By Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips
Welcome to my latest instalment of something for the weekend. As I mentioned in my last outing I was going to miss the Hereford home game due to a wedding that I had to go to, and what a pain in the backside that was. The day was nice, the location lovely, but barely any signal and thus after many futile attempts of trying to find out the score I gave up and got on with my day and evening and busted a move as only I can to the pleasure/bemusement or embarrassment of my good lady.
When I did find out the score and asked my house mate how the game had gone, it didn`t think I had missed much and that we could have been better although he wasn`t too disappointed with the point even though three would obviously have been better, and I have to agree. I have read many comments online about people being a bit downbeat that we did not beat a Hereford side that have started poorly, but as I have said previously we have started okay and have been picking up points, but I do think we need to tighten up at the back to help us kick on as evident in the Leyton Orient cup game.
Orient was not going to be an easy game by any means, yes they had started poorly but they were still a division above us, but it was certainly a game we could look to win and progress to the next round. The majority of the reports say we started the better until Orient scored and then scored again. It was encouraging that we came back after half-time as in the past you feel we might have thrown in the towel, but have got back it was disappointing to concede right at the end. Disappointing to be out, yes, but maybe missing out on another bout of extra time might be a good thing before taking on Crawley in what is our main priority the league.
As above, now we need to start kicking on and to do so we need to cut out some of the sloppy defending. Seeing the goals against Orient, they were all poor. For the first I have seen many people say Bevan was slow coming out. Perhaps so, but I feel he didn`t need to rush out at all given the situation as it mad the chance all the more easier after the initial mistake. The second no arguments on the penalty, but I was more worried where everyone was that Wayne Brown had to make a great initial tackle on the edge of the box before sliding in and giving the penalty away. The third was plain sloppy. Did we get carried away trying to get a winner? We clearly have a lot of attacking threat and options, but as in anything the balance has to be right and I am sure that is something Paul Buckle will be working on. One thing that cannot be faulted is the commitment and effort that has gone into the performances even if some of the quality hasn`t quite been there.
This week also saw the transfer window close, which saw us bring in versatile defender Danny Woodards. He should be a useful addition to the squad and provide some experience and competition at the back. A warm welcome to Danny. Deadline day also saw Ben Swallow join our old friends Bath City on loan for 3 months. This should be a good move for Ben and perhaps a make or break for his Rovers career. Ben is not all that young anymore in football terms and he needs a regular run of games to really show what he is capable of. The conference is a decent standard and if Ben shines he may get a chance back at Rovers, but even if not it should at least give him the chance to impress other clubs and managers, which is good from his own perspective. Best of luck Ben and Bath City for that matter.
Jo Kuffour! Well An awful lot seems to have happened in the past couple of days regarding Jo and who knows what lies beneath all that has been said. In the summer it was believed he would like to move back towards London, but nothing came to pass and he started the season and started brightly. Maybe this was because he was happy to play, or he was out to impress anyone watching, but whatever it was deadline day approached and Mr Buckle was pushing him out the door. Jo hasn`t moved , but it now seems he will no longer be a part of any Rovers team after allegedly refusing to play on Tuesday and will go out on loan. On the face of it, it has got rather messy, but who knows the ins and outs of what has happened. That said, I will not be too disappointed to see Jo go. Jo not playing means we more likely not see the excellent Scott McGleish wasted on the left and see more of Zebroski through the middle. I know people expect a replacement for a departing Jo, but Elliot Richards has been bright and also Kayne McGlaggon was brought in lets not forget, and we all know the saying about if you`re good enough?., plus there is also the loan window should the manager feel the need to bolster the attack.
This weekend sees us travel to Gatwick Airport to take on Crawley and the odious Steve Evans (google him, if you don’t know why). A new ground for anyone that travels to tick off. Hopefully we can get a nice three away points, keep a clean sheet and score lots of goals, keep all the Gasheads happy and give Evans something to bleat about.
Whatever you are up to this weekend enjoy. Looks like the Sun is coming out, and Sun = Cider
Up The Gas
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips