By Gerry Prewett.
There has been a total of 44 games between the two teams with Bristol Rovers winning 17 and Doncaster 21. There has only ever once been a 0-0 draw in these matches and that was at Eastville on 9 January 1960 in an FA Cup tie, the Gas won the replay 3 days later in Yorkshire.
In Bristol and Bath (and Cardiff but more of that later) there has been 22 clashes, with 10 Gas wins, 4 draws and 8 Donny victories. Quite remarkably the Yorkshire team has won on their last 6 visits to the Mem so a real bogey team for the Gas.
The first match took place on 24 August 1953 in Division Two and Doncaster ran out 1-0 winners at Eastville Eddie McMorran scoring for the away team.
The highest score between the teams was on 22 December 1956 when the home team won 6-1 at Eastville. Barrie Meyer (2), Dai Ward (3) and Geoff Bradford scoring for the home team and Geoff Walker for the visitors.
The 2007 JP Trophy Final, played in Cardiff, won 3-2 by Donny, has been described as probably the most exciting of the Finals ever played. Jonathan Forte opened the scoring for Donny on 43 seconds and by the 5thminute Paul Heffernan had doubled the lead. A Richard Walker penalty four minutes after half-time put the Gas back in the game and the stadium erupted on 62 minutes when Sammy Igoe equalized. As the game went into added time Graeme Lee scored a 110thwinning goal for the South Yorkshire team
There can be little doubt that the pain of that defeat spurred the Gas to their heroic finish to that season culminating in the last-minute Sammy Igoe goal that secured the 3-1 victory over Shrewsbury at Wembley and promotion.
In the 2018/19 season Doncaster dominated both games in the fixture winning 4-0 at the Mem and 4-1 at the Keepmoat.
In the game in Bristol, the visitors went ahead on ten minutes when John Marquis received the ball in space 30 yards out on the left and picked his spot with a sweetly-struck right-footed shot into the opposite top corner that gave Jack Bonham no chance. Two minutes before the break, centre-forward Marquis turned creator as his header came back off the crossbar and Wilks pounced to force home the rebound from six yards.
The result was sealed on 54 minutes when centre-back Tom Anderson was given the freedom of the hosts' penalty area to rise unmarked and net with a downward header. Five minutes later Wilks outpaced the home defence on the right to complete a slick Doncaster break by shooting low past Bonham. The Gas hit the post twice through shots from Ollie Clarke in the first half and Kyle Bennett in the second.
Amazingly Rovers last home victory over Donny was a 4-0 result also but it took place on 24 October 1987 at Twerton Park. The goals were scored by Phil Purnell (2), Devon White and Vaughan Jones.
In Last season’s clash at the Mem defences dominated, with Tom Anderson and Joe Wright in strong form for the visitors. Neither goalkeeper had a save of note to make in a first half devoid of goalmouth action. Jon Taylor was prominent on the right flank for Doncaster and had a 39th-minute shot deflected for a corner.
Doncaster dominated possession, while lacking a cutting edge It took the Gas 72 minutes to register a shot on target. The home side's best chance fell to Jonson Clarke-Harris after 85 minutes, but he could only head wide from a Luke Leahy cross.
Ben Whiteman ran onto a defence-splitting ball after 86 minutes and advanced to drill a low left-footed shot past Jordi Van Stappershoef from just inside the box. Then during five minutes of stoppage time, Rakish Bingham made the points safe with a fine right-footed curler from 20 yards