Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A look back at.....Bristol Rovers

In some reasonably positive news, it has been revealed that Grant Basey has damaged his ankle ligaments and not shattered his leg as first feared. Let's hope the academy graduate makes a full and speedy recovery.

There isn't much else to be pleased about following last night's defeat at Bristol Rovers and we look a shadow of the side that was so exuberant in the early stages of the campaign.

Commitment cannot be called into question but quality, invention and ideas can and if a stimulus is not found soon, our play-off hopes, never mind our automatic promotion fantasies, could be dashed.

Parky's pre-match promise that we would get at Bristol Rovers from the off didn't seem to correlate with the starting line-up he had chosen. I expected two wingers, and Nicky Bailey bombing forward from a central position, but instead we had a more rigid midfield formation and never really had the cadence or destructiveness to put our hosts in peril.

Our extremely brief moments of joy in the first period came when our ginger-haired skipper and the svelte Lloyd Sam opted to go wide and tried to whip in crosses. With that in mind, it was strange to see David Mooney enter the fray as a half-time substitute and not one of our reserve wide boys, Kyel Reid or Scott Wagstaff.

Though to be honest, a difference of personnel and/or formation may not have made an iota of difference, it just wasn't our night.

The disasters began just 12 seconds in with Rovers midfielder Dominic Blizzard's appalling lunge on Basey. I seriously doubt there was any malice on the offender's part and after seeing the incident with his own eyes, I imagine he is bitterly upset with what he has done.

But Blizzard's challenge deserved a straight red card and if - as expected - the only reason he was spared was because it was in the embryonic moments of the game, then that is shocking. I wouldn't be pardoned for running somebody over just because it was early in the morning.

Bailey's rebuked penalty appeal, Mooney's golf ball-like forehead protrusion, a relatively small allocation of second-half stoppage time compared to the shenanigans that had taken place - nothing went our way. I'm not saying they are the reasons we lost, just unneeded annoyances that did not help us.

Grievances are par for the course, however, and Charlton have to learn how to overcome them. Our rut cannot become an epidemic because the teams below us are good enough to capitalise.

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