D3D4 Correspondents giver their perspectives on the weekend’s matches with their match reports…
Rotherham United 0-2 Charlton Athletic
Back to the New York Stadium on a warm late summer afternoon for the Millers home game with South London’s finest Charlton Athletic.
Rotherham started the brighter of the teams with strikers Jamie Proctor & Kieffer Moore being a handful for the Addicks defence. In only the 4th minute a slide rule Moore pass put Proctor clear but despite wrong footing Charlton keeper Ben Amos, he side footed wide. Soon afterwards a lovely turn in the area by Moore gave him a shooting opportunity but Amos saved well.
As the half wore on, Charlton began to get a foothold in the game & took the lead against the run of play on 15 minutes. A corner wasn’t defended properly by the Millers leaving a free header for Charlton Centre Back Patrick Bauer who scored with a well placed header. Charlton started to dictate the game from this point with possibly the best midfielder in League 1 Ricky Holmes dictating the game for the Addicks. The Millers did come close with a Semi Ajayi header but Charlton were always dangerous as when Billy Clarke forced a fine save from Millers keeper Richard O’Donnell just before the break.
Charlton kept control at the start of the second half but were lucky when a cross from Millers substitute Jon Taylor was completely miskicked in front of goal by Rotherham captain Lee Frecklington. Charlton’s second goal was controversial in the extreme. Jamie Proctor appeared to be fouled in the centre circle by Bauer & went down obviously in a lot of pain, the referee (a Mr Trevor Kettle) allowed Charlton to continue & while the Rotherham players weren’t fully concentrating Clarke crossed for Josh Magennis to nod in. The game was then halted for NINE minutes to allow Proctor to receive treatment & be eventually stretchered off with what looks like a serious injury (don’t know how serious ATM). The rest of the match was seen off comfortably by Charlton despite the added time.
As a Rotherham fan who has just witnessed our worst season in living memory (16/17) our start to the season seems to be a continuation of last season & is worrying. Charlton look accomplished & I’m sure they’ll be challenging at the right end of the table in May.
words Ian Bradley, D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent
Yeovil 2-0 Coventry City
The Sky Blues won their first two games of the season, but to balance it up have duly gone and lost two on the trot.
Us long suffering City supporters shouldn’t raise our eyebrows at this though, as this is normal by our club as they’re up and down like the proverbial yo – yo and just when you think they’re going to go on a roll bang they’ll quickly bring us back to reality.
If you want to be a Cov City fan you must have thick skin as thick as a rhino, and have strong nerves too, if not following the Sky Blues is not recommended.
Anyway back to the Yeovil game.
I never travelled to Huish Park on Saturday I made do in listening to the match on local radio, and read the report in the paper and online. I much prefer to watch the “action” myself and see for myself what’s going on, but listening on the radio I was amazed that we never scored as we had loads of possession, and forced ten corners and hit a post too.
But if you don’t convert chances you’ll never win football matches, and due to two sloppy defensive errors Yeovil smacked home two goals.
Our keeper O’Brien let in a soft goal in the previous game and was at it again at Yeovil so he appears to be gaffe prone, not what you want in a keeper is it! But upfront the strikers seem to lack confidence in shooting straight at the moment so this needs to be sorted out sooner than later.
We have a break from league football on Tuesday night at the Ricoh, as its the Checkatrade Trophy. As the current holders of this much maligned competition, it will give Robins men a chance to get back to winning ways, and hopefully a win against League One opponents Shrewsbury Town.
It was a great day out at Wembley when we beat Oxford to lift the trophy, and we took 43,000 fans as well so those that attended will no doubt want to experience it all again.
But yes it would be good to do it once more, but for me getting out of League Two should be our number one priority.
words Kevin Halls, D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
Colchester United 5-1 Forest Green Rovers
Get in! Better late than never, Colchester United seem to have finally started their season with a thumping thrashing of League Two new boys Forest Green Rovers. Indeed, the two teams had never met in the league before but after such a display, there’s no doubt U’s fans would have been chanting, ‘Can we play you every week!’.
As many people had agreed, no one particularly expected Forest Green to struggle in their first ever season in the Football League. And their start to the season was certainly better than Colchester’s with the Gloucestershire club starting Saturday’s match with a pretty healthy 4 points out of 9. Contrastingly, Colchester had only managed to rack up 1 point out of 9 and have started the season perplexingly short of players. (The latest loss was striker Denny Johnstone going back up to his native Scotland for a season long loan at St Johnstone). People would have been forgiven for thinking that the Rovers were the favourites going into this one.
However, The Almighty U’s always seem to know just when to surprise their fans and on Saturday that culminated with the complete annihilation of Forest Green.
The game wasn’t even 5 minutes old when United went 1-0 up. Winger Drey Wright (who is looking a much more confident and accomplished player already this season), powered down the ‘Wright’ hand side and whipped a lovely ball across the box and, following a ricochet from Szmodics, new boy Kyel Reid was alert enough to smash the ball into the back of the net.
15 or so minutes later, the scorer turned provider as Reid, running down the same wing his colleague did to set up his goal, floated a wonderful cross to the far post and centre-back Frankie Kent looped his header back across with great accuracy, to the top corner of the net. 2-0!
However, in classic Col U style, they didn’t want to make a 5-1 drubbing easy for themselves and so obligingly conceded just 2 minutes later. Forest Green’s Liam Noble crisply struck the ball from 20 yards out and it curled agonisingly into the bottom of the net.
The Gloucestshire side’s goal did nothing to take the wind out of The U’s sails. In truth, Forest Green were lucky to score in a game that they were entirely second best. Colchester – in particular, Sammie Szmodics – were unrelenting in attack with the fan favourite having three or four fantastic opportunities to score but with nothing to show for his efforts.
Thankfully, Szmodics’ perseverance prevailed as in the 64th minute, after having his initial shot blocked on the goal-line, the ball rebounded straight back to his feet and he crashed the ball with pin-point accuracy into the bottom corner of the net. 3-1 and The U’s weren’t done.
Academy product, Kane Vincent-Young burst through the centre of the pitch from midfield and swept the ball perfectly into the bottom of the net from just outside the box. His run and shot were very reminiscent of his chance against Luton last week. Here’s hoping he makes a habit of it.
United’s fifth and final goal (if you were able to keep count) was scored by new boy, Senior. It was a classic and brilliant breakaway goal from a Forest Green corner that was started and ended by the debutant.
What. A. Win.
1 Walker, 22 Vincent-Young, 18 Eastman, 6 Kent, 3 Kinsella, 16 Murray, 4 Lapslie, 17 Reid (sub – Issa 63′), 7 Wright (sub – Senior 85′), 19 Mandron, 10 Szmodics (O’Sullivan 83′). Subs: 12 Kpekawa, 20 Senior, 23 O’Sullivan, 29 Gilmartin, 31 Issa, 35 James, 42 McKeown.
Forest Green Rovers
1 Collins, 2 Bennett, 21 Roberts, 20 Iacovitti, 3 Laird, 5 Collins, 15 Cooper, 8 Noble (sub – Mullings 75′), 10 Brown (sub – Traoré 45′), 33 James (sub – Bugiel 63′), 9 Doidge. Subs: 4 Traoré, 6 Monthe, 11 Bugiel, 14 Mullings, 17 Wishart, 18 Evans, 23 Russell.
Referee: Craig Hickes. Attendance: 3,047
words Piers Palmer, D3D4 Colchester United Correspondent
Port Vale 0-1 Crewe Alexandra
Michael Brown and Port Vale’s stuttering start to life in league continued with a 1-0 Home defeat to Cheshire rivals Crewe Alexandra. The Valiants started well in front of a lively crowd of 6299, controlling the majority of the opening 30 minutes before a lapse in concentration allowed Dagnall to head home and put Crewe ahead.
The warning signs had been coming after Porter had headed wide unchallenged a few minutes earlier. Vale started to press and react to going behind and Michael Tonge reacted too strongly and was rightly given his marching orders for a high tackle over the ball on George Cooper, leaving Vale to play the remaining 60% of the game with 10 men. However this didn’t dampen the spirits within the team and Vale continued to press throughout the remaining first half and second period, with Tom Pope heading against the bar and a number of good chances for Vale to equalise going begging.
The result leaves Vale 21st in League 2, having lost 3 leagues games on the bounce and also leaves Crewe unbeaten so far in this campaign. On the whole the game really took a similar pattern for Vale where they started the brighter of the two, conceded against the run of play then lacked the quality to carve out an equaliser. It was in all honesty a spirited performance to keep the game alive with 10 men and had Pope found the net instead of the woodwork would have probably been a fair result at 1-1. Vale fans were left perplexed by the comments of both managers with Michael Brown insisting he was playing a ‘flexible 1 up front’ and David Artell claiming Port Vale fans were ‘uneducated’ for suggesting Tonge’s challenge wasn’t a red card. (He has since apologised)
words Matt Holland, D3D4 Port Vale Correspondent