August. That was the last time I saw Rovers score a goal away from home. Eight whole months since I last had cause to lift myself from an unfamiliar stadium seat for anything other than a fellow fan going for a piss.
Sure, I don’t do every away game, but I’ve done almost a third of them. And whilst I keep my expectations low and my aspirations reasonable, it’s hard to feel anything other than deflated upon realising you’ve endured over nine hours of huffing and puffing without seeing your team hit the net.
As for the most recent one and a half of those hours, it was plucked straight out of the file marked ‘end of season, nowt to play for’. There were brief flashes of promise and quality; Luke McCullough patrolled midfield like an adult in a kids’ kickabout, whilst all that Niall Mason did flowed with the assuredness; showing how much more confident he looks on the right.
Oldham, despite needing something from the game, offered little to nothing; Ian Lawlor made two good palms to safety, but otherwise remained largely untroubled.
Ultimately, this match represented Rovers season in microcosm; assured and resolute at the back; steady in midfield, but eternally lacking a confidence in the final third. Nobody really wanted to take on the shot, but at the same time, without James Coppinger and Tommy Rowe, no-one really had the nous to play the right final ball at the right time.
by Glen Wilson