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Late Doors

Blackburn (a) championship 23/2/13

Just a little car trip for this one. Both  Marche Deane Man and lad with me in the Micra for the short trip over the tops. Through Oldham, Bolton, Darwen and finally the top of the hill that leads down to Ewood Park. Thought i'd treat MD Lad to the Clash's first album on the way and the first two Buzzcocks on the way back. Turns out he was already familiar with them and clearly shows more appreciation than his simple dad who delivers his shit or good verdict on everything he hears.

A couple of tales from Ewood past passed the time. An early 80's occupation of their end by 200 casuals and a sheepskin coated mean looking older lad together with a recollection of a Bob Taylor goal that ended a goal drought provided some nostalgia. Here we are nearly 30 years later. The casuals have turned into bald headed cynics, sheepskin coats are still de-rigueur in Marsden, mid table second division is the order of the day and goals still seem difficult to come by.

A couple of steady pints in the traditional Golden Cup pub on the way which has now become the main away support pub since the one further down the road will not open on Match day afternoons. Course that meant we had the added protection of a dozen or so of Lancs finest working hard for their time and a half.
The row of terrace houses has made way for a car park at the entrance to the away end and already a subdued home crowd were giving the impression of a club's support that have given up. I get the impression that they think they are owed Premiership existence. I know we aren't perfect by a long way but i don't think you can ever level that criticism at us.

Rovers kicked off attacking our end of around 3500 filling the lower tier stand launching a punt up field that Lees won. MOT rang out to fill the otherwise silent ground and Blackburn hit a pass into deadball. Varney then collected a pass with good technique to deliver a cross that Rovers cleared for a throw. More Leeds pressure followed before Rovers  finally cleared our near post corner. Still we kept up the early initiative with their keeper saving a quick flick in the box to set a Blackburn counter up.

Green wasted a pass in midfield before Morrison running wide collected and crossed for a central Ross to bring down well but was not able to get a shot in. Warnock at left back was across well to break up the counter attack. Tongue repeated the covering moments later after Warnock made a slip. Sam Byram in acres of space on the right was unable to capitalise as he sent the cross way over the bar. The lively Ross continued the good possession we were enjoying with a great take to lay off to Norris who shot wide. It was a terrific start as we looked to be the dominant side.

Rhodes then produced Blackburn's first effort hitting harmlessly over after being put through. Back we came though and it was their keeper who had to be smartly off his line to smother a half chance. Some over elaboration followed around the Blackburn box as we struggled to get either a shot or a decisive pass in.
The ref thought he'd better step in with a harsh foul called for our perfectly good but hard tackle. I then had to remind  MDL about certain language being appropriate when delivered towards the ref but not at home, especially in front of Marche Deane Mum. He shook his head and thanked me for my fist class role model position with a laugh. Meanwhile the ref gave them another decision and all three of us remained tight lipped.

Tongue was making more good challenges before Paddy was called into action for  the first time making a good save to remind us that despite our possession it was still only 0-0 and anybodies game. Morrison moments later made a good knock on that went harmlessly astray much to his annoyance. More good yet unproductive possession followed as WAL rang out, again unanswered by the home crowd.

Danny Murphy collected a yellow for a midfield trip before Norris showed him how to win the ball fairly with a terrific winning tackle. Paddy watched a ball drop over the bar from a lofted cross shortly before another good incision into the box involving Morrison and McCormack  fell to their keeper. Blackburn broke from the clearance to deliver a cross across our box. A surprisingly mean one minute added time was announced that saw Sam hook a clearance into the safety of touch and ended the half.

The second half commenced with Murphy winning a 50/50 to suggest the home side had received some sort of motivational talk but Sam took the steam out of it by letting a ball run out of play. Varney just failed to latch onto a wide through ball before Morrison fed Ross out wide with a clear run onto goal. It was a bad miss as he found the side netting and he knew he should have done better. Varney maintained the initiative but hit an over elaborate pass into an empty box but it was enough to suggest we were going to continue the half in the same way as the first. Varney and Morrison left the same ball to each other when both could have snapped on the half chance as we stepped up the pressure towards the Blackburn box.

Peltier made a rare slip however and Blackburn surged forward only to find the side netting with a weak shot. Green was making his presence felt in midfield winning loose balls and Morrison was continuing his strong running into wide channels. Ross was back defending hooking a clearance for a corner that we cleared as the handful of home supporters to our right sang out a barely audible you've only got one song. I think even they saw the irony of that. Tongue made the first of his second half runs into the box to force a corner that Sam could not get any purchase on as his header went astray.
Again we broke, this time through Ross down the left who sent a dangerous cross that went unchallenged across the goal mouth for a deflected corner. Norris met it at the near post with a backward header that went way over the bar. More pressure followed but again we were unable to capitalise on our good positions.

Blackburn broke but we let the ball run out of play and that seed of doubt crept in that follows so much away possession as the score remains goalless. Varney still full of running put another cross in that was cleared for a throw. He then followed up with a blocked shot that was easily saved. Lees made a good rescuing tackle at the other end as the game entered the final quarter and a real chance for us to take the lead. Norris broke into the box and the ball fell invitingly for him. He and Varney appeared uncertain before Varney scuffed the chance to the keeper when Norris was the better placed to score.  Another great cross into the box followed and Sam looked like he might have been fouled in the box but play was waved on. It looked a pretty desperate appeal though.

The Rovers keeper was out to smother another break though as Varney again appealed in vain for a pen before Blackburn mustered a final thrust. Paddy saved well but they kept up the pressure. It was so frustrating, we should have had the game wrapped up by now and here we were having to defend to save the game.

Tongue however made another surge into box as the impressive away support tried to muster our own finale. Another lean two minutes added time were announced as we attempted an absurd clearance to put ourselves under pressure for the final seconds. We cleared the danger comfortably and the ref blew for time.

It was a good away performance and an entertaining game. Most fans stayed to clap off the players who seemed appreciative of the support. They knew as we did that we should have won that game. Only a lack of final quality and guile prevented that.

So back to the car and Another music in a different kitchen. Marche Dean lad unimpressed as he put his own i pod on. Back over the tops as Dark descended on the moors and back home for Seven. Four points out of Six this week. Too Late maybe to think of anything other than a return to Ewood next year.
smiling badger

Thanks for the write up , LD and well done for trying to encourage the yoof to become Clash fans.
fartcatcher

Thanks LD.

I think that's just about our best line-up. It's a mediocre and very open division this year. You never know.

Colin as usual mystified as to how we didn't win. Probably because we didn't score any goals.

I have never been to Blackburn or Burnley. Still have this image of tripe-eating clog wearers trudging around drab terraced streets in perpetual drizzle.
Nyles O Cranium

Pretty fair summary of the place, FD
Kingmaker of Lilliput

"Only a lack of final quality and guile" you mean that stuff Warnock doesn't buy or allow....? Oh and what the clubs that will make the play-offs, like Brighton have in spades....?
sheeps

fartcatcher wrote:
Thanks LD.

I think that's just about our best line-up. It's a mediocre and very open division this year. You never know.

Colin as usual mystified as to how we didn't win. Probably because we didn't score any goals.

I have never been to Blackburn or Burnley. Still have this image of tripe-eating clog wearers trudging around drab terraced streets in perpetual drizzle.


Ponte at festival time.
sheeps

Nice one again LD.

My nephew, who went told me Varney could have had a couple.

Morrison, early opinion?
Frazier Cranium

Morison played well v Blackpool but not v well v Blackburn.  None of the attackers played well v the 'burn though.  Varney miskicked two good chances, McCormack had a decent chance which he skewed wide of the near post.

Varney nicked the ball off Norris for one of his misses, I would have trusted Norris to at least wham the fecking ball.
Late Doors

Morrison is alright, i like the way he spins wide to collect balls. He also looks to be a move ahead of the rest of the squad. He definitely looks unfit. He was knackered for the last 15 on Saturday.

Varney is one of those players we have that seem to attract unjust criticism. I think he's fine, needs a season and some confidence. Nothing wrong with his work rate and attitude either.
Kingmaker of Lilliput

Late Doors wrote:
Morrison is alright, i like the way he spins wide to collect balls. He also looks to be a move ahead of the rest of the squad. He definitely looks unfit. He was knackered for the last 15 on Saturday.

Varney is one of those players we have that seem to attract unjust criticism. I think he's fine, needs a season and some confidence. Nothing wrong with his work rate and attitude either.


Both Morison (one r) and Varney are symptons of our continued short-termism, investing in players at the latter end of careers who just don't cut it in terms of a) challenging for promotion and b) having a hint of PL quality. Putting the goalies and the under 20's (so Byram etc) aside is their one footballer that a critical eye of another manager would say LUFC have who will cut it in the top 2 (or even top 6) of the championship, because frankly I can't think of any in our present squad. Lees is closest but even he has improvements to show first before he qualifies, McCormack is at his level, no better than that, the rest, over-paid aging quality-free dross that has mid-table every season written all over them. So once Warnock pigs off back to Cornwall (now will do me) we have 25+ footballers to ship out smartish!
Frazier Cranium

Strachan was 84 when we signed him
Late Doors

What? leaving aside the irony of being lectured by MG about grammar and spelling (only for the time being like    ) Watching Becchio this season and last has been like watching  Johnny Ross on his last year at the beeb. At least Morrrrrrison looks like he gives a shit and isnt cheating me week in week out. Yeah, Warnock this, Warnock that, but Warnock isnt pillocking about the field on a Saturday biding  his time till the mighty  Norwich come in for him.
bearing

Late Doors wrote:
What? leaving aside the irony of being lectured by MG about grammar and spelling (only for the time being like    )


That was the best bit of the thread.  

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