Yet to register a point from 2 starts, Rovers faced a West Ham outfit who have started the season with a win and a loss. Pascal Chimbonda was given a home debut, with Allardyce sending out a 4-5-1 line up, Jason Roberts up front with David Dunn in behind him and Nzonzi and Grella holding the midfield.
3 Minutes into the game, the crowd went up as one, as Rovers Favourite Tugay emerged from the sheds and joined the Rovers squad to observe the game.
With the loan man up front, it was always going to be Route 1 football for Rovers. Goal kick after goal kicks were launched in the direction of Roberts, who challenged for every header. An early chance fell to Roberts, after a neat interchange down the left flank between Chimbonda and Gamst saw Gamst being brought down outside the box. Dunn chipped it in, Samba headed across goals, but Roberts couldnt direct his outstretched shot goalwards.
Samba was in the thick of it again, with a last ditch tackle preventing Carlton Cole’s powerful shot hitting the target. Chimbonda also showed us what he was made of, out muscling Cole and Jiminez on several occasions, as well as a last ditch one on one tackle.
Thats all she wrote in the first half, with both teams failing to test the keeper at all…0-0
The second half started of the same, with our only glimpse of flair coming from a darting David Dunn in central midfield, or some swift work on the left flank by Gamst and Chimbonda. Nzonzi made way for Hoillet. Junior got stuck in immediately, with a nice burst of acceleration getting him past his marker, only for his angled shot to hit the side netting. Dunn tried his luck from 25 yards, struck it sweetly, but straight at Green who easily made the save.
Kalinic came on for Roberts, and things started to heat up. Dunn took the ball on the counter, and threaded the most delightful of deliveries to Hoillet. One on one with the keeper, 20 yards out, Hoillet chipped Green, however the ball just wouldnt drop, over the bar…..
Rovers persisted, but the goal just wouldnt come….
Paul Robinson 7
No saves to make, but really looked like our major way to score a goal with his 80 yard kicks….
Chris Samba 6.5
Touch sloppy in defence, gave away too many fouls in attack but did get stuck in on every opportunity
Gael Givet 6.5
Quiet game from Givet, whether thats a good thing or a bad thing who knows….
Lars Jacobsen 7
Pushed up well, solid in defence, fitting in well with the boys!
Pascal Chimbonda 8
Great game from Pascal. Looks like a real enforcer, in the mold of Nelsen, but with more technical ability!
Vince Grella 7
Very solid game from Vinnie. Made tackle after tackle, broke up play, and sent some good passes, this is what we expect from our boy Vinnie G!
Keith Andres 6.5
Needs to get involved more, and when he does, distribute quicker. Takes too long on the ball
Solid game from whats looking to be a fantastic bargin. THe boy can tackle, gets up for headers and can pass the ball around
Gamst Pedersen 7.5
Good Game from Gamst. Wasted a free kick, but his general play was solid, worked hard down the flank
David Dunn 7
Was our chief playmaker, but couldnt create much. Worked extremely hard, but was lacking that killer final touch to set him free
Jason Roberts 6.5
A workhorse. Yes….A Striker…No…..We lacked the flair, creativity and dimension that McCarthy brings to the game…
Wasted the best chance of the game, but apart from that, looks fantastic…I am impressed!
A few nice touches, think he should of pulled the trigger once or twice instead of cutting back
3 Games, 1 Goal
A worrying sign. Even more worrying is the fact the goal came from a defender….Fire up boys!