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Lifelong Rovers fan and VSC member Dave Burkitt is raising money for Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support, a charity the VSC have supported in the past and one that helps the families of many rovers fans all over Doncaster on a daily basis. If you can afford a couple of quid to help Dave reach jis 1000 target, visit
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by The Rovers Review

The title race heats up as it goes down to the final day of the season as Rovers prepare to take on relegation-threatened, Hartlepool United.

To be crowned champions, Rovers need to make sure that they get three points and that Plymouth fall to a defeat at the hands of Rovers local rivals, Grimsby Town.

Pre-match, Darren Ferguson confirmed there was no more injuries sustained to his team meaning only defender, Mathieu Baudry will be unavailable for this game.

After changing tactics and formation last weekend - playing 4-3-3 with Marquis up top on his own, supported by Rowe and Blair on the left and right respectively - he said that he'd be going back to something more familiar for Rovers (so the 4-4-2 looks to make a comeback). This in turn means a place has just opened up next to John Marquis for this game with Alfie May, Liam Mandeville and Andy Williams all looking to make their way back into the team.

In an attempt for Rovers to have one last chance of claiming the league two title, Ferguson has changed how he's done his training this week, citing that he's made it more "fun" for the players, because he thinks that the pressure of winning the title has got to the players and caused this 'dip' in form, so he's decided to try and take the weight off of the player's shoulders.

Former Rovers striker, Billy Paynter will be entering his second game as assistant manager of Hartlepool United and former Rovers defender, captain and manager, Rob Jones is out injured for the Pools.

Hartlepool haven't won any of their last 8 games drawing 2 two of them and losing the rest, consequently, this puts Hartlepool as the team with the worst form in the league. While Rovers have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 4 from their 8 games.

Defensively, Hartlepool are the second worst team in the league after conceding 74 goals from 45 games and Rovers have conceded 53 in as many games.

Players to watch
Their top goal scorer is Padraig Amond who has scored 14 league goals this season. For assists, striker, Lewis Alessandra has got the most for the Pools with him making 9 assists in the league.

Previous encounters
During the reverse fixture this season, Rovers won 2-1 at the Keepmoat with goals from John Marquis and Liam Mandeville and their current top goal-scorer, Amond cut the deficit for the Pools that day too.

Last time Rovers visited Victoria Park was in league one during 2012 where it finished 1-1 with Rovers only goal coming from Rob Jones.

Overall, Rovers have won 38, drawn 28 and lost 34 against Hartlepool since 1924.

Predicted lineup v Hartlepool United
Lawlor; Alcock, Wright, Butler, Mason; McCullough, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; Mandeville and Marquis.
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by The Rovers Review

Suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, Rovers look to escape that mini dip in form to potentially clench the title in front of the home faithful - as play-off hopefuls, Exeter City visit the Keepmoat Stadium.

After being ruled out for the remainder of the season, striker Andy Williams is set to come back into contention after Gavin Strachan confirmed his availability before stating that Williams has been "sharp" in training all week. He could, however, face competition for a place back in the starting 11, with forwards Alfie May and John Marquis being involved in plenty of goals as of late.

During midweek it was reported that Niall Mason and Craig Alcock had been given the day off training for one day - due to possible injuries - however Strachan has confirmed that as it stands, they are fit for this weekend.

Last time out against Wycombe Wanderer, after Alfie May bagged a breath-taking goal, but was then withdrawn due to an injury within 38 minuets. It was later revealed he was suffering with a dead leg and Strachan has confirmed he'll be available again this weekend against Exeter.

Following Mathieu Baudry's season-ending surgery, Joe Wright is expected to re-kindle his partnership with Andy Butler (much like the beginning of the season). Wright has this week said it's a "big opportunity" for him to make his mark on the team and that he has "respect" for Darren Ferguson's team selection, which has seen the defender only make 18 appearances so far this season.

Out of Exeter's last five games they've won 3 and lost 2, whereas Rovers have lost 3, drawn 1 and won 1.

With 48 points collected at the Keepmoat so far this season from 22 games, they have the best home record in the league, however it may be under threat this weekend as they host an Exeter City who have the second-best away record in the league (behind Plymouth), collecting 39 points from 22 games on the road.

Players to watch
Award winning youngster Ollie Watkins is their player to watch, with him picking up 13 league goals so far this season as well as picking up 6 assists, all while being just 21-years-old.

However, he isn't their top goal scorer or assists man with midfielders; David Wheeler has netted 16 league goals and Jack Stacey has 7 assists so far this term.

Previous encounters
In the reverse fixture Rovers came from a goal behind to win 3-1 at St James Park, with Liam Mandeville making an instant impact from the bench to equalise for Rovers, followed by a Marquis double to earn Rovers the 3 points. The last time Exeter came to Doncaster was back in the Belle Vue days during the season 1997/98, where Exeter won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 1,186.

Overall, Rovers have won 23, drawn 5 and lost 18 against Exeter since 1959. Safe to say it'd be surprising if it's a draw this weekend!

Predicted lineup v Exeter City
Lawlor; Alcock, Wright, Butler, Mason; Grant, Blair, Rowe, Coppinger; May and Marquis.
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by The Rovers Review

Rovers will be strengthened ahead of their penultimate away game of the season with several injured players returning, against Wycombe Wanderers.

A mini injury crisis hit Rovers during the Easter period, seeing key figures to the Rovers team miss two games through injuries, but now they could be set for a return for the final three games. Players, such as James Coppinger, Andy Butler, Luke McCullough and Liam Mandeville all come back into contention for the 18 on Saturday.

Striker Andy Williams is a "big doubt" for this weekend's game and the following weekend game against Exeter City, which could mean his season is potentially over.

Meanwhile first choice goalkeeper Ian Lawlor, who has been out with chest problems, has "got a chance" of returning, but there still seems to be a bit of an uncertainty around whether or not he'll be 100% ready for this match. Defender Mathieu Baudry was expected to miss the rest of the season after being booked in for an operation since Rovers secured promotion back to league one, but Ferguson has said that they, "may delay it a week - we'll wait and see." Which will certainly give him a selection headache in regards of who to chose at the back. Should it be the centre-back pairing that it has been for most of the season with Andy Butler and Mathieu Baudry, or does Joe Wright come into contention after his man of the match performance against Blackpool on bank holiday Monday?

Winger, Matty Blair will be set to miss his first game for Rovers this season through suspension, after picking up a red card v Blackpool in the previous game.

Ahead of the match, Darren Ferguson has also said there is "decent experience in the team", from the likes of veteran, James Coppinger, which can see Rovers really challenge for the title in these final three games.

Wycombe have failed to win in their previous four home games against: Mansfield, Cheltenham, Notts County and Plymouth, respectively,  with them drawing two and losing two. On the other hand, Rovers haven't lost on the road in their last four games with them drawing two, but winning two as well.

Players to watch
Former Rovers striker, Adebayo Akinfenwa has scored 17 goals this season for the Chairboys, and will be their main attacking threat with 11 of them 17 goals coming in the league. He's closely following by Scott Kashket on 9 league goals.

Defender, Joe Jacobson is their main assist creator, with him being involved in the build-up of 8 league goals this season for Wycombe.

Previous encounters
Previously this season Rovers drew 2-2 with Wycombe at the Keepmoat with Ferguson saying it was 'individual mistakes', which cost Doncaster 3 points that day.

Ironically the last time Rovers visited Adams Park it finished 2-2 back in October 2006 during the League Cup 3rd round. Rovers were consequently knocked out by losing 3-2 on penalties after extra time.

Overall, Rovers have failed to beat Wycombe in their last four encounters since 1993.

Predicted lineup v Wycombe Wanderers
Lawlor; Alcock, Baudry, Wright, Taylor-Sinclair; Mason, Grant, Rowe, Coppinger; May and Marquis.

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by Paul Williams

Having lost at Bloomfield Road earlier this season (missing yet another penalty in the process) and been knocked out of the much-maligned Checkatrade Trade Trophy at the Keepmoat, Rovers will hopefully feel they have unfinished business with Blackpool this Bank Holiday Monday.

The Tangerines are consistent in their inconsistency but are a dangerous side when putting it all together. They put a significant nail in Rovers' relegation coffin at the same stage of last season and have been a bit of a bogey side for the red and white hoops lately. With a play-off place still in touching distance, Gary Bowyer's team will have to come out to play but Rovers are probably a maximum of two wins away from securing the title and will still be feeling the pain of a kick up the collective rear end from Darren Ferguson in Friday's 1-1 draw at Colchester.

The Rovers' boss has promised changes as he feels some players need to recharge their batteries but injuries to James Coppinger, Andy Williams and Ian Lawlor may have restricted his options and Liam Mandeville is still a week away from fitness. Let's hope it's the Rovers team of the second half at Colchester and not the one in the first half that lines-up against the Seasiders.
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