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05 April 2021 Venue Memorial Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Doncaster Rovers

5 April 2021

Rovers return to action on Bank Holiday Monday looking to bounce back from defeat on Friday at Ipswich.

Conceding two goals in the opening 11 minutes at Portman Road left Rovers a mountain to climb – but an industrious goal from Luke McCormick midway through the first half let Rovers get a foothold back into the contest.

The Gas matched Ipswich for the remainder of the contest, with the home side lucky to remain with 11 players on the field, with goalkeeper Tomas Holy riding his luck after clattering into Jonah Ayunga and also substitute Aaron Drinan sailing dangerously close to picking up two yellow cards after his introduction at half-time.

Rovers couldn’t find an equaliser and fell to a fifth defeat on the bounce, with the league table now showing Rovers three points from safety.

With 21 points still on offer, Rovers know that a positive string of results will carry them to safety, with Doncaster Rovers next on the agenda as they visit BS7.

Below is all you need to know ahead of kick-off…


Media Talk

Andy Butler was installed as Manager until the end of the season at the Keepmoat following Darren Moore’s switch to Sheffield Wednesday last month.

A former Doncaster player, Butler was placed in charge on the 1st March and witnessed some encouraging early form, as his side looked to cement a playoff push.

In recent weeks, Doncaster’s form has dipped and they are now without a win in six.

Ahead of Monday’s game at the Mem, Butler told doncasterrovers.co.uk, "They (Rovers) will be scrapping for their lives and I am expecting a tough game.

“A new manager has gone in there and hopefully we can go there, dictate play and put on a good performance to stop this run of form.

“Hopefully goals will come to us. Apart from the results, I think I am doing the right things and sometimes you get the rub of the green, sometimes you don’t. Most of the games we’ve lost, we’ve lost by fine margins.”

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Form Guide

Doncaster are wedged in the congested pack of teams chasing down a play-off spot, with a three-point gap between themselves and Blackpool in 6th spot.

At the start of March, back-to-back wins over Plymouth and Portsmouth saw Andy Butler’s side maintain momentum with those sides in and around the top-six, but no win since the 6th March has seen them lose ground.

In recent weeks, they have lost out by a single-goal margin against both MK Dons and Charlton.
Fejiri Okenabirhie leads the way in the goalscoring charts for Monday’s visitors, with nine league goals this term (12 in all comps) – with his last goal coming in Doncaster’s win over Portsmouth.

Josh Sims has six assists to his name, while club stalwart James Coppinger still going strong at the age of 40, with three goals and three assists this campaign in the league.

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Stat Pack

Doncaster have won 6 times this season away from the Keepmoat, picking a tally of 20 points from 17 away games this season.

On their travels, they have scored 21 times – but in their last six away games, they have only registered one point, thanks to a 2-2 draw at Gillingham.

Fejiri Okenabirhie has scored four times in away games this season.

Rovers are without a clean sheet against Doncaster in seven games, with Doncaster scoring first in the last 7 meetings of the two sides.

Referee Watch

Antony Coggins is the man in the middle of Monday’s encounter. In his 22 games this term, he’s produced 63 yellow cards and four red cards. He was in charge of our 4-1 defeat at the Mem to Fleetwood in November and last season was the referee for our 2-1 EFL Trophy win over Chelsea U21’s.

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Betting

EFL sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers priced at 17/10 to secure three points on Monday -with a 1-0 scoreline offered at 1-0.

To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE.

All odds are correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.


How to watch

Monday’s game is available to watch on iFollow. Details on how to buy a match pass can be found below…

Feature

iFollow Guide: Doncaster Rovers

Around the Grounds

There are 11 games in the schedule across the league on Monday. The key encounters for Rovers are Rochdale’s fixture at home to Ipswich, Swindon’s trip to Burton, Wigan’s home clash against Portsmouth, Northampton’s visit to Hull City and Fleetwood’s trip to AFC Wimbledon. 7 points separate the bottom six sides. At the top end of the table, Peterborough host Sunderland, in what will be a sizeable encounter to determine who finished in the automatic promotion places.

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Match Reports

Match Report - Bristol Rovers 2-1 Doncaster

5 April 2021

Rovers come from behind to beat Doncaster at the Mem.

James Coppinger opened the scoring for the visitors inside the opening 15 minutes – finding the target with a measured finish from the edge of the area.

Luke McCormick got the Gas back on level terms, as the Chelsea loanee got himself on the scoresheet for the second goal on the bounce with a curling effort from just inside the Doncaster area.

Rovers had chances to go into the break ahead, with Hanlan forcing a stop from Balcombe deep into first-half stoppage time.

The Gas grabbed the all-important third goal of the encounter on the hour mark to go ahead, as McCormick scored his second goal of the game with a powerful first-time finish to put Joey Barton’s side on course for a vital three-point haul.

Rovers held onto the lead and had chances for a third goal, as Westbrooke and Baldwin went close.

The Gas held on to their advantage to secure the points that delivered a welcome boost to their bid to beat the drop.

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Rovers made two changes to the starting XI for the visit of Doncaster, with both Cian Harries and Zain Westbrooke reintroduced to the line-up

Cian Harries featured for Rovers for the first time since facing Hull City away, as the defender replaces David Tutonda in the starting XI – with Zain Westbrooke deployed to offer support Brandon Hanlan in attack.

Doncaster, who had a tally of 20 points on their travels this term heading in the Bank Holiday contest, made a total of five changes to their line-up. Ellery Balcombe was drafted in to start in goal for the visitors, while Braden Horton was introduced to replace Halliday at right-back.

In the bright and blustery conditions at BS7, it was a spritely start from the visitors that raised questions for the Rovers defence. Both Ed Upson and Jack Baldwin provided important defensive interferences to lift the danger from low deliveries into the area from Okenabirhie, who was operating wide down the right-hand side.

It was Okenabirhie who started the move for the encounter’s first goal, as the forward advanced down the right and has was allowed space to look up to pick out the unmarked Richards. On the edge of the Rovers area, Richards was able to lay off a pass to James Coppinger, with the veteran midfielder on hand to curl a side-footed finish beyond the outstretched Jaakkola.

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Rovers looked to mark an instant response, with Westbrooke coaxing a stop from Balcombe to keep out his set-piece from 25-yards out. Minutes later, a nice move from Barton’s side saw Zain Walker played the ball inside the Doncaster area, with the youngster’s eventual effort deflected away.

As the half progressed, Rovers grew more and more into the contest, imposing play into the Doncaster half.

The equaliser did come in the ten minutes before the interval, as a smart interchange between Westbrooke and McCormick unlocked an avenue into the area for the latter. The youngster jinxed the ball onto his right foot and the in the process, angled some more room to squeeze a finish into the far corner for his second goal in as many games.

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The goal spurred Rovers into life, as moments later, Brandon Hanlan drilled a low finish into the side netting, after a quick turn and burst of pace from the forward. Further chances followed for the Gas, as a corner from the left swung to the unmarked Baldwin at the far post, but the defender couldn’t adjust quickly enough to meet the pacey delivery.

Baldwin was soon involved in the mainstay of the action again, this time at the other end, with the defender on hand to conduct a superb block to deflect clear Okenabirhie’s close-range attempt.

There was a further chance for Rovers to pull ahead late on in the first half, as Westbrooke’s ball into the area was controlled by Hanlan, who spun and dug out a low effort that was blocked by the outrushing Balcombe.

In the opening stages of the second half, the visitors thought they had taken the lead, as Fejiri Okenabirhie arrived in the area to flick home a driven cross – but the striker’s effort was quickly ruled out for offside, much to the relief of the blue and white shirts, who had tracked back to shadow the forward’s run into the penalty area.

Rovers quickly matched the same level of intensity that they climbed to in the later stages of the first half and found themselves ahead for the first time on the stroke on the hour.

The passage of play that led to the goal saw Walker and Martinez combine down the right, with Martinez showing impeccable vision to slide a pass to meet the unmarked Westbrooke. The midfielder was on hand to lay a low pass across the box that was weighted for the run of McCormick, with the midfielder firing a first-time effort into the roof of the net for his second goal of the contest.

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With Rovers firmly in the ascendency, they still had to be alert at the back. Jason Lokilo’s low effort on goal seemed to have beaten Jaakkola, but covering on the line was Jack Baldwin, as the defender made a last-ditch goalline clearance to keep the effort out.

Rovers kept pressing the Doncaster backline, looking to find a third goal to spring a two-goal cushion. Zain Westbrooke’s low and vicious cross into the area swung close to the visitors’ goal, with Balcombe required to tip the effort wide. The chance was quickly proceeded by a towering header from Jack Baldwin, who fired a header goal-bound, only for Bogle to lift the attempt over the crossbar with a goal-line clearance.

Rovers managed to the final stages of the encounter in resolute fashion and limited Doncaster’s chances on goal to secure the points.

The Gas head to Northampton Town next Saturday in Sky Bet League One.

 

Rovers: Anssi Jaakkola, Luke Leahy ©, Ed Upson, Zain Westbrooke, Brandon Hanlan, Luke McCormick, Cian Harries, Jack Baldwin, Zain Walker (56' Jonah Ayunga), Pablo Martinez, George Williams.

Subs: Joe Day, Josh Hare, David Tutonda, James Daly, Erhun Oztumer, Mark Little.

Doncaster: Ellery Balcombe, Reece James, Tom Anderson (c), Omar Bogle, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Jason Lokilo, Matt Smith (81' Madger Gomez), Taylor Richards (67' John Bostock), Cameron John, James Coppinger (67' Elliot Simoes), Branden Horton (81' Anthony Greaves).

Subs: Louis Jones,  Scott Robertson, Danny Amos,

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