Blackpool and Donny Draw Blank
18th October 2008 - 15:00
Attendance: 11, 342
What a hideously boring game. Many will undoubtedly say that every away point is a good point and one gained, but I can't agree.
Doncaster, on a horrific sequence of six straight defeats, rarely offered an attacking threat all game and yet The Seasiders looked tentative throughout, lacking invention.
Stephen McPhee failed to make the bench this week, Adam Hammill also dropped to the bench in place of fit again Claus Jorgensen, which meant David Vaughan slotting in on the left hand side.
Barker - Evatt - Edwards © - Camara
GTF - Southern - Jorgensen - Vaughan
Burgess - Kabba
Doncaster Rovers (4-4-2):
Chambers - Mills - Lockwood - Roberts
Wilson - Woods - Stock © - Elliott
Price - Guy
I was sat in the car coming back from the Keepmoat this evening wondering how on earth I could fill a full match report and what positives I could try and bring from the game. In truth, there weren't many positives and there isn't much to write home about!
The fixture was a total write off - from start to finish. It's clear to see why Doncaster are struggling at the minute, and will probably continue to do so. But it was the performance of Simon Grayson's men that is worrying. Not that we were awful all over the park. No, we were again solid, looked hard to beat, doing the basics (fairly) well. It is the penetrating element to the side that is lacking at this moment in time. For a team which is so good at hitting opponents on the counter attack, we looked devoid of ideas and know how.
Attempts on goal were about as rare as a home chant. Leon Price had a couple of half chances in the first half for Donny. However, Price typifies the problem Sean O'Driscoll has at the minute - he can't score goals.
Price provided Blackpool with a defensive problem all afternoon. The striker dropped off the two centre backs and wasn`t being picked up by anyone, thus being allowed to roam and dictate play. Thankfully, his final ball wasn`t Championship standard.
Rovers drew yet another blank and have now scored just five goals in their 11 league games.
That's only three goals behind 'Pool, who are clearly struggling in an attacking sense. Steve Kabba and Ben Burgess seem to work fairly well but have no true support from midfield. Both wingers like to drift inside, so we lack real width which detracts from Burgess' game by not having an out and out winger who wants to get to the byline and whip a ball in. Of course, we do have a player that fits that category - Adam Hammill. Unfortunately for the youngster, the team lack shape when he plays.
I felt that Shaun Barker - making his 100th appearance in a tangerine shirt - had a decent game, as did all of the back four. The problem lies in the midfield, and we need to unlock defences much easier than our efforts currently.
Goalmouth action was almost zero; Doncaster had a couple of shouts for a penalty, as did we. First Rovers' claims - one may have been given, the other certainly not, for handball. Pool had a few of their own - a foul on Burgess by Lockwood was a stonewall penalty, and we might count ourselves a little unlucky not have been given a spot kick when Lockwood again clambered all over Kabba, and but for the big defender going down in a heap, it may have been given.
But this is about it for goalmouth action really. David Vaughan had a looping header tipped over by the ageing but impressive Neil Sullivan whilst Alan Gow broke clear a few times but couldn't find the net. He did however find the referees notebook, and was cautioned for diving. The Scot did make the difference when he came on with a quarter of an hour left for Burgess, and let's hope he starts (maybe in a central midfield role?) on Tuesday night against Derby.
Blackpool never looked like conceding until the final 60 seconds of second half stoppage time. The ball fell to Martin Woods 30 yards from goal and he sent a wonder left footed strike crashing back of Rachubka's crossbar. Moments later, the same player brought a world class stop from the American to deny Rovers all three points.
Ok, a point gained or two lost? Running the risk of sounding like match reporters from Leicester, Preston, Burnley, Wolves, Norwich, Birmingham and so on after playing The Seasiders recently, I have to say it's two points dropped. Doncaster don't have any killer instinct in front of goal, and looked shaky at the back (with Matthew Mills looking increasingly ragged throughout) but unfortunately today we didn't either. If we'd turned up and performed, the 'Pool would be sitting in the top 10.
We remain unbeaten in five, which can only be a good thing, and hopefully the men in tangerine can put it right on Tuesday by getting a first win in five as well - bizarre!
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