Getting better, but Del Boy’s double spells Den defeat

Out of luck: Herita Ilunga gets in a header at Millwall but Rovers were pipped.            Picture: Steve uttley

Out of luck: Herita Ilunga gets in a header at Millwall but Rovers were pipped. Picture: Steve uttley

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BOTH performances since the Barnsley game have seen an improvement, although we only have one point to show for our efforts.

I know it takes time to gell, with new systems and new faces coming in, but the games are running down now, and with two very hard fixtures to come - at home to league leaders Southampton tomorrow, followed by a trip to Birmingham next weekend, things are not looking any easier.

Watford on Saturday saw us create a couple of chances which we failed to take. On the plus side we kept a clean sheet with the Hornets offering very little.

The hamstring injury to El-Hadji Diouf is going to hit us hard as he adds that bit of flair to the team.

Tuesday night was a long trip to the capital for the game against Millwall.

The curse of our bus struck again as we were stuck outside the Blackwall tunnel for nearly an hour after a car caught fire. Even the players had to get taxis to the ground as the team coach had got stuck in traffic. We finally got to the New Den with 15 minutes to spare.

With only a bare squad to choose from, midfielder Mark Wilson was recalled from his loan spell at Walsall and started on the bench.

We started off sluggishly but the longer the half went on the more possession we had.

I still can’t see how referee Andy D’Urso saw a penalty for the Lions.

Trotter, a good south London name, tucked home the resulting spot kick.

Just to even things up the referee then awarded us a spot kick which Billy Sharp gladly slotted home.

We were then hit by poor defending as ‘Del Boy’ Trotter scored his second of the night.

Rovers still had chances to equalise, but some resolute defending kept them out. The second half saw the Millwall keeper make a couple of good saves but once again Rovers’ failure to finish let them down.

Doncaster-born Millwall substitute Darius Henderson then headed home from a free kick to make it 3-1 and the game looked beyond us at that stage.

But the introduction of James Coppinger and Kyle Bennett sparked new life into the team.

Billy pulled another goal back late on and Kyle shot just past the post.

Credit to the 250 or so brave-hearted Rovers fans who made the trip.

It was a long journey home, though, with the A1 closed near Peterborough and our driver didn’t finish his run until 3am.

The Football League should look at midweek fixtures as Hull had to travel to Southampton on the same night.

Some common sense is needed.

Nigel Adkins is working wonders on the South Coast and the Saints will be hard to beat.

But they have had a couple of poor results of late - losing last weekend at Bristol City - so could this be the best time to play them? We will have wait and see.

In any case get down and get behind the lads. The club needs you more than ever.

Remember to come and buy your Supporters’ Club Christmas draw tickets from outside the Lakeside Bar on Saturday as it is your last chance. Tickets are 50p each and there is a £250 main prize.

Finally, don’t forget to use the home coach from Retford (1pm), Harworth pit gates (1.20) and Rossington Styrupp/ Labour Club (1.30). There is no need to book.

Enjoy the game - Rovers ‘till I drop!