Too many games. Can’t keep writing witty previews. No more jokes. Can’t. Keep. Going… Christ I wish I’d saved that Frank Yallop anecdote now. The matches continue to come thick and fast for Rovers and any foolish person attempting to pen previews for them. Tonight Ipswich come to the Keepmoat Stadium, for their second date with Doncaster in the course of little over three weeks.
The meeting at Portman Road, in keeping with recent matches between the two sides proved to be an entertaining affair. Rovers leading through Billy Sharp, only to see Connor Whickham and David Norris turn the game on it’s head. And whilst the Town fans celebrated, Rovers struck back in a matter of seconds, Sharp again pouncing to level the scores. However, it would be Ipswich who took the points, courtesy of a deflected long-range strike from Carlos Edwards.
Whether Ipswich can match that victory at the Keepmoat Stadium is a different matter. Though Ipswich have enjoyed a much better run of form since that victory, winning two and drawing the other of their three league games, Doncaster as a town has long got the better of them. The Tractor Boys have never won in the borough, and indeed even as they arrived in Doncaster as a higher division outfit for a 2004 League Cup tie they were dully dispatched back to Suffolk by a Jermaine McSporran wonder strike. Hopefully, their aversion to this part of South Yorkshire can continue this evening.
Having started the New Year promisingly, 2011 has been sliding slowly downhill for Rovers since the 85th minute at Bramall Lane on 3rd January. One win and five defeats from their last six league games is a desperate return for an admittedly injury-ravaged squad. The road ahead looks tough for Donny too, with four of the next five games after tonight on the road, including trips to three of the current Championship top six. I still maintain Rovers will be OK, but the sooner they start picking up points to back up this theory the better.
The good news for Rovers is that Steve Brooker is fit again, having missed Saturday’s game against Portsmouth and duly leaving Billy Sharp very isolated up front. However, as one comes in another drops out with an injury in training for Ryan Mason meaing he joins Rovers eight other absentees in the stands. Neil Sullivan, Mustapha Dumbuya, Shelton Martis, Adam Lockwood, Wayne Thomas, Simon Gillett, Martin Woods, and James Hayter all remained sidelined.
Ipswich Town will be without club captain David Norris; the midfielder having been injured in Saturday’s draw at Barnsley. The BBC suggests that Colin Healy will come in to take Norris’ place with goalscorer at Oakwell Jason Scotland also in contention for a starting berth.
Predicted Doncaster Rovers line-up
(4-3-2-1) Gary Woods; James Chambers, James O’Connor, Matt Kilgallon, George Friend; John Oster, Paul Keegan, Brian Stock; Jamie Coppinger, Steve Brooker; Billy Sharp
subs: Jordan Bradshaw, Joseph Mills, Dennis Souza, Byron Webster, Mark Wilson, Sam Hird, Dean Shiels
Travelling to the Game
This match represents Ipswich’s third visit to the Keepmoat Stadium, so the chances are most Tractor Boys heading north for this game will have been before. If however you are coming to DN4 for the first time you can find all you need to know about the ground in our very own guide. Everything from how to get to the stadium on foot or by car, to where to have a pint or pick your tickets up is detailed under the ‘Keepmoat Stadium’ tab at the top of the page.
Midweek home games remain beyond our match attendance capabilities so I am afraid Viva Rovers’ much heralded in-game twitter feed will be operating only on a second-hand basis tonight. Feel free to join us in exile by following @vivarovers on Twitter. If you’re not a Twitter user you can still keep up with our 140 character or less feedback by refreshing the page at twitter.com/vivarovers.
If its proper live commentary you’re after then look no further than Chris Mortley, the hardest working press office in show-business, who will be providing this via the club’s own Rovers Player service, though you will need to subscribe receive it. If you’re in South Yorkshire or Suffolk expect updates on the match via BBC local radio. Alternatively online there are regular updates via BBC website’s Live Text service, though sadly for throw-in fans they no longer notify you each and every time the ball goes out of play. As it’s a Champions League night as well you may strike lucky and also find updates via the red button on BBC, most likely Garth Crooks-free too as its mid-week.