The story that underpins this fixture against Rotherham is a disheartening one.
A threadbare squad, players (such as Cameron John, who couldn’t stop clutching his back) with blatant injuries having to play 90 minutes, and a divided fan-base meant what was a very sunny day in South Yorkshire felt particularly miserable. A loss against local rivals was written in the stars.
What made the experience even more frustrating for the 1,700 travelling fans was the amount of actual positives within the performance itself. Pontus Dahlberg is phenomenal, and if it wasn’t for him it could have been 6-0 rather than the two it ended up. The midfield six looked good together with John Bostock, Tommy Rowe and Charlie Seaman giving it their all to try to get Rovers ahead.
However, it’s hard to score when you don’t field a striker, unless you’re Manchester City, which we most certainly aren’t. We had to play for a 0-0 draw as nothing else seemed possible.
This desperate need for a centre forward was further rubbed in fans’ faces with Michael Smith slotting home two goals, personifying what a ‘proper striker’ can do. The second goal hitting just moments before the half time whistle killed off any optimism that our decent midfield performance would keep us in the game.
Even the sending off in the second half seemed to have no impact on the huge deficit we have up front. It looked like we could have played all night and not gotten anything.