KYLE Bennett pressed his claims for a place in the Doncaster Rovers’ side to face Peterborough on Saturday with a brace in yesterday afternoon’s 4-1 win over Lincoln City in a practice game behind closed doors at the club’s training ground.
It was suggested last night that Sheffield Wednesday had unsuccessfully tried to sign Bennett on loan.
Fabien Robert, who made his Rovers’ debut coming off the bench in Saturday’s game at Leeds United, also netted as did a trialist.
Striker Chris Brown and midfielder Paul Keegan, neither of whom have played at first-team level under manager Dean Saunders due to injuries, both played a full game and came through without any adverse affect.
Fit-again defender Shelton Martis, an unused substitute at Elland Road, played for around an hour.
Damian Plessis, yet to play at Championship level for Rovers, caught the eye in midfield.
Saunders will have to make a decision within the next few days on whether to try and extend keeper David Button’s loan spell.
The 22-year-old Spurs’ keeper is due to play his last game for Rovers as part of his second spell on loan in Saturday’s game.
Button again impressed for Rovers in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat against Leeds United.
He was initially brought in as emergency cover at the start of the year when Wolves loanee Carl Ikeme picked up a serious hand injury in training and needed surgery and long-serving Neil Sullivan was also booked in for an operation to try and resolve a serious wear and tear hand injury.
Saunders rates Ikeme highly and would like to bring him back to the club on loan.
But the Premier League club’s recent decision to part company with long-time manager Mick McCarthy could put any moves to bring him back to Doncaster on loan on ice.
It is likely that the new manager, when appointed, will want to assess his playing resources and will be keen to give everybody the chance to stake their claim before deciding who is surplus to requirements at this moment in time and who is available to go out on loan.
Another factor is that Sullivan could soon be back in the frame. The 42 year-old saw his specialist on Monday and following the all-clear he resumed light training with goal-keeping coach Lee Butler yesterday.
But with Rovers facing nine matches next month - two of which are away to the current top two sides and crucial relegation six-pointers against Nottingham Forest and Millwall - Saunders will want his strongest possible squad available. He will have former Aston Villa centre-back Habib Beye available after a three-match ban against the Posh.
Due to postponements, the 34 year-old, who recently signed a new 18-month contract at the club, has not played for over a month., but has trained hard.
Rovers have reduced the adult admission price for the Peterborough game to £15. Juniors 16 and under will be able to see the match for £5.
West Yorkshire Police, who questioned both teams in their respective dressing rooms following an incident in the tunnel after Saturday’s game against Leeds United at Elland Road, are continuing their investigation.
The two clubs have so far declined to comment on the incident, but a police spokesperson said: “There was a small disturbance in the tunnel after the game involving both teams. Officers dealt swiftly with the incident and there were no injuries or arrests. Both teams are working with the police and any necessary action will be taken in due course.”
Rovers’ media manager Steve Uttley confirmed yesterday afternoon that the club were assisting the police. But contrary to reports that the FA were also investigating the incident, he said that the football authorities had not been in touch.