10:25am Monday 14th April 2014
By John Light
THE supporters’ club are curtailing their travel plans for next season, with coaches going to certain matches only.
The reasons are totally understandable,but this is a personal blow. How else will I get to games? Sam Reid and his team offer a magnificent service. So many of us should rally round and support him.
I will see if I can pinch a lift from BBC Radio Glos/ FGR radio legend Bob Hunt.
Meanwhile, rugby fan approached me minutes after the end of Tuesday’s game. “You would never get scenes like that at a rugby match” he said. I hope he was at Kingsholm on Saturday where he would have seen “one of the Premiership’s darkest and most shameful days”.
The formula has been found! Keep a clean sheet, nick a goal and bring home three points. Show determination, resolve and add spirit to ability and away results can earn you promotion.
Rovers have conceded 39 goals on their travels this season. The figures for Luton 18, Cambridge 16, Grimsby 17 and Braintree 20 show where our season went wrong. Saturday at Dartford was far from exciting, but the result was perfect. More of the same please. Individual discipline helps. There was just one doubtful yellow card issued at Dartford.
A whole pack could have been issued at the end of the Kidderminster game, such was the nature of a mass protest by all the Rovers team.
Anger was understandable. The worst refereeing decision I have ever seen resulted in Kidderminster being awarded a goal, scored as a result of a blatant two- handed punch into the net.
Rovers players were incensed and showed it. Undoubtedly some overstepped the mark as the referee was jostled and harangued. Eventually after a lengthy conversation with the linesman, who had also given the goal, it was disallowed. Both had therefore changed their minds! Would this have happened had Rovers not protested so vigorously?
Quite frankly I doubt it. Although the right decision was finally arrived at, it was achieved in the wrong way. A very dangerous precedent was set. Protest vigorously then the referee will change his mind was the obvious message. No one wants that, but no one wants nor expects such a poor decision.
One answer is to involve all four officials. Two got it blatantly wrong but what of the other two? Manager Ady told us after the game he spoke to the nearby fourth official, suggesting the referee think again. Certainly, after conversation with Ady the official spoke to the linesman and this advice could have been offered to the referee in the long discussion that preceded the final verdict. Whether Ady influenced him or not the official had a clear view and was well aware of the mistake.
Let us hope we hear no more about it. Videos have been asked for but any subsequent disciplinary action would be unwise. It was wretched refereeing that caused the fracas.
The game itself was a good one. Rovers lined up in the preferred Pennock 4-4-2 formation with James Norwood and Matty Taylor as twin strikers. Lee Hughes remained on the bench where he received marginally fewer passes than he had done at Barnet.
For the first thirty-five minutes Rovers were a revelation. There was determination, movement and no little skill. Nors and Matty stretched the Kidderminster defence and more goals could have been scored. A half-time lead of two or more would not have flattered Rovers.
Harriers however are a good side and of course they hit back. Inspired by full back and captain Lee Vaughan they became a different side. A poor goal was given away and the worst was feared. Rovers held out and the ultimate result was a fair one.
Honest as ever the manager made a valid point in the post match press conference. Praising the quality of Rovers play in the first half he added that it was his job to ensure they play like that for ninety-five minutes. If that happens there is no limit to what our team will achieve.
Next season started for me when the game began. Could the team recover from the nadir of the first half at Barnet? On the evidence of the first thirty-five minutes against Kidderminster they had learned a great deal and were determined to prove themselves, showing both spirit and resolve. Of course Harriers hit back but there was plenty of evidence Pennock has something on which to build.
So it was at Dartford. Not a thrilling game but a win. Entertain us at home and grind out results away. So many of us would settle for that.
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