D3D4 Correspondents give their match reports from Game Week 7 of the season…
MATCH REPORT: Rotherham United 5-1 Walsall
Back to New York Stadium for Rotherham’s second home game in four days against Jon Whitney’s Walsall.
After a quiet opening ten minutes or so the Millers started to gain the upper hand & opened the scoring in the 13th minute when a corner was cleared to Millers captain Lee Frecklington 30 yards out who unleashed a rocket of a shot to beat Mark Gillespie in the Walsall goal all ends up. Walsall tried to come back into the game & were unfortunate not to equalise in the 20th minute when Frecklington headed a goalbound effort off the line from Walsall striker Bakayoko. Rotherham broke quickly after the scare & made in 2-0 when a Will Vaulks cross was headed in from close range by midfielder Jon Taylor. It was 3-0 almost immediately when Taylor tapped in his second following a goalmouth scramble & Frecklington headed home another cross in the 31st minute to make it 4-0. Rotherham continued to press & could have made it five before half time but Gillespie saved well from Ryan Williams who put the rebound wide.
Walsall needed to improve on their woeful first half showing & began the second half in more determined fashion. In the 49th minute they managed to reduce the arrears when Bakayoko hooked in from close range after a goalmouth scramble. Walsall continued to push forward but were finding the Millers defence in a determined mood. Less was seen of Rotherham going forward but they still came close when top scorer Kieffer Moore was inches wide with a 30 yard effort on the hour. Both teams made wholesale changes as the game wore on & the game went a little flat before Frecklington completed his first professional hat trick slotting in a right wing cross from Substitute & ex Walsall player Antony Forde.
In conclusion the game was over after 31 minutes with a deserved three points for a Millers side who look to be improving game by game. Three wins in 12 September days for the on form Millers.
words Ian Bradley, D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Coventry City 2 Carlisle United 0
On a very wet and windy night at the Ricoh both sides tried to entertain us but sadly all that was produced was tedious football in the first half. But what a contrast in the second period of play, especially from the Sky Blues who were suddenly full of oomph and zest.
Whatever the manager Robins said to his players in the dressing room it must have worked wonders, as they attacked at will and peppered the Cumbrian’s goal with shots and crosses. And when Nazon smashed home the first goal it was richly deserved for all the renewed effort by the City.
The win was wrapped up with ten minutes to go when Vincenti banged home his first goal for his new club. Carlisle did have a few forays forward but other than one cracking shot which rattled the bar, they were well beaten in the end. So on a miserable night when the wind lashed around the arena, us City fans were heartened by our teams efforts especially in the second half.
Not the most entertaining game I’ve seen but I’m getting used now to League Two football, and if we pick up wins and draws playing dour stuff, with occasional flair and style, then so be it. As my pal keeps telling me ” a win is a win mate. ” But I now keep telling him ” It’s where you finish at the end of the season that counts. ” And hopefully the Sky Blues finish at the top or in the play offs at least. Early days though !
words Kevin Halls, D3D4 Coventry City Correspondent
MATCH REPORT: Forest Green 0 Lincoln City 1
Harry Anderson’s 65th-minute goal secured Lincoln City back-to-back away wins as they edged past old National League foes Forest Green 1-0 at The New Lawn.
City’s Conference-winning campaign hinged on a dramatic 3-2 victory at the Nailsworth outfit’s home ground in November and their gutsy return success propelled them into the play-off zone, but with it signalled their intent to make their mark on League Two.
Not content to just make the numbers up in their first season back in the Football League since 2011, boss Danny Cowley has put together a hugely talented – if slim – squad, that not only know how to win football matches, but also know how to roll their sleeves up and battle.
The 19-man squad would run through brick walls for Cowley, and his assistant Nicky, and no better was that epitomised by bloodied, but unbowed central defender Sean Raggett, who took a whack to the head early on, but played through the pain barrier for the rest of the match after having his head stitched up, determined to ensure the Imps followed up Saturday’s come-from-behind win at Stevenage by claiming the spoils of war in deepest, wettest Gloucestershire.
With the match played in torrential rain and wind for the entire 90 minutes, this was never going to be a classic, although City striker Ollie Palmer – in for Matt Rhead – tested Rovers keeper Bradley Collins early on, before Raggett shed blood for the cause literally after clashing heads with Christian Doidge.
Raggett has been an imperious figure for City since arriving from Dover in the summer of August 2016 and his eventual exit to parent club Norwich City will leave Lincoln with a large hole to fill, although on-loan lookalike Rob Dickie came in for skipper Luke Waterfall on Tuesday night and produced an exemplary performance in the back four.
With the game goalless at the break, proceedings were nicely poised for the second 45 minutes, with the feeling that a single goal would be good enough to claim the points.
Liam Noble had the first sight of goal, with his effort saved by Paul Farman in the City goal, before Anderson headed Neal Eardley’s cross over at the other end.
Those two, though, would combine again minutes later to orchestrate an advantage for the visitors, with Eardley clearing a Forest Green attack down the pitch, which was chased by the whippet-like figure of Anderson. His presence caused panic between Dale Bennett and Collins, and in nipped the former Peterborough youngster to fire the ball into the net and send the 300-odd City fans into ecstasy.
Farman then needed to be alert to keep the hosts at bay, tipping over a fierce drive from Doidge, and with that, Forest Green’s hopes were over and City celebrated another win on the road and moved into fifth place, while Rovers were left to contemplate a possible relegation battle ahead, wondering how and why their momentum from last season’s promotion has all but disappeared after just a month into the new season.
words Dominic Picksley, a D3D4 Lincoln City Correspondent