Fresh Gas Bursts Past Darlo

by on 24/09/05 at 11:12 pm

Paul Trollope and John Anderson???s new Bristol Rovers side looked a different team today as new idea???s and a fresh start got a more traditional Rovers side to appear at the Mem. today.

Firstly, before any hint of a review, well done to Paul Trollope and John Anderson for putting a great end on a very choppy week.

The Memorial Stadium seemed a lighter, friendlier, ???bring-the-wife??? place to be today, as the eleven blue and white quartered Rovers players strolled out onto the pitch and settled into a 4-4-2 formation.

At first, my thoughts as I sat down in the South Stand with a cup of flat, watered-down Coke was: ???It will be interesting to see how the players respond??? regarding the exit of Atkins and the arrival of the Troll and Big John.

Well, there was cracking link up passing in the midfield; dangerous running in the channels by Gibb and a live-wire Carruthers; Agogo and Walker linked up better than two bits of Lego; and a Darlo team who had previously scored 2 goals a game away from home were restricted to one dangerous moment in the first half, and only a few minutes in the second.

In the midfield the workmanlike pairing of Hunt and Leary were dictating things from the centre circle, tackles were going in that got the crowd really going, and we even started to put a few passes together before looking for the two forwards up front.

I lost count of how many crosses we got into the box today, but it must have been lots- and I???m not on about 50 yard balls from Elliott into their keepers??? hands, no, I???m on about wingers getting down the line and whipping dangerous balls onto the penalty spot.

If only Junior and Walker were slightly better in the air- we could have had a hatful.

At the back, Stevie Elliott and ???Cool??? Craig Hinton marshalled a potent strike force of Akpo Sodje and Ndumbu-Nsungu very well.
Apart from one header from a corner in the first half Darlo looked restricted up front, especially as Lescott and Ryan were a lot more organised due to the fact they knew what jobs they had to do.

They rarely crossed into the other half as they knew Gibb and Carruthers were already doing the business on the wings.

Rovers winning goal came in the 44th minute, when a hard-working Agogo latched onto a superb through ball from midfield.
He sped pass one defender, angled a run inside the box and fired a pass along the floor to an oncoming Walker, who lashed the ball into the net with the aid of a deflection.

We deserved it, we earned it, and we worked hard for it and didn???t look like losing it.

Don???t get me wrong- we didn???t look like Champions today, but we did look a lot better, and we did it against a form team, Darlo hadn???t lost away until today.
I couldn???t help but feel glad that the obscurity of this week had provoked shards of a Twerton-like mentality to raise to the surface today.

We weren???t afraid to get the tackles in, we passed it short when we had players available and lumped it when danger was present.
Today was a good quality game for the fourth division.

I just hope now the clouds seem to have lifted, we can really build on a fresh slate.
Well done to the lads today and to Paul and John, for the first time in a while it really was Bristol Rovers out there.

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