Morecambe at Home: Two Good, Two Bad

In what was a the first game of a new and exciting era at our famous old club, Rovers eventually dispatched Morecambe on a cold, wet and very windy day at the Memorial Stadium. It took great mental strength from Darrell Clarke and his players to come from a goal down to win, especially considering the undoubtedly difficult and unsettling few days they would have had prior to the match. Here’s my take on a much-needed three points on Saturday

Two Good

We’re Back To Winning Ways

And we’re also back into the play off’s, moving up to sixth place and, dare I say it, just five points off the automatic promotion places. It was very important that we beat a poor Morecambe side after a difficult trio of fixtures in which we lost two and drew the other one. The victory will hopefully be a catalyst to push us on to grab a win in a pivotal fixture at Wycombe next weekend. A loss at Adams Park would almost definitely see us drop back out of the top seven, and with just 15 games to go we really need to start gaining on the chasing pack so we’re in a good position come April/May time.

Gaffney Is Back

The ‘Ginger God’ was back with a bang on Saturday, hammering in our equaliser and his first since his permanent move from Cambridge. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been playing well over the last few matches, because he’s been running his socks off and giving his all for the cause – but he added what’s been missing to his game as he almost broke the back of the net against Morecambe. More of the same please, Rory.

Two Bad

Darrell Does Sometimes Get It Wrong

He shouldn’t have started with the 5-3-2 formation at home to a team in the bottom half of the table who hadn’t won in five matches before the game, but at least he was man enough to change it. I believe he should have started with the, what I would consider to be a more defensive and solid, formation at Pompey away last weekend instead – but he is still a young gaffer learning his trade in his first full season managing in the Football League, and considering what he achieved last season we should probably cut him some slack now and again.

Off The Field Events Were More Exciting Than Those On The Field

It was probably a mixture of the conditions and Darrell’s choice of formation, but the first half of football was amongst the worst I’ve seen in quite a long time. I don’t remember Rovers creating any decent chances in the opening period, and it wasn’t until half time that the crowd were given something to get excited about. To be fair to Mr Al-Qadi though, after he proclaimed that he was a gashead and unveiled a blue and white shirt, the crowd really got going and the whole place, including the players, was much improved after it. Coincidence? I think not. Welcome to our club, Mr Al-Qadi.

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