JUST IN: The Green Light with FGR fan John Light
WE can destroy! This is what our team showed us on Saturday. Last season we could dominate but now we have leapt forward.
A cutting edge is now part of our armoury, a killer instinct part of our mental approach. I know one swallow does not make a summer, but the 8-0 win on Saturday was no swallow - it was s soaring eagle, albeit one slow to take flight.
Hyde could have scored in the opening stages, but Rovers soon put their nerves behind them and were taking control of the game when the opposition full-back was sent off. Instantly manager Hockaday instructed his team to expand their game, therefore stretching a depleted opposition.
They did exactly that. Four goals came in 13 minutes. With full-backs pushing forward and with the three front men mobile and merciless, Rovers took charge.
This team knows where the goal is but just as important they know the whereabouts of each other. Simple, often instinctive passing proved that. A stunning first goal by debutant Marcus Kelly opened the floodgates.
Playing in midfield, but with the freedom to go forward Marcus was rightly named man-of- the-match and was well deserving of his hat-trick but this was essentially a team performance.
Five different players scored goals as the rout continued into the second half. There are still some doubters. "It was only Hyde" "It was against ten men" they cry.
Nonsense! It was a Conference Premier fixture with three points at stake, just like the other 45 match points were won; goals were scored, when last season such opportunities were too often passed up.
This was a fine league win. In 15 previous opening day games Rovers had won just twice. Only ten goals had been scored.
Surely the years of struggle or fading promise are now over? There were so many signs that last year's faults had been eradicated. James Norwood's 38th minute goal was an example. Last season far too many corners were wasted and much work has been done on this aspect of the game as this goal demonstrated.
A corner from the left was hit long and deep and there was Chris Stokes waiting. His cleanly won header was firmly nodded in by the waiting Norwood. It looked to me like a move straight from the training ground. I am sure there will be more.
It was not just the football that made Saturday so enjoyable. Young Richard Joyce in announcing the teams ranged from Jack Dee (when naming the opposition) to Donald Sinden (when Rovers names were given).
The dedications to guests and anniversary celebrants announced by main club announcer Garry Mitchell is a fine innovation and a proper personal touch. Best of all however was Gary Seward giving a pre-match talk in the Carol Embrey Suite.
Slimmer and trimmer this season the chirpy Londoner talked about pre-match preparation - how Hyde had been watched and analysed. I caught the end of his presentation and wish I had heard all. Well done Gary, you would certainly have passed, if on teaching practice.
What an innovation this is! It makes the Carol Embrey Suite a must location. Where else is such an experience on offer? Gary ended his spot by saying he would be about after the game if anyone had any points to bring up. Had not someone scored three goals he would have been my man of the day.
There were two special delights on Saturday. First was seeing Reece Styche running round the pitch before kick-off, and secondly the manager's joy, exuberance and delight as each goal went in. You were celebrating for all of us David.
Comments are closed on this article.