The key to a good five-a-side team is having a good keeper, a good centre forward and enough players in between to get in the way, I told Popular Stand editor Glen Wilson on the way up to Southend after my work team won their first game of the season. And so it was the case for Rovers in their opening game of the season.
But for the brilliance of Marko Marosi in goal and the tenacity of John Marquis up front Rovers would have walked away with their tails between their legs, after a game that saw Chris Powell’s new outfit register 25 shots to our measly seven and control large chunks of the game.
The first half saw persistent attacks from the Shrimpers as Rovers adapted to a new system that clearly favoured the counter attack. A midfield three pressed high up the park left gaps in defence and allowed plenty of space for the attacking team without delivering much in return on the break. The teams went in even at the break, largely thanks to the heroics of Marosi.
You couldn’t help but chuckle, therefore, when Marquis calmly finished in the 51st minute to fire Rovers ahead. Mallik Wilks impressive effort doubled the lead and a Tommy Rowe shot that might not have made the goal line had it been hit from five yards further back made it three.
Southend piled on the pressure but it was to no avail. Rovers limped away with an undeserving victory.
by Jack Peat