Category Archives: Match Preview

Doncaster Rovers vs Southend United – Match Preview

Rovers have had an encouraging start to the season with battling draws against Bury and Wigan and the stunning win against Leeds United on penalties so should be full of confidence going into the Southend game on Wednesday night.

Doncaster Rovers vs Southend United Match Preview

Southend should be enjoying life in the third tier following their dramatic promotion from league 2 via the play offs. The Shrimpers have found life difficult in league 1 so far however with a draw and a defeat interspersed with a league cup exit at the hands of Brighton. If things don’t improve expect Southend boss Phil Brown to publicly berate his entire team in the centre circle. This time he might make his players hold up a sign that says ‘I’m a c*nt’.

Rovers and Southend have an identical head to head record with 13 wins each and 5 draws and both teams are yet to win a league match this season so you get the feeling that something has got to give at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Hoping to keep his place will be young midfielder Harry Middleton who has impressed in his last two appearances and Gary MacKenzie will be looking to continue at centre back after making his debut in the 0-0 draw at the DW stadium on Sunday afternoon. Definitely not playing however is Nathan Tyson who is out for 6-8 weeks with a hamstring injury. Paul Dickov will surely be looking at reinforcements in attack as we are currently one Andy Williams injury away from Curtis Main being our only striker. A truly chilling thought.

There are no real familiar faces in the Southend team but expect new signings Noel Hunt and Anthony Wordsworth to feature. Unfortunately Dave Penney won’t be in the Southend dugout as he’s left his position as assistant manager to Phil Brown at Southend. A huge shame as I’d been practising ‘There’s only one Dave Penney’

This is the first time the two teams have met since James Coppinger’s unforgettable hat trick in the 2008 playoff semi final. Coppinger is in line to start again and after a superb showing against Leeds he will be looking to pile on further misery to the Southend fans. One of my favourite past times is to get roaring drunk and force friends and family to watch Coppinger’s famous hat trick. As you can imagine this has led to the majority of people choosing to politely decline when I invite them round. Me and the cat still watch it every night however shortly before I cry myself to sleep…

Match Prediction – Rovers have created loads of chances in the last two games with only a penalty to show for it. Expect the penny to drop against Southend. 3-0 Williams (2) and Forrester.

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Wigan Athletic vs Doncaster Rovers Match Preview

Rovers return to league action following their dramatic penalty win over Leeds United with a trip to 2013 FA cup winners Wigan Athletic.

DOncaster Rovers vs Wigan Athletic

It has been a summer of upheaval at the DW stadium with manager Gary Caldwell overseeing 16 departures including big names such as Scott Carson, Jermaine Pennant and erm… Aaron Taylor-Sinclair as well as former Rover Marc-Antoine Fortune allowed to leave. 12 players have come in at Wigan with former premier league players such as Jussi Jaaskelainen rubbing shoulders with more established lower league players such as the spectacularly named Max Power who has arrived from Tranmere Rovers. Wigan have also paid one million pound for Brentford striker Will Grigg who hit 22 goals for MK Franchise last season.

Despite all these big signings Wigan have had an awful start to the season, following up an opening day defeat at Coventry with limping out of the league cup against Bury on Tuesday night. Wigan have flitted in between the top two divisions for the last decade or so but I remember glorious victories for the Rovers over Wigan at Belle Vue including a 5-3 cracker back in 1994.

Rovers should go into the Wigan game full of confidence following the glorious victory over Leeds on Thursday night. It will be interesting to see if 120 minutes and penalties creates a strain on the Rovers squad with Wellens surely unable to play Saturday, Thursday, Sunday.

Elsewhere Middleton probably did enough to keep his place and McCullough looks set to continue at right back with the absence of any better options. Frustratingly Rovers seem to be a couple of players away from being genuine promotion contenders and we will know where we stand on that issue a bit more after the Wigan game as they will surely be contenders come the end of the season.

Rovers vs Leeds scum match preview

There is a common misconception in the flat cap strewn battle field that is Yorkshire football that Rovers hate Leeds fans. Now of course most Rovers fans brandish a healthy dislike for our West Yorkshire cousins but only in the same way as every other club in the country sings ‘we all hate Leeds scum’. No what we really hate is the huge amount of Leeds ‘fans’ hiding in plain sight in Doncaster. Walking through town in tight fitting, ancient away strips with ‘Bowyer’ on the back. Singing ‘Marching on Together’ in Doncaster’s pubs without a hint of irony. Shaking with white hot indignation about any mention of Turkey yet happily singing songs about the Munich air crash.

The Donny White will defend his position by citing Leeds as his ‘local’ team despite the presence of Rovers, Barnsley, Rotherham, Wednesday, Blades etc etc. He will claim he follows Leeds because his Dad did, completely ignoring the fact that his Dad supported Leeds for the same bullshit reasons. No matter how you spin it, if you are in Doncaster and you support Leeds you do so because your home town club isn’t glamorous enough, isn’t successful enough just isn’t BIG enough (because don’t forget Leeds are a massive club – a massive club that play 33 miles away but still).

There is literally no difference between a Donny white and a Gloucestershire dwelling plastic Man Utd fan. The worst thing about these specimens is when they inevitably beat Rovers again on Thursday night they will crawl out of the woodwork on social media to lord it over the Rovers fans with a smug and condescending comment they have been rehearsing for years on their long suffering wives. Despite having literally nothing to do with the city of Leeds. This is like going to a court case to support a family member, switching sides when it looks like the prosecution is going to win and then flashing wanker signs as your blood is led away in chains.
So where does this leave us for Thursday’s game? Rovers fans can walk out of the Keepmoat stadium proud that we support our local club and our local community. Proud of a club that is OURS. Leeds fans will go back to Doncaster’s villages trying to wash off their sense of shame by being the loudest idiot in the pub. No amount of League cup victories will change that.

Match prediction: We’ll score first and get beat 2-1 but the Black Bank won’t care.
scum preview


Rovers pre season, whilst containing many positives, has posed more questions than answers. Does Dickov really expect us to get in the play offs with Mitchell Lund and Rob Jones in the starting XI all season? Where will Forrester play? How will he incorporate Keegan, Wellens and Chaplow? Is Lewis Guy coming back? The opening game of the season will see at least some of these questions answered.

The first game of the season is always special as all the optimism and aspirations are yet to be dampened by reality. Who can forget glorious recent opening day victories at Brisbane Road or Pride Park? Or the drama that unfolded at the Amex? Fingers crossed Saturdays game will be just as memorable.

Bury have spent the summer busily signing anyone that Rovers have been linked with, with experienced strikers Leon Clarke and Tom Pope arriving at Gigg Lane as well as former Huddersfield and Blackpool centre back Peter Clarke. For Rovers there could potentially be six debutants with Mackenzie, Stuckmann, Williams, Chaplow, Taylor-Sinclair and N’Guessan all in line to feature at some stage.

Rovers 137th season is a crucial one for manager Paul Dickov. After two turbulent pre seasons and two ultimately disappointing campaigns Dickov has nowhere to hide for the 2015-16 season. If there is no improvement from his previous two seasons (and his time at Oldham) than it will surely be time for Rovers to look elsewhere. I really hope PD proves me wrong but I fear that he has shown nothing thus far to suggest he is the man to take Rovers forward. We will have a better idea of his standing after Saturdays game.

Match Prediction: 2-0 to the reds. If you can’t be optimistic on the opening day than there is pretty much no hope for you. Goals from Coppinger and Tyson.

ROVERS VS SUNDERLAND: Match Preview by Rob Johnson

Rovers fan and DRSG Committee member Rob Johnson returns to write for the DRSG again with another Match Preview:

After the testimonial for one of our most exciting players ended 0-0, Rovers welcome another team from the North East for their penultimate friendly match of the season hoping for a bit more action.

Sunderland welcome new signings Younes Kaboul and Sebastian Coates to the starting line up, continuing the proud tradition of defenders that are not quite good enough for the top four joining the black cats to further complete the downward trajectory of their career. Coates always looks like he has just woken up with his scruffy beard and long hair… His Sunderland compatriot Adam Johnson is no stranger to grooming however with his more sensible short back and sides.

For Rovers this is a chance for some of the younger players in the squad to continue their development with Harry Middleton one of many to impress so far. The Sunderland game also gives Andy Williams the opportunity to shrug off the embarrassment of being subbed off for Cedric Evina in his previous outing, an ignominy that no man should suffer.

As well as established Premier league stars like Jermaine Defoe and Wes Brown there will be other familiar faces to Rovers fans with Conor Wickham likely to feature. Wickham famously scored a hat trick in Ipswich’s 6-0 win at the Keepmoat Stadium in what is widely considered to be one of our worst home performances of recent years. Rovers defence that day contained defenders such as James O’Connor and George Friend. On Wednesday we are likely to have Mitchell Lund and Luke McCullough in the starting XI… good luck lads!

Match prediction: 3-1 to Sunderland
We have showed good resilience to stay unbeaten so far but Sunderland will have too much class for us. Williams to score our consolation.

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Rovers VS Boro: Match Preview by Rob Johnson

Rovers welcome Middlesbrough to the Keepmoat stadium for their fourth pre season friendly hoping to stay unbeaten going into the first game of the season. New signing Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is likely to feature at left back as Rovers starting XI starts to take shape more and more. Taylor-Sinclair was well thought of at Partick Thistle but his career seems to have stalled at Wigan so it will be interesting to see how he turns out.

Not that you would know it with the complete lack of fanfare but this is also Copps testimonial apparently. It is a shame that one of our best players of the modern era has not been given a proper platform for the fans to show their appreciation with many staying away from the Coppinger legends game due to the price of the ticket. This has been yet another issue that has polarized Rovers fans and left a sour taste in the mouth but today is a chance for the Rovers faithful to show their appreciation to a true legend without loads of teenage girls screaming (unless Neil Taylor takes his top off and starts showing them his Curtis Main tattoo).

For Middlesbrough fans this is an opportunity for them to see Stewart Downing in action for the first time since his return to his hometown club. Downing said he can’t wait to play against Doncaster earlier this week commenting ‘people may think I’m lying but I honestly can’t wait’ – convincing absolutely nobody in the process. Alongside Downing of course will be former Rovers left back ‘Gorgeous’ George Friend who will no doubt get a good reception from the Black Bank after always giving 100% for the red and white hoops.

I would urge all Rovers fans to put aside the controversy about Copps’ testimonial year and use this an opportunity to remember the great times. The Southend hat trick, the Brentford winner, the haircuts…
James Coppinger – Rovers legend.

Rovers Pre-Season Previews: Forest and Bridlington

With Rovers playing out two friendlies this week can only mean one thing, resident writer Rob Johnson returns to his preview duties:

Following on from our glorious and famous 2-0 victory of Frickley Atheltic, Rovers play two games in two days against very different opposition.

First off on Tuesday night Rovers host two times European champions Nottingham Forest at the Keepmoat Stadium. Forest return from their Scandinavian tour with ex Rover Matt Mills joining a quite frankly remarkably talented squad. Millsy will be lining up with the likes of Andy Reid, Henri Lansbury, Gary Gardner, Chris Burke and new signing Jamie Ward with Forest stalwarts Dexter Blackstock and Chris Cohen still plying their trade at the City Ground as well. Unfortunately Mills has now split up with Hollyoaks actress Emma Rigby so this will not be her long awaited return to the West Stand much to everyone’s abject disappointment.

Forest will surely be looking to mount a strong promotion push this season so it will be interesting to see how Rovers cope. Possibly most under the microscope at the moment is young Curtis Main who looks in turn like the new Colin Cramb and then like someone who has never before kicked a football (sometimes in the same game). Main could do with a goal after his embarrassing penalty miss at Frickley.

Nathan Tyson scored both goals in the Frickley victory and he will be looking to impress against his former club Nottingham Forest albeit in a friendly.

The Forest game might also be the first time the Rovers faithful see new signing Andy Williams in action. Williams first game in pre season evokes memories of other Rovers strikers pre season bows such as Leo Fortune West having the control of a new born baby deer, Mike Newell scoring an emphatic half volley into his own net and Paul Barnes breaking his foot. Good luck Andy!

Just 24 hours later Rovers travel to Queensgate to take on AFC Bridlington of the Northern Counties Premier division in a pre season fixture that would have had Rovers fans fat mouths watering had it not inexplicably been played on a Wednesday night.

AFC Bridlington are best known to Rovers fans as the incubator that human maggot Ken Richardson hatched from. Richardson took over Bridlington Town (as they were then known) and brought instant success winning the NPL division one and the FA Vase. This success was short lived however and Bridlington Town folded the following year after bizarrely playing a few games at Belle Vue due to legal reasons. Richardson had not quite cultivated his Mr. Burns persona at this point but it is strongly suggested that it was his legal wrangles that forced the club to fold.

Coming just 24 hours after the Forest game it is likely the Rovers team will be made up of trialists and youth players but it is fitting that after both clubs were nearly destroyed by one terrible man that we meet them now in a pre season friendly.

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Match Preview: Frickley Athletic


Pre-season is finally here and with it Rob Johnson brings us his first match day preview of the season:FAFC_Badge



Rovers begin their pre season with a short trip to Westfield Lane to take on Frickley Athletic. Mouthwatering stuff.

Frickley are perhaps best known to Rovers fans for being the subject of a short programme made by Jeremy Clarkson in which Rovers were humiliated 2-0 at Belle Vue by Frickley in the FA Trophy. Thankfully this was before the days of social media so the short film never made its way onto the hotbed of satire and intelligent debate that is the league 1 banter Facebook page (OI! OI!).

Frickley and Rovers also share a number of former players with Neil Redfearn, Mark Samways and Russ Wilcox all having pulled on both the red and white hoops and the blue and white stripes.

Normally pre season games are a turgid affair but Rovers fans will no doubt be looking forward to possibly catching a glimpse of new signings Thorsten Stuckmann, Richard Chaplow, Andy Williams and Gary MacKenzie which brings a welcome level of interest to the tie.

Rovers fans are still polarised on Paul Dickov but it is difficult to argue with the signings he has made so far and they represent a potential new spine for a side who were desperately lacking in a few areas last season.

Rovers have actually got some interesting sides lined up in pre season for once with Sunderland, Middlesboro and Forest all visiting the Keepmoat Stadium, but for a taste of grass roots football, Frickley is perhaps the best choice for the discerning Rovers fan about town.

Match Prediction: Rovers will win and everyone will have forgotten the score by the time they get home. Also expect at least one Rovers player to sustain a serious injury. Let’s say 2-0 and Nathan Tyson.