Huge positives in narrow defeat
A dominant performance without the points.
I knew we’d get a response after Tuesday night and for large parts, for all that would bear witness, the boys were no doubt a joy to watch. Yesterday’s frustrations against Armadale were also a world away from the defeat in midweek. It’s a game that they certainly didn’t deserve to be on the wrong end of.
From the off I felt the boys controlled the game to be honest. We put together some fantastic combinations across the pitch. Don’t get me wrong Armadale were always a threat on the counter but we asked the boys to play a little shorter and have more belief in each other on the ball. And that’s what we saaw. There was probably a 10 minute spell in the first half where the visitors rallied but I felt we gave a really good account of ourselves throughout.
When you look at our fixture list over the past few weeks of Whitburn, Dunbar, Bo’ness and Armadale it’s certainly not been the easiest. And to say we’ve only been under par in one of those is testament to the boys. Our back five again looked back to their best. Ross (Coats) produces a couple of crucial saves at key moments and at the other end we probably should’ve made more of our chances. The goal we score signifies that the boys are trying to play the right way. Seven of our lads are involved in the build up and Grant (Wilson) adds another to his tally. We then look like we could go on to get another. So maybe the only criticism coming away is that we have to take more chances at the top end.
I often talk about small margins in games and the equaliser we concede reflects this. There’s no doubt a foul in the attacking third but our reaction as a group is one where we probably all stop in anticipation of getting it. We don’t get the decision and get punished as a result. So from our own point of view, that was disappointing especially when we are on top of the game. Armadale are second in the league for a reason though and we probably have our shakiest period in the game after they score. Again from our own point of view we let a runner from midfield go and we concede another avoidable one shortly after. But listen the lads never gave up. We certainly didn’t deviate from the plan and they composed themselves. We threw bodies forward and from back to front they continued to play the right way. It just wasn’t to be as time ran out. We had a couple of poor moments in the game and were punished. That’s football sometimes.
There were mature performances across the pitch from our young squad though which was really pleasing. Gregor (Lamb) continues to show what a coup it has been getting him back in a Rovers strip and young Fraser (Stewart) also grows into this level as the weeks pass by. There were plenty of positives.
I’ve said to the boys that this game owes you nothing however and we know that we have to earn every single point we get in this division. I’ve no doubt the results will start to fall the right way with how much they are putting into it though but the stark reminder is that good performances sometimes doesn’t equate to points. We’ve got a group desperate to put both elements together.