Sunday, 2 February 2014

Rotherham United - 1st February 2014

The O's suffer only their 4th league defeat of the season at Rotherham.

A quick review - It's never nice losing to Steve Evans.

The first half was a largely forgettable affair, going behind early on to a goal that could easily have been avoided whilst chances were at a premium up the other end. We were lucky not to fall further behind as we struggled to cope with the crosses coming in. It was only after Slade changed things round, bringing Mooney on for the ineffective Simpson, that things picked up, Odubajo finishing with aplomb to level it up. But in difficult conditions we lost it to another goal that should've been avoided, Revell scoring with what was to be fair an excellent finish after sloppy play from the O's.

The manner in which the goals we conceded was most disappointing. For the first goal Cox gave the ball away too easily on the left, and with no pressure on either the impressive Pringle who swung the ball in, or the striker left unmarked in the middle to nod home.  For the second, in a desperate attempt to launch a counter attack, Alnwick contrived to kick the ball about a 3rd of the way down the pitch (something more regularly seen during the half time game between the Under-8s) and with no pressure on Revell from the back 4 he planted a decent finish in the bottom corner. Both could easily have been avoided and who knows what the end result could've been.

Take nothing away from Rotherham though, they adapted well to the windy conditions and on balance they probably deserved the 3 points. Shame about the fat embarrassment who ran on the pitch after the winner though, given the freedom of the O's 18 yard box until Romain tried to usher him off. Rumours that it was Steve Evans are yet to be confirmed. What the "stewards" were doing was unknown at the time, but after the game it became clear that they were all busy holding up metal fences outside.

Man of the match - Unfortunately, there's not many candidates this week with a host of players playing below the high standard they've set themselves this season. If I had to pick one player though it would be Omozusi. Resolute in defence as always, he was also one of the few O's players who were able to find their teammates with a pass. In fairness the conditions were atrocious, but it's a shame so few players managed to adapt. An honourable mention to Dagnall who did superbly to set up Mo's goal, doing what's known in League 1 as a "Mo" by skinning the full back before clipping in a great ball.

What next? - Peterborough. Although this result is a setback, with 5 out of our next 6 games coming at home we've got an excellent chance of re-claiming a spot in the top 2. Hopefully with Mooney getting closer to full match fitness and Lisbie confirmed to not be out for long by Slade, we'll see a more effective striker pairing from the start than Simpson and Dagnall. With a bit of luck, we won't have to play in a galestorm this time and Slade will be able to keep his hat on. 

Up the O's!

Follow me on Twitter! @lauriehann

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