Doncaster Rovers v Ipswich Town: Paul Goodwin’s verdict

Billy Sharp
Billy Sharp

ROVERS’ fireworks at Portman Road on November 5 provided genuine hope they could claw themselves out of trouble.

But the damp squib that followed at Barnsley a fortnight later epitomised the inconsistency that ultimately cost Doncaster their place in the Championship.

That Portman Road clash was memorable for the sparkling link up play between Billy Sharp and El Hadji Diouf.

The strike pair terrorised Town that day but a blossoming and potentially brilliant partnership eventually crumbled - just like Doncaster’s season.

It was a partnership that symbolised a season of hope and false dawns.

It is partnership that will be conspicuous by its absence when the curtain comes down on an explosive season this Saturday.

Dean Saunders is left to pick up the pieces.

Saunders still feels aggrieved to have lost Sharp in January and points to his departure as the main reason for Doncaster’s demotion.

Billy is likely to be celebrating promotion to the Premier League on Saturday - at the same time Rovers contemplate a return to League One on their mandatory lap of appreciation.

Sharp’s raging argument with Pascal Chimbonda at St Mary’s last month offered the biggest clue yet about Doncaster’s alleged dressing room disharmony.

Should Diouf fail to appear on the pitch after the game this weekend, it would represent another rather damning indictment of the experiment that was supposed to send Rovers up not down.

Rovers might like to go out with a bang this weekend.

I, for one, just can’t wait for the season to be over.

Prediction: Rovers 1 Ipswich 1