Unbelievable really. Rovers were much the better team, but yet again paid the price for defensive vulnerability.
The first twenty-five minutes could’ve been mistaken for an attempt to keep 20,000 Blades silent for as long as possible. Honestly, absolutely nothing from three sides of the ground.
Ultimately this game epitomised Paul Dickov’s reign; weak at the back, promising going forward and unlucky with key decisions. The good ship HMS McCombe reminded us why he’s probably past his best now, upending Matt Done when there was no real danger as he ran away from goal. Conversely Kyle Bennett showed just what he is capable of; two stunning strikes, usually worthy of winning any encounter. Bennett was a constant menace, full of confidence and performing brilliantly, with Jamie Coppinger proving an equal foil on the other flank. God how we miss Copps; his run and pass to find Bennett for his first goal were sublime, and many of the travelling faithful were bemused when he was removed with twenty minutes left.
Unfortunately, for all Rovers neat build up play and attacking prowess, United managed two shots on target and won the game. Had the referee given an absolutely stonewall penalty for handball in the final minute Rovers may have got a deserved point. As it was, the game ended with defeat again and the odd murmur from the crowd on the manager’s availability, which, on this 90 minutes alone – Rovers dominating the majority of the game – was a little unjustified.
by Chris Kidd