Welcome to the 62nd episode of our weekly media feature, and we’ve decided to offer a treat to all you victory starved Rovers fans. This week’s edition features not one, not two, not even three, but I’m a fool to myself, here I give you four videos all for the bargain price of absolutely nothing. Now you can’t say fairer than that me old flower. Here they are four you, right here, roll up roll up for your four videos of Doncaster Rovers winning football matches.
Moving rapidly on from one of the worst opening paragraphs this feature has ever seen there is actually some method behind this video-based madness. In the summer of 2005 Nottingham Forest suffered relegation into the Football League’s third tier for the first time in over fifty years, bringing the two times European Cup winners to a divisional parity with our own two time Conference League Trophy winners. Over the subsequent five seasons, fuelled by a mutual promotion race in 2008 and of course the traditional Miners Strike divisions, the rivalry between the two clubs has gathered something of a derby feel.
As such Rovers fans are likely to be a little wary going into Saturday’s game, the tenth meeting of the two sides in five seasons. Having spent significantly in the Summer, Forest have been enjoying a profitable season which has seen them plough through the division to be firmly in the running for an automatic promotion spot. And if that alone was not ominous enough Forest did also manage to defeat Rovers 4-1 at the City Ground in November.
However, don’t be down heartened Rovers fans, because as irritating as that defeat was earlier this season, it represented Forest’s first triumph over Doncaster in more than three years. In short, they were due. After despatching Rovers 2-1 at Belle Vue in March 2006 the Tricky Trees failed to take more than a point from Doncaster over the next three seasons. We’ve saved you the two goalless draws the two clubs played out in that period, but in an attempt to rouse you for the weekend ahead, here are those four victories.
Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Nottingham Forest; 23rd December 2006
The last game at Belle Vue, is not the sole focus of this video, but it does make a fleeting yet timely appearance 1 minute and 58 seconds in. Forest were top of the league when they provided the opposition for the last hurrah of Rovers’ old ground in the run up to Christmas 2006. In all honesty Forest were the better team on the day, but thankfully sentimentality won out over functionality and Doncaster left their old home with a win courtesy of this bizarre strike from the on loan Theo Streete.
Nottingham Forest 0-1 Doncaster Rovers; 6th March 2007
Forest had been overtaken by Scunthorpe at the top of the table by the time Rovers arrived at the City Ground for the return match two and a half months later. Like the previous fixture at Belle Vue the match was won by a single goal from distance, but whilst Theo Streete’s winner had succeeded with a lot of luck, Brian Stock’s winner here was simply unsavable. The midfielder’s shot was destined for the top corner from the moment it left his boot thirty yards away.
Doncaster Rovers 1-0 Nottingham Forest; 28th March 2008
When Rovers and Forest played out a goalless draw at the City Ground in mid-October 2007, Rovers had been in the bottom half of the table, whilst Forest sat fourth. By the time the return fixture game round at the end of March Forest still occupied that fourth spot, but Rovers had moved into third place. With Swansea pulling away at the top, Rovers and Forest were becoming involved in a three way scrap with Carlisle for the second automatic promotion spot. The Friday night game drew Rovers biggest crowd of the season thus far (though that would be surpassed through the visit of Leeds four days later) and they were not to be disappointed. With Forest having wasted a golden chance when Joe Garner got clean through early in the second half Rovers punished them with a late free-kick from Gareth Roberts, which would be the only goal of the game.
Nottingham Forest 2-4 Doncaster Rovers; 26th December 2008
When Rovers arrived at the City Ground on Boxing Day 2008, they were rock bottom of the Championship. They had scored just eleven goals, and a goalless draw with Forest at the Keepmoat a month prior to this match represented one of just 18 points picked up in the twenty-four games played thus far. Indeed Rovers hadn’t scored more than a single goal in a game since the Play-Off Semi-Final of the previous season. I repeated all these facts to my then girlfriend as we drove to the game, to illustrate how I knew she was just humoring me with her prediction of a 6-0 win for Rovers. And then it all clicked. And a blur of celebrations later Rovers were 4-0 up and my girlfriend was looking very smug indeed.
Forest brought it back to 4-2 late on, but it didn’t matter by then. The football Rovers played in the first half was fantastic, and is worth tolerating this particularly shaky video clip and its dubious choice of music for. The video shows all four Rovers goals, though saves the best one, the second goal, ’til last. Doncaster put together a move of over twenty consecutive passes before Richie Wellens fed the feet of Martin Woods and he turned to deliver a glorious chip over the head of Lee Camp. Anything half as good as that tomorrow, would be delightful.