isn't a lot of evidence to support that view - people seem to be clutching at straws to justify the argument. He has has scored 4 goals for TRFC. We cannot use the word "prolific" to describe him, in any context. And I'm sure he was released partly because he was injury prone, but let's face it, he was never going to be a Premiership striker was he?