Doncaster Rovers 0 Charlton Athletic 1
This time of the season it is not about style and substance, it is about winning. The summer will be the time for Nigel Adkins to develop methods, systems and hopefully a missing identity, but for now it’s about keeping the season alive.
The performance was a little stodgy, and there was the occasional bit of routine sloppiness but overall we were more cohesive, tighter at the back and worthy winners.
Ian Maatsen was the goalscoring hero, with Adkins, who took a leaf out of Bowyer’s book, playing the misfiring left back elsewhere, this time on the right of a forward three. It worked, at least in the first 45 minutes and Maatsen, Stockley and DJ caused all sorts of problems with their interchanging quick play.
The 2nd half I thought DJ and Maatsen weren’t close enough to Stockley, and he was often too isolated, but the Preston striker’s work rate was immense. He also had a goal chalked off, DJ was offside which is an annoying feature of his game.
The middle three of Pratley, JFC and a returning Alex Gilbey had a lot more structure and arrangement than so many of our previous midfield line-ups. Gilbey did work hard, I though Forster-Caskey was excellent and Pratley proved again he is worth a hundred Ben Watson’s.
It was at the back where the biggest difference’s showed. I like Purrington, he is like a comfort blanket to me. Matthews had a few sticky moments but came through the game positively. Pearce has to compensate for a lot of things these days, although not for his desire to win, but it was the strapping lad next to him that offered the biggest transformation. Ryan Inniss, if he can stay fit, looks a very, very good defender.
I had my heart in my mouth a few times towards the end. It’s habitual, but looking back we were comfortable and a win is a win and it was a nice way to start the day.
8 more games left.
Nigel Adkins: “We’re in the race, the league table will fluctuate with the disparity in games teams have played. There is going to be a certain amount of points to get yourself into the playoff position. What we’ve done is come away from home, we’ve kept a clean sheet, we’ve shown a togetherness as a team, which is important – everyone having a go for each other.”
Photo Credit: Kyle Andrews.