Archive for January 12th, 2011

Bristol Rovers 2-2 Walsall: Signs of life?

Exile @ 3:24 am Wednesday 12 January 2011

Walsall took the lead and then came from behind late again to grab a point at Bristol tonight. First, a quick poll:

Two draws in two games. Smith till the end of the season?
  • No, there's better candidates available (69%, 223 Votes)
  • Yes, he'll keep us up (31%, 98 Votes)

Total Voters: 321

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There’s a dearth of match reports on the match thread from fans who went, but that should not detract from UTS regular Chester Saddler’s summing up of events:

Just got back from a really enjoyable game which on balance produced a fair result.

Walsall should have been home and hosed after half an hour, yet could easily conceded 4 in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

We were at them from the start with some good passing and movement. Macken and Grigg looked a good pairing up front. Nicholls made some good runs, however, as usual there was little end product. The midfield worked hard and the defence looked in control against what seemed a lacklustre Rovers side. Bevan did what he had to do very well and looked confident with his handling. Well worth the lead at half time, however, a few were questioning whether we would regret not turning our dominance into a bigger lead, having conceded 10 goals in the past 3 games

Rovers made a substitution at HT and the game turned on its head in the first 20 minutes. I was convinced that there equaliser should have been ruled out for offside as I was right in line. After taking the lead they were all over us for 15 minutes and should have scored again although credit is due for some resolute defending from our lot.

We fought our way back into the game and with Patterson looking good when he came on we scored a really good equaliser which overall we deserved.

The players seemed to respond to Smith’s encouragement from the touchline which was good to see.

Plenty of positives for me tonight, particularly the effort and the fact that heads did not drop when we went 2-1 down. Areas for improvement would be Gray’s workrate (what he did was good but he does not get involved enough for me) and an alternative to Nicholls (tried hard but just lacks the quality)

I know it’s stating the obvious but we need to tighten up at the back quickly if we are to have any chance of staying up.

Good to see some spirit, worrying to see two more goals conceded, in quick succession too. Plenty of opportunities for improvement but nice to note the team seem to be playing rather than just turning up. That said, we’ve just drawn away against two of the worst teams in the league. At home on Saturday we face a promotion challenger. Can we compete?

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