Seven minutes in, 2-0 down, and very much architects of our own downfall.
Viewed objectively, the overall 90 minutes Rovers put in at The Den wasn’t that bad. They passed the ball reasonably; created opportunities, but by then it was all too late; to credit them would be like complementing The Titanic’s staff on how polite and efficient they were once they’d hit that iceberg.
The first goal showcased a new level of woefulness; Thorsten Stuckmann took a goal-kick short to Richie Wellens; the midfielder half-heartedly underhit it back; Steve Morrison intercepted to score.
For the second Rovers showed the defensive maturity of a group of eight-year-olds; so focused on their new hand-holding routine that they forgot to mark the fella who’d just scored; Morrison, all on his own at the back post to leisurely pick his spot in the bottom corner.
And that was the game done. No coming back. Nathan Tyson ploughed a frustrated furrow, the whole defence looked as composed as Louis Spence; Jamie Coppinger showed he still has the best touch outside the top flight, but sadly the 96th best cross and poor Andy Williams ambled on at the death looking and moving like the ghost of striking form past.
Darren Ferguson could well be the man to turn all this around, but to do so he’ll need to first address the chronic lack of confidence that’s turned some capable players into footballer-shaped holograms of their own ability. That, and stop gifting opponents two goal starts.
by Glen Wilson