stuttering Rovers held by Carlisle
Rovers began their new season campaign with a diabollical start againt league 2 champions Carlisle. The home side hit the traps causing Rovers numerous problems and at the heart of this was former Leeds Striker Michael Bridges. It only took Carlisle 3 minutes to take the lead after smart work from last years leading goal-scorer Karl Hawley and combined with hesistant Rovers defending he managed to prode a cross goalwards in which Murray was able to tap home. This pressure continued with Rovers unable to cope with Carlisle front 3 who had Gall and Hawley's pace and trickery and Bridges nouse and composure. Rovers nearly hit back immediately after good personal work from Heffernan who managed to scoop the ball over the on-rushing defender but only mamaged to fire it at the keeper. As the half moved on Rovers authority in the game enhanced and rovers began to take the game by the scruff of the kneck with a succession of corners and Forte looking dangerous on the counter attack.However as the half time whistle went rovers were actually on top of the game.
In the 2nd half Rovers had far more possesion but actually failed to break Carlisle down. It wasn't until fans favourite Thornton had been introduced from the substitutes bench, that Rovers began to dictate play in particular Sean was at the centre of this. After a long ball and a defensive slip Bruce Dyer found himself through on goal but only managed to head straight at the keeper, this miss was followed up by a flicked shot in a congested penaly area in which the Carlsile keeper Westwood saved superbly. As the gamed drew on Mccammon game on to add aerial presence up-front. From a Thronton corner Lee's powerful header was cleared off the line not once but twice. This was really the end of their chances apart from sub J J Price curled a shot into row Z to the amusment of the home fans.
Overall Rovers certainly did not start well but an improved 2nd half performance suggests this season can not be as bad as the 1st half performance suggests.
Rovers team- Blayney,Lockwood(Mccammon), S.Roberts,Lee,G.Roberts,Coppinger(J.J Price),Horlock,Green(Thornton), Forte,Heffernan,Dyer
Man of the Match- Graeme Lee an impressive performance from the skipper who was a rock in defence when Rovers backs were against the wall.