Rovers v Blades

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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
A game that will probably decide our fate this season. Win and we are likely to stay up; draw and survival remains possible, but we will be in for an unbearable final fortnight of the season; lose and it is highly unlikely that we will get the fifty points we will almost certainly need.

I think the crowd will play a massive part today and really need to stay with the players, particularly if things go against us early on.

The sun is shining, now time for an unlikely Rovers victory.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
With no Goodison or Koumas think we will do well to draw im going for 1 1
 
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A game we completely dominated and should have won. I could not fault the effort and attitude of the players, as I did not think there was a single player that did not perform today. We also coped well with the enforced changes caused by the injuries to Ridehalgh and Akpro. It was the finishing that let us down again: we were very unlucky with Lowe's effort off the post, but he should have scored with his shot from the edge of the box a few minutes later, or at least played in Brown who was better placed. I think any other player in the team would have scored Cassidy's header at the end, just the way it has gone for him this season.

Sheffield United were extremely poor. Negative tactics, not much quality and their major contribution to the game was to commit a series of niggly fouls to break up our attacking moves.

Looking at other results, it seems Notts County will stay up and we will have to outperform Crewe and Carlisle (who encouragingly, were thrashed again today) to beat the drop.

For once, I fully agreed with the man of the match decision of the sponsor: Junior Brown was excellent and would be a decent signing whatever division we are in next season. Pennington was also outstanding.
 
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Ian

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A draw it was. Lads battled and tried but we just didn't have enough. Having said that we missed some great chances again. Our failure to convert chances might be our undoing.

Defensively we were solid with Pennington having an excellent game in the centre. Midfield a little lightweight without the big guns in there.

This is going to the wire.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Three games undefeated recently gave us hope, but we now have not scored for three games. I think one win would probably be enough to keep us up, but you need to score to do that! I'm not giving up yet.
 

Ian

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Our shooting boots have deserted us at the worst time. We had really good chances to score today (how Cassidy missed I'll never know). The performances are decent but with 2 games left, we really have to be more clinical.
 
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The crumb of comfort is that Lowey is still getting into good positions and is due a goal. Hopefully it will come at Orient next week.

I think the relegation battle is too close to call now. If I was pushed, I would say Carlisle will probably go down, but which club of ourselves, Crewe, Notts County and Colchester will join them is anybody's guess.
 
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bigmart

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Its certainly squeaky bum time now. think we will just scrape enough points to stay up though im far from confident. The injuries have come at a bad time and we are not now scoring goals. Pennington was mom for me ahead of Brown & Jennings.
 

Boz

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Felt very queasy before this one and the vibes didn't improve when the Blades were wearing green and yellow, given Norwich effectively were the cause of our last relegation around a decade ago.

I was surprised at the visitors today, thought they'd have set up more positively given the slim chance of still making the play-offs. Rovers started brightly, as well as the Lowe effort off the post and the miss soon after which RLC refers to, it looked like we could have had a penalty for a foul on Cassidy around that point. The visitors should definitely have got one following a foul by Ash Taylor midway through the second half. Our flow was disrupted when first JLAA then Ridehalgh had to be subbed in the first half due to injuries. Brown played well in both positions, but we lacked an attacking edge when he was forced to left-back. The lads who came on Kirby and Rowe filled in capably. The second half was more even and a couple of good saves from OFW late on secured the point.

I think that an argument could be made for either Brown or Pennington as MoM. Was pleasantly surprised by our trust-funded Everton loanee in central defence, the only query I'd have is if he does have a row Z ball in his armoury; not that it was called for today. Personally I felt Jennings was a little below par today in that he tended to play too defensively, but allowing for lack of fitness, he still did a valuable job. As did the rest of the lads.

And so onto Orient...
 
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Goodison
I wonder if the trust can have a "Cassidy aid" to raise the money to pay off his loan wages and send him back early?
 

Gray

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Well, that has to be one of the most one-sided games I've seen at PP! How we've not won it I've no idea, even the ref appeared to be on our side and gave us pretty much everything (apart from the penalty shout in the first half but it didn't look like a pen to me). Surprised by how poor and cynical Sheffield were.

Good performances all round. Pennington was solid and looks very capable, one nervy moment towards the end. Also very impressed with Brown, strong going forward and made some decent tackles at the back, right decision for MoM. Some players were a bit anonymous but nobody played badly.

So disappointing to only take a point and we remain in trouble.
 
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I wonder if the trust can have a "Cassidy aid" to raise the money to pay off his loan wages and send him back early?

A bit harsh that. The terms of the loan deal aren't his fault; I am sure he would be glad of a couple of games out of the firing line. Plus, he always gives 100%, in my eyes anyway.
 

Boz

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Didn't think Cassidy played that badly tbh, though had he converted that late header it would have been a whole lot better.

Vaguely recall something about Cassidy's loan ending before the Bradford game?

I found McMahon's decision to substitute Cassidy with Stockton in the 90th minute puzzling. We weren't leading, so no need for a time-wasting change and no chance for Cole to do anything in just 2 minutes.
 

bigmart

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We need to win games to stay up, goals win games Cassidy is not scoring goals and since he signed lowe is not scoring many either so it makes little sense to keep playing him
 
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We need to win games to stay up, goals win games Cassidy is not scoring goals and since he signed lowe is not scoring many either so it makes little sense to keep playing him

Stockton should be getting more time on the pitch, but I am far from convinced that he would work hard enough if he was playing the full ninety minutes. I don't think Cassidy's arrival has had a negative impact on Lowe, probably the opposite to be honest.

I agree with Boz that the timing of the substitution yesterday was weird. Perhaps we have to pay a higher percentage of Cassidy's wages if he plays less than 85 minutes or something ?
 

Ian

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I think Cassidy is a good player but his goals return has been poor since he came back. Stockton should be given more time on the pitch not a few minutes at the end. I'm convinced he'd score more goals than Cassidy.
 
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