Free kick decision cost us dearly at Oakwell

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WE are still in the relegation mix after the Easter programme after two draws and other results from the pack chasing us.

The Crystal Palace clash was a real grip-your-seat game in front of a good crowd which left most of us breathless. It was not a classic but was another important point as we crawl towards the line to safety. The chairman and board’s decision to give free tickets did help make the atmosphere electric before the kick-off and worked to give the lads a boost when they came out of the tunnel.

With so much at stake both sides showed a few nerves but manager Sean O’Driscoll was happy we did not concede stupid goals like at Hull, although Palace did hit the post to make a few hearts flutter.

So, we still had not got the vital win as we travelled to Barnsley on Monday. Another great day weather-wise and a good 1,500 Rovers fans made the trip to Oakwell.

It was a good performance as Rovers put the Tykes to the sword as they hunted for that vital win and in the second-half two strikes from Jason Euell looked to have given Rovers all the points, and Championship safety, until the guy who had denied Rovers two penalties decided to see something that no one in the crowd, or on the video, saw!

His whistle blew with three minutes to go and Rovers 2-1 up for a free kick just outside the box.

These are the sort of decisions that have haunted Rovers throughout the season, when they could have just done with one going their way.

No disputing that it was a well-taken free kick but it should never have been given.

It’s frustrating to see a game go by with yet another bizarre decision wrecking all the hard work and planning.

So we go into another game tomorrow against Sven’s Leicester side, knowing that just one point will be good enough for safety, but as Sean will know, in football you can take nothing for granted.

He will have been busy planning his tactics and systems ahead of once again an important game.

On top of all this I walked over 20 miles over the weekend including eight miles over Kinder Scout in the Peak District as part of my Inca Trek training. Saturday was so hot but I got through it. After the walks I decided to do what players do to recover and had an ice cold bath and hope it kept my legs in action for the next day

All I can say is I swore quite a bit as I got in, but it worked so that I could climb up Kinder Scout the next day. Paul Mayfield decided to follow suit the next day, but his wife Ruth said he squealed like a stuck pig when he went in!

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