Saturday's grand day out to the seaside may have been a rollercoaster ride but it gave Rovers fans an away day to cherish. Chris Samba was again a tower of strength and the 'king of bling', El Hadji Diouf, made the Blackpool full backs look more clown-like than the laughing version that greets visitors at the entrance to the Pleasure Beach. No more seaside references except for donkeys but it would be unfair to compare the usually excellent Charlie Adam with the loveable yet clueless creatures.
In hindsight, I may have been too critical of the team in my initial assessment of the game. Although delighted with the end result, we came out of the ground perplexed that Rovers did not push on to kill the game off when leading by a goal to nil. We believed Blackpool were there for the taking and that yet again Rovers played that strange game of drifting deeper into their own danger zone, content with hoofing the ball forward which immediately gives the initiative to the opposition. The inevitable equalizer resulted.
On reflection, Blackpool were not as poor as I first believed and Rovers did well to take all three points back down the M55. El Hadji Diouf is currently enjoying a purple patch that could only have been dreamed about last season. He was instrumental in the victory and was Rovers' only authentic creative outlet. At the other end Paul Robinson proved once again that he is too good for England!
As the majority of the 1800 Rovers fans present will testify, the trip to Fylde Coast was always going to mean more than just watching a football match. There was certainly a party atmosphere before the game and I am sure that many had taken in a 'liquid' breakfast on the Golden Mile before making their way to Bloomfield Road. The ground itself is unrecognisable from the last time I visited it in 1989 for the Lancashire Cup Final. The very shy and introverted Andy Kennedy scored the winner in front of the Rovers fans who stood on a crumbling, wind battered open terrace.
The away end now is a temporary stand with temporary floodlights. It has the feeling of a seated area borrowed and hastily erected for school productions. The toilets are portacabins which could have seen active service at Glastonbury and a word of warning for all away fans, the club have yet to be given a licence (at the time of writing) to serve alcohol. Despite this, the ground has a real character to it and is a refreshing change to the cloned stadiums of today. For a whole host of reasons, I hope we will be paying another visit to Bloomfield Road next season in the top flight.
As for Rovers, a meeting of minds awaits next week when we visit the Britannia.
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