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Rowan Impresses In Mariners Win!
By: Richard Hubbert
MANY positives came out of Town's first home win of the season on Bank Holiday Monday, but arguably the biggest positive was to see the return and impressive performance of forgotten striker Jonathan Rowan.
Rowan was recalled to the starting line-up for the first time since last August, when Town played Derby County at Blundell Park. Partnering Michael Boulding up front, Rowan was lively and linked particularly well with Boulding and Marcel Cas in an exciting second half at Blundell Park. The 21 year old striker was described in pre-season by assistant boss Graham Rodger as having a "funny season last season", and speaking to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, Rowan certainly agrees. "I let myself down last year and basically this year is make or break for me", said Town's number 15.
Rowan burst onto the scene in the 2000/01 season, when as a young 18 year old YTS striker, when he scored with his first touch in the Worthington Cup tie against Wolves. He also started off the 2001/02 season well, netting four goals in nineteen starts. However, since then, Rowan has lost his way and started only three games last season.
Now he's into the last year of his contract, he will be desperate to impress manager Paul Groves. Having scored some goals in pre-season, Rowan was hoping he'd get his chance again. His start against Wycombe marked his first for a year, and he is intent on keeping his place in the starting eleven. "I've got to prove that I should be in the team, I felt heavy-legged toward the end but the sharpness will come with matches. If I can get a few more games on the back of this it will come - and hopefully so will the goals." Speaking of Rowan, Town player-manager Paul Groves said: "credit to Jonny. He's had one or two knockbacks but he's been patient and he's got his chance and he took it very well." Obviously pleased that his gamble to drop Laurens Ten Heuvel and play a striker without a game for 12 months paid off, Groves praised Rowan's role in Michael Boulding's performance and his goal by stating "he had a big part in Mick's goal. We're delighted with how he's done and very pleased for him."
Rowan is now looking forward to Town's next test, away at the much fancied Bristol City next Saturday, where most Mariners fans would expect the Grimsby born striker, to partner Boulding yet again. "I hope I've done enough to earn a place on Saturday", he said, "but you never know. Let's hope so."
Rowan's performance was also significant in that Laurens Ten Heuvel did not get a chance to take to the pitch yesterday. With a permanent deal still yet to be sorted out for the Dutchman, it now looks very doubtful whether the former Barnsley striker's future will be with the Mariners, especially as young striker Darren Mansaram was used as a substitute ahead of Ten Heuvel yesterday. Interestingly, when asked how Rowan's performance affected Ten Heuvel's situation at the post match press conference, Town boss Paul Groves simply said "can we just leave that one out for the moment, thank you".
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