Rovers v Ravens (Bromley)

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,670
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#1
Have to be honest, Iwouldn't have recognised the visitors by their nickname. Bromley head to PP on the back of a 6 game winning run with Moses Emmanuel currently the National League's top scorer. They also have ex-Rover Ben Chorley in their line-up. This will not be an easy game.

No injury updates for Rovers, but two key players missing through suspension. While James Norwood will be a loss, there are enough options up front to address this. Personally I'd prefer a Mangan-Margetts pairing, but have a feeling Brabin may opt for Jackson alongside last Saturday's match-winner.
More difficult to resolve is filling in for Steve Jennings. I don't see Jay Harris as a holding midfielder, while Maynard was bought for the attacking role in the centre. Yet unless the manager opts for an out of position defender, it will need to be one of them. It puzzles me that while we've been linked with a striker[Lowe] and a another central defender[McNulty] both of whom could do a good job at this level, the lack of cover for defensive midfield along with the absence of a specialist right-back have not been addressed.

Prediction: Doubt the visitors will bring many. The home turnout may improve after some encouraging recent results, but unlikely to tip 5k, unfortunately not including myself.
Had we been at full strength, I'd have been quite hopeful. Rovers still might edge it but a score-draw most likely.
 
Last edited:
15 Mar 2010
5,365
464
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#3
Have to be honest, I wouldn't have recognised the visitors by their nickname.
Me neither. I agree with most of Boz's assessment. I think Jenno has been outstanding in recent weeks but it is not just his defensive qualities we will miss on Saturday, but also his ability to control possession and dictate the tempo of the game. With a full strength side I would be very confident about this match, but the disruption to the team and the loss of two of our best players on current form is a concern. Maynard and Harris have not played as a pair all season but they will have to gel if we are to win this game.

However, generally speaking I don't think we are as light in midfield as Boz suggests. We have a good player at this level - Maynard - who can fill in and Harris is primarily a defensive midfielder. Realistically, we can't overload the squad with experienced midfielders who will play no more than a handful of games all season. The right back issue does need to be resolved, but I think Brabin's approach is to bring in quality when it becomes available rather than filling gaps in the squad with mediocrities, a policy which has worked pretty well so far. I have to say, I am underwhelmed by the idea of Lowe or McNulty coming back here, certainly given the former's poor relationship with the supporters and potential negative impact in the dressing room.

Bromley's recent goalscoring record is remarkable but they are suspect defensively and that gives us some encouragement. I would prefer Margetts to start with Norwood, but like Boz I think Jackson will be preferred up front.

Bromley are actually one of the better supported sides at this level and I would think they will bring over 100 on Saturday. I don't know if their recent success is the result of astute management or if they are bankrolled a la Forest Green and Eastleigh.
 
Last edited:
1 Oct 2005
2,743
204
63
Player
Alan King, Barry Dyson
#4
Although this is their first season in the NL proper, they are not "Johnny come latelys" as they were several seasons in what is now National League South. The fact that they are not well known probably reflects the fact that most Rovers fans have had little interest in non-league football until this season, particularly in the south. The Ravens have had the same owner since 2002 and the same manager for nine years. That's what patience and stability does for a club!

Like Boreham Wood, who came up from NLS with them into the NL for the first time, Bromley will look upon this game as their biggest of the season - biggest crowd, biggest club and (if they win) biggest scalp. Expect them to play like it's a cup-tie. They will be full of confidence after a run of six wins, but the last five were against teams now in the bottom nine and they have conceded seven goals in the process. Rovers will be far and away the best team they have played for a month. I feel our defence will not be as leaky as their last few opponents and have a feeling the winning run will end at PP. Incidentally, I've unearthed an article on Bromley's system. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/34360704 It has worked for them, but looks a bit rigid, so will it be flexible enough to beat Rovers? I hope not.
 
Likes: Ian

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,670
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#5
Thanks for the background information on Bromley BBTC. 9 years is an impressive time to spend managing one club and it seems to have been beneficial for the Ravens.

With reference to the midfield, I agree with RLC that both Harris and Maynard are decent players and the former is primarily a defensive midfielder. However, unsure if Jay has the self-discipline to control the midfield and dictate the tempo in the same way as Jennings. I actually think Maynard's defensive experience may make him a better option in that role. Don't know if either of the youngsters Duggan/Jago could do it, but both are currently out on loan.
 
8 Sep 2009
1,981
141
63
Player
Chris Greenacre
#6
I agree with the concerns about missing Jenno who has been immense recently. Maynard has done ok of late at RB but IMO the only realistic option is to play Harris as the sitting midfielder. He is very different from Jenno in some ways but will have to adapt his role tomorrow and GB must surely have been working on this in training this week. I also think Maynard poses much more of an attacking threat than Harris so we need him further forward. He got 10 goals last season and Mangan's goal last week came from a Maynard flick on.

Up front I too would go with Margetts - Jackson is not a front man. Square pegs in round holes springs to mind. He has pace of course but I like Margetts who has been unfortunate not to play more given Norwood & Mangan's recent form. He is a goalscorer IMO and looked decent alongside Mangan earlier in the season (can't remember the exact game - Woking or Halifax possibly at home). I'm hopeful too that Dawson & Mekki continue to impress and we get the ball to them as much as possible. Jackson can come on as sub out wide if needs be

BBTC has hit the nail on the head here. Its another possible Boreham Wood game. They were promoted last season, still have momentum and are on a great run with lots of confidence, and I think have won 6 in a row. They will raise their game even more given a trip to PP so the crowd need to be patient.

I'd take a scrappy 1-0 win given the form of our visitors.
 
1 Oct 2005
2,743
204
63
Player
Alan King, Barry Dyson
#7
Just to add my threepenn'orth, I agree that it makes no sense to sign Ryan Lowe. The way he left us - and indeed the way he left MK Dons to come to us - left a nasty taste. He's an unashamed mercenary, who puts himself before his team. Anyway, he's too old and too injury prone. However, GB will be well aware of all these issues and if he feels he needs another striker and he has the money, I won't be surprised if he takes the risk. The effect on morale would not be good, especially the likes of Margetts. As for McNulty, we are not that well off at the back, especially as Marcus Holness seems not to have fully recovered from his serious injury. He might be OK in the NL.
 
8 Sep 2009
1,981
141
63
Player
Chris Greenacre
#8
McNulty at this level would be a good signing IMO. Hogan/Sutton have done ok as a partnership but I'm not convinced by either Riley/Holness as back up. Signing another centre half would mean we'd have Sutton & Ihikwe who could play RB - although neither is a recognised one albeit the former might do ok.

As for Ryan Lowe, he is a tad older than when he left us but he was always very fit for his age and despite any unpopularity, is a proven goalscorer. If we want to get back into the football league we can't be choosy when it comes to goalscorers. I still have concerns over the fitness of both Mangan & Norwood over the whole of the season. The manager obviously doesn't rate Cole so we do need another striker as Blissett didn't really work out.

I'd sign both if we could.
 
M

Mal

Guest
#9
Mercenary? Good grief, not sure what facts you base that on. In life, we have to consider family. Football is an unforgiving sport. Tranmere would not offer him an extension. Doubtless they also received a payment for early release so all in all, they did OK. Ryan was the only one who contributed positively in that year of relegation. Credit should be given for that. He gave his all in the season he was with us.
 
15 Mar 2010
5,365
464
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#10
Mercenary? Good grief, not sure what facts you base that on. In life, we have to consider family. Football is an unforgiving sport. Tranmere would not offer him an extension. Doubtless they also received a payment for early release so all in all, they did OK. Ryan was the only one who contributed positively in that year of relegation. Credit should be given for that. He gave his all in the season he was with us.
It is actually debatable whether Lowe 'gave his all' for us in 2013-14, as he did not score in his last eight games (the ones that sealed our relegation) when he was telling people on Twitter he had been 'tapped up' by Bury. I don't have any problem with footballers looking after their families but that is not how he should have behaved.

I am with BBTC 100% on this one. If we have two injury prone strikers it makes no sense to sign another one who is even more vulnerable to injury and is 38 years of age. I think his impact on the dressing room also has to be considered. It has been obvious in recent weeks that the team spirit is great this season and at this level the atmosphere in the camp can be more important than any individual player.

As regards McNulty, although he is decent on the ball I think he is pretty weak defensively and not necessarily the kind of player who would thrive in the NL. In any case, Riley is a very good player, Holness is improving and I don't think we really need him.
 
29 Jul 2009
1,881
34
48
Player
Ian Muir
#11
Lowe not a mercenary that's a good one, so the fact that he was in talks with Bury whilst our relegation battle was ongoing is ok then even though he was under contract for more than a year.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
6,621
219
63
Player
Aldo
#12
If Lowe scores us goals and helps get us back into the football league, thats good enough for me. He doesn't have long left so won't be that much of a concern in terms of the team spirit. I actually liked his attitude most of the time, seemed to show a bit of emotion unlike some of the deadbeats in the team.

And let's be honest, football is such a fickle game, if he scored goals even his biggest critic would be up cheering. Id say 99% of footballers would have done what he did, don't think we should be too critical.
 
M

Mal

Guest
#13
Lowe a mercenary,that's a good one. Perhaps you should live in the real world. He benefited Tranmere for the season he was there. A mercenary would not have scored 20 goals. Period. He would have stayed on reputation alone.
 
29 Jul 2009
1,881
34
48
Player
Ian Muir
#14
Lowe a mercenary,that's a good one. Perhaps you should live in the real world. He benefited Tranmere for the season he was there. A mercenary would not have scored 20 goals. Period. He would have stayed on reputation alone.
Its nothing to do with his scoring record its the fact that he was openly in discussions with another club whilst we were in a relegation battle even though he had more than 1 year on his contract.
 

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,670
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#15
Lowe's also got form for like behaviour after leaving Bury for Sheffield Wednesday under similar circumstances to his departure from Rovers. While I think he could do a reasonable job at this level, it would be too divisive to be a good idea.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
6,621
219
63
Player
Aldo
#16
Its nothing to do with his scoring record its the fact that he was openly in discussions with another club whilst we were in a relegation battle even though he had more than 1 year on his contract.
That's football bigmart. He wasn't the first and certainly won't be the last. Id be happy if he was playing and scoring goals if it helps us escape this dreadful division.
 
15 Mar 2010
5,365
464
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#17
That's football bigmart. He wasn't the first and certainly won't be the last. Id be happy if he was playing and scoring goals if it helps us escape this dreadful division.
It does not mean we should just condone his behaviour though. Should we gladly accept Sean Thornton back ? A majority of players don't behave in that fashion.

We already have two good strikers who are playing and scoring goals and signing Lowe would be divisive among supporters and could upset the dressing room. Not a risk worth taking for a player who is pretty much permanently crocked now anyway.
 
15 Mar 2010
5,365
464
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#18
A superb performance from Rovers, probably our best of the season. I am particularly delighted for Lois Maynard and Johnny Margetts who put in excellent displays and proved some of the doubters wrong today. To perform as we did with arguably our two best all-round players missing is very impressive.

The first 25 minutes were edgy with Bromley defending deep and frustrating us. We could not really build any momentum in this period, with Emmanuel looking lively on the break for them and we had Scott Davies to thank for sweeping up on the edge of our box on a couple of occasions.

However, the first goal was always going to be vital and after we went in front the whole complexion of the game changed. It was a great opportunist effort from Mangan and from that point onwards we controlled the game, created chances and at times played some wonderful football. There were good displays throughout the team, but I thought both the wide players were brilliant once again, Dawson with his quality and composure on the ball and Mekki with his workrate. In his preferred position, Maynard had his best game for us and both Managn and Margetts were livewires, the latter forcing a couple of good saves from their keeper in addition to his goals. Defensively we were solid again, and even the injury to Ihiekwe did not disrupt us, Riley doing well when he came on. To record a clean sheet against a team that have been free-scoring in recent weeks was excellent.

The only negative of the day was the utterly bizarre decision of the referee to book Hill for a foul committed by Maynard, just another indication of the poor standard of refereeing at this level.

Performances like this must give us confidence that we are serious challengers for the title this season.
 
8 Sep 2009
1,981
141
63
Player
Chris Greenacre
#19
An excellent display at both ends with our defence keeping a recently free scoring side quiet and our strike force looking very clinical.

Up to the first goal I thought there wasn't much in it and Bromley did have a few decent half chances and opened us up once or twice. Davies who doesn't seem to have any weaknesses at present commanded his area well and was on top form. Mangan then outmuscled a defender before showing his finishing qualities again with a left footed finish.

Margetts showed he is an able deputy for Norwood with a great first time finish for the 2nd before winning a penalty which Mangan coolly converted.

Margetts fine finish topped off an excellent 2nd half display by the team.

Agree with RLC that both Maynard and Margetts did well and have given the manager a headache ahead of Tuesday nights trip to Wrexham. I think Norwood only got a 2 match ban but surely Margetts is undroppable after 2 goals and winning a penalty.

I'm still not convinced Mekki has enough quality but he put a real shift in today but MOM for me was the ever dangerous Adam Dawson closely followed by Margetts.

This has sent out a message given the recent form of our opponents and shows on our day we are a force to be reckoned with.

Nice to see Another rovers striker getting a double today. Stockton for Southport
 
Last edited:

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,670
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#20
Typical that I miss what sounds like the best home performance of the season, thanks for the reports.

How did the midfield pairing of Harris and Maynard fare? It will an interesting dilemna for Brabin; bring back Norwood and Jennings or stick with today's line-up.

Generally, I haven't thought the referees have been vastly worse at National League level, but have seen some negative comment about today's official. Should Scott Davies have been sent off for handling outside the area and was the red card for the Bromley player harsh?