Ratings: Round pegs in Square holes, as the early damage too much for Town to repair
We take a look at the performances as Town fail to recover from an early two goal deficit against Bristol Rovers.
Tomas Holy – 6
After all the headlines pre-match about the team selection, Holy’s inclusion went slightly under the radar. Recalled to the league side replacing Norris, Holy made a super save at 2-1 just before the break. Getting down low to turn Smith’s header wide. Still need to work on his distribution and had a nervy moment when hesitating with a long ball but Wilson spared his blushes.
Cole Skuse – 4
The experienced midfielder filled the void in the right-back role in the absence of KVY, Gwion Edwards, Janoi Donacien and Luke Chambers. Certainly not his natural position and looked uncomfortable throughout. Not willing to advance too much in the opposition third, limiting Town’s attacking options. Could have been wise swapping with the much more confident Luke Woolfenden, especially when Bristol were down to ten men. Wasn’t helped with absolutely zero defensive cover ahead of him.
Luke Woolfenden – 5
Produced a lovely bit of skill beating two Rovers’ defenders in the meantime, shows the confidence of the young man. Relatively untested at the back for last periods but was part of the defence which were often at sixes and sevens in the first half. Booked again for a slight shirt pull in the second half.
James Wilson – 5
It still surprises me when people groan when Wilson just casually touches the ball out of play when under pressure. What you see is what you get with Wilson. How many mistakes defensively has he made this season? Next to none! However, perhaps home games when we have a lot of the ball are the games which don’t suit Wilson’s game.
Luke Garbutt – 5
Town had thirteen corners and in truth the first decent one was the only one taken by Alan Judge! Not always Garbutt’s fault as a couple were clearly planned but his usual reliability from set-plays have not been quite so on the money as late. In open play, Garbutt looked a lot better when hugging the touchline, but like Skuse, had very little defensive help in front of him.
Andre Dozzell – 5
Dozzell started in the middle of a midfield three and as always divided opinion on his performance. The positives, always looking to play football, and forwards. Often the one with the neat give and goes and fizzing the passes into the forwards. The negatives, no where near strong enough, too many times the game passed him by or he was just cutely nudged out of position by more experienced Bristol midfielders. Replaced by Judge midway through second half.
Flynn Downes – 5
Would have preferred to see Downes play the central role of the three. He so often is the heartbeat of the side and couldn’t quite influence it as much on the left hand side of the three. Booked by the referee for a lunging tackle in the first half, he then collided with a defender who was clearly obstructing Downes which in-sensed the Rovers bench. Felt could have had a shot at goal instead of playing the eye the needle pass every time.
Jon Nolan – 4
Not Nolan’s best afternoon in a Town shirt. Nolan and Keane seemingly got in each others way in a golden first-half chance for Town. Played Kayden Jackson in on goal with a delightful pass but the forward touch sent him wide from the on-rushing ‘keeper. After the break Nolan headed over the bar for about 8 yards out where surely it was easier to score! Replaced by Georgiou late in the game.
Kayden Jackson – 6
Playing more on the right of the three man attack. Although not helping Skuse defensively, he always offered the makeshift right-back an option behind with the ball. Put in a glorious ball for Norwood to half the deficit. Shortly after his goal bound shot appeared to have hit a Rovers’ defender’s arm but his penalty appeals were waved away by Adcock. Should have had a second assist but Nolan’s header went over the bar after Jackson’s knock down.
James Norwood – 6
Looked more like it today. Operating on the left hand side, Norwood looked dangerous throughout in my opinion. Put his first effort across goal, followed by nearly tapping home at the back post. Norwood then got his goal with a great run and header finishing Jackson’s delicious cross. Perhaps should have equalised for Town in the second half but this time a rather tame header was easily saved by the Jaakkola in the Rovers goal.
Will Keane – 5
Playing in the central role / false nine position Keane linked the ball up well at times without really looking a goal threat. Showed some good touches and with Jackson and Norwood made Town look a much sharper attacking unit. However, at the expense of the defensive unit.