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by Rich Colby

After an eleven day break, Rovers return to action this weekend as they travel to Derbyshire to take on Chesterfield.

Paul Dickov has been busy over the break by bringing in midfielder Abdul Razak and striker Uche Ikpeazu as well as overseeing the departure of Marc De Val Fernandez.

Victory for Rovers will put them level on points with their opponents.  Paul Dickovs men are currently on a decent patch of form, unbeaten in the last six games in the league, winning three and drawing three.  Another stat in Rovers favour is that they are unbeaten in the league away from home since mid-October.  Paul Dickov certainly appears to have found a reliable formula on the road.

Chesterfield currently sit sixth in the league on 35 points.  They are also in good form only loosing twice in the last eight league games.  Striker and top scorer with 24 goals Eoin Doyle will be the man to watch.

Last time out Rovers took the spoils at the Keepmoat Stadium back in September with a 3-2 victory.  Nathan Tyson and Kyle Bennett gave Rovers a two goal lead before Sam Clucas pulled one back just before half time.  Jamie McCombe restored Rovers two goal lead early in the second half but they had to hang on for the last half an hour as Eoin Doyle made it 3-2.

This is Rovers first visit to the Proact Stadium since its opening in 2010.  Doncaster also remain unbeaten against the Spireites in the last six games, a run stretching back to 2005.

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Chesterfield:  P 91/W 27/D 29/L 35
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by Rich Colby

Victory in the South Yorkshire derby at the weekend has provided Rovers with a bit of a springboard to move up the table.  A win against Notts County at the Keepmoat Stadium could propel them from 13th to 6th dependant on other results.

You could throw a blanket over most of League One at the moment as just ten points separate the play-off places from the relegation places.  Harry Forrester’s late strike against Barnsley gave Rovers a deserved victory to make it two wins in the last two at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Notts County currently lie 10th in the league with the same points total as Rovers (34).  They have only won once in their last five on their travels in the league, but they did win at the Keepmoat Stadium earlier in the season in the Johnstones Paint Trophy.  A late Billy Daniels strike gave them a 2-1 victory at the weekend and he will need to be watched again if Rovers want to push towards the Play-Off places.

Paul Dickov remains without midfielder Dean Furman and defender Cedric Evina, but those two aside has a fully fit squad to choose from.  Rovers are also boosted by the signing of midfielder Abdul Razak until the end of the season subject to international clearance.  Dickov may make a couple of changes with Nathan Tyson and Harry Forrester in contention for starting places.  If Razak does make the squad it will likely be from the bench.

Last time out Notts County took the spoils as they dumped Rovers out of the Johnstones Paint Trophy just over a month ago.  Hopefully Paul Dickov’s men have learnt their lessons from that night and can record a victory this time around.

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Notts County:  P 53/W 23/D 8/L 22
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by Rich Colby

After the mid-week FA Cup defeat to Bristol City its officially time to “focus on the league”.  And what better way to do so with a Yorkshire Derby against Barnsley at The Keepmoat Stadium.

If Rovers are still eyeing the possibility of a play-off place at the end of the season then they really need to kick on in the league.  Although undefeated in the last four league games, Paul Dickov’s men still occupy 14th place in the table.  Three points is a must in the Yorkshire derby in the hope of providing a springboard into the top half of the table.

Barnsley are very much in a similar boat to Rovers.  16th in the league but only seven points outside the play-offs with half a season to go still gives The Tykes hope.  Whilst their home form is ok, their form on the road is poor, their last away victory coming at Sheffield United on 1st November.  Rovers will still need to keep an eye on top scorer Connor Hourihane in order to take the bragging rights for another few months.

Rovers remain without Dean Furman who is away with South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations.  Cedric Evina will also miss out.  Paul Dickov should confirm the signing of Goalkeeper Stephen Bywater in time for him to be available for the game.  He will replace Sam Johnstone who has joined Preston North End on loan.

The two teams last met just over a month ago and shared the points in a 1-1 draw.  Barnsley opened the scoring after just 5 minutes when Lewin Nyatanga was left unmarked from a corner kick.  Striker Theo Robinson managed to salvage a point for the Rovers after 52 minutes.  Last time out at the Keepmoat Stadium the teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw.

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Barnsley:  P 70/W 25/D 22/L 23
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by Rich Colby

The FA Cup will be under the lights again tonight as Rovers travel to Bristol City for their FA Cup 3rd Round Replay.

In a closely contested affair, the original fixture finished 1-1.  A 50th minute hooked shot by centre-back Luke McCullough gave Rovers the lead, but a 70th minute goal from Rovers nemesis Matt Smith forced the game to a replay.  The winners of the replay will face Premier League opposition of West Ham United or Everton at home.

It is doubtful that Paul Dickov will change the side too much that battled back from two goals down to snatch a late late draw at Oldham at the weekend.  Nathan Tysons return from the subs bench to score Rovers first goal could see him earn a place in the starting line up to replace Theo Robinson.

Rovers have received a major blow in the goalkeeping department with the news that Sam Johnstone has been re-called back to Man United amid rumours of a permanent move to Preston.  Paul Dickov will be in for a long day in the office today trying to sign a replacement  Dean Furman remains on international duty and Cedric Evina remains sidelined.

Bristol City will be looking to continue their good form after their impressive 4-0 win over Notts County at the weekend.  The Robins have only lost once in their last ten games in all competitions and will also take heart from the 3-0 beating they gave Paul Dickovs men in the league at Ashton Gate.  The strikeforce of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Matt Smith will give the Rovers defence plenty of work to do for ninety minutes or maybe even longer.

Paul Dickov’s men are unbeaten in nine games on their travels.  The last defeat coming against Fleetwood back in October.  Heres hoping that goes into double figures tomorrow night and the reward of a Premier League tie in the fourth round.

Come on you reds!

Overall record Vs Bristol City:  P 43/W 11/D 13/L 19
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This week sees Doncaster Rovers announce the season ticket pricing for the 2015/16 season, swiftly followed by the new season tickets going on sale on Friday 17th January.

As an added incentive to loyal fans, there will also be a range of "money can't buy" prizes up for grabs for those committing to buying their season ticket within the first 7 days of sale.

The list of prizes is still to be fully confirmed but includes free replica shirts, the chance to take a penalty on the pitch with £50 up for grabs if you score, getting your season ticket for free, and entry into a draw to win £1879.  Full details will be released by the club from Monday 12th January.

Next season will also see reclassification of some of the pricing bands for sections of the stadium to help make it easier for supporters to secure a prime spot from which to support the team, plus other activities around the promotion of a singing section to help generate the big game atmosphere within the Keepmoat Stadium.


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