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Archived News from April 2004

13th April 2004 0:17


Russell Osman said that Rovers gave a “damn good performance” this afternoon to earn a valuable draw against play-off hopefuls Mansfield Town.

The Pirates had the upper hand in the Third Division Field Mill clash, and were deserving of at least the point they earned.

And with the gap between Rovers and the relegation zone standing at six-points, Russell knows the importance of every single point between now and the end of the season.

“That might be a very important point for us,” Russell told bristolrovers.co.uk, “It was another clean sheet as well which helps the goal difference situation, and more than anything I think it was a damn good performance for us.

“It's fair to say that we got a bit tired towards the end and they had one or two chances, but in the first half Junior Agogo hit the target four or five times, and we looked the better team.

“They are a good side with a lot of good players, so to come away from home and give a good performance is very pleasing, and the fact we are disappointed to only get a point is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

“Teams can only play as well as their opposition allows, and Mansfield were only able to play when we switched off, and I think it was more down to our good teamwork and organisation than Mansfield having an off day.”

Following on from Saturday's refereeing display from Brian Curson there was more controversy from the man in the middle this afternoon, with Alan Kaye blowing the whistle for half-time just as Junior Agogo was fouled in the penalty box.

“I'm not sure the referee should do that,” said Russell, “In that type of situation he must have been looking at his watch instead of watching the play and he must have been waiting for the second hand to go to exactly the right place, and that can't be right.

“I haven't spoken to Junior about it, because it's more to the point that he shouldn't be blowing for half-time at that time, and he went and did it again at the end of the game just as we were breaking forward.”

Next up for Rovers is Swansea City at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, a game Russell believes his side can win.

“Swansea, along with the Bury game, is one we've looked as an important match,” he said, “If we can apply ourselves and show the same levels of commitment as we did today, then I'm sure we will get something out of the game.”
Kevin Miller says the decision to disallow a late goal for Mansfield Town in today's 0-0 draw at Field Mill was the correct one.

The Rovers goalkeeper was challenged for a cross by home substitute Andy White in the closing stages, and after colliding with Kevin in the penalty box, he tapped the loose ball home from a few yards out.

But the goal was immediately chalked off by match official Alan Kaye, who said that the Stags man had committed a foul whilst contesting the ball.

“I got a crack on the head to be honest,” Kevin told bristolrovers.co.uk, “I'm not sure if it would have made a difference to me catching the ball to be honest, as I caught it wit the ends of my fingers, but I would have been a little disappointed if the referee hadn't given it.

“We had a good penalty claim turned down on the stroke of half-time, so maybe he was evening things up after that.”

As for the game itself, Kevin felt Rovers were very worthy of their point, “Definitely,” he enthused, “We hit our own crossbar, but apart from that they had one shot in the first half that I saved, and a couple late on in the game. So we came here and played well and got a good result.

“It was a hard battling performance from us, but we got what we deserved, and although we were disappointed with the penalty decision, there's no point harping on about it.

“We've got Swansea next weekend, and we're feeling confident ahead of every game. Since the two managers have come in we've been playing football a bit more and playing it in the right areas too. We will certainly go into that game looking to win, and if results elsewhere go our way, we could even get ourselves safe.”
Rovers produced a fine performance against promotion-chasing Mansfield Town this afternoon to earn a deserved and creditable goalless draw at Field Mill.

The visitors looked the better side for the vast majority of the 90 minutes, with the Stags only really coming back into the match in the final stages.

Ijah Anderson, recalled to the side in place of Gary Twigg, made a lively start, and had two chances in front of the Mansfield goal in the opening ten minutes. The first saw a left-footed effort from the former Brentford man deflected wide of the post for a corner, the second coming from a Junior Agogo pass, although the volley from Anderson cleared the home crossbar.

Junior Agogo looked menacing for Rovers throughout the contest, and saw a shot midway through the first half put behind for a corner, and then another moments later well saved by goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington.

Mansfield's first real chance came after Graham Hyde was dispossessed, and it needed Kevin Miller to be alert to dive to his right and keep out a low goalbound drive from Junior Mendes. Craig Disley tested Miller again for Mansfield, but the Stags' front man's header on goal was easily held by the Rovers goalkeeper.

Christian Edwards saw a header from a corner deflected wide of the target as the end of the first half approached, and then just as the referee blew his whistle for half-time, Agogo was felled in the penalty area only for claims for what looked a certain penalty to be waved away by the match official.

Rovers carried on in the second half as they left off in the first, and it needed Tom Curtis to head over his own crossbar after Adam Barrett nodded down a Graham Hyde free-kick in the danger area.

Ijah Anderson saw a shot blocked by some desperate Mansfield defending as Rovers searched for a goal, and Hyde wasn't far off the mark moments later with a shot that went over Pilkington's goal.

Hyde was then needed at the other end to clear a dangerous Liam Lawrence cross, before Agogo headed over from a Twigg free-kick as Rovers came back at the other end.

The final 15 minutes or so saw Mansfield come into the game for the first time, and it needed a couple of good saves from Miller and some resolute defending for Rovers to hold out for the draw.

Edwards was in the right place to make a superb block as Colin Larkin looked to be in on goal, and then a drive from Curtis needed Miller to save well as the rasping effort from the Mansfield man nearly caught him out.

A Wayne Corden cross was headed against his own crossbar by Barrett, and then a Neil Mackenzie free-kick was blocked by a four-man Rovers wall before the rebound was scrappily cleared away by the away defence.

There were hearts in mouths in the final few minutes of the game as Mansfield momentarily thought they'd won the game. Miller dropped the ball under pressure from Andy White allowing White the simplest of tasks in slotting home the loose ball, although thankfully for Rovers the referee spotted a foul on the goalkeeper, and the goal was ruled out.

All-in-all another encouraging performance from Rovers, who aside from the last portion of the match were the better side, and at the final whistle were thoroughly deserving of the point.


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