Gas Tough It out And Take The Points

December 7, 2005

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Rovers returned with all the points from Edgeley Park last night  after a hard fought match in poor conditions.

Stockport started the brighter side and made all the early running using the width of the pitch well and giving the Rovers back line plenty to do. After the performance at Vale Park last Friday, many were probably expecting a free flowing style of play from Rovers, but the visitor’s style was dictated by the pace and work rate of a home side determined to play football and take all three points.

Lying second from bottom of league two, the Hatters midfield and attack asked many questions of the Rovers back line with coach Trollope having to get both Campbell and Gibb to retreat to help out more often than he would have liked. Stockport’s Jermaine Easter and Tes Bramble linked up well, and were given good quality ammunition from the left by Harpal Singh.

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Despite all the pressure from the home side, thanks to Rover’s defence chances were few and far between for them. With  ten minutes to go before half time Rovers won a penalty for a handball right against the run of play. Richard Walker stepped up to take it and made no mistake to give Rovers the lead and him his eleventh goal of the season to make him our top scorer this term. Rovers held the lead into the break and the home side were booed off by a section of their own fans.

The second half saw the home side again start the brighter team and making the play. Again, Rovers had no choice but to play deep to counter this and hope to counter attack. The game had little in the way of incident and Rovers defence held firm to give the away fans a real reward for a long journey on a miserable night. Many would comment that in a week we had seen the best and the worst of Rovers, but the way Stockport attacked really meant Rovers had to sit deep and look to counter. Though infrequent, Rovers did string some good passing moves together involving both wings. Junior was alert, and his vision and distribution were excellent. The back line was immense, with Carruthers, Hinton, Elliott and Lescott, making his return to Edgeley Park, standing firm and deserving of a clean sheet. Shearer also did his job well and made an excellent point blank save late in the first half. Gibb, also returning to Edgeley Park, and Campbell did well on the wings, as did Carruthers in a support role to Campbell.

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Despite a performance that was not on the face of it up to the same standard of the Vale Park one, Rovers did well and are the first away team to win at Stockport  this season. It was interesting to hear booing again at the end and it not be for our team. After the match, Stockport boss Chris Turner locked his players in, clearly unhappy at their loss.

Finally, not only did Rovers take all the points, but it can honestly be said Stockport had the shirt taken off their backs too. Let me explain. Their half time draw does not involve a cash prize like ours. The first prize is for the lucky winner to recevie the match shirt from the County player of his choosing. I could not possibly reveal who won, but it was a Gashead and one well known to me! Sadly, due to the lock in the shirt was not immediately available, but having spoken to the club today they have assured the winner the shirt is on it’s way.

Next match up and it’s a trip to Grimsby. If you’re going they have a promotion this week and kids under 14 get in free, so if you can squeeze the kids in, why not take them along too. See you there!

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