Bristol Rovers fans' panel: Steve Knowlson reflects on the defeat at Wycombe
6:00am Friday 7th December 2012 in Yate and Sodbury Sport
AFTER yet another false dawn last week in the draw against Bradford, normal service was resumed for long-suffering Gasheads.
The trip to Wycombe was controversially rearranged after the original fixture was abandoned by Wycombe’s health and safety officer due to a storm over Adams Park. At the time Rovers were 3-1 up and looking good value for a valuable three points on the road. Despite an appeal to the FA, the abandonment stood.
The perceived injustice should have spurred the team on to grab a much needed victory on Saturday, but it was not to be. Wycombe’s Joel Grant was allowed to run half the length of the pitch before dispatching an accurate left-footed shot into Sam Walker’s net in the 11th minute. The Chairboys’ captain Gareth Ainsworth made the points safe with a diving header early in the second half. After that, Rovers never looked like getting back into the game.
Travelling Gasheads were ‘rewarded’ with a performance devoid of fight, ambition or ability. Mark McGhee had a strong squad to choose from as a number of players returned from injury and suspension but he persisted with some strange team selections. Playing central defender Tom Parkes in left midfield, and, yet again, leaving the only player with true pace, Fabian Broghammer, on the bench were puzzling and frustrating decisions.
Mustering just four attempts on goal – and only two on target – is very poor for a side already struggling against relegation. To cap a poor display, Matthew Lund needlessly got himself sent off in stoppage time, the fourth Rovers’ player to receive a red card in the last four games. Indeed, if indiscipline got you points, Rovers would be looking down on the rest of the Football League.
McGhee needs to rapidly get a grip on the situation, instil discipline and tenacity in the squad and get the players performing for the shirt, not just for their wages. In addition, he needs to ship out the likes of Riordan who has done nothing since signing a short-term deal.
The fightback must begin on Saturday against Dagenham and Redbridge.
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