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Doncaster Rovers vs Newport County – Preview

Doncaster Rovers vs. Newport County: Match Preview

After Saturday’s uplifting victory by the seaside, it is seemingly impossible for a Rovers fan to not look forward to our next game…

With arguably the best performance since Darren Ferguson came to the club against Morecambe, the Rovers players surely must be on a high – especially considering that no one was added to the ever-growing injury list. Hopefully, Fergie’s men will be able to build on a stellar performance, maintain their winning mentality and manage to recreate something similar. With players like Coppinger, Marquis and Blair on sublime form this seems exceedingly likely.

On the subject of injuries, Tyler Garrett finally made it back onto the bench and may become closer to first team football sooner rather than later. Both Baudry and Alcock are also close to making a return, which may cause the Rovers manager to flirt with the idea of a back five featuring these newly fit players alongside Butler and Wright. Considering our current form with a back four though, such drastic changes to the personnel and formation seem highly unlikely. The only change to the starting eleven that could justifiably be made would be replacing Harry Middleton for Ricardo Calder who was particularly impressive over the weekend, even though he played on the right hand side, when he came on in the second half. Frazer Richardson may also make a return to the side, considering the knock he took at Crewe wasn’t severe, whilst players like Paul Keegan and Gary McShefferey are still very far away from fitness.

The last time we met Newport County was in 1987, where we lost 1-0 to the Welsh side. Admittedly, this means our previous form against them isn’t much to go on when it comes to predicting how the game will go. The Exiles have only won one game so far this season, leaving them in 20th in the league. Warren Feeney’s side’s last game ended in a 2-2 draw against Cheltenham, a side that sits one position above them in the table, with new signing Jon Parkin scoring two goals.

One to watch:

Newport’s aforementioned fixture against Cheltenham brings us swiftly to my ‘one to watch’ for this game: the ex-Rovers striker Jon Parkin.  So far, the infamous ‘beast’ has netted three goals for the side – two of which were in Newport’s most recent fixture. Although he was desperately unlucky during his tenure for us, he has always performed well elsewhere and is part of a long line of Rovers strikers who produced nothing for us in comparison to their work at other clubs.

Big Weekend:

Cedric Evina – Although he started the season moderately well, it seems that since Crewe away the left back’s confidence has diminished, making him much weaker than he previously was at the back. The main concern with Evina in my opinion is that he is much more competent when attacking than he is in his actual role as a defender, with most attacks from the opposition coming from the left. Now Tyler Garrett is fit the Frenchman has to ensure that he is solid at the back so he doesn’t lose his place in the team full stop by being demoted to the bench.

Lizzie Robinson

Doncaster Rovers vs Cambridge United – Preview

Will Rovers finally get their fourth win of the calendar year?

I’m honestly not sure how to answer that question. After picking up their first point of the season against Crawley on Saturday, one can only hope that we are getting closer and closer to winning at match at last. Not conceding a late goal in our last game was refreshing and although the first half performance was truly shambolic, the second half was definitely something Fergie’s men can build on.

Rovers last met Cambridge in the FA Cup on the 6th December where we beat the home side 3-1,with Conor Grant scoring an absolute worldie. Last season, the U’s finished in ninth position –missing out on the playoffs by seven points. Shaun Derry’s men are fresh off the back of a loss to Colchester United, but one simply can’t overlook the fact they also had a shock victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the first round of the EFL Cup. This may unnerve the Rovers players a little bit because it shows that the Cambridge side isn’t afraid of facing any opponent, no matter how ‘big’ of a club they are.

In terms of team news, nothing much has changed. Fergie has stated that Paul Keegan is no longer injured, but isn’t match fit due to a lack of training in pre-season. Baudry and McSheffery aren’t far off making the squad either, but Alcock, McCullough and ATS (thank the lord) are still nowhere near fitness.

Saturday’s game hasn’t eased Fergie’s goalkeeper predicament either, with Etheridge failing to pull off a great performance yet again. Perhaps once our better defenders return from injury, the quality of our goalkeeper simply won’t matter as much. Whether the front two will remain the same is also a tough question. Fergie has openly criticised Williams’ performance in his post-match interview and one could infer that he is considering making a change to the front two. However, if he is going to start Williams he has made an error giving him criticism to the press – it can only hinder his confidence and therefore his overall performance.

Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 1 – 1 Cambridge United (Marquis)

I just can’t see Rovers snatching a win here, we don’t really have the ability up front or in defence right now. It is about time Marquis snatched a goal though, he has impressed me in every game so far and I think once he gets one goal he will get many more this season. This might be impossible if Williams remains in the team however – he needs a quicker striker to play alongside.

‘The Pop Side Bar’ – Grand Opening!

Got nothing on tonight? Then why not pop down to The Staff of Life where they are officially opening ‘The Pop Side Bar’ at 7PM this evening.

Donny Dog will be in attendance and children are welcome until 8PM should they wish to have their photos taken with him.

The Staff of Life have their very own Rovers beer – ‘Hayters Header’ which is available for just £2.10 a pint with 10p from each bought donated to t12043053_10154001945107265_5269903148012016397_nhe Doncaster Rovers Academy (they literally put 10p in one of those giant Coke bottles when you buy a pint).

The grand opening will then be followed by the Staffs weekly quiz from 8PM.

If you fancy coming down you’ll find the Staff of Life in the centre of the Waterdale Shopping Centre, parking is free after 6PM (if you have a designated driver obviously).

 

 

Can’t see the wood for the trees

As Rovers stare into the abyss, League Two gazes also in to Rovers. And with this realisation comes the usual frenzied clamour from the belligerent masses for “misters”, “mesters”, “pros” and “men” to don their battle gear and fight to the bitter end, or May, in a valiant attempt to guide the club to the promised land of third tier lower mid table. But for me I think we’ve already found our leader, the Scouse Boy King.

As I witnessed Conor Grant hurriedly remove himself from the path of a dangerously inswinging Shrewsbury set-piece last week, I cast my mind instantly to the demise of Finland’s telecommunication and forestry sectors and how very profound this latest turn of events was.

The evasive actions of the little wizard from Fazakerley led to the only goal of an otherwise forgettable game and plunged Rovers deeper into the relegation mire. To the casual observer this seemed like a rather dire state of affairs, however to me, the thinking man’s thinker, it seemed like the dawn of a brave and bold new world.

Steve Jobs is dead. Despite the attempts of Ashton Kutcher (2013) and Michael Fassbender (2015) to breathe new life into the former Apple kingpin, there is to be no return. But in 2011, whilst most of the world mourned his passing, the people of Helsinki rejoiced. Steve Jobs had brought nothing but pain to the citizens of the Land of a Thousand Lakes. His insistence on doing away with paper had rendered the vast pine plantations of the Nordic nation obsolete, whilst his fondness for making popular phones proved too much for Nokia to bear.

For the people of Finland this is the tech guru’s destructive legacy. An economic bastard laying waste to all they’d worked hard for. But really they have only themselves to blame. Steve left many things behind, including a company worth more than Switzerland and a $200 billion cash reserve, but he also left behind his cache of wise words. If the good people of the western vodka belt had only mined this rich seam of philosophical gems then they too could have been laughing all the way to the European Central Bank.

As it was, they chose instead to stick resolutely to the teachings of Elton John’s favourite man manager, Graham Taylor. “More and more in modern day football I see no defender on the post. Now I can understand why people do that, but I don’t agree with it”. Trapped in a cycle of tradition and heritage, aching back to the good old days, Finland resolutely kept their man on the post. Twas ever thus and ever thus shall be. And what did they get for it? Well and truly fucked.

And as Conor Grant stood in front of the South Stand in the 62nd minute, clutching the near post and eyeing up Shaun Whalley’s right peg, he knew this all too well. But Conor Grant had three advantages over Finland. He’d seen Steve Jobs (2015), he’d seen Jobs (2013) and he’d seen Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011). And Conor Grant knew that for years people had stood at the near post and headed the ball clear and what did they have to show for it? A stockpile of useless timber and a multinational corporation on the verge of bankruptcy.

And so, as the ball careered towards his head Conor turned to Steve Jobs for advice. “Conor”, Steve Jobs whispered to him, “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. So Conor ducked. Because Conor is a leader. And that’s exactly what we need.

 

By The LJ Monk

DRSG STATEMENT: Bradford City Tickets

Joint Doncaster Rovers Supporter Organisations Statement on the Bradford City Ticketing situation from Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group, the Official Supporters Club and the Viking Supporters Co-operative.

Earlier in the season Doncaster Rovers and Bradford City made a commitment to a reciprocal pricing agreement to encourage both home and away fans to attend the fixtures when the two teams meet. Doncaster Rovers reduced the tickets for the Bradford City home game to £15 earlier in the season and this was very successful, with 8410 supporters attending, including over 2,000 Bantams fans.

We have now been informed that Bradford City will not be doing the same in the coming fixture at Valley Parade next week and will charge Doncaster Rovers fans full price.

Instead, Bradford City are looking at offering alternative incentives to encourage fans to attend on the day.

This is wholly unacceptable to ALL the recognised supporter groups of Doncaster Rovers; the Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club, the Viking Supporters Co-operative and the Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group.

Unanimously, we agree that any alternative will be nothing more than a token gesture to cover up the fact that Bradford City FC are refusing to treat our away supporters with the same dignity and respect that our club treated theirs.

Bradford City are a football club who received praise from many fans of other clubs for their radical approach to Season Ticket pricing and making football more accessible. On this occasion they are failing supporters.

Our away support has been nothing short of fantastic this season and it’s no secret that away fans often get the short end of the stick in terms of treatment from some clubs – we are proud to support a club that opposes the trend and it’s a shame that Bradford City don’t share the vision to treat us as equals.

We urge fans to join in with a peaceful protest on the day of the game. We believe that as a body of fans we should make our feelings known that this isn’t an acceptable way to treat supporters. Anyone who is interested in joining us are welcome to attend an open meeting on Wednesday at 7PM at the Staff Of Life pub, Waterdale, Doncaster, where we will discuss our plans for the game.

Doncaster Rovers Vs Sheffield United – Match Report

By Adam Stubbings

Derby day flop sends Rovers to third successive home defeat…

  • Rovers were second best all over the pitch today. Every loose ball fell to the visitors, every 50/50 tackle not involving Paul Keegan was won by a Sheffield United player and time and time again a Blades defender was first to a Rovers cross into the box. Simply put, they wanted it more than us.

  • Nigel Adkins has been under fire of late but he will be happy with the way his side nullified Rovers today and held firm at the back. Rovers played into the hands of the Blades, who played a professional game and had an answer for everything the home team tried.

  • Much like myself sat in the stands freezing half to death, every Rovers player froze time and time again on the ball. There seemed to be no tactical thought process when in possession, and yet again Rovers were far too slow to get going until the second half.

  • The phrase “square pegs in round holes” comes to mind to describe the line-up as Darren Ferguson once again opted to start players out of position and it backfired. For the second successive game Harry Middleton looked completely lost, failing to adequately cover the left sided defender or have an impact in the middle. The decision to leave Craig Alcock on the bench and play a makeshift back five was also a puzzling one.

  • We have long derided our neighbours for their unattractive, direct playing style but the only team playing “like Sheffield United” here was Doncaster Rovers. Defenders sent endless long balls aimed at nobody in particular forward, and an abundance of crosses yielded no clear cut chances as the Blades defence mopped up time and time again.

  • Old boy Billy Sharp was the key man in all the previews of this match, but a foot injury kept him out of the squad and prevented his return to the Keepmoat. His replacement, Che Adams, made the loss of Sharp academic and he was lively all day. Rovers defence failed to deal with his dynamic movement and a moment of top quality decided the game when Adams superbly brought down a lobbed pass and netted past the onrushing Neal.

  • Paul Keegan is the most assured player on the field whenever he plays and on a day when almost everyone in a red and white shirt had an off day, Keegan was the man to come away with some dignity. Tough tackling and a strong presence in front of the back four, Keegs stepped up to his role as stand-in captain well but was really the only bright spot. A deserving man of the match on the Rovers side of things.

  • Despite boasting of having a fully fit squad again before the game, Darren Ferguson was left with selection problems once more as Conor Grant and James Coppinger failed to make the squad, and it showed as the midfield looked lost all afternoon. Middleton will want to forget this one as soon as possible, and Lynden Gooch ran around fruitlessly whether playing central or wide on the left before being hauled off for Liam Mandeville.

Winners

Jay McEveley & Neill Collins – Sheffield United’s behemoth central defenders had a field day as Rovers pumped numerous long balls forward to the big men, along with countless crosses that were also well dealt with. Neither put a foot wrong all afternoon and Rovers had no answer for them.

Paul Keegan – Has to be the first name of the team sheet every week, he’s Rovers’ best tackler, has excellent distribution and is one of the few true leadership figures in the squad. The only man who it can be said had a good performance for the home team today.

Losers

Darren Ferguson – For the second game running Fergie just got it wrong in his selection. Despite having most of his players available, Fergie opted for an uncomfortable 5-3-2 with players in uncomfortable position. Harry Middleton spent most of the first half wandering around confused about where he was supposed to be, whilst the decision to first put Liam Mandeville out wide and then Nathan Tyson in the second half meant our goalscorers weren’t even able to get into the box. Back to the drawing board in search of a first win in six next weekend.

Aaron Taylor-Sinclair – Admittedly not helped by being part of a back line containing a half-fit Andy Butler, Taylor-Sinclair looked shaky all afternoon and couldn’t wait to boot the ball away in any direction whenever it came near him. He always seems to look more confident when taking the ball forward into the attacking third, but leaves much to be desired defensively.

Rovers Season Ticket Holders – Three home defeats in a row, six on the trot without a victory, and a seventh game running where the visitors have scored the first goal. Only five times this season have the home faithful witnessed a league win, following on from just seven wins in the whole campaign last season. The Keepmoat has become a cursed venue, and it needs sorting soon. The atmosphere has improved immeasurably but it has not brought the rewards on the pitch.

Kit design competition 2016

Kit design competition 2016
chris white heart monitor drfc shirt DRSG kit design

DRFC have launched the kit design competition for the 2016/17 season.  Supporters are asked to create their shirt designs and submit them to the club  before the deadline of 5PM on 21st January 2016.

You can either email your designs to media@clubdoncaster.co.uk or drop them in at the Keepmoat Stadium.  Template files for supporters to use can be downloaded from HERE or if you prefer you can simply draw the design yourself.

The 2016/17 season will see a new, exciting and unique kit deal for Rovers with a new global kit supplier and the club have assured the DRSG that the winner of the competition will, in addition to having their design worn by players and fans alike, have a once in a lifetime experience. This is a prize that’s definitely worth winning!

The designs will be shortlisted prior to the Meet The Owners event on 5th February 2016, where details of the new kit provider and the 5 home and 5 away designs chosen to go to public vote will be revealed.

 

Doncaster Rovers vs Oldham Athletic Preview

Whilst Rovers were slumping to a disappointing defeat on Boxing Day, Oldham’s players were free to enjoy cold turkey sandwiches with their feet up as their game against Blackpool was postponed.

Oldham haven’t won in the league since 14th November despite (because of?) the loan signing of Richie Wellens from Rovers. Wellens is unavailable to play in today’s game due to the arrangements of his loan deal, which is either a blessing or a curse depending on your viewpoint of the formerly great man.

The appointment of player manager David Dunn has seen Oldham slump into the relegation places as Oldham have struggled to replace the injured Jonathan Forte upfront. Forte bagged 15 goals for the Latics last season, including one in their 2-0 win at the Keepmoat stadium but only Blackpool and Crewe have managed less goals than Oldham so far this season. Forte is back in training but thankfully is not expecting to start against his former club.

Rovers will be looking for a much improved performance on Monday and also to end a topsy turvy year on a high against a club whose fans can also commiserate with being left in a mess by Paul Dickov. Rovers manager Darren Ferguson could well look to Paul Keegan and Cameron Stewart to push for three points after both have impressed in recent games and with Harry Middleton looking dead on his feet against Scunthorpe.

Match Prediction: Oldham 1-2 DRFC (Williams, Grant)

Rovers face tough fixtures against Southend, Stoke City and Gillingham in the games following this one so Ferguson will know how vital it is to register a positive result at Boundary Park. Rovers don’t tend to draw many games at the moment so expect Rovers to register a marginal victory.

Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United report

Well after all the build up and excitement of recent games, what a massive let down that was…

  • Rovers started lively but were soon deflated by Madden’s 20th minute goal. While there was more than a touch of offside about his close range finish, the ball should never have been allowed to get as far as the back post in the first place. Alcock had diverted a similar cross behind for a corner only moments earlier and this should have been a warning sign.
  • Following the goal Rovers really were woeful with nobody having the confidence to bring the ball down and try and play it. Rovers attacking trimutive of Williams, Tyson and Grant were completely marked out of the game.
  • Rovers were ponderous in possession allowing a sea of yellow to engulf any player who did find himself in a decent position. In comparison the Iron often found themselves in acres of space and if anyone looked like scoring before half time, it was the visitors.
  • Harry Middleton has been excellent during Rovers resurgence but this perhaps was a game too far for the young midfielder. Too often he was overran in the middle of the park and it probably came as a relief to him when he was sacrificed at half time for Paul Keegan.
  • Rovers started the second half brightly with Keegan offering a calming presence in midfield and Copps finally leading by example (the least you would expect of your captain in a local derby) with some excellent passes as well as a couple of good tackles.
  • Nobody comes close to Paul Keegan in the tackling stakes though and one particular cruncher just inside Scunthorpe’s half was almost the catalyst for a Rovers come back as the Black Bank roared its approval.
  • Further substitutions  followed and while Stewart and N’guessan were an improvement on Lund and Tyson it always felt like an equalizer would be just beyond Rovers grasp. Cameron Stewart came closest with his long range, curling effort thumping off the bar and out for a goal kick. Not our day.
  • Andy Butler is an excellent defender but in a formation that calls for quick, counter attacking football, his lack of any kind of actual footballing ability is becoming a problem. Too many times Butler headed blindly forward when he had the time to bring the ball down and play it.
  • Whilst it jars against Rovers perceived dominance in the second half, Scunthorpe actually had more possession and more shots on target than Rovers over 90 minutes. A more telling statistic is Scunthorpe’s 3 bookings and 13 fouls compared to 0 bookings and 7 fouls for Rovers. It may not have been pretty but local derby’s rarely are. Which side truly wanted it more?

Winners

James Coppinger – Probably Copps best 45 minutes of football since the glorious second half against Leeds as he took the game by the scruff of the neck and almost grabbed Rovers an equalizer with his excellent turn and volley that was well saved by Luke Daniels.

Paul Keegan – Calm, assured, accurate passing. It remains to be seen whether Paul Keegan has the legs to fit in to Darren Ferguson’s 5-3-2 formation but on this evidence, Middleton should receive a well deserved rest against Oldham on Monday.

The Black Bank – Despite Rovers turgid first half performance the Black Bank never stopped singing. Obviously buoyed by recent events against Crewe and Burton, the Rovers fans remained vocal right until the end.

Scunthorpe’s defence – Probably the best defensive performance I have seen all season. Scunthorpe pressed high, gave Rovers no time on the ball and formed a yellow brick wall at the penalty spot even as Rovers surged forward more and more. Pains me to say it but a deserved win the Iron.

Losers

Conor Grant – Something had to give with the Everton loanee’s mightily impressive recent performances and sure enough he was totally anonymous against Scunthorpe on boxing day. With his talent you would think this is a blip rather than a downturn in form however.

Mitchell Lund – Despite playing some of his best football, Lund has been subbed in each of Rovers last three games. You feel that as soon as Ferguson finds a replacement, the youngster will have to settle for a place on the bench.

Nathan Tyson – Cut a frustrated figure throughout and other than one first half surge offered little against a resolute Scunthorpe defence. Could have been sent off for a petulant kick out just before being hauled off by Ferguson. A world apart from his hat trick in this same fixture last season.

Christmas FAQ’s

Helpful information for supporters across the festive period.

 

DRFC members update

When is the Rovers Club Shop open?
24th December 10:00am – 3:00pm
25th December CLOSED
26th December 10:00am – kick off (3:00pm) and 20 mins after match
27th December CLOSED
28th December CLOSED
29th December 10:00am – 4:25pm
30th December 10:00am – 4:25pm
31st December 10:00am – 3:00pm
1st January CLOSED
2nd January CLOSED
3rd January CLOSED
4th January 9:00am – 4:25pm (normal hours resume)

What is the Club Shop’s Returns policy?
All goods should be returned within 28 days of purchase date.  All tags to be on the garment and resalable. Personalised goods are not returnable unless faulty.

When is the Rovers Ticket office open?
24th December 9:00am – 1:00pm
25th December CLOSED
26th December 9:00am – kick off (3:00pm)
27th December CLOSED
28th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
29th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
30th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
31st December 9:00am – 1:00pm
1st January CLOSED
2nd January CLOSED
3rd January CLOSED
4th January 9:00am – 4:30pm (normal hours resume)

Where can I buy tickets for Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day?
At the ticket office at the above times, ONLINE HERE or by calling 01302 762576. Don’t forget the clubs Voucher M offer to Season Ticket holders who can bring two friends for £20.

When is the Belle Vue Bar open on Boxing Day?
12:15pm until kick off and then until one hour after the full time whistle.

How can I access the Keepmoat Stadium over Christmas?
Please check respective train and bus times prior to visiting Keepmoat Stadium as disruptions are to be expected. The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are offering coach travel to the Scunthorpe game while the club have reduced car parking prices to £3 and will donate a portion of takings to local charities. Please travel together if possible.

When can I purchase tickets for Oldham away (Monday 28th December)?
Tickets are on general sale NOW and will be taken off sale at 3pm on 26th December. You can buy ONLINE HERE, by calling 01302 762576 or on the day at Boundary Park – CASH ONLY with no cost increase.

When can I purchase tickets for Southend away (Saturday 2nd January 2016)?
Tickets go on general sale on Monday 28th December and will be taken off sale at noon on 31st December or you can buy ONLINE HERE. Please note prices increase by £2 on matchday.

Who can buy Stoke tickets and when?
Season ticket holders, Alliance members, Membership holders, multi-game package holders and persons who’ve purchased Scunthorpe tickets can buy NOW before the general sale on Monday 28th December. Tickets, at a maximum of £15, can be bought ONLINE HERE, at the ticket office or by calling 01302 762576.

How do I subscribe to Rovers Player if I can’t make the games?
Rovers Player brings you live and exclusive commentary of every first team game home and away no matter where you are in the world. Rovers Player is available on PC, tablet and mobile for just £4.49 per month! Click HERE for details.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!