The official club website is building this as some sort of Johnstone’s Paint Trophy revenge mission; away from the hype though it could prove a serious question of Doncaster’s promotion hopes. Ten months on from that hazy air horn filled day out in Cardiff and the two Rovers Bristol and Doncaster meet again on a leveller playing field. Bristol, promoted via the play-offs in May , are finally finding their feet in League One. Undefeated since Boxing Day, seven wins and four draws have lifted the Gas up to 15th in the table. And on current form they could provide a healthy test to Doncaster’s gathering promotion hopes.
Doncaster are, and it gives me great pleasure to place this hefty kiss of death on the side, flying at the moment. After being brought down to earth by Swansea with a crushing 4-0 defeat at the Keepmoat the side has bitten back emphatically with back to back victories over Hartlepool and Millwall that between them saw an incredible sixty-two shots on goal by the Rovers.
Doncaster will of course be without James Hayter who is out awaiting a double hernia operation, but there is further bad news with Adam Lockwood and Gareth Roberts both suffering groin strains in training this weekend. Should the pair be passed fit expect Sean O’Driscoll to stick with a winning team; if not then Sean McDaid, Matt Mills and possibly even club captain Gareme Lee could be back in the starting line-up.
Bristol Rovers also have a near full squad at their disposal, although manager Paul Trollope will be without centre half Steve Elliott and Ryan Green. However, the return of Joe Jacobsen could provide the Pirates’ manager with another defensive option, something that could prove useful against Doncaster’s rampant attack. It promises to be an interesting game (cue nil nil draw) and if the club website is to be believed and sometimes it is, tickets are being snapped up by the Doncastrian public. See you there.