For the third Friday in a row we had a Dublin derby to look forward to, this time away to St. Pats. We sold out our allocation of 1,000 tickets prior to last Friday and it was disappointing that Pats didn’t realise an extra allocation to our fans despite a large amount of empty seats in the round in the home sections. It seems silly that in this day and age clubs are turning down much need revenue, anyway back to on field matters and despite the return of Powell and McCabe from suspension it was somewhat of a surprise that Stephen Kenny decided to remain with the same team that defeated Bohs the previous week.
Pats were obviously a far stronger and much more attacking team so the decision to start Killian Brennan was one that surprised us prior to the game when we seen the starting line up. Sadly we were proved right and from the outset Pats bombarded Brennan and were rewarded when Forrester opened the scoring cutting in from the Pats right, past Brennan and fired a left foot shot past Jansson.
The 2nd goal again came from Forrester cutting in from that side and when his effort on goal was deflected it fell straight into the path of Russell who tapped home. Now by this stage everybody in the Rovers section could see we needed to change but Kenny kept it as we were and we got punished again with Brennan caught in the Pats half we lost possession and quick ball to Forrester was picked up by Fagan who back heeled to Forrester to audaciously lob the ball over Jansson and Pats fans were in dreamland, 3 up and cruising.
We managed to pull one back just before the break with Ken Oman powerfully heading home to make it 3-1 and give us a glimmer of hope. We expected changes at half-time and we really could have made all 3 but only Aaron Greene was replaced by McCabe. Nothing changed in terms of the flow of the game and late on with the game already getting away from us Christy Fagan scored twice to make it 5-1 and round of an embarrassing night for us all in attendance.
It was a shocking performance all round and Jansson had a nighmare between the sticks, the two full backs were poor and left exposed all to often. The two centre halves were seemingly doing the same job and were far too narrow providing very little cover for either full back and allowing our midfield to drop far too deep on top of them. Rice and Turner barely crossed the half way line and although Ricer was our best player in terms of effort and never say die attitude he was headless at times running out of position and trying to do jobs that others should have been doing. Finn was the least effect playmaker I have ever seen and provided absolutely no support to Twigg. Twigg himself was poor but very isolated and left to compete for 50/50 long balls and the few he won were easily picked up by Pats as we had nobody in support. Our wingers were terrible and looked they were neither playing as front men or wide midfielders.
It was an exhibition in how not to play 4-3-3 and looked like a poor 4-5-1 and we got what we deserved. A massive improvement will be needed next week and it was the opinion of most of the Rovers support that the result had been coming and we haven’t played well all year. Early days yet of course but Stephen Kenny is not endearing himself to the fans with our poor brand of football.
Keep on Hooping!