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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.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. rierti #

    The main thing is that we won but Doncaster are very poor at the moment, previous to yesterday they had lost 3 and drawn 2 of their last 5 games. Inniss and Stockley gave us aerial dominance back and front and Foster-Caskey, Maatsen and DJ played well. Gilbey according to Adkins was tasked with a man marking role on Bostock which worked well but meant a lack of creativity in midfield so we relied on route 1 football to a great extent. It looks like Adkins will have tactical plans for each game but I am still of the opinion that the play offs will be out of reach as other clubs still have games in hand, the results in the next few days while we are inactive will be crucial.

    April 3, 2021
  2. Tend to agree with you rierti, but our run in does mean it is a little in our own hands. The top three have shown that consistency is all that is required. Some big games Monday, real shame we are not playing but by next weekend most teams will have caught us up in terms of games played.

    April 3, 2021
  3. Mike #

    Agree with rierti, but again we nearly slipped up with some really poor defending with Matthews (who I much prefer to error prone Gunter) with a completely stupid back heel into the penalty area to try and save a corner plus no one taking on Bogle who slipped past three defenders with ease and almost scored! Also apart from JFC, the midfield is so weak, Pratley continues with his trademark back passes wherever he is on the pitch and giving away cheap free kicks and Gilbey deceives to flatter. Gilbey made one decent run & cross, but most of his time is spent waving his arms around and pointing to others to mark or chase back whilst he stands stactic and marks no one or lazily tracks back. No different from the other games he has played for us and have yet to see him make one decent tackle, apart from giving away free kicks!

    With Inniss back, subject to him staying injury free, our back line should hopefully be more solid, but our midfield, apart from JFC & Morgan who both work tirelessly from front to back when playing, we are really lacking in that department, as that is the engine room of a good team going for promotion!

    April 3, 2021
    • Norfolk Red #

      I agree with you Mike about Gilbey and I find it astonishing that NA should single out Gilbey for special praise. I too noticed on numerous occasions Gilbey pointing at other opposition players for teammates to track runs rather than do it himself when he let player’s run off of him. That is just lazy and indisciplined. He didn’t look particularly fit to me. I wasn’t going to mention it until l found that you had picked up on that too. However, I was impressed with JFC’s all round performance and Stockley, Inniss and Pearcey all put in wholehearted performances. It wasn’t the best team performance in terms of passing but at least there were signs that the effort and commitment was being put in which fans do appreciate. The main difference today is that Doncaster didn’t have anyone capable of punishing Charlton’s mistakes. These errors MUST be eradicated if we are to give ourselves half a chance of making the Play-Offs. Anyway, keep grinding out these results and you never know come the end of the season! COYR.

      April 3, 2021
  4. Mike #

    I also couldn’t believe, as Norfolk Red said that NA singled out Gilbey for special praise, with the actual word he used being phenomenal!!! I spoke with my friend afterwards, who I sit with at Charlton along with his son and both said exactly the same about Gilbey, doing very little and expecting others to the work. All I can think of, is NA needs to go to spec savers, as maybe he kept confusing JFC with Gilbey!

    April 3, 2021
    • Dan #

      I am sure you have both kicked a ball in anger at a decent level and played the game rather than watch it, a little like snooker it’s not as easy as you think. They won away against a top 6 side and kept a clean sheet what more do you all want ? From a side that is thrown together get your heads out of the clouds be happy smile and take a win. Some charlton fans are turning in to Tottenham fans your expectations exceed your level.

      April 3, 2021
  5. fatbloke60 #

    Just out of hospital from heart problems, which I can’t blame on CAFC,so it was nice homepresent to get a win.I agree the playoffs are really out of reach but let’s finish a strange season by winning our last matches it’s the least we can accept from this bunch of players they.owe the fans

    April 4, 2021
    • Glad to see you are home and hopefully on the road to recovery fb.

      April 4, 2021
      • rierti #

        Must admit I gave NA the benefit of the doubt when he praised Gilbey because when you watch on TV you don’t always appreciate what is happening off the ball. Gilbey has been disappointing since he joined and does not play many telling passes. I hope in future games the midfield has more creativity.

        April 5, 2021

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