Rovers lose out in seven goal thriller

WHAT a great advertisement for football this game was - seven goals, end to end action and controversy.

Rovers will look back and ask how can a team which had 75% of the possession lose 4 – 3? Greysteel were clinical in their finishing, they probably had four shots on goal throughout the game and scored three of them with Joe Grey and Marty McGuinness scoring 25 yard screamers.

Rovers had taken the lead within the first 15 minutes through an exquisitely executed free kick from the left foot of John Holmes, where he found the top left had corner; it was a superb strike.

Greysteel then got back into the game through a Joe Grey screamer and Joe was involved in the second when he got to the by line, pulled a ball back across the six yard box and Andy Morrow finished.

Greysteel then got a third to go into half time at 3-1 up. There was nothing between the teams but Greysteel had been the more clinical.

In the second half Rovers rung the changes and the introduction of Lee Guy, Daryll Mulgrew and Timmy Douglas and the onslaught on the Greysteel goal began.

Billy Doran believed he should have had a penalty when brought down inside the box and as last man Rovers would contend that the Greysteel player should have been sent off. Rovers got it back to 3-2 and were on the ascendancy; Timmy Douglas won the aerial battle with Joe Creane, flicked on a header to Billy Doran who steered the ball into the net.

Rovers played some great football after this and Greysteel were rocking but Rovers allowed a ball from a free kick to come across the six yard box and Andy Morrow ghosted in to head into the bottom corner. It was now 4-2.

Timmy Douglas was again involved in Rovers' third. From his flick-on Billy Doran squared for Tweedy Nicholl who side footed into the bottom corner. Billy then had another chance, he lobbed the keeper but agonizingly for Rovers the ball bounced off the upright and into the Greysteel keeper's arms.

Although disappointed to lose 4-3 Rovers can take many positives from this game. Greysteel , with their strength in depth and experience across the squad will no doubt be serious title contenders this season so this is a benchmark for Rovers and their performance and the football they played demonstrates how much they have improved this season.

The league is wide open, teams are very close and all games are very competitive. If Rovers can keep improving at the current rate, and integrate their new recent signings into the squad then they will be up there challenging for honours.

Roe Rovers: O'Brien, Mullan, Harbinson, McDonald, Hassan, Logue (Mulgrew), Nicholl, Holmes, McGonigle (Guy), Doran, O'Kane (Douglas

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