TWO wins – five goals for one against – six vital points – James Norwood signing a contract extension and healthy publicity on national TV! A very good week for David Hockaday, Dale Vince and all at FGR.
It would be wrong to claim all the football was thrilling, but both matches contained fine sweeping moves, which could have brought more goals. There was however passages of loose play as concentration seemed to be lost. No one should complain however. The garnering of maximum points from two potential banana skins should please everyone.
One major fault has been eradicated. The team now start at full blast. Straight from the kick- off they are going for the jugular. Braintree did not know what had hit them on Tuesday evening. For the first half an hour they were overwhelmed. Rovers scored only once however and after a lengthy injury stoppage Braintree came into the game and equalised. Rovers had to win the game all over again in the second half – the 4-1 scoreline shows how well they responded.
Saturday was similar, but this time the drama started before the kick off. Dale Bennet turn his ankle during the warm up. There were hurried consultations and Ed Asafu-Adjaye was summoned to take his place. A further summons went to O J Koroma who was settling down to watch the game in the Carol Embrey Suite; he became the fifth substitute.
After the first 10 minutes we could have been 3-0 up. Yan, usually so ruthless, missed a penalty and other easy chances were spurned. Instead of being game over it was a battle.
This column has constantly said you make your own luck and this is what our team are now doing. They dig deep, show determination, character and team spirit – call it what you will – resilience might be the best word but the bottom line is they have the will to win. The results prove it. Teenage sub Saul Williams impressed me. He found space used it well and played with dash and confidence. Also impressive was the way his appearance was greeted by his colleagues. First of all the management staff especially mentor Scott Bartlett wished him well on the touchline, then as he ran onto the pitch players near him patted him on the back or had a cheery word. He knew from the outset he was among friends. The spirit of the whole squad, something that is of infinite value was so obvious.
Two players – amongst all the others of course – demonstrate the FGR spirit so well – Paul Green and Matt Taylor. In the last two matches Paul has been inspiring, both in defence and attack. He is a real competitor, exactly as the manager described him when he joined the club.
Matt is a key player in the 4-3-3- formation. Winning the ball, holding it and being a platform on which to build is a key part in his job, but his success in doing this helps the defence. Battling Matt, because of his ability and strength prevents the ball being played straight back into a danger area. He takes the pressure off the defence. His value to the team is immense. Hopefully his dead leg will not keep him out for long.