After two successive home wins Doncaster are back on the road as they head to the south coast to face Brighton. Doncaster and Brighton have a strange affinity that now goes back over a decade. Back in 1997 Rovers played the role of straight man in the last match at Brighton’s Goldstone Ground. Brighton were in danger of losing more than their ground back then, and when the same fate looked to be befalling Rovers the following season the solidarity was reciprocated.
In those seasons Rovers and Brighton were treading a tightrope at the foot of the football league; contrasted against the current Keepmoat backed promotion campaign and it seems a lifetime ago. Whatever mutual historical respect there may be between the two clubs it will have to be temporarily suspended on Saturday afternoon if the promotion bandwagon is to keep rolling.
The Withdean is not the easiest place to go looking for a result so the last thing Sean O’Driscoll would want at this point is a mini injury crisis. Sadly he is very much in the midst of one. James O’Connor, Gordon Greer and Lewis Guy remain unavailable and they are definitely to be joined in the stands by midfielder Mark Wilson who limped out of Tuesday’s match with a groin injury.
If that wasn’t enough a further five players have fitness doubts; Stephen Roberts, Adam Lockwood, Paul Green, Jason Price and Richie Wellens could all feature, but equally could all miss out. As such the recalled loanees Graeme Lee and Craig Nelthorpe could be in for a recall to the Rovers’ squad.
Brighton have no such problems with Dean Wilkins faced with no fresh injury concerns going into this game; however striker Dean Bowditch will not be available having returned to his employers Ipswich Town. As such Brighton will more than likely begin with the same line-up that won 2-1 away to play-off hopefuls Walsall on Tuesday night.
The spoils for Rovers are clear; with ten games left points must be picked up in every match if second place is to be retained. Brighton on the other hand may sit eleventh but they are still very much in the promotion hunt themselves, just three points behind their last victims; fourth place Walsall. If Doncaster can overcome their injury problems and notch a win then there is every indication that this is to be their year.