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Club News


19 November 2014

Club News


19 November 2014

Marcus Stewart, in charge of the side that took on, and beat, Cinderford Town in last night's GFA Senior Challenge Cup quarter final, was pleased with the way his side stuck to their task throughout the evening.

"I thought we battled well, especially in the second half ,and that our forwards did very well.

"They had much more of the play, and created  a great many more opportunities after the break than they did in the opening period.

"Against teams such as Cinderford it's all about grinding them down and I felt we kept doing the right things at the right times and in the right places and we continued to do that even though we fell behind soon after the half time interval.

"Everyone stuck to their role and we kept our shape and our principles and stuck to the way we wanted to play and were rewarded with two goals." 

He was able to field a side containing a good mix of youth and experience and praised the way they approached the game.

"We had a good group of players out there, and players with a desire to win. Sometimes players can do their own thing and not stick to the team shape, or the team role, but tonight everyone stuck to their task. 
Had they not done that then the outcome might have been different. 

"There are times, when you go a goal down, when players feel  they have to do something different to get themselves back into the game. Chasing a game leaves spaces in behind and you end up being hit on the counter attack. That and wasn't the case tonight as we kept doing what we had to do and did it really well and the young lads slotted in really well."

There were a number of positives to take from the game, not least the form shown by Angelo Balanta who was making his first start in a Rovers shirt and who completed ninety minutes.

Jake Gosling, who scored the late winner that took Rovers through to the semi finals of the competition, also played the whole game on his return to action after being on international duty with Gibraltar, while 

Andy Monkhouse played an hour on his return from suspension.

"Angelo was brilliant. I didn't expect him to play 90 minutes tonight but the injury to Will Puddy  came at a bad time for us and we had to put Kieran Preston on, which meant that he and Jake had to play the whole game.

"In a way I'm pleased, because they are match winners who we want on the pitch for the first team. 

"Starting a league game may be a little too much for Angelo at the moment, but I think he's a great asset to have on the bench. I only say that because we have to remember that this was his first game since pre-season. It would be tough for him if he were to start on Saturday, but he's certainly in our thoughts.

"He was very creative out there tonight, but what impressed me was his level of fitness. We know he has the ability, but when you have been out of action for as long as he has you don't always have the legs to get through a whole game on your return, but tonight he showed that his fitness levels are better than we thought they would be."

The only downside was the injury picked up by goalkeeper Puddy, though it's not as bad as was first feared.

"Will has jarred the joint in his elbow and while we don't know how long he might be out for, the good news is that he hasn't broken his arm."

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