Tag Archives: James Coppinger

Doncaster Rovers vs Barnet FC: Match Report

Doncaster Rovers FC 3-2 Barnet FC: Match Report

In a win that Fergie deemed ‘the best of the season’, Rovers managed to secure victory in the dying embers of the game after facing a team with a very unusual style of play.

I don’t imagine that there were many Doncaster Rovers supporters that thought the Keepmoat would become a fortress this season. Luckily, all these doubters were very wrong with Rovers yet to lose a home fixture in the league this season. There were only two changes to the side on Saturday, with Niall Mason coming in to replace the injured Frazer Richardson and Liam Mandeville, who impressed in the EFL Trophy against Derby U23s, filling the void in the team that had been left by the suspended John Marquis. Both of these new additions performed very well, and the inclusion of a right-back that was an actual defender enabled Matty Blair to truly shine.

Rovers started very well in the first half with James Coppinger scoring an absolute worldie 15 minutes in. The record breaking captain has been hugely impressive of late and once again he hit home in spectacular fashion making him joint second in the goal scoring rankings with a whopping six goals so far this season.  

Liam Mandeville also impressed creating chance after chance for the Rovers;  the young player’s work ethic is something that simply cannot be faulted and he ran almost constantly for the whole game.

Then,  Matty Blair happened. In my opinion, the guy has been a wonderful addition to the squad this season and he impressed again on Saturday. After an impeccable one-two with Andy Williams, he put Rovers 2-0 up just before half time.

However, with our ever consistent defending, there was always going to be a Barnet goal on the cards. It arrived courtesy of an interesting tactic which involved one of Martin Allen’s men who had a throw to rival Rory Delap. To say it was a ‘long-throw’ would be an understatement, throw-ins from anywhere on the pitch offered them an easy advantage against our oft out-jumped back four. Especially when physically big players such as John Akinde and the eventual goal scorer Dembélé were lobbed up front for every single one. It was only a matter of time until they scored from this and although it wasn’t exceptionally beautiful football (at times it was downright dull) it was certainly an effective means of turning something that is usually an insignificant part of the game into attacking play.  This constant stream of arial attacking in combination with Marko Marosi’s injured hand made it inevitable we would concede.

Of course, once Barnet got a goal back Rovers began to fall to pieces yet again. It is admittedly a bit worrying that our two previous games in all competitions before Saturday had ended in last minute equalisers from the visitors to make the score line 2-2. This happened once again, with our aforementioned ‘fortress’ seemingly crumbling. This sort of mental fragility that Fergies Rovers side continually displays needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later if we are to escape the continual perils of conceding in the last minute. (Dont you dare mention his dad. Don’t do it. I know you want to!)

Barnet’s equaliser was scored by the now infamous international ‘superstar’ Luke Gambin who instead of starting for Malta and playing at Wembley against England was on the bench for most of Barnet’s game against Doncaster Rovers. Personally, I’d much rather play against the likes of James Coppinger, Tommy Rowe and Andy Butler than Wayne Rooney, Jamie Vardy and Jordan Henderson every day of the week so I don’t really have a clue what the guy was complaining so much about. 

When all Rovers fans thought hope was lost, a man who has divided opinion this season ensured that attractive, patient football, rather than endless chucking the ball forward in a monotonous fashion, won the battle. Andy Williams, with his attitude/confidence problems seemingly behind him slotted home a last minute winner that i doubt anyone in the stadium thought would happen.

Winners:

Matty Blair: I think I’m slowly falling for Matty Blair this season, and when I say ‘slowly’ I obviously mean head over heel. One of the best signings of the summer, Blair was in an absolute league of his own during Saturday’s match where he scored one goal and had assists in both others. Without the added burden of having to play as a right-back, Blair can have much more control over the attacking momentum in a game. His pace is rarely matched by a defender and his crosses always seem to hit the mark. If I had my way, he’d be in the ‘winners’ section each week – but sometimes Adam writes these reports.  

James Coppinger: It seems like the Copps we knew from the days of SOD has made a return to the Keepmoat once again – and thank god for that! The guy is basically ageless and has proved wrong the doubters who claimed he was ‘too old’ and ‘past it’ at the beginning of the season. His goal against Barnet was something else entirely, perhaps one of his best, and his work ethic always has been and always will be impeccable. The guy puts some much younger players to shame.

Andy Williams: I think Andy Williams is an absolutely incredible striker. I have given him grief this season for his lack of confidence and poor attitude in the past, which makes me even more delighted that he seems to have gotten over himself and started to net goal after goal. He is now Rovers’ top goal scorer and there’s simply no denying he deserves that accolade.

Losers:

– The referee: Today’s referee was Trevor Kettle. I say no more.

Long throw-ins: I hate them. Tommy Spurr never created goals from them when he used to take them back in the day, which fuelled the hatred.  After seeing about 7000 of them on Saturday, and watching Gareth bloody Bale do the same for Wales on Sunday, I never want to see another one again.

John Marquis: Arguably our best and hardest working player, the striker may struggle to feature in the team after the excellent performances of the front two. It doesn’t seem that fair to drop Mandeville after a performance that was faultless.

Luton Town vs Doncaster Rovers: Match Report

Luton Town 3 – 1 Doncaster Rovers: Match report by Lizzie Robinson

The game against Luton was bound to be our first real test of the season, unfortunately we failed it miserably…

Fresh off the back of two excellent victories over Morecambe and Newport, Rovers seemed to be indestructible. The only change Darren Ferguson made to the side was bringing in newly fit right back Frazer Richardson for Harry Middleton. This allowed Matty Blair to take a more attacking role in the side, so he was no longer playing out of position.

The Rovers side started in impeccable fashion. After five minutes we genuinely could have been 3-0 up, with both Williams and Marquis failing to put away absolute sitters and a goal disallowed for being offside. Matty Blair playing on the right hand side was absolutely key, with the width he was providing allowing us to go past the diamond in Luton’s midfield with ease, creating chance after chance.

So far this season, Doncaster Rovers have scored in every single competitive game and this hasn’t changed despite our loss. Joint top goal scorer James Coppinger slotted in his 5th goal of the season, putting the visiting side deservedly in front. After this goal, however, everything changed.

During the goalmouth scramble before Coppinger scored, Luton’s captain Scott Cuthbert got seriously injured in the six-yard box. The huge amount of time taken to treat and remove the centre back from the field completely destroyed all momentum Rovers had, and was certainly the turning point of the game.

Luton began to go on the attack, fuelled by their captain’s horrible looking injury and determined to make up for his absence. Their first shot on target all game went in due to some sloppy defending and some very evident mental fragility that had arisen after the considerable break in play. Luton’s second goal was very similar, with Marriott seamlessly sliding the ball under Marko Marosi, securing a lead before the break.

Rovers came out from half time with very little improvement. The width that helped us to create chance after chance in the first twenty minutes had totally disappeared along with any momentum we’d previously had. The midfield line-up of Rowe, Haughton and later Middleton, when he was substituted on for a presumably injured Richardson, failed to create anything in the middle of the park either, with Copps beginning to disappear into nothingness. It felt like it was only a matter of time until Luton scored a third and eventually they did.

There has been some debate as to whether Joe Wright’s challenge was actually inside the box or not, it was so close that it’s basically impossible to tell. Either way, it was the final nail in the coffin and cemented defeat to the Hatters when McGeehan’s penalty hit the roof of the net in spectacular fashion.

Winners

  • Luton Town FC – After two successive defeats to teams lower than them in the league, Luton managed to bounce back and perform brilliantly to defeat us, capitalising on our sudden lack of momentum after the break in play.
  • James Coppinger – The guy just keeps on scoring, although his performance was far from his best today.
  • The travelling fans – Despite our players failing to turn up today, the Rovers fans did in droves. A 260 mile round trip takes a huge amount of commitment, which should really be applauded considering the sheer numbers that made it to the game and had to endure such a frustrating loss.

Losers

  • The Rovers defence – I certainly hoped that our back four, which has been pretty solid as of late, would make Luton’s front two Hylton and Marriott look more like a Travelodge and a Ibis Budget, but this was definitely not the case. The first two goals were sloppily conceded and it was disappointing to see a back four that was so strong a week ago, look so out of their depth. Even the addition of newly fit Baudry didn’t help matters in the way most people expected.
  • Tommy Rowe – It pains me to say this, but I kept forgetting the signing of the Summer was on the pitch. He didn’t create chances the way he usually does and didn’t impress at all. One can only hope that this is merely a blip and his performances will go back to normal sooner rather than later.
  • Darren Ferguson – I’m NOT saying this result was Fergie’s fault. Far from it. I’m very much in support of the Scotsman at the helm of the team. Our form under him so far this season has been pretty spectacular and the way we played in the first twenty minutes of the game showcased this yet again. However, there is no denying that he has a huge task on his hands to ensure we bounce back against an undefeated Carlisle on Tuesday and get this run of form back on track sooner rather than later.

Lizzie Robinson

The DRSG sends special thanks to Lizzie Robinson for this report and Adam Stubbings 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!

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Morecambe vs Doncaster Rovers – Preview

Saturday marks the 500th appearance of James Coppinger for the club, an enormous milestone that will rightly be celebrated by all at the club. Coppinger is now in his thirteenth season with the club in which he has played a crucial role in a League One title-winning team – netting the winning goal that handed us that accolade – as well as promotion at Wembley and a Football League Trophy triumph, and it is hard to argue with his place among the greats at Doncaster Rovers.
His status is assured but his form this season continues to add to the legend. Two goals and three assists in the opening six games have earned the skilful midfielder a nomination for Player of the Month, and he will be a key man when Rovers head to high-flying Morecambe this weekend aiming to return to the top three after a loss to Crewe ended a four-game winning run.
The Shrimps were top of the league after a run of four straight wins until losing at home to Leyton Orient last time out, so Jim Bentley’s side will be a tougher opponent than their pre-season tag as relegation favourites suggests. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2003, when Rovers finished behind Morecambe on goal difference in the Nationwide Conference but went on to win promotion in the inaugural Play Offs and the differing trajectories of both clubs has kept them apart ever since.
Rovers’ injury curse shows little sign of relenting as we look to bounce back from a first defeat in five games, new signing Frazer Richardson unlikely to be fit to feature after taking a knock in the 2-1 defeat at Crewe meaning Darren Ferguson may have to rely on a makeshift defence once more. Riccardo Calder is pushing for a start after another encouraging performance off the bench, whilst messrs Williams and Marquis will surely continue up front looking to get back amongst the goals.
One to Watch
Barry Roche is up alongside Coppinger for the Player of the Month award after a series of inspired performances helped the club he has served for eight years head to the top of the table. Clean sheets in games against Yeovil and Portsmouth show the importance he has, and even in defeat against Leyton Orient last Saturday Roche was acclaimed for a Man of the Match display that kept Morecambe in the game.
Big Weekend
All eyes will be on the visiting #26 as James Coppinger breaks the 500 appearance barrier, extending his club record. He is a man in top form, turning in vintage displays and with his propensity for shining when the big occasions come calling, expect nothing less than another masterclass from the Rovers captain.
Adam Stubbings

James Coppinger signs up for legends game

Local charity Eve’s Trust have already secured some big names for this year’s legends game. Former premier league footballers John Beresford and Paul Merson join returning England stars Darren Anderton and Lee Hendrie. Whilst this is a strong start, Rovers fans have perhaps been waiting for someone closer to home before they begin to get excited.

 With that in mind, the DRSG are pleased to announce that James Coppinger is confirmed to play this year. I played in the legends game last year and it was an incredible experience but the opportunity to play with bona fide Rovers legend James Coppinger ups the ante considerably.

Last year, I spent most of my 45 minutes on the pitch stealing admiring glances at Darren Anderton’s muscular thighs, I wouldn’t have been able to focus at all had Copps been on the pitch…

 Copps wanted to play last year but unfortunately was unavailable, so when the opportunity arose this year he made sure that he was involved. Coppinger completes a midfield that also features the aforementioned Merson, Anderton and Hendrie. Wow.

 This year’s legends event takes place on 18th June and everyone who buys a ticket will also receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win a signed Rovers shirt as well as the programme from James Coppinger’s record breaking game, signed by the man himself.

Tickets are priced at £5 for adults, £3 for children and £10 for a family ticket. Contact the Doncaster Rovers Ticket Office on 01302 762576 for more details.