Rovers 2 Everton 2

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15 Mar 2010
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I was privately dreading this game as with the massive turnover of players this summer and the strength of the team Everton said they were bringing, I feared a heavy defeat: I was happy to be proved completely wrong.

Tactically I thought we got it spot on, playing five in midfield. Everton dominated possession as expected, but we looked dangerous throughout and probably matched them for chances; certainly we got behind their back four as much as much as they did ours. Cole was inevitably isolated at times but I was pleased that we did not go route one, and looked inventive when we did get men in the opposing half.

I thought our best players were the youngsters again: Power, Kirby, Rowe and even Baggie did well when coming on. However, I thought our men of the match were Ihiekwe, who was excellent at the back, and Cole, who imposed himself once again and finished his goal brilliantly, with a cheeky chip. Koumas created a number of opportunities in his brief cameo in the number ten role and will surely cause havoc among League Two defences. Just disappointing that we conceded such a terrible goal from a corner in an echo of last season.
 

drwhoman

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30 Jun 2008
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Thanks for the quick report RLC. How did the trialists go? I have a vague recollection that Bruna may be a former Liverpool reserve? I suspect that one or two may be given a one year gig given the limited number of players in the current squad.
 
Joined
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Thanks for the quick report RLC. How did the trialists go? I have a vague recollection that Bruna may be a former Liverpool reserve? I suspect that one or two may be given a one year gig given the limited number of players in the current squad.

Bruno, the left midfielder, looked decent when he came on and I would imagine will be offered a contract as we are so weak in the wide areas. The left back who played the majority of the game looked ok, but was well protected by Kirby, so it is difficult to judge him really. Ridehalgh is out for five weeks so we have to bring someone in.
 

drwhoman

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30 Jun 2008
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Thanks for this RLC. Bruna played in the Liverpool lower sides 2007-11 and then had two years at Blackpool before returning to Spain in 2013. Obviously likes the north west! He is Spanish-Argentinian by birth. Was the left back Woodards? I have a recollection that someone was saying on the site recently that he has a previous relationship with Rob Edwards. Not sure if that was you or someone else.
 
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1 Oct 2005
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Thanks RLC. I must say I shared your misgivings. Our squad is a mix of new players, youngsters and triallists. Full marks to Rob Edwards for getting something out of the game. I agree he'll probably have to offer a couple of the triallists a year's contract. There seems to be no-one else available. It would be nice also to sign a couple of decent loanees of the Gibson/Pennington mould, but now we are in League 2, I can't see it happening.
 

frenchrover

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4 Feb 2012
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aldo
I quite agree with RLC's comments regarding Iheikwe and Stockton being the stand-out players in what was a good all round performance by a side which is still finding it's feet. I believe it was Woodards who played left-back for most of the game and he looked OK as did Touray, the young ex-Everton left-back who replaced him on 78 mins. Also the centre-back McDonald, who I assume is a trialist, looked fairly solid when he replaced Holness for the final 10 mins or so and could provide much needed defensive cover. The most disappointing aspects for me were the performance of Odejayi who, when he came on for Stockton with 20 mins to go, looked about as mobile and threatening as a telegraph pole, and of course the static defending again, well in fact there was no defence just several players looking around at each other, as a corner came in for Osman to nip in for the second Everton goal. Whilst recognizing it was only a friendly it was all in all a good performance against fairly strong opposition in both halves.
 

Boz

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30 Sep 2005
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Iain Hume
Thanks for the reports RLC and French Rover. I shared the trepidation of what might happen here and the result coupled with what seems a decent performance are encouraging.

Iheikwe looked one of our better players at Marine and it's good he continued that form. Stockton's goal was well-taken and you can't help wonder that if McMahon had stopped being so pig-headed and given him a chance towards the end of last season whether things might have turned out different.
 
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1 Oct 2005
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
I've just seen the two goals on the OS. Looking at the two (very short) clips, you might well wonder who the Premiership side is. Our passing and tackling look so good. Our shape looks great for so late in the game. Stockton's goal will have done his confidence no harm. Ditto for Rowe. One big advantage of a new manager is that out-of-favour players have a chance to impress. I can see one or two of our forgotten men getting into the side.
 
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