Mem blues continue for RoversHaving picked up the first three points of the season with a dogged display at St.James' Park against Exeter on Saturday, Wednesday night’s home match with Cheltenham Town seemed the perfect opportunity for us to pick up the first three home points of the campaign.
However after a 1-0 defeat against The Robins, a first half strike from former Gas forward Chris Zebroski enough to consign us to defeat, a Mem victory is still proving elusive thus far.
Now already into October and having picked up just two points from five league matches on our own patch, it’s fair to say that getting that first home win is proving to be somewhat of a monkey on our back.
It’s a strange turn of events after last season, when McGhee enjoyed an unbeaten home record following his appointment back in January, securing an impressive six wins and two draws.
However, unlike some of our earlier games at the Memorial Stadium this season when we were well beaten, it seems as though there were some positives to take from the performance on Wednesday, and that we were once again left ruing misfortune and missed chances.
For the first half an hour we dominated the match and, had we taken the lead in that period, could very well have gone on to claim our second win on the bounce and be heading into tomorrow’s clash with Northampton looking to make it a hat-trick of victories.
Unfortunately, as has been a recurring problem recently, we failed to capitalise on our dominance and a counter attacking Cheltenham team with a solid defence on the road were always going to be difficult to break down once we fell behind.
Nevertheless, that first thirty minutes did go to prove that we are more than capable of matching some of the divisions best, and only a fine performance from opposition keeper Scott Brown denied new boy Derek Riordan and others from scoring.
With Michael Smith back in contention for tomorrow having returned from compassionate leave following the sad loss of his father, and centre back Tom Parkes likely to partner Kenneth having served his one-game ban, the defensive side of the team will be looking near to full strength again for the visit of Northampton.
Having now got two games under their belts with their new teammates, new strike pair Tom Eaves and Derek Riordan will be looking to provide the finishing touches to the flowing moves.
Despite not being up to speed having played limited football since the end of last season, Riordan has a pedigree that suggests he should be too good for this level once he finds hit feet and fitness, whilst Eaves provides an aerial option that is sometimes needed in this division.
With player of the year from last campaign Danny Woodards back in training today, and young starlet Shaquille Hunter also well down the road to recovery from injury, the squad is likely to receive a big boost over the coming weeks.
Lets hope tomorrow can provide another big boost and we can finally shake off the Mem blues!