DONCASTER ROVERS: The referee was right

Water everywhere: The state of the Keepmoat pitch.''Picture: dean atkins
Water everywhere: The state of the Keepmoat pitch.''Picture: dean atkins

THE weather put a damper on Doncaster Rovers’ hopes of bouncing back from the 4-1 defeat at home to Coventry City in Saturday’s League One six-pointer against MK Dons.

The club’s last home game of 2012 was one of six League One games to be called off.

Despite the heavy rain of recent days, which had left parts of the access road to the club’s Cantley Park training ground under several inches of water, club officials had been confident that the game would go ahead as late as 11am.

But an hour of heavier rain led to match referee David Webb, who had arrived earlier than scheduled, to carry out an unscheduled pitch inspection and, after checking the weather forecast for the next few hours, he called the game off.

“It was disappointing that the game was called off because we wanted to show the Coventry result was a bit of a blip,” said Rovers boss Dean Saunders.

“I felt like we were ready for the game and I found out on the day that they had picked up a couple of bad injuries to Gleeson and (leading scorer) Chadwick, which I didn’t know about, so it might have been a good time to catch them.

“But it was probably a fair decision. There was water laying on the pitch at 12.30pm and it was still chucking it down and the referee decided that it wasn’t going to get any better so he called it off.

“We couldn’t have played at one o’clock; the ball just wasn’t rolling in the water.”

Saunders revealed that midfielder Martin Woods wouldn’t have been available had the game gone ahead after he suffered a setback in training, aggravating the thigh injury which has kept him out for the last couple of weeks.

“He’ll be touch and go for the Boxing Day game at Oldham,” said the Welshman.

But both leading scorer David Cotterill, substituted after 25 minutes of the Coventry game due to a stomach bug, and fellow midfielder David Syers, ruled out of the last couple of games with an ankle injury, would both have been available.

Saunders decided against bringing the players in for an extra training session yesterday and will begin prepartions for the Boxing Day game at Oldham today.

“We will treat the next two days as though they were a Thursday and a Friday and we were playing Oldham on a Saturday,” he told The Star.

“The players will be in on Christmas Day because we are in the entertainment industry and people want to be entertained, especially at this time of the year.

“Players get used to it and, after all, they get six weeks or so off in the summer.

“They will still have their Christmas dinner afterwards, but they all know not to over-indulge.”