Shrewsbury – Gasheads Talk Back

March 19, 2006

More woeful than weetabix

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It was all supposed to be so simple this week.

Last Saturday we faced a less than convincing Notts County side at home, nailed on points you would think. Then on the Wednesday, we were to travel to hapless Oxford, a club sinking like a stone, and take advantage of their misery by adding to it and adding three points to out already growing challenge for the play off places. 

To follow that, all we had to do yesterday was turn up at Shrewsbury, have a jolly good laugh throwing weetabix around as per the tradition while wearing our lovely pink shirts, (rumour had it local retailers had actually ordered extra stock to meet the additional demand they expected!) and take another three points home with us and keep dreaming at the realistic possibility we really could sneak into the play offs.

The club decided we were not to wear the infamous pink shirts after all, (probably the right decision on balance) and if my experience of cat calls received before the match (from stewards!) was anything to go by, coupled by the Rovers performance that unfolded on the pitch before us, it was probably just as well. Frankly the concensus of opinion was that it was all best forgotten.

At a ground really showing it’s age now and a pitch so heavy it was unbelieveable, it was never going to be a classic. The Shrewsbury supporters got the news they have longed for this week that they can finally start to build their new ground, so yesterday may be the last time we play at  Gay Meadow.

Andy Davies takes up the story for us:

[image2] Having witnessed the debacles at Oxford on Wednesday and the one against Notts County at the Memorial Stadium the Saturday before I set out with my family of Gasheads to Shrewsbury fearing that a repeat performance would put an end to any chance of reaching the playoffs. It turned into another very disappointing performance by Rovers at Shrewsbury that has seen their playoff chances decimated and perhaps ended the honeymoon period for Paul Trollope and Lennie Lawrence as Gasheads left Gay Meadow chanting “What a load of Rubbish” with Rovers succumbing to a third defeat in a row.

The game started off well with Rovers having most of the possession for much of the first half, and Lewis Haldane looked much sharper than he has of late that gave rise to hopes of a victory, although the partnership of Haldane and Walker is much less than that of the one with Junior Agogo and shows how much he is involved in Rovers previous success although a low shot from Haldane only just missed the target.

The second half saw a Shrewsbury side no longer willing to allow Rovers the best of the possession and their attacking momentum soon put Rovers under a great deal of pressure and at times it seemed as if Rovers were responding with panic play. At times the attacking form of Shrewsbury forced Rovers, who were still maintaining a passing game, well back into their own area with McMenamin unleashing a shot that was just wide of the mark.

[image3] From then on Shrewsbury maintained constant attacking form with an increased strength of challenges for the ball. Rovers lack of willingness to engage in the more physical encounters was exploited by the ‘Shrews’ as they gained dominance over the game with a few inspiring breaks by the Gas that saw Sammy Igoe blast a shot just over the bar. Once again more high balls from Rovers were lost in the challenges that eventually saw Scott Shearer clear oft the line straight to the feet of Shrewsbury’s waiting Glyn Hurst who didn’t need any further invitation to score the winning goal.

One has to wonder ‘why’ the likes of Ali Gibb spend most of the game on the bench and are yet again brought on so late into the game when his obvious pace and accuracy was clearly evident when he dropped the ball right onto Richard Walker who was clear in the box but who volleyed it clear over the crossbar.

Rovers passing strategy failed to trouble the Shrews with Rovers making numerous errors and bad judgement that enabled Shrewsbury to intercept the ball and make their own run.

All in all a very disappointing result with Rovers failing to learn from past mistakes.

Personally I would like to see Rovers take on the Physical Challenges in the way that Sammy Igoe does with great success, and to take more shots at goal from just outside of the box where they seem to create space and opportunity. Let’s hope our next game against Mansfield at the Memorial Stadium will produce better results  

Gasheads Talk Back

Getting comment I could reprint for the site after the match was difficult to say the least, but a few Gasheads had the following comments:

Gary from Yate said;

After two very poor performances I was expecting far better today than the park football that was served up. No disrespect to Shrewsbury, but frankly they were like a pub team. Yes Rovers got beat by a pub team, well thats how it feels.

Don from Staple Hill added this:

Once again Walker was exposed and got little for all his efforts. We are missing Junior, maybe those who have continually shouted abuse and criticism at him during his time at Rovers may wake up and actually appreciate what he actually does bring to the team. What I saw today says it is season over for us now.

Ian from Southmead saw it this way;

When Trolls took over many thought we were going to hang on by the skin of our teeth for the rest of the season. When Lennie joined him and we started to put some form together, people started to dare to dream we just might make the play offs. I am one of the many who have had that dream severely bashed this week, and most likely in all reality it has gone now. It is amazing how we went from Atkins flops to Trolls heroes over such a short space of time and maybe it was unfair of us to heap that pressure onto a management team and even possbily a playing team that thought they would never get near the promotion race. Then again, maybe not. It is my duty as a fan to have these dreams and I cannot help but expect the best from my club on the pitch. Its why I go.

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