Rovers v Stevenage

Boz

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Iain Hume
#1
One of the poorest sides to visit Prenton Park last season, but seem to have adapted better to L2 than Rovers.

Wonder how Micky will shuffle the pack for this one. Will Jennings come in and if so, replacing who? I don't think Kirby should be starting, but Max Power isn't as effective out wide and I suspect he, rather than Laird could be the one Jennings might replace. A fit Ridehalgh comes into the equation at the back along with the loanee Thompson. Plenty of options.

Prediction. The visitors will only bring a handful of fans, but incentives could swell the home attendance, however I doubt the crowd will exceed 4.5k. They'll see a scrappy game with a draw the most likely outcome.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#2
It should be a good occasion on Saturday with the Johnny King celebrations going on all day, his statue unveiled at midday and a Kingy mural displayed by I and 2,000 others in the Johnny King stand before kick off.

It will be interesting to see which formation Adams starts with. After our strong second half performance last week, I would not be surprised if he goes three at the back, plays the impressive Holmes and Ridehalgh as wing backs, and slots Jennings into midfield alongside Laird and Power in a 3-5-2. If we stay with 4-4-2 Max will probably be replaced by Jennings in the middle, but I suspect Micky might have something slightly different up his sleeve.

This is really a must win game and given our positive, dynamic showings in the last two games, I see no reason why we can't pick up three points. Although both teams will be pretty direct, I would not expect our own performance to be 'scrappy' based on our display at Wimbledon. Hopefully Nando and Johnson can continue to make progress and fire us to victory.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
#3
Stevenage have a reputation for breaking up play, time-wasting and adopting a fairly cynical approach, hence the suggestion of scrappy. It will be interesting to see how Micky tries to counteract this.
 
29 Jul 2009
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Ian Muir
#4
with luton away up next in the league this really is a must win think just nick it 2 1
 
30 Sep 2005
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Johnny Morrissey
#5
First home home game of the season for me tomorrow and bringing my mate who's a Sunderland fan.

After the last two performances and a whole week with the squad have a good feeling about this game. Think we'll win 2-0 and crowd over 5k for Kingy!!
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#6
Looking forward to this one. Should be a good atmosphere with the Kingy celebrations and there's a more positive vibe in the air now that Micky has taken over. Kingy statue gets unveiled at 12 and tickets were selling fast for the JK stand. More importantly, hope the lads put in a good performance and we come away with three much needed points.

JK ready to be unveiled:

kingy.jpg
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#9
Another gutsy performance from Rovers and a draw was no more than we deserved, despite a poor first half display.

The day began well with a good turnout for the statue unveiling, but unfortunately any positivity did not carry over into our first half showing. I thought the shape of the side was wrong in the first half: playing three strikers worked at Wimbledon because we used wing backs, but with a 4-3-3 there was no service at all from the wide areas. Added to which, both Odejayi and Nando had poor games individually. Nando is probably just inconsistent, which I would imagine is why he is not playing regularly at Chesterfield, but Odejayi is consistently awful and I fail to see what he contributes (other than a series of needless free kicks for the opposition).

The referee was poor and was criticised for giving the free kick which led to the first goal. However, I thought Holness clearly fouled their wide man, one of many misstimed challenges he made in the first half, and his positioning and distribution does not convince me. Ihiekwe was unlucky with the OG from a decent ball into the box.

In the second half we showed spirit and were well on top even before the switch to 4-4-2 with Ridehalgh brought on at left back. However, it was this change that really turned the game in our favour, in addition to the second half performances of Power and Jennings, the former having his best game of the season. Stevenage's second goal was the result of abysmal defending, a misjudged clearance by Ihiekwe who certainly had an eventful game, but we had actually controlled the game in the second half and did not deserve to be two down at that stage. To give the players credit, we kept going when all looked lost and we are certainly showing more character now than we ever did under Edwards.

Considering the display as a whole, I thought Jennings gave us quality and composure in midfield that we have been lacking, but I am concerned that several of Edwards' signings - Odejayi, Holness, Laird - still don't look up to it and I think we have to do well in the January transfer window if we are to survive.

Man of the match, Max Power.
 
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Boz

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Iain Hume
#10
A great crowd, swelled for the statue unveiling, saw Rovers grab a point, in a game where there were probably more negatives than positives.

Rovers started brighter, but Stevenage took the lead with an unfortunate og from Ihiekwe, which looped over OFW and nearly doubled it with a well-worked free-kick routine hitting the post. Then lots of time-wasting, dragging things out from the visitors; fair play to the referee, who was weak in many aspects for adding 6 minutes. Rovers were aimless, lots of hit and hope balls, but didn't really test the keeper.
Second half started with chances at both ends, Rovers' being a free-header for Laird, which was saved by the keeper. Ridehalgh came on for Johnson, but about 5 minutes later a suicidal clearance from Ihiekwe back across goal gave Stevenage a second. Jennings reduced the arrears quickly, a great shot from outside the area. However, we kept giving the ball away, not anticipating the second ball so our possession wasn't converted into goal chances. With 'extra' extra time, following Jennings having a scuffle with one of their bench, who'd held onto the ball after a Rovers throw-in, for the umpteenth time, Ihiekwe volleyed home from close range.

Defence OFW usual poor kicking and distribution, but didn't have much chance for their goals. Brezovan wasn't even on the bench is he injured? Both full-backs did ok, as did Ridehalgh when he came on, but the central defenders were frail. Holness seems incapable of organising a defence and today didn't show much leadership as captain; time to give Thompson a game?

Midfield Jennings was a bit rusty first half, but got into the game more, breaking up play, making decent tackles. Max improved after an indifferent first half. Laird had some good moments, but the jury's still out. Rowe didn't even make the bench. Collectively, they seemed to allow quick a lot of space for Stevenage to build attacks.

Forwards O dear. Odejayi was dire, even taking into account that the referee appeared to have declared open season on him, he was penalised for the slightest heavy touch, they were allowed to manhandle him with impugnity. Johnson didn't get into the game, the lumping it forward strategy by-passed him, a pity as there were some nice touches when he got the ball. Granduillet was probably best of a bad bunch, but a few bad decisions, wild shots from outside the area an example. RLC indicates concern about Edwards' signings, I'd certainly include Donnelly in that batch and once again contributed nothing. Richards was more involved when he came on.

Management. I think Micky got the starting line-up wrong and arguably should have made changes at half-time. Odeyaji should have been the first to be hooked and I'd have liked to see Baggie given some match-time to force more play on the deck. However he must take credit for the fact we kept battling away to grab the point

MOM Jennings. A proper defensive-midfielder, showed what we'd been missing, who scored a great goal too.
 
15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas
#11
A great crowd, swelled for the statue unveiling, saw Rovers grab a point, in a game where there were probably more negatives than positives.
I agree with most of your comments, apart from this line. After seven straight defeats, we are now scoring goals (from different parts of the team) and have not lost in three. In all three games under Adams, I would argue we have been the better side over the whole ninety minutes. Whether we have enough quality in the squad to survive remains to be seen, however.
 
30 Jun 2008
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#12
My sense that there are enough positives for us to survive particularly as there will be no hesitation in bringing in new players in need. All the players brought in to date have improved the team.
On a different note. Seeing the photos of Johnny King brought back memories. I think he first played for Rovers around 1961/2. A Dave Russell signing. A wing half or No 4 in those days. A tenacious player who demonstrated the same qualities as a Manager. He was a member of one of the most exciting Rovers teams of all time - over 100 goals in a season. John Manning, Barry Dyson, Charlie McDonnell, Alan King, etc etc. And then his efforts as a Manager! If anyone deserves a statue it is John!
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#13
Real scrappy first half and below par performances. Second half much better and played out exactly the same as other games this season at PP. Almost camped in their half but struggled to break them down.

The two goals we conceded were disappointing. At least we are scoring again and picking up points. Slowly, but we are moving in the right direction.
 
7 Mar 2012
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Backayogo
#14
I think the difference now is that we are not giving up easily. We now have that,"keep going to the end" mentality, which wasn't there. Thought Jennings looked like he hadn't been away and for me was man of the match.
 
29 Jul 2009
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Ian Muir
#16
Poor game between two poor teams which neither side deserved too win, the worry is for me we are failing to beat these poor teams and we are in danger of being cut adrift at the bottom if were not carefull
 
15 Jun 2009
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Nixon
#17
Jenno defo showed he is a better class of midfielder and MOM

For me the next game will Holness out, Holmes back at right back and Doncian in at centre back.

Laird again failed to impress, and Power did more wrong than right I'm afraid.

DID ANYONE NOTICE:-
how many free unchallenged headers Stevenage had in the very centre of the park.

Baggie defo needs a run out
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#18
Next game will be interesting, because I'm unsure how many of our loanees will be allowed to play by their parent clubs; Donacien and Johnson probably, unsure about the rest.
 
29 Jul 2009
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Ian Muir
#19
Next game will be interesting, because I'm unsure how many of our loanees will be allowed to play by their parent clubs; Donacien and Johnson probably, unsure about the rest.
Jennings will be available possibly Thompson too