Monsoon At The Mem
September 12, 2005
Saturday’s match against Lincoln City saw a match and weather that both changed after half time.
The home side started very shakily and could have easily been a goal down within 2 minutes after a free header went begging over Scott Shearer’s bar. Lincoln asked all the questions of Rovers, and the additional benefit of having a lot of height in their side certainly helped to give them an edge. Derek Asamoah seemed to be the danger man regularly giving Robbie Ryan problems on the left and making good runs into the Rovers half. Boss Atkins set Rovers up to play 5-3-2 and it was clear early on it was not working. The home side didn’t have a chance of note to mention in the first half, and it was a disappointed crowd that watched them go in at half time with the scores level.
[image2]Half time saw the launch of the Supporters Club’s season long Super Draw prize, the Yamaha scooter in Rovers colours.
Accompanied by Supporters Club chairman John Malyckyj, P.R Officer Robin-Mark Schols, and the Blue Flames, it certainly got an unveiling full of razz a matazz, with the Blue Flames appearing alongside it during their half time routine. Tickets were sold before the match next to the West Stand turnstiles, and a big thankyou goes to both Laura and Ben for their help selling tickets. Sales were brisk and a good number were sold. As the draw is running for the season, tickets will be available from 199, Pirate Leisure and various outlets on a match day.
[image3]Just after the scooter presentaion the heavens opened. The players came out for the second half, but the weather certainly hadn’t dampened the Rovers player’s enthusiasm. Ian Atkins had changed the formation to 4-4-2, and it seemed to suit the players much more. The most noticeable improvement to me was that Robbie Ryan was coping much better and winning everything in the air as well as joining the attack, and attack the Gas did. It was one way traffic for most of the second half with Rovers winning more corners than I remember for some time and forcing defenders into putting the ball out for numerous Rovers throw ins. Michael Leary and Chris Carruthers made good runs on the left and Ali Gibb stretched the defence on the right. Rovers looked like they would make the breakthrough with Junior twisting the defence this way and that but the cinditions made life almost impossible to get a shot off.
Richard Walker came on to replace Jefferson Louis and went close with a header that hit the bar with the keeper a spectator, and later went down in the box only to have penalty claims waved away. [image4]
With the conditions worsening by the minute, it was only dogged defending and a drenched pitch that prevented Rovers from scoring and taking 3 deserved points. The ball just wouldn’t come out from the players feet at the crucial times, and on occassion the ball was stopping mid pass due to the amount of water laying on the pitch.
With a final score of 0-0, it seemed Lincoln had got what they came for, but Rovers could not be criticised for not trying having had most of the posession and momentum in the second half. Boss Atkins said, “I’m disappointed to only get a point. I set the team up 5-3-2 but the game didn’t go the way I expected so we changed the formation. I think if the weather had not been so bad we would have won today”. Supporters Club man of the match was home debutant Michael Leary. [image5]
Young Pirates mascot was Connor Gould pictured here with Junior.
Rovers face Oxford United Tuesday night, k.o. 7.45 in the re arranged fixture.