Easter used to be a happy time; chocolate eggs, no school, a 2-0 promotion sealing win over Cambridge in the sunshine. That all seemed a long way away as in the wind and snow of Easter 2008 defeat at Yeovil and a home draw with Oldham saw Rovers hand the promotion initiative to Carlisle. And so tonight’s match with Forest has now become a vital third versus fourth place match that could go a long way to determining how each side’s season will pan out.
Last time Forest came to town they were undone by a bizarre long range goal from Theo Streete in Belle Vue’s emotional swansong. Since that memorable day Rovers have been to the City Ground twice and come away with four points; last season’s 1-0 win coupled with a 0-0 draw back in October of this campaign. With both sides on something of a wobble recently everything indicates a close and low scoring game is likely to play out in Forest’s first visit to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers will be without long term absentees Gordon Greer and viva rovers’ own Mark Wilson tonight as the two continue with their recovery from injury; however Donny may be boosted by the return of James O’Connor, the full-back could feature after missing Monday’s game with a tendon injury. Everyone else is fit and available including the international trio of Stuart Elliott, Brian Stock and Stephen Roberts who survived the week unscathed; the latter two splinter free from the Luxembourg bench.
Forest will be without their own Welsh international as Aaron Davies is still suffering from the injury that kept him out of John Toshack’s squad; striker Will Hoskins and James Perch are also unavailable through injury. However Sammy Clingan is fully fit after declining an international call-up with Northern Ireland and goalkeeper Dimetrios Konstantopolous is also available after his loan spell from Coventry was extended.
The match kicks off at 7:45pm tonight and there are still plenty of tickets left for home fans according to the Keepmoat Stadium website. Fans picking up or purchasing tickets on the night are advised to arrive early to avoid queuing and potentially missing kick-off.