Countdown to Next Match
by Rich Colby
The floodlights will be on at the Keepmoat Stadium tonight as Rovers take on Bristol City for the fourth time this season.
Paul Dickovís men will be looking to get back to winning ways after their three match winning run was halted at Port Vale on Saturday. The 3-0 defeat ended Rovers brief four day stay in the play-off places as they slipped to 7th.
Bristol City remain top of the table despite their surprise 3-2 defeat at Colchester at the weekend. This their second defeat in three games may concern manager Steve Cotterill a little, but overall The Robins are in good form loosing just two of the last ten in the league. Ex-Rovers man Jay Emmanuel Thomas will be the one to keep quiet for City as he aims to push his goal tally for the season into double figures.
Rovers remain without midfielder Jamie Coppinger who should hopefully return against Colchester at the weekend. Rob Jones also misses out but Paul Keegan could return after missing out at Port Vale due to a thigh injury.
The teams last met recently in the third round of the FA Cup in January. A 1-1 draw at the Keepmoat Stadium forced a replay at Ashton Gate where two goals from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas secured a place in the fourth round for the Robins. Back in September Bristol City took all three points at Ashton Gate in a 3-0 victory.
Victory for Rovers will put them back into the play-off spots providing Bradford donít win at Swindon. Victory for Bristol will extend their lead at the top of the table.
Come on you reds!
Overall record Vs Bristol City: P 45/W 11/D 14/L 20
by Rich Colby
Rovers visit Port Vale this weekend aiming to make it four wins out of four.
Paul Dickov's men managed to grind out a win against in-form Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night despite not being at their best, and were rewarded by jumping into the play-off positions. Dickov is now starting to have a bit of a selection headache though. Harry Forrestr should return after missing out on Tuesday, Abdul Razak will also be pushing for a starting place after impressing when he came on as a substitute. Its a good problem to have for the club, but I don't envy Paul Dickov for which eleven to pick. Jamie Coppinger, Luke McCullough and Rob Jones are all expected to miss out.
Port Vale sit 15th in the league, six points behind Rovers. Their form is patchy of late with three wins, one draw and four defeats in the last eight games. Rovers will be mindful of the 3-1 defeat to Vale at the beginning of the season and also of striker Tom Pope who scored on that day.
Rovers last visited Vale Park in November 2007 and came away with all three points. George Pilkington gave Port Vale an early lead after 10 minutes, but Rovers came storming back in the second half with goals from Lewis Guy, James Hayter and Richie Wellens.
Victory for Rovers could potentially move them to 5th providing Sheffield United loose by a couple of goals or more to Coventry City at Brammal Lane. Defeat would see Paul Dickov's men slip out of the Play-Off places if Bradford and or Oldham win their games against Walsall and Leyton Orient. Victory for Port Vale could move them into the top half of the table and 3 points behind Rovers.
Come on you Reds!
Overall record Vs Port Vale: P 48/W 20/D 8/L 20
The Football League's national competition, the KINDER SPORT+ KID'S CUP 2015, gets into the Area stage in a few weeks and the Viking Supporters Co-operative are delighted to announce that the Rovers' representatives are Kirk Sandall Juniors. Under the guidance of teacher, coach, former Keepmoat "Matchday Man on the Mic" and VSC Board Member Alan Roberts, the lads will be sporting the VSC-sponsored hoops the club's own Academy sides wear, thanks to the club's generous decision to loan them the kit to ensure they look and feel the part. The Area Finals take place on March 12th at the Development Academy of Crewe Alexandra FC.
Alan and the boys have been working exceptionally hard alongside Ben Mawson (Doncaster Rovers Academy), Tom Chambers (DRFC Academy Coach) and Josh Rowley (Eden Grove FC) in recent weeks to ensure they are ready to represent the club at the 6-a-side tournament next month.
In the run up to the tournament, the boys will be playing warm-up competitions with DRFC's U-10s and U-11s development squads, having a couple of DRFC coaches attend their training sessions and will be playing on the Keepmoat pitch at half-time when the Rovers take to field for their rescheduled home fixture against Bristol City next Tuesday.
We'd like to wish the boys the very best of luck and will bring you updates of their progress. If they succeed at Crewe they may just get to represent the Club again later in the season at Wembley Stadium prior to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.
GOOD LUCK LADS.
by Rich Colby
Rovers will be looking to make it three wins on the spin as they face Crewe Alexandra at the Keepmoat Stadium under the lights on Tuesday evening.
Whenever we play Crewe at home, the memories come flooding back of that memorable evening almost eight years ago to the day. The Johnstones Paint Trophy area final 2nd leg, February 2007. After drawing the first leg 3-3 at Gresty Road, Crewe were 2-0 up within 36 minutes at Doncasters brand new Keepmoat Stadium with goals from Luke Varney and Ryan Lowe. But with just 27 minutes remaining on the clock Paul Heffernen struck to make it 1-2. The Irishman struck again from the penalty spot with just 7 minutes remaining and everyone assumed the tie would go to extra time, until up popped the ĎAfro Goal Machineí Jason Price. Priceís strike in the 89th minute sent Rovers to Cardiff where they went on to defeat Bristol Rovers 3-2.
But anyway, back to reality, and things are currently going well for both sides. Rovers recent demolitions of Crawley and Yeovil have seen them chalk up eight goals by seven different scorers and zero goals conceded. Crewe meanwhile have won four of their last five games. The defeat coming to high-flying MK Dons. The man to watch for them will be on-loan Leeds striker Nicky Ajose who has scored in all four of Creweís recent victories against Port Vale, Colchester, Yeovil and Fleetwood.
A win for Paul Dickovís men should push them into a play-off place at the expense of Oldham and Chesterfield, providing Rovers win their game by more goals than Chesterfield (if they do win) who visit Scunthorpe. A win for Crewe who currently sit 17th would put them just one point behind Rovers in what is a very tight league.
Rovers could be without the services of Harry Forrester who left the field with a groin problem at the weekend. Striker Uche Ikpeazu may also miss out through a hamstring strain, along with James Coppinger. Forrester could have late fitness tests to try and make the squad. Expect Paul Dickov to name the same side for the third successive game.
Last time out the two teams fought out a 1-1 draw at Gresty Road the end of November. The now Rovers player Uche Ikpeazu gave Crewe the lead on half an hour, James Coppinger levelled it up with just ten minutes to go. In their last visit to the Keepmoat in November 2012 Crew took all three points in a 2-0 win.
Come on you reds!
Overall record Vs Crewe Alexandra: P 96/W 39/D 26/L 31
by Rich Colby
Rovers are back at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend to face old Conference rivals Yeovil Town.
Paul Dickovís men will be hoping that they havenít run out of goals after what can only be described as a demolition of Crawley Town on Tuesday night. Granted, Crawley didnít play well, but Rovers did everything right for the full 90 minutes.
The starting eleven is very likely to stay the same as Tuesday featuring a five-man midfield of Forrester, Wellens, Keegan, Furman and Bennet. Nathan Tyson is also likely to keep his place up front on his own but competition is strong for places in all areas. Abdul Razak is finally available for selection after the Greek carrier-pigeon successfully delivered the forms to FA Headquarters. Jamie Coppinger, Luke McCullough and Rob Jones are all expected to miss out through injury but Uche Ikpeazu could be in the squad following a hamstring strain.
Yeovil currently sit 22nd in the league and four points from safety. Interim manager Terry Skiverton will be looking to give The Glovers a boost after just two wins in their last ten league games. Ex-Rovers striker James Hayter will receive a warm welcome from the Keepmoat faithful, but always likely to score a goal, the Doncaster back line will have to be wary.
A win for Yeovil would keep them in the bottom four, but a win always gives teams a boost going forward. Victory for Rovers could see them in with a faint chance of moving into the play-off places providing other results really go their way.
The teams last met on the first day of the season at a sunny Huish Park. Curtis Main struck after just 8 minutes to give Rovers and early lead, then second half goals from Harry Forrester and Theo Robinson gave an excellent start to the season. Last time out at the Keepmoat Stadium Rovers again took the spoils. Dean Furman opened the scoring early on, but just before half time former Rovers defender Byron Webster levelled the scores. A late Mark Duffy free-kick gave Paul Dickovís side all three points.
Come on you reds!
Overall record Vs Yeovil Town (Football League only): P 13/W 3/D 2/L 8