It's back to reality for Rovers
After the international break, on Saturday 15th October we played Middlesbrough in front of a crowd of 32,976 (the biggest crowd at a Rovers home match this season) who expected fireworks again from Lens, but ended up being sorely disappointed.
In fact, it was a typical Rovers game. We played well enough. In fact, even Shenton and Akpan played decently, but we lacked the creativity to create proper scoring chances and so our attacking players failed to find the net.
Henly is playing well this year and he was named Man-of-the-Match. Aké also did well as central defensive midfielder. But as a team it just was not enough, although we did keep a clean sheet again.
Next we shall have to play Newcastle at St.James' Park. Newcastle are currently in sixth position on the table, so they are doing much better in the Premier League than either Derby or us.
Point a game and you'll be safe!
Defence looked great but where are those goalssssss coming from?
(If he has not been snapped up already, can I suggest that you scout Mikkel Duelund.)
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Rovers out-do themselves again
On Saturday 22nd October we played Newcastle United at St. James' Park. After their promotion to the Premier League, Newcastle had signed big names like David Luiz, Wayne Rooney and Xavi Alonso and initially they seemed well on their way to become the revelation of the season, but for the second time this month we out-did ourselves and we won a match at a time when most pundits had given up hope.
Henley is no longer the weakest link in our defence and he actually scored his first goal of the season by smashing the ball towards the top corner and into the back of the net. Bennett, who is usually our most-productive midfielder, scored our second goal just before half-time with a lovely strike.
Perhaps Newcastle underestimated us, or perhaps it was because their goalkeeper had an off-day, but for the second time this month we won against all odds, while we somehow can't seem to win the easier home games against the likes of Middlesbrough and Derby County.
Bennett was named Man-of-the-Match as this was yet another clean sheet for us, even thought our central midfielders, and especially Shenton, failed to impress again.
An important victory. With this second win of the season we may actually have begun the climb out of the mire! And at least we are keeping the Board happy so who knows they might be more willing to try and find extra transfer funds for the January window now!
But it's early days, of course, and Newcastle have already shown us how much difference one or two wins or one or two losses can make as they have dropped to tenth place now while they were in second or third place just a few weeks ago.
So on Wednesday we will play Aston Villa in the EFL Cup and on Saturday it's Stoke City.
What a lovely 'bonus win!
Thoroughly professional performance!
Looks like a winnable game v Stoke but another nice pressure off game in league cup first
Great result there, and not relying on Lens to get the goals.
I wonder which Rovers team will turn up v Stoke
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Rovers knock Villa out of EFL Cup
On Wednesday 26th October we played Aston Villa in the EFL Cup Third Round. Last season they were our rivals in the Championship play-offs, but this season a match against Villa seems far less exciting and only 15,339 fans showed up on this cold Wednesday evening.
And although three goals were scored in quick succession, in the end it was a somewhat disappointing match. Baker made a dangerous two-footed challenge on Lens so he was sent off and Villa had to finish the match with ten men. As a consequence, nothing much happened in the second half. Villa couldn't do anything and we were content with the score-line as it was at half-time.
Just like against Newcastle, Henley and Bennett were the ones who found the net for us. Henley scored his second goal of the season and Bennett scored with a fierce strike soon after Henley's opener. Ayew found the net for Villa with a header and it could have become a very difficult evening for us, but after Baker had received his red card Villa gave up hope.
What was good to see, though, is how well Ryan Nyambe (19) is playing. He regularly gets game time and he is improving by the week. He can play as central defender or as right defender and he is our only youth player who definitely seems good enough to make it into the first team. In fact, he is considered good enough already by some of our more optimistic staff.
All in all a good enough day for us; and of course it's always good for us to advance to the next round of the EFL Cup.
After Reading and Villa (who both had to finish the match with ten men!) we will face a bigger challenge in the EFL Cup fourth round, but once again it will be a home game for us.
Interestingly, it will be either Newcastle or Arsenal, the only two clubs we have managed to beat so far in the League!
Rovers disappoint against Stoke City
On Saturday 29th October we played Stoke City in front an impressive crowd of 32,909 who expected great things - but who should have known better...
We played decently but not good enough and disaster struck when Alonso scored for Stoke just before half-time. When Aké tried a pot-shot on goal and found the net with just 53 minutes on the clock anything seemed possible again, but somehow our lads lacked confidence and seemed too afraid to concede another goal. The result was that the game petered out and of course neither team benefit from the inevitable and disappointing 1-1 draw.
Aké played well and was named Man-of-the-Match and Nyambe did well again when he replaced Henley in the second half, but once more as team we just were not good enough against what many pundits had considered to be a winnable opponent.
We should have beaten Stoke, but at least it's another point. And let's face it, we have only won two League games so far.
We don't win games easily and our next match will be against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Spurs are currently in third place so they will be a formidable opponent for us.
edging away from those at the bottom.
Great cup win, but I expect that the league is the priority.
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Lovely cup win- tough draw next but at least at home
Why do you think you should have beaten Stoke? Looks a fair result and from them going 1 up and having the better of the game it will be them who fell they have dropped points
Ten-man Rovers fight but lose at White Hart Lane
On Saturday 5th November we played Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and our lads fought like lions but we were left empty-handed after the full ninety minutes.
At half-time the score was still in balance with Steele playing a very solid game again and in the second half we brought on Nyambe for Wisdom, who was clearly struggling, when Aké pushed Erikson in the chest and was sent off!!
That left us little choice so we brought on Akpan as defensive central midfielder and we brought off Lens, hoping against hope that we could keep a clean sheet. That hope lasted just twenty minutes and then Sissoko scored and before we had decided what to do next Kane had already doubled the score and it seemed like it was all over.
But Marshall had not given up all hope yet and he powered a header at goal and found the net! So we quickly brought on Stokes for Akpan; we had to take a risk now to try and score a late equaliser with just ten men. After all, this is football and anything can happen!
But the miracle did not happen and so we had to leave White Hart Lane empty-handed.
Of course, at the end of the day, and if truth be told, it was a fair enough result.
Next Saturday Everton will visit Ewood Park.
Meanwhile Derby County are very interested in Ryan Nyambe. But since he gets regular game time he is happy to remain at the club. And we need him!
Last edited by samsami; 02-01-17 at 08:05 AM.
Tough decision to take off Lens and hope for the draw
How long Ake banned for?
Everton also too strong for Rovers
On Saturday 12th November we played Everton at Ewood Park in front of a crowd of 32,825 and although we played well enough and Flanagan, Akpan (for the banned Nathan Aké), Marshall and also Nyambe played fantastically, Koeman's Everton were just a tad too strong for us.
Everton had already scored an early goal which had been ruled out when Barkley scored the opener with a low drive and it was Valencia who decided the match, just before half-time. That second goal settled it. Everton are in third position on the League table and they will never give away a 2-0 lead.
Marshall (again!) scored a very late consolation goal with the assist coming from Ryan Nyambe, but obviously it was no more than exactly that, a consolation goal.
The avalanche of yellow cards did not help us. Marshall was named Man-of-the-Match and Nyambe played remarkably well again when he came on in the second half to replace Wisdom. In fact, our staff think Nyambe is well on his way to become a better defender than either Wisdom or Klavan!
Meanwhile, the EFL Cup game against Arsenal has been postponed so we have the rest of the week off. It will be good to be able to focus on the League as we are still very much in the danger zone.
Hmmph - looks like you deserved a point there - still clear of trouble though - think you'll be fine on that front as some poor teams behind you in the league
Just caught up on a week of updates
After a slow start to the season, you've certainly picked up since then. That thrashing of Arsenal
More recent results not great but don't think you'll be in any danger of a relegation battle.
Did you not fancy making Shenton's loan permanent?
Finally another win for Rovers!
On Saturday 19th November we played West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns in what could arguably be called a six-pointer - and we finally ended up at the right side of the score again!
With Aké back from his ban we started with our standard formation and our favourite line-up. The only players struggling to stay in the first team so far have been Wisdom and Shenton (the latter one being on loan, of course) and we don't really have anyone to replace Shenton. Squad depth is our biggest problem. Or one of them.
But to-day was our day! Within ten minutes it was all over. Henley scored his third goal of the season to give us an early lead (in fact, all three of Henley's goals have been early openers!) and just two minutes later Russell was sent off after his reckless two-footed challenge on Marshall!
Now even when you play against ten men you don't always win easily, but Marshall doubled the score minutes before half-time and the rest is (rather boring) history.
With precious few scoring chances - or shots on goal even, for that matter - this third League win of the season is a result that we are more than pleased with!
In many ways this really was a six-pointer and as a result of this win we moved up to 14th position on the League table! And that is just as well, because we shall be facing Man City next.
Very good result, especially as Derby, Watford and Sunderland are starting to get cut adrift.
Anything that you get against City will be a bonus. You need to target points against those teams in the bottom half.
Any chance of another loan to replace Shenton ?
The artist formally known as The Eejit
Massive win and what a time to get a nice early red card in your favour
You do like begging the board for money Do you use the more money request in the game?
Good win at West Brom, looked set to win even before their red card.