Darren Ferguson said that this ridiculously named M180 derby would ‘take care of itself.’ In many ways, he was right; Scunthorpe scored once and that was enough for three points – as it is for most teams at the moment.
If Ferguson meant a performance was guaranteed then that was lost on the players until half-time when he gave them a right good rollicking. Presumably.
By then it was too late, however, as a near 10,000 crowd – some of whom were still recovering from their St Leger festival hangover – watched Lee Novak score the sort of goal Rovers have become accustomed to conceding; Josh Morris’ tenth minute corner glanced past Ian Lawlor. Talk about slow out of the blocks.
Ferguson got the hairdryer out at half-time, one assumes to rid his sodden suit jacket of any more rainwater. And then the Rovers we’d all waited for conjured up a blissful, yet fruitless, 15 minutes for him to hang his hat on. John Marquis thumped the post, Andy Williams blazed high, Matty Blair curled over and Tommy Rowe hit a fizzing effort.
It wasn’t enough and, all of a sudden, Wednesday night’s ‘glamour’ tie at Arsenal in the League Cup seems incidental in comparison with Saturday’s trip to Plymouth. ‘The strikers are paid to score goals and they’re not doing that,’ the words of Ferguson.
‘If that was an audition for a starting place at the Emirates, we’ll be fielding a five-a-side team,’ the words of yours truly.