Tag Archives: SUFC

Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United – Report

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

  • Rovers never even sat in the car, let alone got into first gear or anything higher, turning in one of the most abject, soulless performances in years. There was no fight, no endeavour and certainly no sign that we can come out of this relegation battle with our League One status intact.

  • Players who only two months ago looked capable of mounting a serious Play Off push now look like hapless no marks, unable to muster even a meaningful effort to win a football match. The bulk of this side took Stoke City to the limit, but confidence is through the floor and there appears no way to pull them back up.

  • Every different three-man combination in midfield, and there have been many, has failed to live up to the task. The formation is not getting the best out of these players and needs to be addressed immediately. In the 3-5-2, Keegan is unable to perform his ‘shielding’ role, whilst a young winger in Riccardo Calder is being asked to play in a steely trio. At Scunthorpe they failed to break up play, put pressure on the opposition or build attacks, spending 90 minutes looking hopeless.

  • Calder is one of a number of young, inexperienced players brought in on loan from Premier League clubs with only a handful of professional games under his belt. Whilst also blooding academy youngsters into this side, Fergie has gambled with our League One status by putting too much on young shoulders. Despite their best efforts here, the likes of Calder, Grant and Gooch all know that even if we go down, it’s back to the plush Premier League surroundings for them in the summer.

  • Serious questions must now be asked of the manager. Too many line-up changes from game-to-game, plus constant alterations to the formation, are not allowing us to have any stability or regularity to the way we play. Too often players are put in unfamiliar roles that they clearly aren’t up to, and when you add this to the above questions over recruitment, it is time to stop giving Ferguson a free pass for our problems. He is the man in charge, but can he show what he’s made of and get us out of this?

  • It was a field day for Scunthorpe, they had time and space in abundance to execute their game plan and take the win. You have to wonder where the next goal is going to come from. It’s just the one in six games now, and we never even looked like scoring here. It took until well into the second half for us to even win a corner, let alone put a solid effort on target. It isn’t acceptable, and not enough is being done to change it.


Scunthorpe – Surely the easiest three points the Iron will collect all season, along with bragging rights that could be lauded over us for a while if our slide to League Two isn’t halted. This result means our local rivals have now done the double over us for the first time since 1991, a truly embarrassing stat for the club.

Our Relegation Rivals – Blackpool and Oldham in particular must be delighted with our total capitulation. The Latics now have two games in hand on us and just three points to make up, it looks inevitable that we will grace the bottom four again soon.


Darren Ferguson – There can be no hiding for the manager now. This is the kind of situation where good managers earn their money and reputations, and bad ones crumble into oblivion. There are genuine questions over his selections, tactics and recruitment, as well as the fact that he seems unable to motivate an underperforming set of players with no confidence.

Paul Keegan – As bad a showing as you will see from the Irishman, who looked lost in the three man midfield and unable to even commit to the basics. Usually so assured in the centre of the park, Keegan just wasn’t his usual self and hid within himself, not what you would expect from the man wearing the captain’s armband.

The Rovers Supporters – We can forgive a bad run, or a narrow defeat. We can forgive things not going our way, but to pay to sit in the rain and watch the players turn in such a poor showing lacking effort and quality in a local derby, or any match, is not something we as fans should have to put up with. This defeat was the worst way to reward the loyal fans who packed the away end at Glanford Park.

It is hard to find the positives from yet another defeat, this arguably the worst of the entire run that is threatening to turn this season into one ending in relegation. Something must be done immediately to stop the final nail in the coffin to what has been a truly golden era for the club.

Adam Stubbings

Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United – Preview

In a week in which former Rovers manager Sean O’ Driscoll was sacked from Walsall despite his side being 4th in the table, it seems odd that Darren Ferguson has presided over 10 winless games and remains largely free from pressure. Two tough looking away games are next to come for the South Yorkshire side however with the short trip to Glanford Park up next.

Scunny have not won in 4 themselves having drawn their last two games 0-0. Rovers have also struggled for goals in recent times having scoring a quite frankly pathetic 3 goals in 8 games. Whilst a move to 442 and the return of Andy Butler brought about a more solid performance last time out, once again individual errors cost Rovers with Thorsten Stuckmann the player to have a brain fade this time. Things are becoming desperate for the reds and surely defeat against Scunthorpe and Bradford would see Rovers reacquainted with the relegation zone for the first time since October of 2015.

Rovers are so sorely lacking across the pitch that it is difficult to pinpoint what Darren Ferguson could actually do to save Donny at this point. Stuckmann is solid but has poor distribution. The defence has been appalling all season, the midfield is lacking in both leadership and guile and the attack has been non-existent for weeks. This is a team that has become rotten to the core to the point where there isn’t one player in the squad that I would be truly sorry to see leave the club.

The lack of creativity in midfield shines a light on the departure of Harry Forrester, particularly in the wake of his third goal in as many games for Rangers. Such decisions point to mismanagement at every level of the club and without wanting to come across as too negative the immediate future of the club looks incredibly bleak.

Having said all that a victory at Glanford Park would buy Darren Ferguson both good will and time and he will desperately be hoping for some luck as well as a bit more fight and effort from the players.

Match Prediction Scunthorpe 2-0 DRFC
As I said back in February it always hurts predicting a loss against Scunny but things have only become more desperate since that game was called off. Where is our next win coming from? Grim days indeed.

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.

Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United – Preview

We have covered the concept of a ‘meaningless’ derby game before. In the run up to last season’s home game against Scunthorpe we wrote:

‘Luckily football is about the fans, and for the fans Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United will never be a meaningless game. It is short excited journeys up the M180 and dejected trudges back home. It is Mickey Norburys hat trick and Billy Sharp’s beautiful exposed torso. It is tedious 0-0 draws and stunning 4-3 victories all watched with the same level of tension and passion and bitter rivalry, it is Gregg Blundell wheeling away in jubilation on Boxing Day in front of 2000 people going mental in the Popular Stand, but most of all, above everything else it is OUR derby.’

That sentiment still rings true as we approach another derby game that means very little in the context of the league table. Rovers are absolutely out of the playoff race and one would hope we have too good a squad to go down (hopefully not famous last words).

The above quote came before our 5-2 demolition of Scunthorpe on the final day of last season when Nathan Tyson (baby) wrote himself into Rovers history with a famous hat trick. For the younger generation that could well be a ‘Mickey Norbury’ moment which once and for all consigns the word ‘meaningless’ to the rubbish bin when talking about local derby’s.

Saturday’s game has some extra spice after Scunny’s recent 1-0 victory on Boxing Day which somehow seemed to completely derail Rovers season with the reds yet to win at home since. Indeed Rovers have lost 3 of their last 5 games having not won since the 3-0 victory at Roots Hall on the 2nd of January. Managerless Scunthorpe on the other hand seemed to have recovered from their recent 5-0 humbling against Blackpool, having won both of their last two games.

Rovers will likely come up against hot shot Paddy Madden who will be rubbing his hands together at the prospect of facing a Rovers defence which has quite frankly looked pathetic in recent outings. Madden already has 13 league goals this season and Rovers will have to be much improved to stop a team above them in the table and in much better form.

With a healthy Rovers following expected (in terms of numbers, certainly not in terms of actual physical health), this is the perfect opportunity to erase some of the memory of ghastly recent home performances and there are number of players with a lot to prove, none less than Andy Williams who has struggled for goals without the graft of Nathan Tyson alongside him.

Match Prediction Scunthorpe United 2-1 DRFC (Gooch)
Whilst my heart grimaces at the prospect of predicting a defeat to the Scunts, my head says the Rovers defence will continue to struggle while ever the personnel remains the same. Rovers look set to limp towards the end of the season which is a shame as the reds appeared to be genuine play off hopefuls only a few short weeks ago.

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?


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.


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.

Top 5 Boxing Day Rovers Victories

Doncaster Rovers Vs Sheffield United – Match Report

By Rob Johnson


Yet another Rovers defeat…


  • Rovers have had some controversial decisions in the last few games but the harsh reality is the Gillingham goal probably crossed the line, the Oldham goal definitely crossed the line and MacKenzie probably should have been sent off against Sheff Utd. Going for the ball or not you can’t dive in with your feet that high in the modern game and he knows it. The time for blaming the officials is long gone.


  • The worry is that Rovers have actually improved in the last two games but still only have one point to show for it. Last season Rovers went to Bramall Lane and were the better team in a 3-2 defeat. This year Rovers could have lost by 4 or 5. It is disheartening that we have fallen so far behind the Blades when we are a team with supposed play off ambitions.


  • Speaking of which whilst it is far too early to be worrying about a relegation battle, a promotion push looks more and more unrealistic. Rovers are 9 points off the play off places already.


  • Rob Jones audition for the main gig has brought about some positives but he clearly isn’t ready for such a role. Dany N’Guessan was our best player by far against Oldham so it is criminal that he spent the entire game on the bench while Chaplow (who has been awful all season) came on.


  • Andy Williams has to take some part of the responsibility that the players share for our current plight but it is hard not to sympathise. This is a critical time in Williams’ career and if we lose against his former club Swindon on Tuesday night he will surely be asking himself ‘what have I done?’


  • There was always the suspicion that Richie Wellens wasn’t playing to his full potential as he was disgruntled to be playing under Dickov. There were whispers that Dickov’s sacking could lead to a resurgence for the former Rovers talisman. On today’s showing it isn’t a lack of motivation but a complete loss of interest and form that Wellens has suffered. He was the worst player on the pitch against the Blades closely followed by James Coppinger.


  • I have written in previous reports of my hope that Copps indifferent start to the season is down to a blip rather than a decline. Saturdays performance culminating in a trademark through ball for Billy Sharp’s inevitable goal was evidence of the latter. With good players around him Copps could still play a big part for Rovers but it pains me to say that he has shown before that he isn’t the kind of player you want in a relegation battle.


  • ‘Did Billy celebrate?’ – Does it matter? Not really. Billy Sharp should always be considered a legend for what he achieved at Rovers and his general attitude whilst at the club. I don’t begrudge him celebrating a goal for his home town club. Good luck to him.


  • I love Bramall Lane, it is one of my favourite grounds but to say there was over 20,000 there, the home crowd were incredibly quiet. Maybe they just don’t bother singing anymore because they know their season will finish with a playoff defeat anyway?


  • It was a promising debut for Keshi Anderson at least…






Thorsten Stuckmann & Andy Butler – With Rovers yet to sign a right back and Taylor-Sinclair looking more of a liability every week you have to feel for Butler at the back who is carrying the Rovers defence at the moment. Stuckmann has undoubtedly been our best player this season. Frankly they both deserve better.

Cameron Stewart – A rare moment of quality this season and Stewart was one of the only players to get his head down and run at the Blades defence.


The rest of the squad – Stuckmann, Butler and maybe Williams aside can anyone say that they would care if the rest of the squad never played for Rovers again? Dickov has assembled a spineless, passionless and mostly talentless squad and we are now paying the price. As I said after the Gillingham defeat: ‘Rovers currently have a team of journeymen, youth players, crocks and stop gaps.’ It is hard to argue with that.

The Rovers fans – Correct me if I’m wrong but I am pretty sure that aside from Forrester’s fake goal on the opening day, Rovers are yet to score in front of their own fans. It really has been an awful start to the season.

Rob Jones – Any lingering doubt that Jones may be the right man to lead the club forward have now been emphatically allayed. We need an actual manager and we need one quickly.

James Coppinger – His short back pass that led to Billy Sharp’s goal is without a doubt his worst moment in a Rovers shirt. Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse.


Man of the Match – Thorsten Stuckmann. I might as well just start using copy & paste for this bit.

Doncaster Rovers 5-2 Scunthorpe United: Match Review by Rob Johnson

Just under ten thousand showed up for the final game of the season against Scunthorpe United and what a game it was. The Rovers faithful didn’t have to wait long to hear Tom Hark as Forrester was scythed down on the left hand side and Bennett’s resulting free kick was powered into his own net in convincing style by Scunthorpe defender and failure at life Niall Canavan

Five minutes later Scunthorpe endured another hilarious moment as Wellens sprinted 20 yards to keep the ball in play near the right sided corner flag only to play a terrible back pass to Rob Jones who was so slow to react he appeared to be a walking tree whose roots were still stuck deep in the ground. Kevin van Veen picked up the loose ball and in the resulting scramble the ball fell to Neal Bishop who somehow contrived to hit the bar from 8 yards out with Marosi in no man’s land. Cue huge ironic cheering from the South Stand.

Scunthorpe’s glorious misery was further compounded on 33 minutes when the lively Forrester performed a bit of skill that left me hiding my erection from my fiancé before cutting inside and setting Kyle Bennett free on the right hand side to hang a perfect cross up to the middle of the goal for Tyson to bundle home.

Rovers surprised everyone by continuing to look like an actual football team, unlike in recent weeks, showing passion and composure to keep Scunny at arm’s length with Evina of all people looking solid and Jones and Butler dealing with a series of corners convincingly. Just before half time an unusually quiet Coppinger created a yard of space for himself to fire in a low shot from 20 yards which was parried round the post by Scunthorpe keeper and general bad human being Luke Daniels. Forrester whipped in the resulting corner and Rob Jones headed home almost as emphatically as all round joke Niall Canavan earlier in the half.

So Rovers went in 3-0 up at half time much to the amazement of the fans and most of the players. Alarm bells were ringing early in the second half when Scunny dominated possession resulting in the now inevitable ridiculous piece of defending and a goal for Scunthorpe. An innocuous ball into the box was somehow not dealt with by first Jones, then Marosi, then Butler with all three stumbling around like new born baby deer before the ball came back off the post and hit a confused looking Andy Butler and trickled into an empty net. Not surprisingly this led to Scunthorpe’s best period of the match but a lot of possession and balls into the box heralded few chances with Rovers rearguard remaining strong and Dean Furman mopping up well in the middle of the park.

On 67 minutes we saw a sign of things to come as a rare Rovers breakaway saw a majestic ball over the top from Wellens to put Bennett through on goal albeit at a difficult angle but Bennett struggled to get the ball out of his feet and the chance went begging. More fruitless Scunthorpe possession followed but they didn’t heed the warning from Rovers previous counter attack with Wellens again playing a brilliant long ball to Harry Forrester who drew a quite frankly ridiculous tackle from one of the Scunny lot in the box. Forrester was going nowhere and had two players marking him. Tyson stepped up confidentally and sent the keeper the wrong way to put Rovers 4-1 up.

Things went from bad to worse for poor old Scunthorpe as brilliant run from Forrester starting thirty yards from Scunthorpe’s goal and ending with him being completely taken out in the box after already beating two men. Tyson again stepped up this blasting straight down the middle to send the Rovers fans into rapture and also evoking memories of a certain famous Mickey Norbury hat trick. Scunny’s players and few remaining fans seemed to want the game over as soon as possible so other than the introduction of former Rovers favourite Dave Syers (to a nicely observed ovation from the Rovers fans) on 81 minutes nothing else much happened until added time when Rovers decided to let the clowns out of the clown car one last time this season with another laughable goal conceded. 18 year old Scunthorpe forward Hakeeb Adeola Abiola Ayinde Adelakun (this is honestly his name) clipped a free kick into the box only for all our defenders to miss it and rookie goalkeeper Marko Marosi to inexplicably decide to leapfrog over the ball.

While this took the sheen off an otherwise brilliant win ever so slightly, Nathan Tyson has written his name in the Rovers history books forever and Dickov should be encouraged by a much improved performance and a blindingly good showing from Harry Forrester.


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Address Line 1 (required)

Address Line 2 (required)

Post Code (required)

Date of Birth in DD MM YY format (required)

Phone Number (optional)

Would you like to join our forum? (optional)

If yes please enter desired username below

The ‘M180’ Derby – DRFC vs SUFC Match Preview

DRFC fan Rob Johnson gives us his preview of the upcoming game this Sunday when local rivals Scunthorpe travel up the ‘M180’ for what is hoped to be a tasty final fixture.

Rovers latest embarrassment against Notts County now makes it no wins in seven whilst a rejuvinated Scunthorpe have lost just once in eight games and will now finish above Rovers should they win on Sunday – something that would have been unthinkable a few short weeks ago. Indeed to further drive the point home Rovers best player in recent weeks has been Scunthorpe’s Theo Robinson…

I have spoke a lot about recent games being meaningless and on paper the final home game of the season is just that. Dickov has taken it upon himself to start throwing young players in the starting line up seemingly at random, the latest beneficiary being the highly rated Jack McKay.

Whilst blooding products of the youth system is to be encouraged in the right situation is it really appropriate when you have won only two out of your last twelve games and none in seven? Experience is always welcome but what will playing in these games do for the younger players confidence especially in front of hostile and frustrated crowd? And what of the fans who have been asked to pay for the privilege of watching what is essentially a reserve team being comfortably beaten by one of the worst sides in the division in Notts County?

Paul Dickov has rendered the end of the season utterly meaningless on the playing field with his scattershot approach to team selection and failure to motivate his players. The players themselves have contributed to the malaise with timid and at times pathetic showings and the board have taken any sting out of the tail off the field by making it very clear that Dickov’s job is safe no matter what happens. So again on paper this couldn’t be a more meaningless game…

But luckily football is about the fans, and for the fans Doncaster Rovers vs Scunthorpe United will never be a meaningless game. It is short excited journeys up the M180 and dejected trudges back home. It is Mickey Norburys hat trick and Billy Sharp’s beautiful exposed torso. It is tedious 0-0 draws and stunning 4-3 victories all watched with the same level of tension and passion and bitter rivalry, it is Gregg Blundell wheeling away in jubilation on Boxing Day in front of 2000 people going mental in the Popular Stand, but most of all, above everything else it is OUR derby. So forget about Dickov in or out. Forget about Bramall and Watson. Remember WE are the fans, WE are the club, and there is nothing fucking meaningless about Rovers vs Scunny.

See you next season.


Rob’s prediction: 0-0