Rovers v Guiseley

15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#1
A televised game at Prenton Park for Rovers against the division's current whipping boys. While Southport were in poor form before we played them, they had also brought in a new assistant and a couple of decent players. Guiseley, by contrast, seem to be in complete turmoil, under caretaker charge and conceding an average of three goals a game: on Saturday they conceded four to a Bromley team we comfortably brushed aside on the opening day. There can be no excuses and only a comfortable victory will suffice for Rovers.

We need a reaction after Saturday's disappointing display, but I certainly would not make wholesale changes. I would, however, like to see Jeff Hughes restored to his central midfield role at the expense of one of the current trio. I would start with the following side:

Davies
Vaughan Big Mac Ihiekwe Ridehalgh
Maynard
S Jennings Hughes
C Jennings
Cook Norwood

It is a slight concern that all the other top sides have despatched a struggling team by three or four goals this season, and it would be good to see us finally knock a few in tomorrow night. I am confident we will win the game, but I hope it is not as scratchy a victory as last season's was against the same opposition. I think the attendance will be between 4,500 and 5,000 with about 100 from Yorkshire.
 
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Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#2
A chance to get back on track straight away or get stuck in a rut? Guiseley are on an awful run having lost every game played. I'm surprised that they're performing quite so badly, although they were always likely to be at the bottom end of the table.

I think there are two options. There are some attractions of making a significant change, given we have two more difficult games to follow, so could opt for;

Davies
Vaughan McNulty Ihiekwe Ridehalgh
Mekki Maynard/Harris Hughes Stephenson
Jennings C
Cook

Steve Jennings left out because he's got 4 yellows already, one booking away from a ban and we need him more away at Aldershot. The referee for tomorrow, Mr Rushton is a bit card-happy. Norwood, because we need to give Connor Jennings a game in his best position and Cook offers more in the lone striker position.

However, the more likely scenario from Brabin is starting either the same side as Southport or pushing Hughes into midfield and playing Maynard rather than Vaughan at right-back. I've commented on the problems the change of right-backs caused in the Southport thread and it is too negative playing a more defensive full-back, but won't be a total surprise.

Prediction: Touch and go whether I make this myself. Guiseley brought 113 last year, so a televised game when they are in such awful form is likely to see a drop in numbers of travelling fans. Likewise, the televising and timing are likely to reduce a home turnout already depressed by the price hike for pay on the day. I can envisage a crowd of around 4.3k, with the kind of tight scrappy game RLC fears.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#3
It's an interesting one this because it's the first game this season we go into after a poor display in our last game and I think this will set the benchmark for the season.

Like RLC says we should be scoring quite a few against these so let's see if the lads can up themselves and walk away with maximum points.

I'd be concerned if we saw another below par performance.

Agree with Boz regarding the attendance.
 
1 Oct 2005
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
#4
Although still top of the league, we have been getting worse results - a couple of 2-0 wins, then three single goal victories before Saturday's draw. So we have a great chance to buck the trend and score three or four.
I agreed with GB's unchanged teams while we were winning, but now he has an excuse and the ideal game to ring the changes in personnel if not in formation.
RLC's diamond midfield looks interesting and Boz's team looks fresh, but will Gary experiment?
 
13 Aug 2016
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Nevin
#5
Finish work today at 5 so it'll be touch and go if I can make it back in time. Usually finish late tbh so probably not. Should be three solid points and will be hoping for a few goals. I'm going to stick my neck out and say 3-0 because I'm a natural optimist.

I agree that a few changes would be nice, if only to keep players fresh however I get the impression that Brabin wants to hammer home this idea of a settled consistent team both in terms of transfer dealings and in the match day team. RLC's team looks good to me, maybe sticking with a front three for me however Connor Jennings looked tired at Southport and I may be tempted to push Mekki, Kirby or Stephenson in high on the right.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#6
Unable to make this. As I feared, Brabin has gone for the defensive option recalling Ridehalgh, pushing Hughes up and Maynard at right-back as the only change... Against a team in Guiseley's position it feels a bit negative.
 
13 Aug 2016
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Nevin
#7
Performance was good and a win is a win, just still got that begging feeling that we should have got more goals.

I surprised myself and got out of work in time to be here 10 minutes before kick off. Still only got in 4 minutes after kick off. This new ticketing system needs sorting out. Its not as if that many supporters were trying to get in.

The away support was small about 70 or so but sang well and made a really decent amount of noise. Fair play to them.

Our performance was good again. We never looked in any real trouble defensively although Maynard looks better as a defensive midfielder. I understand Brabin wanting to have Hughes in the midfield but it leaves us a bit narrow going forward.

Connor Jennings looked ok when he went back in midfield but looked tired towards the end as did Cook and the subs went conspicuously unused again. Mekki looked sharper than on Saturday when he came on, Harris was not having his best day before he was hooked.

Man of match I'd give to McNulty as he seemed to handle everything that was thrown at him with his usual calmness and distribution was better than the rest of the back four.

All in it was another one of those decent performances that should have yielded even more than we got but somehow just didn't.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#8
An improvement on Saturday's display, and as comfortable a 1-0 victory as you are ever likely to see, against really poor opposition. However, elements of the performance still left something to be desired and we will have to raise our standards in the next two games.

In the first half we dominated possession, but our approach play was too pedestrian and there was too little movement from the front three. When we lost possession of the ball we did not harry the opposition as we did in the first five game, and life was too comfortable for Guiseley at times. We did create a number of decent chances and Norwood's goal was a moment of quality, but the display was pretty lacklustre. The opening ten minutes of the second half were in a similar vein, and Brabin was right to make the early change and bring on Mekki for the disappointing Harris. Adam perked things up a bit and the quality of our football improved. However, we did not create enough and failed to really test the keeper in the entire half. Defensively we looked solid throughout and the two centre backs were excellent: Guiseley barely troubled us in the entire ninety minutes.

Individually, I thought Harris and Connor Jennings were below par again, the latter looking really off the pace. Norwood was the best of the strikers, but the front three did not link up as in earlier games and, with the lack of width in the side, we struggled to create. We missed Vaughan's forays from right back, and I agree with Boz it was too negative to start Maynard there ahead of him: Harris was poor at Southport and I would have dropped him and moved Maynard into the middle. Ridehalgh and Hughes did ok and Steve Jennings improved in the second period. My man of the match was Steve McNulty.

While the victory was comfortable, I still think we should beat a side as bad as them by a bigger margin.

On to Aldershot, and we will have to play with more intensity than we did today to take something from the game. However, we remain unbeaten and top of the league by a clear margin, so perhaps we should not be too concerned.
 
30 Jun 2008
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#9
Pleased with the win and our being top of the league but, clearly, we are not going to see any fireworks from a Brabin team. One or two will do as long as we do not lose. Guisley should have been put to the sword. Again subs at a premium. This will become more of an issue as we go forward. Maynard seems to be a favoured son. Anyway maybe they are saving themselves for tougher games! As someone said, a win is a win.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#10
Thanks for the reports, it actually sounds more positive than things I've read elsewhere. However given the quality of the opposition and the chance goal difference might come into play at the end of the season, we really should have made more effort to improve the margin of victory. If players were looking tired, no harm in giving Stephenson 10 minutes for example. Two more taxing games up next, after which we'll have a better idea of where we stand.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#11
Don't get me wrong, it was not great. After scoring the goal we basically did not have to play for the next sixty minutes as Guiseley were so negative and so lacking in quality. But we will have to offer much more ourselves if we are going to win the league. I would like to think we can 1-0 our way to promotion but I can't see it, certainly not against the better sides.
 
5 Dec 2015
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Bobby Hutchinson
#12
As one sided a game as you could wish to see and Scottie probably doesn't need to wash his kit.
Yes, we should be scoring more but ask FGR if they would have settled for a 1-0 against Southport if it meant they were top.
Not scoring is a worry if you're conceding. At the moment it looks like we have at minimum one goal a game. Which means we have to leak two to lose. To date that hasn't looked likely.
OK, someone will hit a couple past us soon and we'll see then how we respond.
Let's enjoy the ride.
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#13
I thought the performance was quite poor throughout. I think someone has turned off the switch as our passing and movement had disappeared and we looked nothing like the first couple of games. Aimless balls punted up field by the poor full backs. The passing did improve in the second half but we had no bite at all and really struggled to create clear cut chances against a shockingly poor team.

Set pieces were awful throughout and embarrassing at times. Sorry but that looked like a completely different team that started the season. We won, just, because we were playing a poor team that never troubled us. Southport got destroyed today yet we struggled against another poor team.

Sorry to sound so negative. I shouldn't be as we are top of the league and unbeaten but I think we need to start playing as we did at the start of the season. Certainly not good enough in my opinion. Maynard and Ridehalgh were awful today and like Boz says that team was way too negative. We had Cook and Norwood defending at times!

Still only got in 4 minutes after kick off. This new ticketing system needs sorting out. Its not as if that many supporters were trying to get in.
Same here. Got there with 10 mins to go and was queueing outside for 15 minutes. Another problem with the scanners. Somebody's mobile probably ran out of juice :rolleyes: Needs sorting out.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#14
Sometimes I think we are guilty of over-analysing matches. Watching the ninety minutes again on the TV, we completely dominated the game and played a lot of decent football. We will still need to do a bit more next Saturday however.
 
1 Oct 2005
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
#17
Thanks everyone. I can't believe I've seen the goal already while I'm on holiday. It's interesting for me that everyone is so positive except Ian, who I think has a good point. I could say that if the beat we can do at home to the bottom team is a 1-0 win, what hope have we got against better opposition? But I could also point out that we lost 0-1 to bottom placed Welling last season and we are on our best run for years. So, at the moment I'm a genuine sceptic. It could go either way.
 
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30 Jun 2008
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#18
Good goal. I am not sure he was offside. The left back looked to play him on. Mind you in the goal replay I thought the commentator referred to Oliver Norwood who plays for Brighton. Funnily enough he is Oliver James Norwood!
 
13 Aug 2016
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Nevin
#19
Thanks for posting the goal Ian, as my view was obscured at the ground by a shall we politely say ample gentleman in front of me who decided his half time burger couldn't wait.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#20
Reflecting on yesterday's game, I think Brabin is by nature an incredibly cautious manager and we are unlikely to dish out any thrashings this season, even to teams as poor as Guiseley. All of the emphasis in our play is on keeping our shape, staying compact and preventing teams countering against us; there are very few occasions when one of our midfielders bursts into the box beyond the strikers, and it is only Vaughan who offers us any genuine width in our play. When you add in the obvious fatigue that seems to be affecting several of the players after a run of seven games in twenty three days - an incredible schedule - it is no wonder our last couple of performances have been pretty flat and sterile. I also think there is a tactical issue up front as the front three seem to be playing too far apart at the moment, particularly Jennings who is out on the right wing much of the time.

The upside to all of that is that, with our narrow formation, we completely control possession in the majority of games and are incredibly difficult to break down. I don't think I have ever seen a team in the same division as us fail to create a single genuine chance against us as was the case with Guiseley yesterday, and if you examine any of our games this season the number of chances the back four have conceded can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Defensively we are superb and, with the strikers we have, that might be enough to take us up, regardless of how cautious the manager is.
 
Likes: Ian