By Mark Gullett (Doncaster Rovers supporter)
Doncaster Rovers 2-1 Yeovil Town – Friday, 22 November 2013
Rovers welcomed back Federico Macheda for the visit of Yeovil after injury cut short his initial loan period. There had been far more entertainment off the pitch than on it during his forced absence with the resignation of our long standing chairman John Ryan, plus talks of a takeover making the headlines (in Doncaster at least!). Meanwhile on the pitch Rovers had only managed to score two goals in the previous four games, whilst conceding 11.
Rovers dominated the early stages of the game and were rewarded on 12 minutes after a mistake from the Yeovil defence resulted in Duffy breaking forward into the box. Macheda raced in front of the defence into penalty area where he received the ball just outside the left of the six yard box. One look up and he unselfishly pulled the ball back across the face of the goal for the advancing Furman to poke it past the keeper. An assist in the first 12 minutes, this is exactly what we had been missing! More of the same was eagerly awaited by the now freezing cold fans but unfortunately that was to be the last of any kind of attacking action for the rest of the half as Rovers seemed to crawl back into their shells after the shock of going into the lead. The inevitable equaliser came at the inevitable time from the inevitable source as ex-Rover Byron Webster cleverly held his position on the edge of the six yard box to beat Turnbull on halftime.
Anyone expecting Rovers to come out fighting in the second half were sadly disappointed as the game continued in the same vein as much of the first half, with Yeovil dominating without really causing too many problems. The Manchester United man was left fairly isolated and rarely got a touch, though unfortunately when he did he was the provider rather than the finisher and the chances weren’t taken. On 80 minutes Rovers went down to ten men after the goalscorer leaped into one challenge too many and received his second yellow. Hold on for a draw? Well with everyone in the ground expecting yet another late goal to deny us a point, Duffy fired in a freekick from the left which caught out the keeper and crept inside his near post. Meant or not, who cares?
So off to a winning start in his first game back, welcome home Kiko!
Charlton Athletic 2-0 Doncaster Rovers – Tuesday, 26 November 2013
After having their previous game abandoned with Rovers leading 3-1 at halftime, Rovers travelled down to the capital buoyed by their recent win and hoping for more of the same. What actually happened is instantly forgettable and the less said about this game the better. In fact I’ve already said too much.
Doncaster Rovers 2-1 QPR – Saturday, 30 November 2013
Today’s visitors were yet another side in and around the automatic promotion places. Only Rovers fans would have fancied our chances today as we know we seem to play better against the better sides for some reason. Today was no exception either. After two insipid performances in their last two games Rovers started strongly, matching QPR all over the pitch. On the quarter hour mark Macheda slipped the ball to Duffy, but his shot from 25 yards was saved by Rob Green (remember him?). The two sides were pretty much cancelling each out for most of the half with goal chances at a premium, but disaster struck for Rovers, again right before halftime as an attempted clearance from Quinn smashed into Charlie Austin deflecting the ball under Turnbull. A mistake but he doesn’t make many so we’ll forgive him.
Dickov told his players at half time to go out and play without fear, and by God for the first time this month they did just that. Just two minutes in and Robinson threaded a shot through a crowded penalty area past Green into the far bottom corner for the equaliser. Now could we hold on for a point? Not likely, Rovers continued to match their illustrious visitors in end-to-end stuff leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats. Just past the hour mark Kiko reacted first to pounce after Coppinger’s shot was parried by Green, but saw his effort fly into the side netting. Both sides were looking for a winner in an entertaining game, but just as it looked like ending in a draw Macheda forced a corner for Rovers on 89 minutes. Duffy floated the ball into the six yard box where Quinn rose to flick the ball past a desperate Rob Green.
A good game for Federico and another 3 points for Rovers.
Mark is a member of the Viking Supporters Co-operative forum.
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