Tactical decision that backfired for shot-shy Rovers

Impressive: Mustapha Dumbuya did well in midfield as it looked as though our luck was changing
Impressive: Mustapha Dumbuya did well in midfield as it looked as though our luck was changing
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AFTER the first five minutes of the game at the Cardiff City stadium on Saturday, I thought that our luck was changing.

It had been like the Alamo as the home side hit the post twice and had another effort cleared off the line.

The longer the half went on I felt the better Rovers played with Mussy (Mustapha Dumbuya) having an impressive performance in midfield, and the defence keeping close control of the potent City strike force.

If Mussy had not been so honest he may have won us a penalty, but it was not to be.

At half-time manager Sean O’Driscoll changed things around. The Doncaster fans in the away end thought that Richard Naylor must have picked up an injury, but we later found out it was tactical decision to incorporate young striker Milan Lalkovic.

But the switch fell down when Gerrard headed home to give the Bluebirds the lead early in the second half.

Despite having a large slice of possession, Rovers seemed to be shot shy - only James Coppinger going anywhere near scoring with a a 30 yarder.

Rob Earnshaw, who had missed a sitter for Wales at Wembley days earlier, put that effort behind him to wrap the game up.

I thought that he was miles offside when the ball was passed to him and after watching it over and over I still hold the same opinion.

Before the game there was a minute’s applause for Micheal Dye, a Cardiff fan, who had lost his life at the Wales v England game.

Credit to the Rovers fans who dug deep for the bucket collection and laid flowers at the old Ninian Park gates which had become a shrine.

The gesture was much appreciated by Cardiff fans.

The ever- growing cost of watching football has certainly hit our away following. We had just 270 fans down in the Welsh capital - though I still think is a commendable ratio in relation to our home gates.

Rovers have tried to keep the prices as low as possible at certain games - the Crystal Palace game a week on Saturday being a prime example with several ticket offers available.

On the way back, even though we had been beaten, we remained upbeat, and decided to create a new craze, ‘Buseoke’

We had some karaoke discs and put them on the in-bus entertainment system and sang our heads off. It was the best atmosphere we have had on a coach for years. Pity we were out of tune.

There are still some seats on the coaches to Reading tomorrow where we meet up with Joe Mills again.

Even at this stage of the season it is a six-pointer. It will be tough but if Barnsley can win there, surely we can.

Coaches leave Retford at 8am and pick-up at Harworth 8.05, Bawtry 8.15, Rossington 8.15, Hare and Tortoise 8.20, Infirmary 8.30 and Keepmoat 8.45. One also starts at the Wilfreda depot at 8am. Call Paul on 07961-727769 or Len on 01302-817347 for seats.