ONCE again Rovers produced a brilliant performance in Saturday’s Championship clash against high-flying Cardiff City at the Keepmoat Stadium - the only thing lacking was a goal.
You would never have guessed that we were second bottom of the league and Cardiff were up in third position.
Only the thickness of the post, and a great stop by the Bluebirds’ keeper, stopped El Hadji Diouf giving us the lead in the second half.
Had Billy Sharp also taken a better touch when clear through, we could have climbed above Nottingham Forest.
Saying that we were the only team in the bottom three not to loose. With Millwall having six put past them; hopefully their confidence will be shot.
I thought the officials favoured the Welsh team as I believe we were denied two blatant penalties and young keeper David Button was not troubled in the second half.
Most Rovers fans I talked to after the game thought it was a excellent match but one of our customers, who is a Cardiff fan, thought it was drab, probably because his team were pants!
Not many teams will fancy coming to the Keepmoat the way that results have been going lately.
Good news in the post-match press interview after the game came when manager Dean Saunders (who I must say is a journalists dream) said that Billy would not be joining Leicester, and fingers crossed, he will see out the campaign with us.
Money is not everything, and the grass is not always greener on the other side - just ask Jermaine Beckford who is a bench-warmer at Leicester after joining the Foxes from Everton.
Dean also singled out the role the fans have played - the backing they gave the team- and how they have been supportive of Billy and his family as was shown by the pre-match cheque presentation to the Louie Jacob Sharp Appeal.
It was nice to see some ex-Rovers at the game Saturday, Ian Snodin and Steve and Eddie Beaglehole to name a few.
Tomorrow’s game against Bristol City at Ashton Gate is a real six-pointer. Like us they got humbled out of the FA Cup by lower league opposition and are struggling near the foot of the table.
If we can put the blocks on striker Nicky Maynard I feel the three points are there for the taking and then the ‘Willie Mckay experiment’ will really start to kick in.
It would be nice to repeat the result of a couple of years ago when Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, James Coppinger and Billy terrorised the Robins defence in a 5-2 victory.
If we could just replicate our home form we could do it. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Due to improved results, the interest from the fans has increased and we have had to lay on an extra bus on for the game. So hopefully there will be plenty of vocal support on the day. Coaches leave Retford 8.15am and pick up at Harworth 8.20, Rossington/Bawtry 8.30, Hare and Tortoise 8.35, Infirmary 8.45 and Keepmoat 9.00. As I write there are still a few seats left. Phone Paul on 07961-727769 or Len on 01302-817347.
Also, don’t forget about the night at the dogs at Stainforth on Friday, February 24 and the ten-pin bowling night with the Rovers on Wednesday, March 14.
Could all fans on the weekend trip to Bournemouth (which is now sold out) which ties in with the Southampton game on March 24, please note that I need all the money in by the end of this month.
Doncaster North are also running coaches to Hull on January 31. Ring 07780-316923 to book a seat.
One to watch
Nicky Maynard cost the Robins a club-record £2.25m when they signed him from Crewe in summer of 2008. But the speedy forward, who came through the ranks at Crewe, has proved value for money despite missing much of last season due to a knee injury. His best return since moving to Ashton Gate was in the 2009-10 season when he netted 20 goals. He is currently Bristol’s top scorer with eight goals, all in the Championship, and is reported to again be attracting interest from other clubs.