Tag Archives: Grass Roots Football

Doncaster Rovers vs Newport County

Adam Stubbings was at the Keepmoat yesterday to report for the DRSG as Rovers welcomed Newport County:

Our good run continues as Coppinger steals the show again…

  • It is hard not to turn your eye to the record-breaker every time Rovers step out onto the pitch at the moment. This remarkable start to the season shows no sign of slowing down for James  Coppinger, and he marked another big occasion with yet another Man of the Match display.
  • Since switching to the 4-1-3-2 formation, Coppinger has been the beating heart of Darren Ferguson’s fluid attacking verve. The 35-year-old again asserted his superior quality on opponents Newport, capping it off with a 17th minute direct free kick harking back to glory days of the past.
  • Rovers kept up their early season style by dominating possession in the first half, but a rather disjointed showing meant it remained only 1-0 at the break. The visitors could have found a way back into the game most notably when Jon Parkin faced an open goal after a defensive error only to scuff well wide under little pressure.
  • Goalkeeper Marko Marosi took a big knock early on but recovered to put in a superb display, showing immediately that he was unafraid to get stuck back in by rushing out to claim a couple of 50/50 challenges in his area against Newport forwards.
  • Fergie’s boys may not have improved too much in the second half but they got the job done, Andy Williams atoning for an earlier miss by making the points secure just before the hour mark. Williams finished smartly for his fifth goal of the season after being teed up by Tommy Rowe after the midfielder had showed great tenacity to chase down a defensive clearance.
  • Ryan Jackson replaced the ineffectual Parkin before the former Rovers forward could get himself a second booking for persistent fouling, adding much needed pace to the Newport front line that caused us some problems but the back line held firm and secured a clean sheet.
  • Marosi must be credited with a huge influence on that outcome too, springing to two excellent diving saves in the second half to keep the away side out. The young Slovakian seems to be improving game on game and has made the #1 shirt his own – today has to go down as one of his best performances to date.
  • Centre forward John Marquis ran Coppinger close for the MOTM award with a display a bullish greyhound would be proud of. Marquis was everywhere again, demonstrated excellent hold up play and should have won Rovers at least one penalty in the second half.


James Coppinger – The club legend put his skilful stamp on this match early on, notching a superb free kick that has to go down among his finest strikes for Rovers. With another award handed to him before kick-off, Copps showed again that he is the man for the big occasion.

Marko Marosi – After taking a knock that nearly ended his day early, Marosi went on to earn a well-deserved clean sheet making several good saves in both halves, and also showed mental fortitude by getting stuck in to challenges despite the injury.

Rovers fans – Credit has to go to all involved in pulling off the confetti display after 26 minutes to pay tribute to James Coppinger. The array of colours exploding out of the Black Bank is another triumph for the upstart fan movement since its introduction last year.


Jon Parkin – ‘The Beast’ he may be, but on his return to the Keepmoat it was a day to forget for the veteran striker. He missed an absolute sitter in the first half, earned a deserved booking and was then hauled off just past the hour mark after an impotent display.
David Webb – The referee had a pretty decent game for 65 minutes or so, but after his linesman let him down on a blatant penalty call on John Marquis, the official then rushed forth to brandish a yellow card when Marquis was clipped in the box again, leading to an alarming spell in which Newport’s players tried in vain to wind the striker up again. Instead all they got for it was a succession of yellow cards as Marquis kept his cool and avoided serious injury.

The DRSG sends special thanks to Adam Stubbings for this report and Lizzie Robinson who wrote the preview. The DRSG website is an open platform not afraid to publish the views of any Rovers fan however extreme. If you want your content to be made available to our audience then please do not hesitate to contact us!

Doncaster Rovers vs Crawley Town – Preview

The first home game of the 2016/17 season really doesn’t fill me with optimism…

With the first two games Rovers have played both ending with conceding crushing goals in extra time, and the injury list being unbelievably long, Darren Ferguson and his team really need to pull their fingers out and try to secure a win on Saturday. Hopefully, however, we might actually be in with a chance.

The last time Rovers faced Crawley Town was during the 2014/15 season on the 10th February. Rovers ended up winning 5-0, with one of the goal scorers being Curtis Main. It is therefore no surprise that the reds got relegated during that season. Last season, Crawley finished 20th in League 2, escaping the relegation zone by 13 points. This season they have started relatively well though, defeating injury-ridden Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 with skipper Jimmy Smith snatching the lead. It is important to note that despite making several new signings over the summer, the Red Devils are still 4th favourites to be relegated to the conference this season.

In terms of team news, Rovers’ squad is still looking relatively thin. Keegan, Baudry and McSheffery aren’t quite fully fit, but are getting very close to making the squad. When it comes to goalkeepers, Fergie has quite a challenge on his hands as neither Marosi or Etheridge have had stellar performances in the two opening games – I genuinely don’t know who he will pick.

The second half of Tuesday’s performance (bar the last minute goal) was a breath of fresh air and Rovers genuinely took control of the game. The Rovers side looked much more impressive than it did at Accrington with newly fit Joe Wright taking control of our defence in an impeccable fashion. The addition of Mandeville in the team also added an element of pace that is lacking where our other strikers are concerned and would definitely compliment John Marquis. Perhaps Mandeville will be brought in for Williams who appears to be struggling with confidence issues (again) of late, after his penalty miss at Accrington.

Prediction: Doncaster Rovers 2 – 1 Crawley Town (Rowe, Marquis)

One can only hope that we build on our decent performance against a Championship side, stop conceding such crushing late goals and kick-start the promotion push we all want and expect this season.

Lizzie Robinson

Rossington Main vs Doncaster Rovers – Preview

So it begins. The big one. Rossington Main away.

There is always an air of reluctance around preseason. A friendly against Rossington Main in July, is like being awoken early from a satisfying dream, only to be handed a shovel and directed towards a particularly odious pile of shit. Nobody is really ready yet.

Having said that, there is at least, an unfamiliar feeling of optimism around the Keepmoat Stadium at the moment. CEO Gavin Baldwin has confirmed that promotion is the only acceptable outcome for the coming season and eight new signings back up those strong intentions. Tommy Rowe is perhaps the marquee signing but an entire new back five (bizarrely sans a new right back) is also a welcome addition. John Marquis’ partnership with Andy Williams up front could be interesting and both Matty Blair and Gary McSheffrey come with a good pedigree (the latter having impressed in last season’s loan spell).

Like Rovers, Rossington Main are also coming off the back of a poor season. Just six wins in 2015/16 saw Rosso finish 20th in NCEL Divison One, their lowest ever league finish since joining the NCEL in 1991. My research has come up with a blank as to whether this means Rossington were relegated or not but 105 goals conceded ensures 2016 will live in ignominy for the Doncaster based side.

Rossington Main played Doncaster Rovers in a friendly back in 2013, a match that saw the highest ever attendance at Oxford Street (1243). Rovers won 3-0 on that occasion with Chris Brown, Paul Quinn and David Syers on the score sheet. Such is the upheaval at the Keepmoat Stadium since then that only Luke McCullough and Harry Middleton remain from the squad that made the short trip to Oxford Street.

It remains to be seen how many new signings will feature but this friendly gives Rossington the chance to earn a much needed financial boost and at only £6 a ticket, there is surely nowhere else you would rather be on a Tuesday night in July. Domestic football is back, we might as well embrace it…


Doncaster Rovers vs Sheffield United – Preview

All is not well at Bramall Lane. A quick scan of their forum S24SU.com reveals some grim topics:

‘Have you ever wanted a season to end in February?’

‘There’s a hole in my football team…’

‘Will you be renewing this season?’

The Blades have won just once in 2016 and currently find themselves 11th in the table and five points off the play offs, in a season where finishing in the top 6 was seen as the absolute minimum requirement for Nigel Adkins. Despite having the league’s third highest scorer in Billy Sharp, Adkins has failed to resolve problems in defence. Ironically Rovers two most accomplished defenders in Craig Alcock and Andy Butler both arrived from Bramall Lane having struggled to get in the team.

Butler is due to join Stuckmann and Nathan Tyson (baby) in returning from injury on Saturday, and Rovers will hope this will bring about a return of form. Donny have struggled without the leadership of Butler at the back, and the pace and perseverance of Tyson up front, with Andy Williams noticeably struggling in his strike partners absence.

Rovers have only won once in 2016 but should be fresh and raring to go after the game against Scunthorpe was controversially called off. That decision from the officials meant that I essentially paid £11.30 to travel to Scunthorpe, have a pub lunch, and then return home. Not exactly an ideal way to spend a Saturday. The pub lunch was also very average. Really small portion of mushy peas.

Rovers season has been like that pub lunch in microcosm. After promising so much it has ended in familiar disappointment. If Andy Williams has been like a big tasty fish then surely Luke McCullough is a burnt, tasteless chip whilst Nathan Tyson is the mushy peas – tasty but absent. Darren Ferguson worryingly said that he feels we don’t need defensive reinforcements at Meet The Owners, despite the back 3 regularly performing like they have never kicked a football before. Billy Sharp will be licking his lips.

Donny have not beaten the Blades for six games dating back to October 2010 but with the pressure off there will perhaps never be a better opportunity to end that miserable run. With literally nothing left to play for in the league, Darren Ferguson will be judged mostly on performances against local rivals with games against Barnsley and Scunthorpe also coming up in the next four weeks. The one bright spot of Paul Dickov’s management was his team’s performance in derby games and DF will hope to pick up where his successor left off.

Match Prediction DRFC 2-1 Sheffield United (Gooch, Williams)

Rovers are due a win over their South Yorkshire neighbours and players returning from injury should see the reds halt their rotten run of form. Whilst Billy is nailed on to score he is sure to receive a stirring reception and rightly so. Hopefully the Rovers fans will afford the same level of support to players who actually play for their own team and the idiotic ironic cheering of certain players will stop.

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.


DRSG Committee Member and Charity Hero Rob Johnson gives us a Match Review of his experience in the Charity Legends Game:

On 23rd May I was given the glorious opportunity to fulfil a lifelong ambition to play on the Keepmoat pitch – what follows is my account of a surreal but brilliant experience.

After a classic athletes night of preparation (7 pints and a pizza) the night before, I woke up early on the morning of the game to butterflies in my stomach and dreams of scoring in my mind. I was cautiously optimistic despite my head still being a bit fuzzy from the night before and I set off to meet my fellow players at the Earl of Doncaster. On the way I received a text: ‘Right wing. Second half’ I shuddered at the prospect of having to play midfield on such a massive pitch as I glimpsed my beer gut in the reflection of a car window but I was pleased to be playing in the second half rather than having to come off at half time.

I arrived at the Earl and was relieved to see my anxiety and nervousness mirrored on the faces of my teammates as we waited for the coach to take us to the Keepmoat. News filtered through that Darius Vassell had dropped out to be replaced by Mark Draper which made all of us breathe a sigh of relief – particularly the defenders.

When we arrived at the ground we were filmed coming off the coach and friends and family were on hand to give us a cheer as we emerged from the coach, all of us were trying to play it cool but I spectacularly failed at not grinning like a lunatic at the ludicrousness of the situation.

Entering the home dressing room for the first time to see my kit hung up with ‘Johnson 17’ on the back was a huge thrill obviously despite my slight annoyance at been given number 17… I imagined some of the arses that have sat on the bench I was sitting on and all the great players who had strolled victorious into that same room as well as the countless shit players who had trudged in after a defeat and the nerves really started to kick in.

We walked around the pitch in our suits for a bit evoking memories of Liverpool’s ridiculous white suits from the 1995 FA cup final before changing into our training tops for a warm up. Before I knew it we were walking out in our kits and shaking hands with the legends as kick off hurtled ever closer. I literally couldn’t believe how bloody massive Dave Beasant was, my penis shrank inside my body as we shook hands and I was also struck by how much Darren Anderton looked exactly the same as in his Euro 96 heyday.

Charity Heroes Team Photo

The game kicked off and despite our co manager Danny Schofield (ex Huddersfield Town) telling us to take our time and enjoy it, the charity side looked nervous in the first few minutes. Former Arsenal striker Perry Groves must have offended our left back Andy Mankin at some point as he felled him in the box three times in the first half, with referee Andy Butler awarding a penalty for one of them which Rob Pick duly dispatched for 1-0. Darren Anderton smashed home a second from 25 yards which led to my first Anderton inspired semi on of the day and before long the Legends were 3-0 up. The upside of this for me was that the pressure was lessened for those of us playing in the second half as the game seemed to be lost already.

Legends take a storming leaad

From nowhere though a Ryan Becks inspired come back began, starting with a pretty hilarious mix up between Beasant and his defence (don’t tell him I said that) and ending with Adam Myers levelling the game at 3-3 just before half time with a composed finish from Tom Ambler sandwiched in between. The second half team looked at each other with grim faces as the realization kicked in… it matters a lot more now. Shit.

Charity Heroes Hit Back

The second half begun with the charity team swapping all 11 players which meant that I started on the right wing. Everyone had said it was important that your first touch be a positive one and my first pass went without a hitch, it was to someone stood 3 yards away but still a strong start. My second touch was to someone clearly stood offside. My third touch was a shanked cross as was my fourth – a cross so mis-hit it actually looked like a shot. I came worryingly close to curling up in a ball and violently weeping at this point but Danny Schofield took me aside and basically just told me to calm down and I regained focus.

From there the match was a blur of goals, sideways passes (shout out to Mark Wilson) and one glorious crossfield ball from me that led to one of Karl Harrison’s two goals which I spoke about at great length to anyone who would listen for the rest of the night.

Charity Heroes score again

My first abiding memory is of feeling sick with the effort of trying to track Lee Hendrie, looking up at the score board with horror at the realization that only four minutes of the second half had passed. The Legends regained the lead of course, but the charity team fought valiantly and we pegged them back a couple of times before fitness and the outrageous ability of Darren Anderton, Julio Arca and Lee Hendrie started to show. At one point I had a ten yard head start for the ball against a 43 year old Darren Anderton and he just glided past me and stole it away. He looked so handsome as he did it as well. What a guy.

So the game wrapped up with a Dolly Parton approved score line of 9-5 to the Legends team but I will always have THAT 30 yard pass, the knowledge that I merked Phil Babb and hearing my mates chanting ‘you fat bastard’ from the stands.


The Committee of the Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group (DRSG) recently met following the inaugural AGM and decided the following:


The DRSG Committee voted in favour of the fellow members being appointed officers of the Society:

  1. Lee Croft has been appointed Chair
  2. Wesley Grimes has been appointed  Secretary
  3. Neil Taylor has been appointed IT Officer
  4. Lewis Grimes has been appointed Vice-Chair
  5. Rob Johnson has been appointed Officer for PR and Communications
  6. Members without portfolio: Levi Werrett and John Fleming


As the DRSG currently has minimal incoming and outgoing cash-flow, the committee voted in favour of not appointing a treasurer until such a time dictates.

Football Tournament

The DRSG plan to host a football tournament soon, with the aim of raising enough cash to sponsor a player for the 2015/16 season. The DRSG will be entering a side of their own, anyone who is interested in registering their interest to play for the DRSG can email info@Doncasterroverssupportersgroup.org


Hot on the heels of last night’s announcement that Doncaster Rovers centre back Andy Butler is to referee comes news of more former Premier League stars in the shape of former Arsenal striker Perry Groves and ex rover Bruce Dyer.

Despite scoring a paltry 21 goals in 155 games for Arsenal, Groves became something of a cult hero at Arsenal for his work rate and enthusiasm and now has his own fan site and apparently Gunners fans still chant his name. More importantly Groves cult status inspired an ultimately successful campaign from Arsenal fans to push sales of Groves autobiography ahead of Ashley Coles – which is something I am sure we can all get behind.

Groves also played for Southampton and Colchester but it is an Arsenal where he will always be most remembered. He is now currently working as a football pundit on numerous shows but primarily alongside Colin Murray on talkSPORT which I imagine is a terrible experience for Perry.

Speaking of terrible experiences we are also happy to announce the return of Bruce Dyer to the legends game. Dyer played 15 games for Rovers in the 06-07 season scoring one solitary goal in a spell that is perhaps best remembered for his penalty misses in the same game albeit in pre season friendly with Middlesbrough. Much more successful was the time spent at Crystal Palace and Barnsley which saw Dyer hit over 100 league goals in 9 years.

The Charity Legends Game will be taking place at the KeepmoatStadium on Saturday 23rd May with a team of Football Legends going up against a team of a team of charity fundraisers, mostly made up of school teachers representing their academies, colleges and schools. Tickets are priced at £5 for Adults and £3 for Children. Family Tickets (2 adults and 2 children) are available for just £10 and if that wasn’t all; DRFC fans can save 50% off with their DRFC Season Ticket.

Charity Legends Game Poster

Doncaster & District Football Association Challenge Cup Final

Doncaster & District Football Association Challenge Cup Final

Doncaster and district FA

The towns most prestigious local grass roots cup competition, the Doncaster & District Football Association Challenge Cup Final is held at the Keepmoat Stadium on the evening of Friday 15th May


This seasons final returns to the home of Doncaster Rovers after a 9 year absence and to the Keepmoat Stadium for the very first time. Previous finals have always been well attended and Askern Welfare won the last final hosted by the Rovers at Belle Vue in 2006 when they defeated Maltby Sheppey 4-0.

This seasons final sees Denaby United from the County Senior League versus our very own Sutton Rovers from the Doncaster & District Senior League. Both teams have had tremendous seasons with Denaby sealing promotion to Division One in the County Senior League & Sutton doing the double of being crowned Doncaster & District Senior League Premier Division Champions & Senior League Cup winners, so it is all pointing towards being a cracking final.

Tickets are available from the Keepmoat stadium ticket office by telephone on 01302 762576 or you can purchase them online.

All tickets purchased before the day from the ticket office are at a cheaper discounted price of only £3 adults and £1 concessions. A cash turnstile will also be in operation on the evening where prices on the night will be £4 adults and £2 concessions

So come along and support your towns local grass roots football and watch what promises to be a very entertaining match.