Rovers’ defensive strength shines through once more in draw with Huddersfield


Rovers’ draw with Huddersfield Town extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, as Daniel Ainsworth gives his verdict on the match.

Heading into the match, I felt positive – of course I would be after six matches – but I also felt a bit cautious given the opposition’s start to the season, and expected a tight match.

The match was, to use a word we used regularly earlier on in the season, frustrating – in several senses.

The fact that we discuss the referee most weeks – win, draw or lose – shows the poor level of refereeing, and given that Keith Stroud is notoriously known for being from Bournemouth says a lot. He also has refereed the Cherries twelve times, with Bournemouth winning every match – make of that what you will.

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And then watch the red card that Stroud gave to Leandro Bacuna in the Bournemouth versus Cardiff match the other day, and compare that to Duane Holmes’ shocking challenge on Tyrhys Dolan and ask why one was given but the other was not.

But, taking the focus away from the referee, although it was also frustrating that we just couldn’t put the ball in the net, it’s another point and a decent one against an in-form play-off chasing side.

It was also pleasuring to see (again) how solid the defence was. Scott Wharton deserves all the praise he has received since returning to the side, and the fact he is keeping Daniel Ayala out the side says it all.

We’ve all bemoaned our defensive issues over the past three/four years, but credit to the staff and the team, we have really tightened up this season and are just one clean sheet away from equalling last season’s total.

All the sides that are promoted from this league have a solid defence, and one that you can name most weeks – you knew exactly who was lining up for Norwich last season.

Keeping this consistency, both in the performances and the team selection, will be key for the remaining fixtures and our hopes of a top six finish.

Thanks for reading.

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