Gutted, the boys were superb to a man ,far the better team and touch of the Airdries with Peterhead getting a penalty for whatever the ref saw, I only hope we can carry on this sort of showing for the rest of the season and get a chance of a playoff place which the boys richly deserve.
A much better performance today. Played some good football at times and fought hard throughout the game. Created some good chances against an excellent Peterhead side, shut them down and got at them from the start. Dont think they liked that and maybe felt they were coming to Cliftonhill for an easy day! How wrong they were. They got out of jail with a soft penalty. From where I was, it was ball played hand. Bit of a dubious decision. However, if we can maintain performances like that, we should fear no-one in this league and feel confident of a good finish to this campaign. A really difficult game on Tuesday night against Dunfermline, a point there would be good. Onward and upward.....hopefully!
One of those bizarre days when before the game starts you would settle for a draw but by the time the game ends you feel robbed when it finishes 1-1! We were brilliant today, probably the best I have seen us play since early in the season. It was a cracking day for football and a thoroughly entertaining game to watch.We totally dominated the game from the beginning and created enough decent chances to win umpteen games. We should have been out of sight by half time and boy did we rue those missed chances.
I got there nice and early for once, early enough to see our pre-match warm up routine and I've spotted a major flaw. Billy split the group into two - attackers and defenders. The defenders are passive and allow the forwards to go through a few phases of play before putting a ball into the box that someone tries to finish. Here's a thought if you're reading this Darren or Billy, try it the other way around!! No wonder we can't defend balls into the box when we don't practice it!! Anyway I digress......
Surprise for me before kick off, on the day when we welcomed the fishermen from Peterhead, was the presumably unintentional irony of dropping our very own Fish to the bench. Talu his replacement had a great game but how Fish can't get into the team and Ross Davidson can is beyond me.
The game started brightly enough with both teams cancelling each other out for the first 15 minutes. The main action took place off the park where a drunk guy got in (no idea how we made it through the turnstiles, he couldn't bite his finger nails let alone walk in a straight line) complete with can of Strongbow in hand. To be fair to the stewards they got him out the stand quite quickly and huckled him away. Two of Police Scotland's finest then did the rest.
And so to our goal and what a cracker it was. We won a corner in the right hand side. The ball got played in and fell to Talu on the edge of the box. Ricardo headed the ball towards the goal and Mick squared it to Ally who buried if from at least 2 feet. It was well worked and got us off to a great start.
We then had another 3 great chances but couldn't convert any of them. Georgiev's pace in his snazzy luminous Superfly's was troubling the fishermen and it was his pace that should have led to our second goal. The ball got played forward and Georgiev was on it in a flash. He outpaced the defence who were chasing back, so it wasn't an easy chance. Nevertheless Georgiev got round the keeper and then seemed to run out of pitch! He half hit a shot that either seemed to hit the post or just go past but it should have been 2-0 and we would have been on easy street.
Barrowman also had a good effort from the edge of the box that saw the keeper make a great save and then we had another gilt edged chance. We beat their offside trap and Barrowman found himself in acres of space down the right hand side. He played a terrible ball into McBride who was on the edge of the six yard box. McBride should have left it to Ally who was coming in behind him but didn't. The ball was slightly behind McBride and his first touch wasn't the best. His second touch was worse and his third after that was poor too. Touches 4, 5 and 6 weren't up to much at all and just at the point when I was beginning to think I'd be back at work on Monday before he hit it, he pirouetted and got a shot away. No surprise that by that point the defender had got back to block the ball. I could have made it down from the stand and blocked it in the same timeframe. So a bad decision followed by rank bad finishing.
We had a few half chances after that and should have been out of sight by half time. Peterhead showed some nice touches but just weren't in the game at all. They only had one chance of note in the first half which came just after we scored. They got forward and a shot from the edge of the box was grabbed by Ross at the second attempt.
So 1-0 at half time and it should have been more.
The half time entertainment saw one of the age old rivalries in football come to Cliftonhill. Better then the Old Firm, more exciting than El Classico; yes the legendary Bibs versus Non bibs. So some school kids - boys and girls - took to the pitch. It looked about 20 a side but it was probably half of that. They played with the sort of excitement associated with a puppy chasing a bin bag in the wind but it was entertaining. The non bibs scored first, scoring from close range after a good move. The non bibs equalised after a fine solo run. 1-1 the final score and a fair result. Congrats to all involved.
Meanwhile of course our subs had abandoned the complicated passing routine of 11 days ago and returned to my personal favourite of blasting the ball in the general direction of the goal. I don't know why I am drawn to it but it is compulsive viewing for me and dire in terms of quality. Anyway I'm rambling again......
Into the second half and Peterhead made a few quick substitutions. But it was the Rovers who should have gone further in front. McBride broke down the left and bamboozled the defenders. He put in a great cross which Ally flicked on. Barrowman coming in at the far post just couldn't connect with it. Was it a sitter - it certainly looked like it from where I was sitting.
The referee, who was actually quite decent up until the last of the 90 minutes, had remembered to bring his cards out with him in the second half and started to show a few to the Peterhead players
So still 1-0 and we were not sitting back as deep as we have done in previous games. Peterhead weren't troubling us at all and we didn't really look like conceding but if I'm honest I did have a nagging doubt.......
Georgiev was knackered at the start of the second half and it seemed ages before Darren made a change. Inexplicably he took Ally off! Ally always looks to me like he has a goal in him so I don't know what that was all about. Fish also came on eventually and fizzed in a great shot from the edge of the box. Talu also had a decent effort from distance which went just wide.
It was midway through the second half before Peterhead got their first corner and I did fear the worst.... The ball got played in to the penalty spot and true to their pre-match training regime, our defenders just ignored it. So no challenge and fortunately the header went wide.
The clock was ticking down and Talu was named man of the match. Probably deservedly so but I thought everyone put in a shift today and there were no passengers at all. The one exception I would make is Ross Davidson. He's a decent player, in fact I think he has plenty of skill, and he did okay in spells today. But he is completely lightweight. Way too easily pushed off the ball and not strong enough in the tackle for this level. At least in my humble opinion.
And so to their goal. It was the last minute of normal time, maybe even later than that and we were getting a wee bit too deep. They had played a few balls into the box and we were getting them cleared. However because we had everyone, and I mean everyone behind the ball there was no one to take the ball forward and relieve the pressure.
I didn't actually see what happened, whether it was a push or a handball or someone stood on a crack in the pavement, but the referee saw fit to point to the spot. Ross went the wrong way and it was 1-1 with about 90 seconds left to play! We did try to go forward but it was a sucker punch and way too late for us to recover.
So a point is no disgrace on paper. Having witnessed the game we were really unlucky though, so plenty positives in truth. We played really well for long periods of time and I thought Talu playing in the '2' of the 4231 worked well. We dominated the game, outplayed a team who are on a real good run of form and on another day we would have had the game sown up by half time.
So positives all round really. Got to be a good day when you are disappointed at only taking a point from a team who are obviously going to finish 3rd at worst in this league.
Crowd was 409 today, presumably reduced to 408 with the enforced exit of our Strongbow-loving friend.
would have been happy before the game with a point but after that performance today we should have won that match out the park. game should have been over by halftime if we could have taken all the chances that came our way. feel really gutted. great performance by the guys tho......mugged !
Great performance today and good point but still feel robbed. If only we had a finisher. Barrowman had one of his better days but that wouldn't be hard. He is still a liablity in the team. Dare I say it, oh for a John Gemmell. Even Mark Yardley was quicker than Barraloads!
Please get me the no. for forums anonymous!
Agree Robert - Peterhead are in free-scoring form right now therefore it'll be a very difficult game.
A point tomorrow would represent a very good result for us and keep our Play-Offs challenge alive!
C'MON THE MIGHTY 'VERS!!!!
That's why they call me The Prof!!!!
The guys were excellent today and matched a very good Peterhead side all the way. It was a case of "What if" as we had a good few chances to take all 3 points against a team who've been unbeaten since 31st October and scored 50 goals in the process!! We're one of only 2 teams to have beaten them in the League since mid-October.
Reckon we're pretty much safe from the "dreaded drop" now?
Unlike wheelbarrow who just plays like he's injured!
And yet our best run of form and best results are mostly with him in the team! I think we need to look beyond the obvious lack of goals from Andy and perhaps give him a bit of credit for the influence he has on the rest of the team. I see it week in week out - he's always the guy who is organising things and telling people where they should be at free kicks and throw ins.
The manager isn't stupid - Barrowman is in the team for a reason and it obviously isn't his prolific goal scoring record.
Great report on the game d7 - but why was Barrowman's cross into the box for Scott McBrides chance poor? I thought he did the right thing. Scott really should have done better wth it and I'm sure he knows that himself. No criticism from me as I think he's been our best player over the last month or so.
Oh well - let's hope that we can produce a similar performance on Tuesday - a point and East End Park really would be something to celebrate and more or less see us safe from the drop.
Shakey - the reason I thought Barrowman's ball into McBride was poor was because Barrowman was in acres of space, had all the time in the world, was under no pressure and had both Scott and Ally to aim at. All he had to do was play it slightly in front of Scott and he could have ran on to it and finished first time. As it was the ball went behind McBride and the least said about his efforts from there the better. Just my view!
Your points about Barrowman are good. He definitely suffers from not scoring as many goals as we would like to see from our main striker. In truth though our style of play, especially away from home, means we are set up more to not lose goals than score them. He definitely is one of the main organisers on the pitch along with Mick.
Given our league position with the resources at our disposal it's difficult to argue with the managers decisions.
Excellent performances from all Rovers players yesterday: very proud of the team. Peterhead were never in the game: handed a point on a plate by the ref's latest intervention. One more win should be enough to keep us up, but that was a superb battling display yet again.
I did say Barrowman had a decent game but at the end of the day (sorry, bad cliche) he is a striker and his tally and our goal average say it all. We have done brilliantly this season but with someone who could bang the goals in the way he should be who knows where we'd be.
Agree, Barrowman is our striker and may have scored more goals but he was out injured for a few weeks and to be honest we are set up alot to defend and hit on the break (lone strikers job is a bit of a task). Although this has worked well, we can play the ball on the deck and attack at pace, this is what most of us want to see.
We have been crying out for a striker(s) all season and maybe rely on Love and McBride a bit too much. Both these players can create chances from midfield and it would have been interesting to see where we would have been if they had a target man or someone ahead of them running into the channels.