Rovers travelled to Rochdale in need of points, goals and a performance to lift the spirits and avert the recent slide. This was soon rocked when Rochdale were awarded a dubious penalty, which Ian Lawlor saved.
The rest of the first-half was poor with neither side able to keep the ball or put anything together in the wet conditions. The only other notable happening was poor Issam Ben Khemis being hooked after 30 minutes of ‘rabbit-in-the-headlights’ football.
Surely the second half would be better. It wasn’t. Both teams as bad as each other continued with the frantic fare. Finally with 15 minutes to go a typical James Coppinger nutmeg forced a corner from which John Marquis prodded the ball home at the back post.
As if they had forgotten how to react to scoring Rovers now went on the defensive. With three minutes of added time left Rochdale capitalised, firstly with a lovely goal from the edge of the box, then with the last kick of the game from a corner.
Yes it was cruel, particularly on Lawlor who had a good night, but not unlucky. Rovers were poor and post match clichés on the official twitter were a bit hard to take. Think we need a bit of David Wagner honesty from a team which has now won one league game in the last twelve.
So the fans went away with spirits decidedly dampened. Still it’s only Scunthorpe and Arsenal away to come. What could possibly go wrong!
by Neil Allen