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Rotherham Report Card
By: Dr Fishy
DR FISHY has compiled match statistics and a report card for the side that lost 2-0 at home to Rotherham Utd. The Dr concludes that Town must get better or face the consequences (left)!
Croudson: In Danny Coyne's absence Steve stepped in and played well, despite not having very much to do. Having picked the ball out of the back of the net twice, he did catch well, punched cleanly and cleared fairly confidently under pressure. It might be harsh but I thought he could have done more to prevent the first goal.
Butterfield: After retreating to right back there was a sigh of relief from his critics. He started well (for the first 5 minutes) but rapidly went downhill from then on. Gifted Rotherham their second goal on the same patch of turf McDermott nearly gifted Forest a goal, and he also managed to put the ball on top of the Main Stand twice.
Gallimore: His aimless balls down the left continued to flow, despite the fact that we don't have the forwards to control the ball in the air. Didn't get a tackle in to prevent the pass, which set up Rotherham's opening goal and wasn't making the overlapping runs he needs to, to give Campbell another passing option.
Groves: Since the calamity of a pass against Gillingham the captain has slowly redeemed himself. He wasn't outstanding against the Millers, but he's one of a few Town players who can hold his head up that little bit higher than the rest. Made one superb tackle at 1-0 down to prevent a one-on-one situation.
Beharall: Ironically the pairing of Groves and Beharall looked quite steady in the first half, minus the goal we conceded. Rotherham struggled to beat the offside trap and the Newcastle loanee looked more at home, anticipating through-balls and battling in the air. Pity he had to be taken off at half time.
Pouton: Wandered around a lot and just added to the crowd's frustrations when he tried to dribble it past players. Lost the ball at his feet quite a few times and refused to pass with his left foot. As a result, his outside-of-the-right-foot passes weren't so accurate and often passed it to the opposition.
Burnett: After such a commanding display at Bradford he decided to have one of those 'I scored the Wembley winner so I won't bother' performances. Largely invisible in the second half after an average first half meant that this wasn't his best game all season.
Campbell: Looked to use his pace tonight but was simply muscled off the ball every time. He tried to get the rest of the team going with little passes after he realised he wasn't going to score on his own. Brought other players into the game but still, by Stu's standards, he had a poor game too.
Allen: Supposedly used as the striker in the 'hole' he was totally useless all night. After a quick turn and shot at the beginning of the match that was all he offered. Held the ball up well on some occasions but never looked like threatening to score, shoot or even pass the ball forward.
Jevons: Where the hell was this player all game? He actually got back once or twice to help win the ball in midfield and despite not having a very good game he was another player to show at least some effort. Didn't do anything all game though.
Rowan: Ran around a lot, went quite wide in the second half, which could have been an explanation for our improvement. Starting to look better in the air but as a result a part of his game has to disappear to accommodate his new-found attribute. Taking people on yielded nothing and once he stood on the ball and left it behind him.
Broomes: You can tell that this was his last game on loan as he played well in the second half. You hardly noticed Beharall had left the field; Broomes performed adequately in central defence alongside Groves for the second half. Brought the ball forward a-la Handyside on a couple of occasions.
Boulding: Replaced Jevons and gave the Mariners another dimension to their game - pace. Still, even this didn't help as he was cornered every time he had the ball at his feet and didn't cause Rotherham any problems whatsoever. Haven't graded him because he wasn't on the pitch long enough.
Best part of Town's performance: The defence looked a bit sturdier (if you take away the two soft goals we conceded), especially the central defensive partnership. I think if Groves plays well, then whoever is alongside him plays well too. Although we didn't 'create' any scoring opportunities, we did 'force' one or two half chances. Rowan and Pouton were normally the players to do this.
Areas for improvement: Not to let teams have so much time on the ball. It happens week in, week out at Blundell Park and the fans are getting fed up of it. We pressurise, but don't tackle. When we go forward we go nowhere and insist on hoofing it to small strikers who just don't have the strength or ability to hold the ball up. The only way to get the ball forward is to pass it along the ground. Also the communication between keeper and defence could have been better. Croudson is left-footed, the fans knew it but our very own players didn't. Pass-backs were constantly on Stevie's right foot.
Entertainment scale: It surely couldn't have been worse than Gillingham? In short, yes, it was. There was a time when we used to shoot, but it looks as if the players have forgotten how. We didn't work their keeper once. Come to think of it, we never got into the area to have a chance. For goalmouth action it was the worst game I've seen since I've been attending Town matches. 3
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