Tag Archives: Nottingham Forest

Doncaster Rovers vs Nottingham Forest – Report

Late strike seals an undeserved victory for Forest…

  • The big talking points of the starting line up were the absences of Etheridge and Coppinger. It seems odd that Darren Ferguson has brought in a keeper who he is seemingly unsure about as a number 1. With Thorsten Stuckmann now off the books this seems particularly short sighted.
  • Copps was most likely just rested, whilst he would have been raring to go against his former club, Saturday’s game against Crawley Town is much more important
  • The first half was everything that is wrong with the Fergie era. Round pegs in square holes defensively, poor goalkeeping, tactical ineptitude and a total lack of cutting edge. Matty Blair looked wasted at right wing back and Tyler Garrett lost at left wing back. The three centre midfielder’s were predictably overran by their far superior counterparts and it was no surprise when Rovers went 1-0 down.
  • The goal itself was soft however, particularly as Marko Marosi got a hand to it. He should be disappointed to be beaten from there albeit by a strong strike from David Vaughan.
  • Rovers were lucky to go in only 1-0 down as Forest marauded down both wings and only their profligate finishing ensured a one goal deficit as the referee blew his whistle.
  • To use that classic term from the footballing lexicon, it really was a game of two halves. Riccardo Calder replaced Andy Butler at half time and Rovers started the second half the stronger.
  • As bad as Rovers were in the first half, Forest were ten times worse in the second. Uninspired, uninterested, determined to pass the ball around their back 5 no matter now often it got them in trouble. Rovers were fortunate that the ball fell perfectly for Liam Mandeville to prod home from a corner, but the goal had been coming.
  • From there, Rovers were in the ascendency and it was a cruel twist of fate that sealed the South Yorkshire sides demise. Tommy Rowe looked to have been blatantly scythed down at the edge of the opposition box, only for the referee to wave play on. From the resulting clearance, Jamie Ward found himself one on one with Marosi, slotting home from a difficult angle. Good finish under pressure but he never should have been given the opportunity. Poor from the officials.


Joe Wright – Composed, strong, determined. Watch and learn Luke McCullough. We have been dying out for someone worthy to partner Andy Butler and we may have finally found our man. Niall Mason also impressed alongside him.

Tommy Rowe – He really is a touch of class. In a game when Rovers had little possession, the former Wolves man was calm and composed and was at the heart of every Rovers attack.

Matty Blair – Did his part defensively and was excellent going forward. There is a nagging feeling that he is going to spend a frustrating season being wasted at right wing back however.

Liam Mandeville – A goal and an assist in three days. He would have taken that I reckon…


Marko Marosi – This was his big chance to stake a claim for the number 1 jersey and he emphatically fluffed his lines. Showed zero understanding with his defence, had no command of his area, awful distribution and should have done better with the first goal. In the space of two games, goalkeeper has become Rovers biggest problem position.

Harry Middleton – We wont face a midfield as good as Jamie Paterson, Chris Cohen and David Vaughan again this season but too often the academy graduate was a passenger. What kind of midfielder is Harry Middleton? He doesn’t do much tackling, offers zero goal threat and creates little in terms of chances. He must improve.

Apostolos Vellios – Nottingham Forest’s £1 million summer signing looked like a competition winner all game. His only contribution was a yellow card.

Doncaster Rovers vs Nottingham Forest – Preview

It always feels a little anticlimactic for the first home game to be a cup game but Nottingham Forest is a local derby of sorts so there should at least be a decent attendance and atmosphere.

Rovers have met Forest in the league cup before of course, most famously resulting in an 8-0 defeat at Belle Vue. Rovers will be hoping for a more respectable result this time round but will need to pick themselves up after a disappointing opening day defeat at Accrington Stanley.

Forest fared better in their opening game, overcoming newly promoted Burton Albion 4-3 at the City Ground. Hoping to start against Rovers will be former Everton striker Apostolos Vellios who arrived at Forest for a fee over £1 million. Elsewhere, former Rovers centre back Matt Mills could feature, whilst ex premier league stars Henri Lansbury (Arsenal) and Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa) will also be in contention.

This game may come too early for Paul Keegan, but Harry Middleton could continue his surprise return to fitness with a starting berth. Rovers have signed 12 new players this summer so Darren Ferguson has the squad depth to rotate. The worry is that Fergie seems to want to persevere with the 5-3-2 formation that saw us relegated last season so it will be interesting to see how we turn out against Forest with the pressure slightly off.

It doesn’t seem long ago that Rovers were beating Forest with both teams in the Championship so it is a shame that such a huge gulf has opened between the two sides. A victory on Tuesday night would not close that gap but it would at least restore some much needed pride and give a glimmer of hope to a long suffering fan base.

Match Prediction: DRFC 1-3 Nottingham Forest (Williams)

Andy Williams has been well backed to score a bagful of goals this season but Forest should have too much for Rovers unless they play a bunch of kids.

Top 5 Boxing Day Rovers Victories

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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