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Rovers v Morecambe

Rovers v Morecambe
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 06:00 PM
Until: Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 08:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Dawes first defeat as our manager, but I'm sure he's learned something from it. I thought we payed really well, but if anything a little too positively leaving space at the back for counter-attacks. But what killed us was that these counter-attacks led to free-kicks and corners which we didn't defend. Remember the old cliché, with the away goals rule not in force, it's just half-time in a 180-minute match. We just need a goal to level the tie. Teams who win the first leg away often end up losing the tie.

I'd say the priority in the next three days was - physical/mental recovery, defending set pieces and penalty practice!!
 

Sparky

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Dawes first defeat as our manager, but I'm sure he's learned something from it. I thought we payed really well, but if anything a little too positively leaving space at the back for counter-attacks. But what killed us was that these counter-attacks led to free-kicks and corners which we didn't defend. Remember the old cliché, with the away goals rule not in force, it's just half-time in a 180-minute match. We just need a goal to level the tie. Teams who win the first leg away often end up losing the tie.

I'd say the priority in the next three days was - physical/mental recovery, defending set pieces and penalty practice!!
Another priority is learning now to turn all that possession and ball in their half into goals. We could have played all night and wouldn’t have scored another
 
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I thought it was a really good, refreshing first half performance. The passing was sharp, rotation off the ball was good and although their keeper did not have many saves to make, we got in behind their defensive block on a number of occasions. CBT and Ridehalgh linked up really well and they could not cope with us down our left side. However, the defensive errors for the goals were criminal and will probably cost us the tie.

Their second goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of us and we reverted to Hillball in the second half; sideways and backwards with no penetration, and the creative players not showing enough bravery on the ball.

It is frustrating, because based on the ninety minute performance we should at least be going into the second leg on level terms. As it stands, it is difficult to see us winning away by a two goal margin given the respective form of the two sides. Our best opportunity is perhaps to score first and at least try and take the tie to extra time.

Individually, I thought both full backs had really solid games, particularly Ridehalgh. CBT was unplayable in the first half, but then disappeared in the second - his whole time at Rovers in microcosm - and we seemed to run out of ideas tactically when his threat dissipated. I thought Monthe did a solid job on Stockton despite the mistake for the first goal, and Spearing tried to drive us on, but his efforts were not always matched by those around him. Feeney in particular was still pretty poor, and none of the substitutes made any real impact. Vaughan's movement was very good in the first half and demonstrated what we have been missing.
 
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Another priority is learning now to turn all that possession and ball in their half into goals. We could have played all night and wouldn’t have scored another
I think in the first half we did look imaginative and dangerous. However, after half time we let the tempo of our passing drop, and reverted to the style of play we saw under Hill for all those months.
 

Sparky

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I think in the first half we did look imaginative and dangerous. However, after half time we let the tempo of our passing drop, and reverted to the style of play we saw under Hill for all those months.
Yes I agree first half we were bright and looked dangerous. Their keeper did have a bit to do. Although I’m still not convinced about having only Vaughan up there. I know Clarke scored but with CBT out wide (and looking dangerous), at times we only had Vaughan in the box and no one to pick up any second balls.

Agree Feeney was poor again and looks a shadow of the player he was a few months ago. Khan was disappointing second half and I would have preferred Woolery up the middle with his pace as he is second top scorer but was very wide. Morris worked hard but a number of times our players could have put balls into the box or had a shot but just passing it square
 
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Morris was poor I thought, and I am a big fan of his. None of the creative players turned up in the second half.

Dawes has not got a magic wand to suddenly make us a free scoring side, which is why the goals we gave away were so frustrating. We only had a handful of attacks or set plays to defend in ninety minutes, and fluffed two of them.
 

Sparky

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Just watched both of their goals as the kop was a long way away. Almost identical. A set piece cleared and a ball comes back in from out wide and we’re not picking up their men who can’t miss. Very frustrating and avoidable.
 
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Yes, they were both from the second phase of play and the initial deliveries were not particularly good. Basic stuff really.
 

Sparky

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Only won 2 out of our last 12. Going to take some effort to win at their place
 

drwhoman

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This is not over yet. Morecambe will have to be more positive at home for their fans sake. There is nothing to lose. We just have to go for it in the return although if we make defensive mistakes again it will be all over. It is hard to be critical of the team for the second half performance. When you have played a certain way for months..... The sad thing is that Hill and his tactics may well have decided our season. With hindsight admittedly, a more positive approach earlier and a better Plan B when Vaughan got injured, might well have put us into the auto places. Supporting Rovers has never been easy!
 

Ian

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Morecambe came with a plan to frustrate us and sit back and and they did it well. They had what felt like two chances and scored two goals. It was pretty ugly at times, but they go into the second leg a goal up. First half was excellent with some good, positive attacking play. Seeing CBT running down that wing, fantastic. Agree with RLC, I thought the second goal knocked the wind out of our sails and we just couldn't break them down second half. We need to be a lot better with the ball as we had a lot of it tonight. Too much sideways and backwards play. Granted it is difficult to break down a 10-man defence but we must find a way.

It will need a big performance on Sunday if we are to go through. Not impossible and all to play for but we have to be more creative than we were today. The damage done by KH may prove too much in the end but the lads should go out there on Sun and give it their all. A whole season crunched into 90 minutes. Shame we will have to watch it from home.
 
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bigmart

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This is not over yet. Morecambe will have to be more positive at home for their fans sake. There is nothing to lose. We just have to go for it in the return although if we make defensive mistakes again it will be all over. It is hard to be critical of the team for the second half performance. When you have played a certain way for months..... The sad thing is that Hill and his tactics may well have decided our season. With hindsight admittedly, a more positive approach earlier and a better Plan B when Vaughan got injured, might well have put us into the auto places. Supporting Rovers has never been easy!
I think Morecambe will play the same as tonight, plenty behind the ball and look to hit us on the break.
 
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I think they might have to open out a bit more. Just the presence of a crowd will force them to do that I think.
 

ONIGP

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I think Morecambe will play the same as tonight, plenty behind the ball and look to hit us on the break.
I agree. The stats on Sky were fascinating; lowest possession, most goals scored from corners and headers. It appears to have worked for them all season, so why change a winning formula?
 

Sparky

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Yes still very positive and rightly so. Only one goal in it and he talks a good game
 

Boz

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Don't disagree with much of what's been said already. If we'd got a draw tonight then prospects would be brighter, but as it stands Morecambe can play in a similar vein to the first leg and the onus is on Rovers to both defend better and be more incisive when attacking. While Vaughan showed flashes of his prime, he is far from match-fit and we need to find other ways to pose an attacking threat; in the second half Monthe's header was the closest we got to troubling their keeper.

It's been touched upon already, but the subs made no impact individually or collectively. Might have been worth Macdonald coming on left midfield, but there weren't many other options.

Reasonable post-match interview from ID. From the replay, it didn't look anything like hand-ball in the build-up to their second goal though.
 
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I agree with most of the comments about the game, but it is no coincidence that set pieces are our Achilles heel. Especially when Manny plays. His header to clear the ball was awful and when the second ball came in he was nowhere.
He flatters to deceive.

We are still in this but we have to defend better. Hopefully no one picked up an injury and can recover properly by Sunday.
 

Ian

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Good interview, straight to the point, no waffling. It will be interesting to see how Dawes and Parky react to their first defeat and what changes if any they make on Sun having had a taster of what Morecambe bring to the party. Sounds like it will be more of the same with greater intensity I hope!
 
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