February 23, 2017
O'Kelly gets extended stay at Bees
Ex-Rovers assistant manager Richard O'Kelly, now assistant to Dean Smith at Brentford, has been handed a one year extension to his contract at Griffin Park.
That means that the pair will stay at Brentford until the summer of 2019. O'Kelly has worked with Dean Smith for the last five years, since which the pair have impressed the club's owners with the way they have improved things behind the scenes.
Chairman Phil Giles told the club's official web site: "It is great news for the Club that both Dean and Richard are fully committed for the long term. It's no secret that 2015 was an up and down year for Brentford, but their arrival helped us to bring some stability and allowed us to concentrate on building some solid foundations for the future. In particular, we have reviewed our development model for younger players and continued to build a First Team squad of talented young players on long term contracts. Some of our performances this season have been excellent. With continued stability and development of the squad I'm confident that Dean and Richard can add consistency to the level of football we know we can achieve."
February 23, 2017
Rovers aim to improve Cantley facilities
Doncaster Rovers are hoping to improve the facilities at their Cantley Park training ground as part of a five year master-plan drawn up by the club's board.
The news was revealed at a recent "Meet the owners" event at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Speaking at the event, CEO Gavin Baldwin said: "We’re informally talking to the council about expanding our training facilities. The Soccer Centre on the Keepmoat site is virtually full at night. We’re looking to move the Development section of the club down to Cantley, making the borough’s biggest youth club but also be developing players for the future. If they’re not going to be players, they will be fans of the club in the future, or business people that want to sponsor Doncaster Rovers."
"But at the moment, the Soccer Centre is virtually full which is not a great position to be in. The council is being great."
"It’s only conversations at the minute but the question is can we do more at Cantley? That is one of the big discussions. A lot of the plan is to do with raised revenues through improving our facilities. That includes adding Pitch Four at the Keepmoat and we’ve talked about a partnership with the XP School on the site to look at their leisure facilities."
February 23, 2017
Goater gets chance at Ilkeston
Former Rovers coach Shaun Goater has been given his first join in football management in Britain, by being appointed as the new boss of struggling Ilkeston, who play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.
The former Manchester City striker and Bermuda international inherits a team second bottom of the 24 team Premier Division with only 17 games remaining, and they are 12 points adrift from safety.
The 46 year old was a part time coach at Doncaster Rovers for a while, brought in by then manager Paul Dickov to coach the club's strikers. The pair had played together at Manchester City, where they had what was described as a "deadly strike partnership".
Before being appointed, Goater had been doing some radio commentary for the BBC, and returned to England three and a half years ago after being head coach back in Bermuda, where he led North Village to seven trophies in his four year tenure, including the Premier Division title.
Ilkeston issued a statement which reads: "Shaun is excited about the difficult challenge over the next 10 weeks or so, stating he is a great believer in helping young talent to develop. He is confident he can step in and help the Robins youngsters get a little more organised and push on from the excellent performance the other night against Coalville Town. Like he says, it's a tough ask to get to safety, but there are still a lot of points still to play for and games against teams around the bottom of the NPL Premier Division."
"He has watched Ilkeston's progress over the last few seasons, in fact he was at Curzon Ashton as a guest of the club in the play-off Final two seasons ago. His interest has been drawn now that we have several Bermudian players at the club. What Shaun he wants now is to get into football management, being a student of the game he loves nothing more than dropping in to watch the top coaches in action. He sees Ilkeston as an opportunity to experiment with his experience and new ideas. He is looking forward to getting really involved in football as a manager."
February 23, 2017
Carl passes landmark at Wolves
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has recently made his 200th appearance for Wolverhampton Wanderers, which follows the recent extension to his Wolves contract, with Carl having his eyes on playing another 200 games for the club.
He has been the club's regular 'number one' since the 2012/13 season, but prior to that he had been out on a number of loans after struggling to make it into the first team at Molineux, with temporary moves to Accrington Stanley, Stockport County, Charlton Athletic, Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers, Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Doncaster Rovers.
He is a regular selection for Nigeria in recent years.
Speaking to the club's official website, Ikeme said, “It’s a great achievement and hopefully I can make 200 more appearances. I played a handful of games when I was in my early twenties and then went on loan while the club was in the Premier League. I probably didn’t come back here until I was 25 or 26 to start playing regularly. There’s been a lot of highs and a few lows as well but that’s just part of football. It’s an honour to be at this club and I’ve loved every minute of it."
February 22, 2017
Injured Jordan returns to Chelsea
Rovers' on-loan midfielder Jordan Houghton has returned to parent club Chelsea for a full diagnosis of the knee injury he sustained during Saturday's home game against Luton Town. Jordan suffered knee ligament damage during the game, which will mean he misses at least the rest of the season.
He has been an ever-present in the Rovers' league campaign this season, and will be greatly missed by the squad.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Darren Ferguson said: Jordan has gone back to Chelsea and he's definitely out for the season. Chelsea will have to diagnose the injury but it's terrible news. It's terrible news for the lad really. My first thoughts were always with him. He was quite shaken up by it to be honest. We spoke to him in front of the whole squad and wished him all the best as a group. It was important to do. But certainly, it wasn't a nice moment because the lad has done so well for us to suffer the injury like he has. We'll have to get on with it but our thoughts are with Jordan because it's a big blow for him."
He continued: "We're all so disappointed for him because it came from nothing really as these sort of things do. We wish him all the best and hope he recovers as quickly as possible. We'll keep in touch with Chelsea and Jordan and find out exactly the outcome of the injury."
Heaping praise on the youngster, Fergie added: "There’s no question in my mind that Jordan is going to have a good career in the game. We’d have been delighted to get him back if we manage to go up. The next stage of his development would be to go to a League One club. But certainly, depending on what the outcome of the injury is, he probably won’t be playing for a long while now."
February 22, 2017
Goals review
In last night's action, we noted that former Doncaster Rovers loan striker Marc Antoine Fortune scored twice for Southend United in their away League One game at Peterborough United. Ex-Rovers loanee Michael Timlin was also on target in the game, which Southend won 4-1.
In the Evo-Stik League, Premier Division, Joe Pugh scored Frickley Athletic's first goal in their 2-1 away win at Barwell. Frickley remain fifth bottom of the table, but have now drawn level with Marine, although they have played a game more.
February 22, 2017
Voting results v Luton Town
Thank you to everyone who took the time to place a vote for the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's home game against Luton Town.
We received votes for five different players this time, with defender Craig Alcock catching the eye of most, gaining just under half of all votes cast.
The most votes went to the following:
1 Craig Alcock (48.39%)(
2 Alfie May(24.13%)
3 Matty Blair (20.69%)
The next poll will open after Saturday's home game against Accrington Stanley.
February 22, 2017
Baudry surprised by players' ambition
Defender Mathieu Baudry, who joined the club from Leyton Orient in the summer, has been surprised by the level of ambition and determination in the Rovers squad as they keep heir eyes on the League Two title.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, Baudry said: "It’s the first time I’ve really seen it in a team. When we win there’s so much experience in the changing room it’s just like ‘that’s it, we go to the next one’. I wish we enjoyed it [when we win] a bit more but it’s how it is. It’s all about the bigger picture, and it’s like that game after game."
"It’s surprised me a little how everyone just moves onto the next game - but I think that’s what made us so good this season. It’s just like a job we have to do and we are doing it and we are not stopping."
He added: "We’ve got experienced players like Buts, Copps, John [Marquis] and Rowey. In other teams you might have a few leaders that try and bring everyone with them but I feel in this team there’s just so many leaders. They don’t really need to push each other, everyone is just so driven. There’s no need to pull anyone and show them the direction - everyone is already going in it. It’s really enjoyable."
February 22, 2017
Loan update
Rovers defender Tyler Garratt has had his loan at Eastleigh extended until the end of the season. Tyler joined Eastleigh in December and has impressed the club's management enough to persuade them to keep him on.
Reece Fielding joined Frickley Athletic at the start of the month on a month's loan, thus joining fellow Rover Joseph Pugh at the Evo-Stik League club.
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson commented: "Reece has gone out to Frickley for a month and they've got seven or eight games in the month. With Reece, after this month we'll probably look to go a bit higher with him. This is about getting man's football into him. It'll be great for him. We're a lot more hopeful he'll be playing a lot more games and that's why he's going. We'll keep account of him and Joe, we'll have them watched. And the good thing is they still train here part of the week anyway which is good for their development."
"Joe's not played as much as I'd have hoped while he's been there but he's got parts. It's good experience for him going there. I think it's a good move for them both."
February 22, 2017
Fergie - central role improves Copps
Rovers midfielder James Coppinger has been playing in a more central role this season, and his manager reckons that this move has improved him develop further as a player.
Coppinger was handed a 12 month extension to his Rovers contract earlier this month, with his boss pleased at the increased number of 'assists' he has to his name this season.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "James has improved as a player because in that central area he had to bring more goals and more assists. And that’s where we’ve seen a massive improvement from James, in terms of the quality he’s provided in the final third. That’s nothing to do with the level he’s at, it’s just him performing as he has."
He added: "I’ve seen players have the longevity James has shown, simply because they’ve managed their training sessions and bodies. At the top level, (Ryan Giggs) Giggsy kept going. Ryan was very similar in that he started playing a lot more central when he got older, he went to centre midfield as opposed to a winger. It’s the same with James. It helps him defensively and he understands the game."
February 21, 2017
Millers sign Ross as new fitness coach
Rotherham United have announced that they have appointed Ross Burbeary as their new fitness coach, with his contract lasting until the end of the season.
The opportunity arises with Paul Warne presently taking over the managerial duties, not leaving time for him to fully undertake his former duties at the club.
Warne told the Rotherham United official web site: "Ross contacted me about working with us and, on top of his impressive CV, I really liked what he had to say and that he was an ideal fit for this football club. I`d like to think that I know what qualities a fitness coach should have at this football club and Ross ticked all of the boxes. And it's always refreshing to have another opinion on the training ground."
A graduate of both Salford and Sheffield Hallam Universities, Ross has had spells with Nottingham Forest, Doncaster Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday and has also worked with numerous ice hockey teams in the region and he was recently Head of Science and Conditioning with NHL club Buffalo Sabres.
February 21, 2017
Ferguson pleased with attitude of players
The Rovers players will not allow any form of complacency to creep in to their preparation for games in the rest of the season. That's what boss Darren Ferguson thinks and, with only a third of the season to go, he does seem to have kept his squad on their toes and has gone as far as praising the way they have gone about their work.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, he commented: "I don’t think we’ve shown any signs of complacency, I have to say. Possibly the time that may have happened, if it was ever going to creep in, was after the Portsmouth game - with it being live on the television and us winning the game. We went to Barnet after that which was always going to be a tough match. The players have been excellent, full credit to them. As a group I see them every day in the gym, maybe sometimes when they think I’m not looking. I notice what they’re doing and they’ve been very, very good."
February 21, 2017
Travel information to Crawley Town
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Crawley Town on Saturday, 4th March.
The coaches will leave Retford at 8.45am, Bawtry 8.50am, Harworth 9.00am, Rossington 9.00am, Hare & Tortoise 9.05am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 9.15am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 9.30am.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £22 - Concessions £20
Non-members: Adults £24 - Concessions £22
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
February 21, 2017
Rovers open talks with Marko
Darren Ferguson has confirmed that Doncaster Rovers are in talks with goalkeeper Marko Marosi over an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
Marosi began the season with most expecting him to be the back-up keeper to new signing Ross Etheridge, but grabbed his chance with both hands when given a first team place and has since become the first choice keeper. That was, of course, until he suffered ankle ligament damage which led to the signing of Ian Lawlor in January.
Marko was expected to be out of acton for about three months, but Ferguson does not anticipate him returning before the summer, saying: "I think he will be out for the remainder of the season."
Speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield, Ferguson said: "We are in negotiations to sort it out. It is going along fine."
February 21, 2017
Cotterill moves to Ashton Gate
Ex-Rovers midfielder David Cotterill has moved to Bristol City on loan from Birmingham City for the rest of the season. Cotterill has fallen out of favour at St Andrews in recent weeks following a change of management at the Blues.
David began his career at Bristol City as a trainee in 2004, before moving on to Wigan Athletic in a £2 million move in 2006. Further moves followed to Sheffield United, Swansea, Portsmouth and Barnsley before he arrived at Rovers in June 2012, where he stayed for two years before moving on to Birmingham City, where he has made around 100 first team appearances.
February 20, 2017
Rovers 1 Luton Town 1
Doncaster Rovers had to come back from a goal behind against promotion chasing Luton Town to take a point, with Alfie May coming on as a substitute to score his first goal in professional football since joining the club from non-league Hythe Town in January.
Rovers welcomed back defender Andy Butler after he had missed the Carlisle game due to illness, with defender Joe Wright dropping out of the starting eleven.
It was a hard fought draw, which was enough to keep Rovers at the top of the table, with second placed Plymouth also held to a draw.
Both sides had their chances in the first half, but it was the visitors who took the lead nine minutes after the break after Niall Mason lost possession and allowed Cook to be played through, and he had no hesitation in firing the ball into the far corner of the net.
Jordan Houghton was then forced off the field of play with what appeared to be a serious knee injury after falling awkwardly in a challenge. Young striker Alfie May was sent on in Houghton's place, and the substitution paid off for Darren Ferguson in the 80th minute as Grant put the ball through for May to slot home in a one-on-one situation with the Luton keeper.
Gary McSheffrey, still on the way back to full fitness, fired over when well placed in the closing minutes, but perhaps a draw was a fair outcome.
February 20, 2017
What the managers said
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson was pleased about the way his team applied themselves in Saturday's home draw against Luton Town.
Speaking after the game, he said: "We showed a different side to us today - something that we certainly didn’t have last season. We’ve got a toughness about us. Don’t lose games, that is the key to success. Yet again after a game we’ve lost, we’ve made sure we’ve not lost the next one."
"We showed real guts to come from 1-0 down. I thought we were the dominant team in the first half. As a team, we showed real guts and determination to not lose the game and keep our unbeaten run going at home."
Paying tribute to the contribution of Alfie May, who scored after coming on as a second half substitute, he added: "Alfie May came on and took his chance, he made a real difference. We're still unbeaten at home and still 11 points clear of the play-offs. We kept our composure even when we were chasing the game. We're right where we want to be at this stage of the season."
Luton boss Nathan Jones was disappointed to only take a point from the clash after going in front early in the second half, and told the Luton Town official web site: "“I am really proud of my team, I thought we were excellent. We came here with a game plan and I thought we were absolutely excellent. I thought we deserved to win the game, I didn’t envisage them scoring. I thought we looked really dangerous, we had the better chances. I am proud of my team. I said to them before, big players turn up in big games and we needed our big players to turn up – and they did."
However, Jones thought there was a foul in the build-up to the Rovers goal, and that the equalizing strike should not have counted. He added: "I thought we deserved to win the game but the referee has made one mistake all day and it was the goal because it’s a foul on Jordan Cook. It’s a foul. It’s difficult to take from our point of view because we could have defended it better, but it’s a foul. That’s the only thing I’m disappointed about. But, if I’m honest, the referee was absolutely outstanding, I thought he had a great game. He was calm, he was assured in everything he did, so credit to him. But he’s made one error that has cost us, in my opinion. But, in terms of his all-round performance, I thought he was excellent."
February 20, 2017
Voting results v Carlisle United
Thanks to everyone who took part in the belated voting for the "Man of the Match" in the away game at Carlisle United on Tuesday evening. We received nominations for six different players, but the top three stood out from the rest, being:
1 Matty Blair (33.3%)
2 Joe Wright (26.67%)
3 Ian Lawlor (20.0%)
The voting for the Carlisle United game will be open until Wednesday morning.
February 20, 2017
Injury concern for Jordan
Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Ferguson is hoping that the knee injury sustained by on-loan midfielder Jordan Houghton is not as serious as feared, but suspects that the Chelsea youngster's season may be over.
Speaking after Saturday's game, Ferguson said: "It’s not looking good. He felt something go [in his knee]. I feel sorry for the boy because he is a great lad. If it’s bad, I hope it isn’t too bad in terms of it being a really long-term one but the signs are not great so we will have to wait and see."
Houghton has been a key player for Rovers this season, and has been one of the first on the team sheet throughout the campaign. Ferguson added" " He’s been outstanding. In terms of having a player in that position, he’s been the best in the league without question. He’s been very mature in his performances and he picks up things quickly. I just hope, even if the boy misses the rest of the season, that it’s not a long term one. I have to think of the lad. He’ll have a scan as soon as we can get it and we’ll go from there."
February 19, 2017
Rovers 1 Luton Town 1
Brief highlights of yesterday afternoon's home game against Luton Town are now available for viewing on the Sky Sports web site.
To access the video, please click on the Sky Sports logo to the left.
As reported yesterday, due to the late opening of the voting for the "Man of the Match" against Carlisle, the voting for the Luton game will not open until Monday morning.
February 19, 2017
Goals review
We begin the review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals this weekend in League One, where David Wheater scored Bolton Wanderers' first goal as they came back from two goals down to score twice in the second half to snatch a 2-2 draw at Bradford City.
Also in League One, Billy Sharp levelled for leaders Sheffield United in the 49th minute of their home game against second placed Scunthorpe United.
In League Two, Adebayo Akinfenwa gave Wycombe Wanderers the ideal start by scoring in the second minute of their home game against third placed Carlisle United. However, the Cumbrians hit back to score twice in the first half and take all three points thanks to a 2-1 win.
Going back to Tuesday evening's games, in League One, Marc Antoine Fortune and Theo Robinson, both ex-Rovers players, scored the Southend United goals in their 2-0 away win at Oxford United.
Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a 75th minute goal for Wycombe Wanderers in League Two, but Wycombe still went down to a 2-1 loss at Crewe Alexandra.
February 19, 2017
Wabara joins Bolton
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Reece Wabara has joined Bolton Wanderers on a short term contract until the end of the season. The 25 year old defender has been a free agent since being released by Wigan Athletic at the end of last season. Despite much talk of him rejoining Wigan this season, he has joined Lancashire rivals Bolton as they aim to firm up their promotion challenge to regain Championship status at the first time of asking.
After signing, Wabara tweeted: "Delighted to sign for @OfficialBWFC Can't wait to give my all for the club and the fans and aid in the promotion push!"
Wabara has been signed after Lawrie Wilson was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn hamstring tendon.
February 19, 2017
Flitney joins Bromley
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper Ross Flitney has joined non-league club Bromley, who moved quickly to sign him after receiving a transfer request from existing keeper Alan Julian.
Now aged 32, Flitney joined ambitious Whitehawk this season, and has also played for Barnet and Gillingham during his career.
Bromley boss Neil Smith told the Kent News: "It’s great to have Ross on board with all his experience. It was an easy decision to make with Ross having played at this level and above as well as having a great reputation and a hunger to stay and play at the highest level possible."
Flitney added: "I’m pleased with the move, I have worked with Neil before and I know about the club’s ambitions so I knew it was the right decision. Also for me to get back to playing at the highest level possible is exciting and I look forward to the challenge ahead."
February 19, 2017
Stevens in Team of the Week
Former Rovers defender Enda Stevens has been named in the Football League Team of the Week for last weekend's performance against Blackpool, which his current club, Portsmouth, won 2-0.
The full team named by the Football League, which covers the games last weekend, is: Luke Daniels (Scunthorpe United), Enda Stevens (Portsmouth), Peter Clarke (Oldham Athletic), Vincent Sasso (Sheffield Wednesday), Jake Buxton (Wigan Athletic), Jason Demetriou (Southend United), Kadeem Harris (Cardiff City), Jimmy Smith (Crawley Town), Gavin Massey (Leyton Orient), Tom Bradshaw (Barnsley), Billy Kee (Accrington Stanley)
Manager - David Artell (Crewe Alexandra)
February 18, 2017
Carlisle United 2 Rovers 1
We apologise for the lack of updates during the last few days, and the consequent delay in the opening of the "Man of the Match" voting for the away game at Carlisle United on Tuesday evening.
As a consequence, we have decided that the vote for the Carlisle game will be open this weekend, with the voting for the home game against Luton Town this afternoon not starting until Monday morning.
We therefore ask that anyone wishing to place their vote makes sure that they choose the right match!
We will try to catch up on news items that remain unreported over the next few days, but it will always be as time allows.
February 18, 2017
Rovers v Luton Town
Doncaster Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium for another tough game against promotion chasing Luton Town, with Darren Ferguson hoping to put the run of three matches without a win behind them.
As he told the Yorkshire Post ahead of the clash: "It happens. The run we had been on since our last defeat was outstanding. We have bounced back from defeats very, very well. It will be a tough game against a very good team, who beat us down there. When you come back after a defeat, it maybe adds to the atmosphere. Let’s get it right, though, it is one defeat in 11. There is no doom and gloom. If we win, we go 14 points ahead of Luton (who sit just below the automatic promotion places), that is a huge gap. Up to now, we should be pleased and delighted with where we are at."
"If we continue like that, we have a hell of a chance. Plus, if we can have another run like we had after our last defeat (to Plymouth), games will then be running out."
Rovers will give checks to defenders Mathieu Baudry and Andy Butler, who missed Tuesday's game at Carlisle United. Baudry has returned to training after an unspecified injury, while Andy Butler has recovered from illness that forced his late withdrawal on Tuesday.
Liam Mandeville is still out with an ankle injury, and all of the other longer term injured players (Luke McCullough, Marko Marosi, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair) continue their recoveries.
Striker Gary McSheffrey was an unused substitute at Carlisle, and could again feature on the bench as he continues to regain full fitness after being out of action all season.
Luton Town have no new injury concerns, and have only four players unavailable. Cameron McGeehan has a broken leg, Dan Potts a knee injury, Danny Green a leg injury, and Akin Famewo has a tendinitis problem. Jordan Cook will be assessed ahead of the game after missing their last game with a neck injury.
February 18, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials for this afternoon's home game against Luton Town are confirmed as:
Referee: Darren Deadman
Assistant referees: Danny Gratton and Bob Roberts
Fourth official: Mark Jones
February 18, 2017
Voting results v Newport County
Thank you for the votes received for last weekend's away game at Newport County. We received votes for five different players, with the most votes going as follows:
1 Joe Wright (36.36%)
2 Matty Blair (27.27%)
3 Ian Lawlor (18.18%)
February 18, 2017
Voting results v Morecambe
Somewhat belatedly, we have pleasure in reporting the results of the "Man of the Match" voting for the home draw against Morecambe on 4th February. With a very pleasing number of votes received, we got nominations for seven different players, with the following receiving the most votes:
1 John Marquis (44.12%)
2 Matty Blair (23.53%)
3= Jordan Houghton and James Coppinger (11.76% each)
As indicated above, the voting for Tuesday's away game at Carlisle United will be open until early Monday morning, with voting for today's home game against Luton Town opening on Monday morning.
February 14, 2017
Carlisle United v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have doubts over whether defender Mathieu Baudry will be fit enough to resume his place in the side for this evening's key game at Carlisle United. He missed Friday's game at Newport after picking up a knock in training last week. Striker John Marquis needed stitches in a deep cut after the Newport game, and will be assessed before Darren Ferguson names his side.
Skipper James Coppinger is expected to be restored to the starting eleven this evening after being rested on Friday to help recover from an on-going heel injury.
Striker Liam Mandeville is also missing today after twisting his ankle recently, and longer term absentees Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Luke McCullough and Marko Marosi also continue their recovery from injury.
Carlisle will welcome back striker Jamie Proctor after serving a suspension last Saturday in their 4-1 home defeat against Blackpool. George Waring made his first start for the club on Saturday, and is predicted to retain his place.
Jason Kennedy and Danny Grainger are absent due to injury.
February 14, 2017
Tonight's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this evening's away game at Carlisle United are:
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant referees: James Mainwaring and David Avent
Fourth official: James Bell
February 14, 2017
McIndoe quizzed again by police
Former Rovers winger Michael McIndoe has been interviewed under caution again by police, who continue to investigate an "investment scheme" run by him, which has resulted in dozens of footballers losing upwards of £20 between them.
McIndoe has attended several bankruptcy hearings since the enquiry began, and is denying any allegation of wrongdoing.
He was declared bankrupt in 2014, and the Metropolitan Police's "Falcon" fraud team have investigated, with the matter now handled by their Complex Case Unit.
A police spokesman said: "A 37-year-old man was interviewed under caution in connection with the investigation on Tuesday, 10 January."
February 14, 2017
Conor puts thoughts of future on hold
On loan midfielder Conor Grant is not looking past the end of the season, with any thoughts of where he will be playing put to the back of his mind.
Grant returned to the Keepmoat Stadium in January, and is enjoying his time at Rovers - he had been on loan at Ipswich, but found his opportunities very limited, with Darren Ferguson moving quickly when hearing that Everton had recalled Conor.
Grant told the Doncaster Free Press: "At the minute it’s(the future) not on my mind. I’m literally taking it game by game. It’s a case of me wanting to help the team and stay in the team because there’s a lot of competition. I’m loving being back here. It’s a different feel compared to last year - we’re winning games and it’s important we keep that going. There’s a lot of confidence and we’ve got some good leaders in the team. Everyone’s pulling together and working for each other."
Rovers agreed a transfer deal with Everton in January for a full move, but Conor has elected to start off with a loan move. He signed a two year extension to his contract at Everton last summer.
February 13, 2017
Thailand tour - but only if it's worth it
Doncaster Rovers could be set for a pre-season tour of Thailand in the summer as part of the on-going relationship with kit suppliers FBT, who are based in the country - but they will only go if it will be beneficial to the players as part of the preparation for next season.
Chief Executive has revealed that Rovers are examining the possibility of making the trip as part of their pre-season preparations, but commercial factors will come a distant second to the need to be ready for the new campaign.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Baldwin said: "We’ve got a package available for fans, a package available for the team. What we’ve got to convince ourselves is that it’s not a quick win financially that scuppers the season next year."
"Say the players were to get back from the trip jet-lagged, they’re tired, it takes them a couple of weeks to get over it and they start the season poorly – no tour is worth that no matter how much it brings in. That’s the conversations myself, Darren Ferguson and the board are having at the moment."
"The commercial side of it is insignificant if it hurts our preparations for next season. We will be hoping to make that decision clear to supporters as soon as possible."
February 13, 2017
Grimsby kick-off changed
It has been announced that the away game with Grimsby Town will have an early kick-off following a request from Humberside Police.
The fixture, which is slated for Saturday, 1st April, will now kick-off at 1pm instead of the usual 3pm.
The reverse fixture, at the Keepmoat Stadium back in December also had an early start, in that instance the game began at 12.30pm.
February 13, 2017
Bayo caught up in another race storm
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has been on the receiving end of racial abuse for the second time this season, this time the incident occurred in Wycombe Wanderers' Checkatrade Trophy game at Coventry City.
It has been reported that a Coventry City supporter targeted Akinfenwa on Twitter after the game, both swearing at him and using a racial slur.
Wycombe reported the incident immediately, and Coventry City are also investigating the incident, which is to be looked at by their local police force.
Akinfenwa as racially abused by a Cambridge United supporter earlier in the season as he left the pitch at the end of their game at the Abbey Stadium.
February 13, 2017
Marquis wins award
Rovers striker John Marquis has been named as the PFA Fans' Player of the Month award for January in Sky Bet League Two.
Marquis has been in superb form during the month, scoring six goals in the five games Rovers played during January, although the competition for the award was tough, with Exeter's David Wheeler netting in five successive games in the month.
The shortlist was selected by an "expert panel", which includes Sky Sports pundits Paul Merson and Peter Beagrie, Mike Riley - general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials - and Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters' Federation. The winner was selected from the short-list by a vote among fans.
February 12, 2017
Goals review
In our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals at the weekend, we begin in the Championship, where Ross McCormack scored on his debut for Nottingham Forest in their game at Norwich City. His goal was the only good thing to come out of the game, with Forest being hammered by a 5-1 score line.
League One leaders Sheffield United won again, with Billy Sharp scoring the only goal of the game in the 87th minute of their game at Peterborough United, who are now three points adrift of the play-off places.
In the National League, formerly known as the Conference, Jon Parkin scored in the fourth minute of York City's home game against Maidstone United. An equaliser by the visitors three minutes into the second half led to the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
Finally, former Rovers striker Dene Shields scored again for Xewkija Tigers in their 2-0 win over Kercem Ajax on Friday, so with title rivals Nadur Youngsters unexpectedly losing 4-2, they now have a three point lead at the top of the table. It wasn't all smiles for Shields though - he was sent off in the 78th minute for a second bookable offence.
February 12, 2017
Support for Ryan from Arsenal keeper
Former Rovers loan midfielder Ryan Mason is continuing to recover well from a fractured skull sustained while trying to win a header playing for Hull City against Chelsea defender Gary Cahill on 22nd January.
He is now continuing his recovery at home, and although there is a long road to recovery ahead, he is already hoping to get back on the field when he can.
He has received a message of support from former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, now playing for Arsenal, who suffered a depressed fracture of his skull over ten years ago and still wears a protective head guard. He has offered to help Ryan in his recovery, and in an interview with the Daily Mail, said: "When you're in this situation, you need people around you to help. Then you have someone who has the experience and can tell you, 'Don't worry about this, it's completely normal, and don't worry about that because I went through it too'."
"It can obviously help because you have a lot of doubts, a lot of questions and nobody seems to have the answer. You can have someone who went through that and they can tell you not to worry about it, it will just take time and that you can carry on doing what you're doing. You need your closest around you to help you when you don't feel right. It's a situation which not only involves the person who got injured, but also the people who are supporting him, the people around him like his family. Even for them it's a challenging situation."
He added: "I offered him my support because I have experience in what he's going through, and I'm happy to share my experience if it helps him. The possibility to be able to offer him my experience, it was the first thing I had in my mind to do. I'm obviously glad that he's back home and that he's started his recovery process. Hopefully he will get well very soon."
February 12, 2017
Ferguson - no one getting over confident
Doncaster Rovers may have been top of the League Two table for a few matches now, but boss Darren Ferguson is making sure that everyone keeps their feet on the ground and does not get carried away by over confidence.
However, he has praised the approach of his players, tempered by a warning that promotion is a long way from being achieved.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Fergie said: "We’re miles away from achieving anything at the moment. We’re on course, but we’re not getting carried away."
He continued: "There is an authority about us in games. That comes from winning matches - and the fact they’re good players. I enjoy working with them."
"Many times now this season we’ve managed to keep believing in what we’re doing and eventually our quality does tell. That’s been the pleasing thing for me. The players have managed things well in terms of not panicking. The belief in the camp is very strong regardless of how the games go."
February 12, 2017
McCarthy agrees new Chester deal
Ex-Rovers striker Jon McCarthy has agreed a new contract to continue as manager of National League club Chester FC. He has been at the club for two and a half years,spending two years as assistant manager to Steve Burr, but moved up to take charge after Burr was sacked in May 2016. He has now agreed a two and a half year contract with Chester, who are presently in mid-table, eight points adrift of the play-off places.
McCarthy told the club's web site: "It was a really easy decision for me. It's a privilege - I recognise the opportunity that I have here at Chester."
Chester's CEO, Mark Maguire, commented: "We are thrilled to have secured the services of Jon for an additional two years. He is an outstanding manager and an outstanding individual who has transformed things both on and off the pitch. I wish to make clear that the reward of this new contract is not only about the results on the pitch - which have exceeded expectations - but also because of the impact he has had in creating a culture off the pitch which has brought the whole club together. He has created a clear footballing vision and integrated that throughout the First Team and Youth Team set up with intelligence and understanding of the club."
"It is a privilege to work with him and his young squad and, as chief executive, I'm looking forward to matching his progress commercially in order that together we can create a platform which will position the club in a place where we can have a real go at getting back into the Football League. There's plenty of hard work ahead but this new contract is a fantastic first step."
February 11, 2017
Newport County 0 Rovers 0
As predicted ahead of the game, the state of the pitch at Newport County was a great leveller and the quality of the game was the loser, with the game turning into a battle rather than a flowing game. A large amount of sand, coupled with an unpredictable bounce of the ball, made it difficult for players to play controlled football.
Rovers made two changes, with James Coppinger rested so that he can recover from a heel problem, and Mathieu Baudry, who has missed training this week. They were replaced by Craig Alcock and Joe Wright, and it was Matty Blair who was the centre of most Rovers attacks, although the offside flag was raised on numerous occasions, making it difficult for the game to flow.
Both sides looked dangerous on occasions, with Lawlor having to save from David Pipe in the first half. But clear cut chances were scarce, so a goalless draw was not a big surprise.
February 11, 2017
What the managers said
Some may consider it two points dropped, but boss Darren Ferguson was delighted with the performance of his players and to come away with their 2017 undefeated record intact.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Ferguson said: "I couldn’t have asked for more from my players. I don’t think anyone could doubt the effort and application they put in. We showed, and it was no surprise to me, a real toughness. It’s another point and it’s important at this part of the season to keep picking up points."
"Obviously we wanted to win the game. It’s only the second time this season we’ve not scored. But I’m delighted with my players. Any team that comes to Newport will be in for a tough game."
Surprisingly, Darren thought that the pitch at Rodney Park was not as bad as they feared it may be. He added: "It wasn’t actually as bad as some of the video work we’d done suggested but it’s clearly an horrendous pitch. We were dominant in the second half but it was very difficult to create chances on a pitch like that. We just hoped that we could capitalise on one of their mistakes. I thought we just went toe to toe with them, we won second balls, headers, which was pleasing."
Newport boss Graham Westley was also pleased with the way his players held the league leaders to a draw. He told the South Wales Argus: "I said to the lads yesterday that we were four unbeaten going into the game and if we came out of it five unbeaten I think it would be a job well done. That’s not to say we didn’t want to win the game but we knew they were a good side. You know the quality of player that the opposition has got – they’ve got lads who’ve got many a game at a higher level and that says everything about the team that they are. Their position in the league tells you everything they are so we knew it was going to be a tough game."
"It was a bloody and a bloodied game and both sides competed furiously. It was a game of few chances, the defending was first class from both sides. We’ve probably had the best moment early on. Aaron [Williams] perhaps could have done a little bit more to force the ball home. And had we done that it would have been a winner that you could probably say was a bit unjust over the course of 90 minutes but I think the draw was a fair result from two sides that really went hammer and tongs at it."
February 11, 2017
Match highlights
OK, it wasn't a classic, as the various match reports you may have read will suggest, but Sky Sports have posted up their usual match highlights of Friday evening's game. All 32 seconds of them!
To view their highlights, please click on their logo to the left.
February 11, 2017
Ferguson wins monthly accolade
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson has been named as the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month for January, with Rovers winning all five of their league games during the month, thus establishing a healthy lead at the top of the League Two table.
On hearing the news, Fergie told DROS: "The team has played some very good football and scored three goals in four games during January, so it has been a brilliant month. Although it is an individual award, I feel it is recognition for my staff. It is a real team effort, including fans and everyone employed at the club. You can not do more than win five out of five matches.”
Ex-Rovers striker Don Goodman, one of the voting panel, commented: "The way that Doncaster have stormed to the top of League Two has been made all the more impressive by the style with which Darren has his team playing."
George Burley, chairman of the judging panel, added: "It was a fantastic month for Doncaster Rovers having achieved a 100 per cent record winning all five games in January. Darren loves his team to play attacking football and they showed this by scoring 13 goals in the month."
February 10, 2017
Newport County v Rovers
Top of the table Rovers travel to Newport County this evening for a key game against the League Two strugglers.
However, boss Darren Ferguson has warned that the pitch could be a great leveller, and that they will have to put in the effort if they are to come away with any points.
Rovers will have to do without the services of young striker Liam Mandeville, who has twisted his ankle and will be out of action for around three weeks.
Skipper James Coppinger has been suffering from a painful heel problem in recent matches, so could be rested, with one eye on the upcoming matches against Carlisle United and Luton Town.
Rovers are still without Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Luke McCullough and Marko Marosi due to injury.
Newport County will be without Jennison Myrie-Williams, Josh Labadie, Jamie Turley and Lenall John-Lewis, while Ben Tozer, Jack Compton and Mark Randall will not be considered after returning after loan spells away from the club.
On-loan striker Jaanai Gordon could be set for a start after scoring from the bench in last weekend's game at Cheltenham, although boss Graham Westley has indicated that the front men of Ryan Bird, Aaron Williams and Craig Reid are ahead of him in the selection process. Josh Sheehan could return after recovering from an ankle injury, but defender Mickey Demetriou is likely to feature on the bench.
February 10, 2017
Ferguson warns of poor pitch
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has warned his players that they will have to adapt to the pitch at Newport, whose Rodney Park pitch is shared by two rugby teams - and it certainly looks like it!
Ahead of the game, Rovers have searched out the poorest pitches they can find to train on, but Rovers' usual passing game could be at risk due to the pitch.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Ferguson said: "Training this week has been about finding the worst pitch we could really. But no matter which one we go on, I don’t think anything will be as bad the pitch we’re playing on on Friday night. It’s more about getting the players in the right frame of mind. We have to tinker with how we want to do things in certain areas of the pitch, there’s no getting away from that. So it’s just getting into the players’ minds to make them understand when the ball is in certain areas we have to do certain things that we might not normally do."
"We certainly can’t be taking any risks in our own defensive half. It’s common sense really. But then in other areas of the pitch, particularly when we’re attacking, we want to play our normal game. We don’t want to change anything in that sense."
February 10, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this evening's away game at Newport County are:
Referee: David Webb
Assistant referees: Andrew Hendley and Paul Hobday
Fourth official: Steven Plane
February 10, 2017
Injury update
Young striker Liam Mandeville could be out of action for two or three weeks after suffering a twisted ankle just a short time after coming on to the pitch as a substitute against Morecambe, which was his comeback game after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Darren Ferguson explained to the Doncaster Star: "It’s not good news for Liam. He twisted his ankle. He just went over on it on a bit of grass as soon as he came on. He’s in a boot, it’s quite swollen and it’ll be two or three weeks before he’s back. Liam’s had a bad time of it recently with him getting injured at Mansfield. That’s football, going from such a high to a low. He was very disappointed when he came in on Monday morning but you just have to get on with it."
Skipper James Coppinger is also a concern to Ferguson, suffering from a heel injury in recent games. While that has not stopped him playing, a busy fixture schedule coming up could mean that the Rovers manager elects to rest him occasionally to help him recover, and that could apply tonight.
Ferguson added: "It’s nothing serious as you can see with the way he’s playing. It’s just a little knock on his heel and there’s a bit of swelling there but I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Looking at what we’ve got coming up with two long, tough away journeys and another tough one at home against Luton, it might be a chance for me to utilise the squad. But I also have to be very mindful that they’re playing very well at the moment."
Injured duo Gary McSheffrey and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair have returned to training this week after missing all of this season. However, it is likely to be the end of the month before the are ready to be considered for selection.
Young striker Will Longbottom will miss the next two or three weeks with an undisclosed injury.
February 10, 2017
Ferguson praises Conor
Darren Ferguson was delighted to have persuaded Everton midfielder Conor Grant to return to Doncaster Rovers in January, and the form he has been showing is exactly why the manager was so keen for him to return.
That was capped with his first goal for the club against Crewe Alexandra last month. And while Ferguson was delighted, he predicts there is much more to come once Conor gets more games under his belt.
He commented: "With Conor we always felt he’d need a couple of games but he was excellent on Saturday. He’s a very good player. Getting that goal gave him confidence, not that he needed it. He had a goal and an assist. That was in my thinking – we needed more goals and assists from that area."
"Conor will bring goals and assists with his quality. No disrespect to others like Riccardo Calder, he’s not at that level yet. Conor is definitely a step up. No disrespect again, but they’re different players. I felt we needed the quality of him coming into the club and it’s lifted us again and that’s important."
February 9, 2017
Robinson last minute Southend switch
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Theo Robinson was involved a dramatic last-minute switch on transfer deadline day, when he signed for Southend United on a two and a half year contract.
Robinson had been expected to play for Lincoln City last Tuesday in their National League game against Solihull Moors, but missed the game when Southend made a move for the player.
With Robinson being at Lincoln on a non-contract basis, the chance of FA Cup glory with the Imps was outweighed by the prospect of financial stability for him and his family.
Robinson said after the move had been confirmed: "It has been a crazy deadline day. Especially getting the phone call and everything getting sorted out. It has been a whirlwind, but it is good to be here, I can concentrate on football now."
"People have said why would you leave at this time, but at the end of the day, it’s about security for my family. Southend gave me a contract for two and a half years. That is more beneficial for me and my family."
Lincoln City were understandably disappointed to have lost their man, but have settled for an undisclosed fee to transfer the player's registration.
Managing director Kevin Cooke commented: "I was on the way to a football match, it didn't occur to me that I'd spend most of the evening on the phone. We're going to learn from that. It's pure coincidence. How often does transfer deadline day drop on a Tuesday evening when you've got a match on? It was a re-arranged game so the lesson we will learn is, if we ever have to re-arrange a game again, we will avoid transfer deadline day, just in case."
February 9, 2017
Cambridge ticket information
Tickets for the forthcoming away game against Cambridge United are now on sale from the ticket office at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers have received an allocation of 924 tickets for the game on Tuesday, 28th February, which has a 7:45pm kick-off.
Tickets are now on general sale at the following prices:
Adults £20 - Senior Citizens (64+) £15 - Young adults (18-21) £15 - Students (with valid NUS card) £15 - Under 18s £10 - Under 5's Free - Wheelchair disabled £15
Wheelchair disabled supporters should book direct with Cambridge United on 01223 566500. Ambulant disabled supporters pay the relevant price, but their carer, if required, is free of charge.
February 9, 2017
Bradley makes move to Buxton
Midway through January, former Doncaster Rovers striker Bradley Grayson made his latest switch of clubs, moving from Frickley Athletic to Buxton, where he joins former Rover Tim Ryan, who is their assistant manager.
February 9, 2017
Copps - Rovers have similarities with O'Driscoll's team
Long serving midfielder James Coppinger thinks that the current Rovers team has a number of similarities with that of previous Rovers boss Sean O'Driscoll, who guided the club into the Championship and kept them there against the odds.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Coppinger said: "It’s a team that has the same sort of attributes and things going on that those teams did have."
"We’ve got a lot of quality in the team. We’ve also got that willingness to get better. On the training pitch people are doing extra after training, they’re in the gym. People are pulling each other aside, trying to make each other better. The staff can’t do enough for you. Hopefully things will go from strength to strength between now and the end of the season."
He added: "It’s a belief in where we are. We’re top of the league and we’re there for a reason. For me we’re the best team in this division and we’re showing it every week. To have that little bit of arrogance and confidence on the pitch is massive. It breeds throughout the team. It’s important we grow as a team, not just stand still, and get better throughout the season."
February 9, 2017
Hume moves to Spain
Ex-Doncaster Rovers striker Iain Hume has joined Spanish Segunda Division B club Extremadura Unión Deportivo. He has been playing for Indian Super League club Atletico de Kolkata, and joins two of his Kolkata team mates at the Spanish club in a deal that lasts until the end of the present season.
The 33 year old striker has featured in all three seasons of the ISL, the last two being at Kolkata after an opening season at Kerala Blasters.
Extremadura are currently bottom of the Segunda Division B after 23 matches after being promoted from the third tier last season.
February 8, 2017
Fowler joins Caernarfon
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Lee Fowler has joined Caernarfon Town after being out of the game for a short time.
Fowler, now aged 33, last played for Wrexham, but has been persuaded to put his boots back on to help Caernarfon out for the rest of the season>
Caernarfon boss Iwan Williams told the Daily Post: "Lee was captain at Wrexham last season and has a wealth of Football League experience, having represented the likes of Coventry City, Huddersfield Town and Crawley Town and he has also played in the Welsh system for The New Saints."
"It’s no secret that we’re struggling for numbers for our up and coming Welsh Cup tie with Rhyl and having struck up a really good relationship with Lee’s brother whilst completing the A Licence last year, I am delighted that Lee has agreed to come and help us out for the game."
"Lee played in our midweek friendly at Llandudno and did very well. He’s a calming influence on the ball, has the ability to unlock defences and was great around the younger members of the squad in giving out advice. Lee is still only 33 and I see this as a major coup for the club as he is also has also stated he’s looking forward to representing us for the remainder of the season."
February 8, 2017
Ryan launches new fashion label
Ex-Rovers midfielder Ryan Burge has launched a new clothing brand with two of his best friends, Danny Cullen and Pay Sayce.
The brand is called Ten Club London, and the trio have big ideas of opening an outlet in London's Oxford Street.
Burge told Gloucestershire Live: "We are very excited and the response to the brand so far has been overwhelmingly positive and our first batch has already sold out. Our products are good quality and for people who look after themselves and want to be the best they can be. We will be catering for all ages, sexes and styles, but the brand is centred around smart casual club wear. It's all about a 'solid 10 look' because we want people to feel comfortable wearing our gear and go out feeling good about themselves."
February 8, 2017
Travel information to Cambridge United
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Cambridge United on Tuesday, 28th February.
The coaches will leave Retford at 2.45pm, Bawtry 3.00pm, Harworth 2.50pm, Rossington 3.00pm, Hare & Tortoise 3.05pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 3.15pm and the Keepmoat Stadium at 3.30pm.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £18 - Concessions £16
Non-members: Adults £20 - Concessions £18
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
February 8, 2017
McCormack joins Forest
Ex-Rovers loan striker Ross McCormack has joined Nottingham Forest on loan for the rest of the season after falling out with Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce.
However, his Forest debut was delayed as their first game was against his parent club, Aston Villa.
McCormack has proved to be a prolific striker at Championship level with Fulham and Leeds United, but his half-season at Aston Villa has proved to be an unhappy one.
Villa had been reported as willing to pay half of McCormack's £45,000 per week wages to any club willing to take him off their hands, as Steve Bruce publicly questioned his attitude and fitness in recent weeks.
February 8, 2017
Mutch joins Reading on loan
The former Rovers loan midfielder Jordon Mutch has joined Championship club Reading on loan for the rest of the season after struggling to hold down a regular first team place at Crystal Palace.
He has made only four substitute appearances for them this season and has started only 11 Premier League games for Palace in two years at the club.
Palace issued a statement which read: "The club wish Jordon well in his loan spell at the Madejski Stadium."
Reading manager Jaap Stam said: "Jordon is a good technical player, he is quick and he has good stamina as a runner in midfield. He has a lot of experience of both Championship and Premier League football and it is good to bring a player with his quality into the squad – he will give us more choices against different opponents and different styles of play going forward."
February 6, 2017
Rovers 1 Morecambe 1
Doncaster Rovers had to come from behind to take a draw from Saturday's game against Morecambe, but even so, the domination of the second half suggested it was still two points dropped rather than one gained. But a point could prove crucial by the end of the season, so their determination to take something from the game is to be applauded.
Rovers kept the same side and formation as they have in recent games, with a 3-5-2 format, and were denied an early lead when Andy Williams' "goal" was disallowed for offside. John Marquis then fired over from the edge of the penalty area, and Rowe fired a shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The visitors then clawed their way back into the game, and were denied the lead when a linesman's flag denied a Michael Rose free kick, but they took the lead in the 24th minute when Murphy scored in the aftermath of a corner. Rovers then pushed for a quick equaliser, with Marquis, Coppinger and Williams all having chances.
Chances came Rovers' way in the second half as well, and the pressure eventually paid in the 56th minute, as Marquis, who is in a rich vein of goal-scoring form at the moment, fired a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Liam Mandeville then got his first taste of action of 2017 as Rovers continued to search for the winner, but just could not find the final touch.
February 6, 2017
What the managers said
Darren Ferguson was disappointed that Rovers failed to translate possession into goals, which ultimately cost them victory, although he did pay tribute to a determined effort from Morecambe.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield after the game, he said: "No opposition is going to just turn up and roll over, but I don’t think my players could have done anything more to win the game – some days you get the breaks, and some days you don’t. And to be fair to Morecambe, once they went ahead they had something to hold on to. I thought they were excellent."
"I didn’t think we started the game great, we were a little bit sloppy, but we were totally dominant in the second half once we got the goal."
He added: "We have been very good at home,and this is another point which takes us to 62 which is a really good total. It has always been about how many points we can get. Plymouth and Carlisle have won, and Exeter are flying, so it’s far from over. We’ve got a long way to go – more than a third of the season to go. But so long as we keep applying ourselves the way we have, then we will have a chance."
February 6, 2017
Goals review
A look back at some of the former Rovers players to be scoring goals at the weekend begins in the Championship, where Jordon Mutch scored for new on-loan club Reading as part of their 2-2 draw at Ipswich Town.
In League One, birthday boy Billy Sharp scored Sheffield United's first goal in the second minute of their home game against AFC Wimbledon, which ended in a 4-0 home win for the Blades.
Also in League One, Marc-Antoine Fortune scored Southend United's first goal in their 3-1 home win over previous leaders Scunthorpe United.
Looking in the non-league scene, Alex Peterson scored in the fourth minute for Ossett Town in their Evo-Stik First Division North game at Clitheroe, which Ossett win 3-0.
And in the same division, Craig Nelthorpe scored Scarborough Athletic's opening goal of their game at Hyde United, but the home side hit back to win 3-2.
Finally, young defender Reece Fielding had a debut to forget for Frickley Athletic. An early defensive mix-up led to opposition side Corby Town scoring their first goal, then was shown a straight red card in the second half around the hour mark of the game. He faces a three match ban, but will still be eligible for three matches of his loan deal.
February 6, 2017
Harper is new assistant at Newcastle
Former Rovers winger Steve Harper has been appointed as the new assistant manager at Northern Premier League club Newcastle Town.
Harper, now aged 47, played more than 500 games in his playing career with Port Vale, Preston North End, Burnley, Doncaster Rovers, Mansfield Town, Hull City and Darlington, succeeds Steve Chadwick, who stepped down due to work and family commitments.
After finishing his career at Kidsgrove Athletic, UEFA B qualified Harper spent six years at Stoke City`s academy.
February 4, 2017
Rovers v Morecambe
With no new injury concerns to contend with, Darren Ferguson is expected to select from an unchanged squad for this afternoon's home game against Morecambe. While the injured players Luke McCullough, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Gary McSheffrey continue to recover, none are expected to until the latter stages of the month. Goalkeeper Marko Marosi is likely to miss virtually all of the remainder of the season due to his ankle injury.
Striker Liam Mandeville may be hoping for a recall this afternoon, but an unchanged side is highly likely to be named by Ferguson, with the in-form strike force of Andy Williams and John Marquis favoured at the moment.
Morecambe have been having a wretched time of late, with a takeover continuing to be delayed. A dispute over the club's present ownership is preventing a sale, but in the meantime, the cash-strapped club have again had to delay the payment of wages to players. Darren Ferguson is warning that the problems may help the Morecambe players develop a siege mentality that could make them difficult to beat, and he said: "It’ll be a tough game and we’ve got to make sure we stick to the standards we’ve been setting. We’ve dealt with the expectations very well, our goal on Saturday is to beat Morecambe, nothing else. 12 goals in the last four games is fantastic. I’m delighted with how we’re going with 18 games to go."
Defender Michael Duckworth has arrived on loan from Fleetwood Town and should make his Morecambe debut today. Teenage striker Antony Evans, who joined on loan from Everton during the transfer window, is also in line for his first start for the club.
Morecambe have picked up eight points from their last five games to move six points clear of the bottom two.
February 4, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Morecambe are:
Referee: Eddie Ilderton
Assistant referees: Nicholas Barnard and Garry Maskell
Fourth official: Alix Pashley
February 4, 2017
Catching up - Sheridan rejoins Oldham
John Sheridan has been reappointed as the manager of Oldham Athletic after the club sacked Stephen Robinson, with the Latics not having won since mid-October and deep in danger of relegation from League One.
Sheridan was sacked by Notts County as they struggled in League Two, but Oldham chairman Simon Corney had little hesitation in reappointing ex-Rovers midfielder Sheridan.
Speaking to the club's web site, Corney said: "This is obviously a difficult decision. Stephen is a talented coach who we believed could make the transition into a successful manager. Unfortunately things have not worked out for him or the club and we felt that a change needed to be made. John is obviously someone we know well and we hope he can have an immediate effect on our current situation."
It will be John Sheridan's third stint as Oldham boss. He has been handed a two and a half year contract at Boundary Park.
February 4, 2017
Millwall snub Millers move for Webster
Millwall have turned down a bid by struggling Rotherham United to sign former Rovers defender Byron Webster, even though the player is keen to return north.
Sheffield United made enquiries about Webster's availability earlier in the season, but Millwall were unwilling to sell, but the Millers saw Webster as a potential way of shoring up their defence as they try to dig themselves out of relegation trouble.
Rotherham are understood to have offered in the region of £350,00 for Webster, but the bid has not been accepted.
February 4, 2017
McSheffrey and Taylor-Sinclair close in on return
Injured duo Gary McSheffrey and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair are expected to be contending for a place in the first team squad around the end of the month, if the final stages of their recovery go according to play.
Neither player has been involved at all this season, but will be a welcome boost to the Rovers squad as they chase promotion back to League One at the first time of asking.
As Darren Ferguson explained to the Doncaster Star: "They’ll be back joining in training, probably the start of February. They’ll do two or three weeks with us, hopefully we’ll get a couple of bounce games in. I’m looking to hopefully have those two back for the last week of February, which is quite good."
McSheffrey joined Rovers on loan from Scunthorpe United last season, but complications over his knee injury meant he had to have another operation in October.
Taylor-Sinclair suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the last match of the 2015/16 season, but is ahead of schedule after it was feared that he would miss the whole of the season.
February 3, 2017
Ferguson - so far so good, but.....
Boss Darren Ferguson is full of praise for the progress made by his Doncaster Rovers squad this season, but at the same time issued them a warning that the job is far from completed.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, he commented: "We’ve taken massive strides and we’ve got to make sure we finish the job off as such and get to League One. At that point we can then say ‘yeah, we’re in a good place’."
"Until we’ve done that I don’t really want to say too much on it but we have obviously come a long way in terms of the whole club and the way it is now. The atmosphere and the culture of the football club is different, but that takes time and you have to be given time. Considering the run we went on last season, and the loss of form, it told me a lot of things. But we have stuck together as one and I think we’ve come a long way since then."
"This is a hard league to get out of, harder than League One. It’s shown. Portsmouth finished sixth last year, Luton didn’t go up, Plymouth didn’t go up - there are some big clubs in this league now. So if we are successful it’ll be really hard work to do it."
February 3, 2017
Alfie will have to bide his time
Young striker Alfie Beestin will have to be patient if he is to win a regular place in the Doncaster Rovers side. That was the warning given by Darren Ferguson, despite the player receiving the boost that he has been handed an extension to his contract.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: Alfie just has to be patient. He’ll get his chances. When he’s come in, he’s done well. I really like the way he’s very good technically. He’s a good player the boy. I’ve said it many times."
He may be having to settle for a place on the bench so far, but Ferguson wants him to stay in the match day squad, adding: "He certainly won’t be going out on loan. I understand the game time thing but he’s part of the squad. Some of the stuff he does in training is outstanding. He certainly wouldn’t be one that’s going anywhere."
February 3, 2017
Jack moves north
Former Rovers youngster Jack McKay has joined Scottish club Airdrieonians on loan for the rest of the season. He left Rovers to join Leeds United last year as part of their Development Squad, but has been sent to Airdrie to get some first team experience, which he will not get at the moment at Leeds.
Airdrie issued a statement that said: "We are pleased to confirm the loan signing of Leeds United striker Jack McKay."
"20-year-old Glaswegian McKay has spent his entire career to date in England, signing for Doncaster Rovers at the age of nine. Gaining interest from Premier League sides as he progressed through the youth ranks, he chose to sign for Leeds United in January 2016."
"Jack joins us on loan until the end of the season."
February 3, 2017
Parkin completes York move
York City have announced that former Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin has completed a permanent transfer to the club after joining the club from Newport County on loan.
He has signed a contract that runs until the end of the season, with an option to extend it until the summer of 2018.
Parkin joins a struggling York side that currently sit rock bottom of the National League, although they are only a win away from getting out of the bottom three.
February 3, 2017
Reece moves to Bury
Ex-Rovers loan defender Reece Brown has completed a move to League One club Bury from Barnsley, although he has been out on loan at Bury and Sheffield United so far this season.
He was at Rovers during the 2011/12 season for a month on loan from Manchester United, but he only made one start and one substitute appearance in that time.
Since then, he has had several loan moves, including Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, Ipswich Town before joining Watford, then a loan to Carlisle followed by a transfer to Barnsley in July 2014.
February 3, 2017
JET stays at Gills
Former Rovers loanee Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has been allowed to stay on loan at Gillingham for the rest of the season. However, Queens Park Rangers, his parent club, have inserted a clause in the contract which allows him to be recalled, but QPR boss Ian Holloway has told Gillingham boss Ady Pennock that he will not require the 26 year old for the remainder of the season.
Emmanuel-Thomas is Gillingham's leading scorer this season, so it is a relief to Pennock that he has been allowed to stay.
Pennock told Kent OnLine: "I have spoken with Ian Holloway and Jay will be with us until the end of the season. They said they are not going to take him back. He is getting games here and they are happy. He is a talented boy."
February 3, 2017
LuaLua goes on loan move
Former Newcastle striker Kazenga LuaLua has been loaned out from Brighton & Hove Albion to Queens Park Rangers on loan for the rest of the season.
LuaLua initially joined Brighton on loan from Newcastle United in February 2010, but the move was made permanent in November 2011.
However, he has featured only occasionally so far this season, with his last first team game for Brighton being back in August, when Newcastle were the opposition.
February 2, 2017
Mitchell goes out on loan
Young Rovers defender Mitchell Lund has gone out on loan to National League club Wrexham. As indicated in recent weeks, boss Darren Ferguson indicated that he was looking at the youngster having a loan spell to get some match practice and fitness before returning to the first team picture at Rovers.
And that is exactly what has happened, with Lund moving to the Welsh club for a month.
The player commented to the Daily Post after making the move: "I am back fit and raring to go. I just can’t wait to be back out on the pitch. I have met the lads and the gaffer at Wrexham and they are really nice, I get along with them and I can’t wait to be out there playing."
"I got injured at Doncaster and I have come back after four-and-a-half months. I had a chat with the gaffer (Ferguson) and he suggested coming out on loan because I needed the game time and he won’t put me back in yet because it is a risk to take. He mentioned Wrexham and I have come here and hopefully I can do well here. It’s been a frustrating time for me, but I feel great now and can’t wait to be involved once more."
"I spoke with the gaffer (Ferguson) before signing and he told me to come here and enjoy my football. That’s what I intend to do and can’t wait to get started. He said it is a great facility, a great place and they will welcome you with open arms, when I heard that it was a no brainer really to be honest."
Lund is available for all of Wrexham's matches up to their game at Braintree Town on Saturday, 4th March.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: " I need him to spend the month of February out and hopefully play five or six games. I think we’ve got more than enough cover there with Matty Blair and Cedric Evina. I need Mitchell to be ready for the business end of the season. Rather than him sitting on the bench or watching our games, I’d rather him go out and play."
February 2, 2017
Evina fails to move
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has conceded that out of favour defender Cedric Evina is not likely to move away from the club, with no real sign of interest in the player since he turned down a move in January.
And by the comments of the Rovers manager, it sounds more like the player's agent is not actively marketing his client. As he commented to the Doncaster Star on 'deadline day', "It was just Evina to go out but it doesn't look like it'll happen. The boy himself wants to go out and play games. But nothing has materialised. His agent has not been that keen in terms of pushing it. The boy is happy to stay and I can't do anything about that."
Rovers had been hoping for a permanent transfer for Evina, but unless he drops down to a club which isn't affected by the 'window' (which effectively means dropping down a few divisions),that hope has now ended. A loan to a non-league club is another option, even outside the transfer window, but Ferguson has intriguingly not ruled out him having some involvement at Rovers this season.
He added: "You never know what might happen with injuries and things like that. At the moment we’re in good form. I think both the player and myself agreed he needed to go out and get more games. It’s not as if he hasn’t played this season but I feel the ones that have come in have done very well and it’s been difficult for him."
February 2, 2017
Loan pair extend stays
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that the loan deal of Tyler Garratt, who is on loan at Eastleigh and Frickley Athletic, has been extended until the end of the season.
They have also confirmed that they have also agreed to an extension of Joe Pugh's loan at Frickley Athletic.
February 2, 2017
Coppinger and Butler sign new deals
James Coppinger and Andy Butler have signed one year extensions to their contracts with Doncaster Rovers, meaning that they will stay with the club until the summer of 2018.
Coppinger has been with the club since 2004 and holds the club record for the number of appearances.
After signing his new agreement, Copps told the Yorkshire Post: "I never thought I would be here 13 years on, but I feel in really good condition - I feel better than when I was younger, which sounds a little silly - but I am enjoying it and offering something to the team. I have played 40 games a season for the past 16 years, and in pre-season I was as fit as anybody in the team, so it is looking good for the next couple of years. I have as much hunger now as when I was 21, if not more."
Doncaster-born Butler is similarly delighted to be staying at Rovers, adding: "It’s great to be part of this club because it is going places now, everyone has bought into what the gaffer is trying to do. I am a Doncaster lad, so it is brilliant for me. The club is on the up and going places, and I’m proud to be part of that. Everyone has bought into what the gaffer wants."
February 2, 2017
Blayney transfer listed
Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Alan Blayney has been transfer listed by Irish club Ballymena United, where he has been since joining from Glenavon in the summer of 2015.
Blayney has lost his first team place of late, and has expressed a desire to play more regularly.
Ballymena boss David Jeffrey said: "Alan Blayney approached me this evening regarding his playing options here at Ballymena United now that Timothy Allen has signed, and with Ross Glendinning here, I had to be honest that Alan’s opportunities may be limited. To be fair to Alan he was playing very well up until he picked up a slight niggle against Coleraine, and since then Ross has come in and has done very well. He wants to play football regularly at this stage of his career, I completely understand that, and so we have agreed that Alan is available to leave on a free transfer."
February 2, 2017
Fortune extends Southend stay
Ex-Rovers loan striker Marc-Antoine Fortune has signed a new contract with Southend United, meaning he will now stay at Roots Hall until the end of the 2017/18 season.
Fortune, now aged 35, was without a club in the summer after being released by Coventry City and joined as a free agent in September, and has since scored twice in his 21 appearances.
February 2, 2017
Voting results v Crewe Alexandra
There were nominations received for nine different players to be the "Man of the Match" for the last home game, which was against Crewe Alexandra.
Voting was dominated by three players though, with veteran midfielder James Coppinger coming home as the clear winner, getting more than twice as many votes as his nearest rival.
The players receiving significant number of votes were:
1 James Coppinger (46.81%)
2 John Marquis (17.02%)
3 Ian Lawlor (19.14%)
February 2, 2017
Voting results v Yeovil Town
In contrast, there were only two players receiving votes as "Man of the Match" for last Saturday's away game at Yeovil Town.
Striker John Marquis, who scored twice in the game, was the clear winner with 81.82% of the votes, with Andy Butler receiving 18.18% of the votes.
We thank everyone who took the time to take part in the voting, and apologise for the delay in confirming the results.
The next voting will open after the weekend's game at home to Morecambe.
January 30, 2017
What the managers said
A proud Darren Ferguson went to the post-match press call after Saturday's convincing and commanding win at Yeovil Town, with perhaps the worst criticism being that he thought they could have scored the third goal a little earlier in the second half.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield after the match, he said: "The work rate of the players should be something every supporter of the club is proud of, the shift these boys put in. The effort my players put in was outstanding. "The one thing we say is don't get outworked by the opposition and I can't remember that ever happening."
" This was a tough game. If I looked at someone else coming to Yeovil and winning 3-0 I'd think it was an impressive result. We have to be delighted with it and enjoy results like to do. We have to keep it going. It's five wins from five in January and that's brilliant."
"We were clinical in the way we went about our business. The first goal is always important. To score the second so quickly afterwards. We've had a good habit of doing that this season, scoring quickly back-to-back. The second half we managed the game very well. I thought we were comfortable. We could have been a bit more clinical in the second half and got the third a bit earlier. But when it came it was worth waiting for."
Yeovil boss Darren Way acknowledged tat Rovers were deserving winners on Saturday, but had hoped for more from his players.
In his post-match interviews, he told Somerset Live: "On another day, certainly in the first half with one or two chances that we could've taken, we could've been looking at a different story, but overall we were beaten by the better team. As a manager I'm going to show the players support and make sure they learn from that experience. Unfortunately today we came up against a better team which have got a lot of quality. They've got three forwards that are going to score goals and they've spent large parts of their career scoring goals. Could we afford them? No, probably not, so I look forward to Tuesday [against Plymouth Argyle]."
Way added: "I've got to be honest, they want to see their team win and they want to see individuals making the right decisions at the right time and I have to accept that as a manager. That's why I've given the role and responsibility to manage the football club, but realistically I have to make sure I can sleep straight at night knowing what I'm working with and where we are as a football club. That was a big test today."
"Doncaster are a good team. I thought we could have done a lot better in the first half. We were disappointed with the two goals, very disappointed in the manner of the set play, certainly after we played them previously, we were disappointed with that, and then the way they broke on us for the second goal, but having said that, I was looking for a reaction in the second half and I thought we got that. We got into the final third a little bit more but they are a good team and they stop you from playing and their front three are very, very dangerous."
January 30, 2017
Goals review
This weekend's review of former Doncaster Rovers player scoring goals can only begin with perhaps one of the most newsworthy games in this year's FA Cup, where Lincoln City convincingly beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 at Sincil Bank. After scoring twice against Ipswich Town in the previous round, ex-Rovers striker Theo Robinson capped off a fine Imps performance with their third goal in the 85th minute.
Back in the relatively mundane world of League football, Keshi Anderson had a superb debut for Northampton Town in their League One game at home to Coventry City. Anderson struck a second half hat-trick to give his side a 3-0 win.
In League Two, Jonathan Forte scored a last minute winner for Notts County to give them a rare home win as they beat Crawley Town 2-1.
And in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, Waide Fairhurst put Frickley Athletic ahead in the 21st minute of their game at Coalville Town, but three goals for the home side meant that Frickley returned home pointless.
Jon Parkin had a weekend to forget though. He was sent off for a second bookable offence in the 93rd minute while playing for York City at Aldershot. The game ended in a goalless draw, but it extended the struggling side's unbeaten run to four matches.
Finally, in a game played last Tuesday evening, Joe Pugh put Frickley Athletic in front in their Sheffield & Hallam Senior Cup game at home to Frecheville CA. A brace from ex-Rovers striker Waide Fairhurst allowed Frickley to progress through to the semi-finals by a 4-1 margin.
January 30, 2017
Fairhurst joins Frickley
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Waide Fairhurst has joined non-league Frickley Athletic, initially in a five-week loan deal from Boston United. As can be seen above, he has already hit the goal trail, something that he had not been doing regularly for Boston, who he only joined in the summer.
He began his career at a junior with Doncaster Rovers, but only made ten appearances before moving on to Macclesfield Town and a succession of non-league clubs.
January 30, 2017
Ex-Rovers pair make Leeds debuts
Ex-Rovers players Paul McKay and Billy Whitehouse made their first team debuts for Leeds United yesterday, being part of a controversial ten changes made by Leeds United boss Garry Monk for their FA Cup tie at non-league Sutton United.
With a number of top teams attracting heavy criticism for making numerous changes for their FA Cup games, Leeds followed suit, presumably believing that a second-string side would still be good enough to beat Sutton, who languish in 16th place in the National League. And in this instance, they got what they deserved, with Sutton outplaying their opponents from three divisions higher than them for much of the game and deservedly winning the game 1-0, to see two non-league clubs in the last 16 of the FA Cup.
Both McKay and Whitehouse started the game, with McKay playing the whole 90 minutes, while Whitehouse was replaced in the 73rd minute of the game.
January 30, 2017
Newport release Meite
League Two strugglers Newport County have released former Rovers defender Abodoulaye Meite as boss Graham Westley looks to revitalise their squad.
Westley has let seven players go, adding at least ten to their squad as they battle against relegation to the Conference.
Meite was released midway through January after joining on a short-term contract in November.
Westley told the Newport Press:"Abs joined at a time when we had no real back-up in the centre-half position. He hadn't been training and wasn't fit but was available in the closed window. To his massive credit, he made on field contributions almost immediately, and none more so than in our excellent FA Cup draw down at Plymouth. With the window now open, I have cast the net wider and brought in players with the potential to be much longer term options for the club and with us still having needs in midfield, I need to release cash to fund those additions."
"So it is with reluctance that I have not extended Abs’ short-term deal. He is a great character and a brilliant professional. The entire dressing room will join me in wishing him the very best going forwards."
Meite won 48 caps for the Ivory Coast and has also played for Marseille, Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, and was at Rovers during their time in the Championship when the "Willie McKay Experiment" was in full flow.
January 29, 2017
Yeovil Town 0 Rovers 3
The Doncaster Rovers promotion challenge just keeps on rolling, with another convincing victory, with Rovers scoring three goals for the fourth game in a row.
Darren Ferguson opted for an unchanged line-up, with Liam Mandeville having to settle for a place on the bench.
It was defender Mathieu Baudry who put Rovers in front midway through the first half with Baudry scoring his first goal thanks to a precise free kick by Conor Grant.
In-for striker John Marquis accounted for the other two goals, with the second being of particular note as he ran half of the length of the pitch before slotting the ball home comfortably, despite the attention of three Yeovil players.
The win puts Rovers seven points clear at the top of the table, albeit having played two games more than Plymouth Argyle - but perhaps more significantly a massive 16 points ahead of fourth placed Luton Town. Things are starting to look promising!
The "Man of the Match" voting is now open. If you would like to take part, please click on the logo to the left.
January 28, 2017
Yeovil Town v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers travel to play Yeovil Town today with the hope of extending their winning run to five games, not having dropped a single point since the turn of the year.
Rovers are expecting a tough afternoon, with the potential for a more physical challenge ahead.
Midfielder Matty Blair is fit after recovering from a knock that caused his substitution in last weekend's game against Crewe. Striker Liam Mandeville has also been passed fit after recovering from a thigh injury, although he may well have to settle for a place on the bench today, with Andy Williams set to partner John Marquis up front.
Defender Mitchell Lund is now back in training, but is likely to go out on loan to build up his fitness before he is considered for first team action at Rovers.
Luke McCullough, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Gary McSheffrey and Marko Marosi all remain unavailable as they recover from injuries.
Yeovil Town are hoping that Ryan Hedges will return this afternoon after missing several games due to picking up an injury over Christmas.
Boss Darren Way is likely to be without Otis Khan (ankle), Alex Lawless (hip flexor) and Ryan Dickson (broken nose). All three are close to being fit, but today's game is expected to be too soon for them to be considered. The Yeovil boss will be without Jack Storer, who has been on loan from Birmingham City, as he has returned to his parent club.
January 28, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's away game at Yeovil Town are:
Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistant referees: Marvyn Amphlett and Kevin Howick
Fourth official: Mark Russell
January 28, 2017
Travel information to Carlisle United
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Carlisle United on Tuesday, 14th February.
The coaches will leave Retford at 2.30pm, Bawtry 2.45pm, Harworth 2.35pm, Rossington 2.45pm, Hare & Tortoise 2.50pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 3.00pm and the Keepmoat Stadium at 3.15pm.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £22 - Concessions £20
Non-members: Adults £24 - Concessions £22
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
January 28, 2017
Green light for Ryan's new hospital
Planning permission has been granted for MYA to build a new plastic surgery hospital in Harrogate. MYA is owned by former Rovers chairman John Ryan, along with business partner Aaron Rea, and alongside their Harrogate head office, MYA now have ten clinics across the UK, as well as an 'owned hospital' in London and an rented facility in Preston.
MYA applied late last year for approval to change part of MYA's Harrogate headquarters at Cardale Park to make way for the development of a hospital, which will have two surgical theatres, a ward, waiting areas and a reception area. The expansion is expected to create up to 55 new jobs in addition to the 40 already exist at the Harrogate site.
January 28, 2017
Williams backs Liam for future
Striker Andy Williams has praised the way that young striker Liam Mandeville has progressed this season, especially during the time that Williams was out injured. In contrast, Mandeville has missed the last four games and Williams has re-forged his partnership with John Marquis, but Andy is still predicting a bright future for the youngster.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Andy said: "He’s starting to compete with me in finishing drills now, which is interesting. He’s done brilliantly. It was a couple of games in before he starting hitting the goals. We all knew the talent he’s got and he’s a really good lad off the pitch. His attitude is spot on. A lot of the young lads around the place can learn a lot from him because he’s going to go far."
Far from being threatened by the young pretender, Willliams is hoping to pass on his experience to help Mandeville progress. He continued: "He listens to everyone. I think he’s learning a lot from us all. I don’t know how much knowledge I can give him. He’s a good player – probably with more ability than me."
January 27, 2017
Ferguson hopes for loans for trio
Boss Darren Ferguson is hoping to get three players out on loan before the transfer window closes at the end of January.
He is thinking of sending defender Mitchell Lund out on loan to regain match fitness after a lengthy absence due to a kidney complaint. Also returning from injury is youngster Reece Fielding, who Ferguson is also intending to send out on loan to get some fitness and experience.
Ferguson told BBC Radio Sheffield: "Young Reece Fielding has just come back from a long injury and he has played a few games now and there is another one against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday and once he has done that, we will look to get him out on loan."
"Mitchell Lund is the same and we are still waiting on whether Cedric Evina will go out. I am looking at getting those three out to get some games."
January 27, 2017
Carlisle ticket information
Tickets for the forthcoming away game at Carlisle United are now on sale from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
They are presently available for season ticket holders, with Alliance members also able to purchase them from Monday morning. Any remaining tickets from the 1,392 allocation will go on general sale from Monday, 6th February.
The game will be played on Tuesday, 14th February with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Ticket prices for the game are:
Adults £16 - Senior Citizens 65+) £13 - Young Adults (18-22) £10 - Juniors (11-17) £8 - Juniors (7-10) £5 - Juniors (6 & under) free - Wheelchair disabled £4 (only two spaces available)
Please note that tickets for children aged 10 and under can only be bought if they will be accompanied by an adult, senior citizen or young adult.
January 27, 2017
Blair avoids injury curse
Doncaster Rovers have been given a big boost ahead of tomorrow's away game at Yeovil Town with the news that Matty Blair has been passed fit to play the game.
Blair was substituted last Saturday, but the winger has been back in training and is fully fit for this weekend's game.
Boss Darren Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "Matty just took a slight knock on Saturday. He was feeling it quite a bit but he’s fine. He trained on Tuesday."
Ferguson clearly acknowledges Blair's worth to the team,adding: "Matty’s a very good player an, in terms of the energy he brings to a game getting up and down, he’s incredible. He’s probably the fastest player we’ve got. He probably doesn’t look it at times because he’s so effortless. He floats across the ground. The amount of games he’s played shows how versatile he is. He’s played on the right of a diamond, wing back, full back. “He’s very good when he’s got space in front of him and very hard to play against. I’ve been delighted with him. He’s a fantastic lad, a great character."
January 27, 2017
Turnbull wants out of Leeds
Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is hoping to persuade Leeds United to cancel his contract so that he can move on to another club.
Turnbull has only made one appearance for Leeds since joining from Barnsley in the summer of 2015, with a serious ankle injury putting him out of action for a substantial time, but he is only third choice keeper at Leeds, behind Marco Silvestri and Rob Green.
Turnbull's contract runs out at the end of the season, and is keen to restart his career by negotiating an exit as soon as possible.
January 27, 2017
Strachan praises 'fringe men'
Assistant manager Gavin Strachan has praised the attitude of the 'fringe men' in the Doncaster Rovers squad, with some struggling to get into the side as Darren Ferguson has shown that he will stick by the players that have won 10 of the last 12 games.
But the whole squad's keenness has not been missed by the Roves management, with Strachan saying: "We’re really pleased with the morale of the squad and the togetherness of all of the players. You have to remember the likes of Paul Keegan, Joe Wright and Harry Middleton who maybe have not had as much game time as they would like. But their attitude to training and the reserve game [last Tuesday against Scunthorpe] is spot on. Their genuine happiness to see that we’re doing well is really good and I think it speaks volumes about the character of the squad."
January 26, 2017
Strachan praises fans
Assistant manager Gavin Strachan has praised the contribution of the Rovers fans this season for helping the club develop the Keepmoat Stadium into a "fortress".
Results at home have been a marked contrast to recent years, and the fans have fully paid their part in that transformation.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Strachan said: "During the first six months of being here it was something that we spoke about that we felt needed addressing. All credit to the players, in particular, and the mentality of how they’ve gone about their business at home. And I have to say the fans have been a huge help on that - at home and away."
"They were fantastic at Barnet last weekend and I remember the day at Morecambe, they were superb there. And here too, although there’s maybe a few more empty seats than what we would like, the atmosphere at some of the home games has been excellent, so credit goes to the fans as well."
January 26, 2017
Former Rovers pair move to Dingwall
Former Doncaster Rovers loan players Oscar Gobern and Milan Lalkovic have joined SPL club Ross County.
County have signed Gobern from Mansfield Town on a short term contract which lasts until the end of the season, while Lalkovic has joined on a loan from Portsmouth which also lasts until the summer.
Speaking of the moves, Ross County boss Jim McIntyre told his club's official web site: "Milan is an exciting left-winger who gets forward and puts teams on the back foot. He comes with a great pedigree having played for a number of big clubs in England and Europe, including Chelsea and Portsmouth. We tried to bring Milan in in the summer so when he became available we moved for him immediately."
And of their signing of former England U19 international Oscar Gobern, he added: "Oscar is left-footed, plays in centre midfield and at six foot three brings a real presence. He is another one we looked at in the summer so (we) had no hesitation in moving for him when he became available. Oscar was most recently at Mansfield, who offered him a contract extension, but we are delighted he has chosen to make the move to Dingwall."
Oscar Gobern joined on loan at Rovers on loan from Queens Park Rangers in September 2015, but after making five appearances for Rovers, was returned to his parent club after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.
Lalkovic joined Rovers on loan from Chelsea in the 2011/12 season and has also played for Barnsley and Walsall before joining Portsmouth in the summer.
January 26, 2017
No more transfer activity for Rovers
Darren Ferguson will not be doing any more transfer business in the january transfer window, with the addition of goalkeeper Ian Lawlor, midfielder Conor Grant and striker Alfie May the only players to arrive at the club to supplement the squad.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press last week: "We’ve done really good business, really early. Conor and Alfie were the main ones. And then obviously the goalkeeping situation took care of itself really after Marko [Marosi] got injured. Anything else would be speculation because I’m not looking for any other players to bring in this month. I’m happy with what I’ve got."
With Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Gary McSheffrey expected to be back in action in about a month's time, Ferguson looks likely to allow youngster Tyler Garratt to stay at Eastleigh for the rest of the season.
The club are still hoping that Cedric Evina will agree a move before the end of the month.
January 26, 2017
Newport ticket information
Doncaster Rovers have received an allocation of 781 tickets for the upcoming away game at Newport County, which is on Friday, 10th February (kick-off 7:45pm).
Tickets are presently on sale to season ticket holders, and will go on sale to Alliance members from Monday, 30th January. Remaining tickets go on general sale from Monday, 6th February.
The ticket prices for this fixture, with Rovers having allocated seating behind one of the goals, are:
Adult £18.00 - Senior 60+ £14.00 - Under 21’s £14.00 - Under 16’s £6.00 - 5 & Under free
There is also the option of allocated seating in the Bisley Stand, which is one one of the sides, with those prices being:
Adult £20.00 - Senior 60+ £16.00 - Under 21’s £16.00 - Under 16’s £6.00 - 5 & Under free
January 26, 2017
McCormack on his way out of Villa?
Former Rovers loan striker Ross McCormack has been banished to training with the Aston Villa Under-23 squad after having a serious falling-out with boss Steve Bruce.
McCormack was signed for Villa in the summer before Bruce was installed as boss and has now been tipped with a return back to previous club Fulham, either as a permanent move or on loan.
And now the Villa manager does not think the Scot is fit enough to be considered. He told the Independent: "In my opinion he is not fit enough to play and he will not play unless his attitude towards training and missing training improves. If that improves then I will reconsider him but if he continues to miss training, as he has done, that will be the situation."
The incident that caused the latest problem came when McCormack missed training last week when the electric gates at home would not open, which has infuriated his manager.
Bruce added: "He has just not turned off. The latest excuse was that his gates had stuck but he couldn’t jump over a fence that was four feet six inches high. There has been too much indiscipline here at Villa. Not in 20 years in management have I ever gone down this route but I feel I have to make a stance because I will not put up with it on my watch. He has decided the team has picked itself. How can I pick him when he doesn't come into training? His failure to turn up for training has happened more than once. Everyone can have an excuse but when it is more than once I will not accept it."
January 25, 2017
Jamie flies out
Former Rovers winger Jamie Lawrence, now plying his trade as a physical trainer, is flying out to Gabon to join the the Ghana squad as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against Egypt this evening.
Lawrence is highly rated by Ghana boss Avram Grant, who has asked him to join the squad for previous games, and is considered to have improved the overall fitness of the squad.
The Africa Cup of Nations moves on to the quarter final stage at the weekend, with today's games being the final qualifying group matches.
January 25, 2017
Evina still at Rovers as move stalls
Defender Cedric Evina is still at the club despite hopes that he would move on after falling out of favour with boss Darren Ferguson. Earlier this month it had looked as though he was on his way out, with another League Two club agreeing a deal with Rovers, but Cedric turned the move down after speaking to the other club's manager. With only a week to go until the transfer deadline closes again, Rovers are still hoping that something will materialise.
Boss Darren Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "Unfortunately there was a deal done with a League Two club but Cedric didn’t fancy it. We fully expected him to go out on loan before the Portsmouth game. We felt he would go that week. But after Cedric spoke to the manager, it didn’t materialise. We have to wait and see now."
"There has been quite a few enquiries but nothing concrete. That one was done in terms of negotiations but Cedric declined to go. That is his position and we have to respect that. We’ll have to see what happens over the rest of the month."
January 25, 2017
Chester priority for new deal for McCarthy
Chester FC's Chief Executive Mark Maguire has confirmed that the club are hoping to secure the long-term future of boss Jon McCarthy as their "top priority".
Ex-Rover McCarthy signed a one year deal in the summer with the option of an extension, but has impressed the club by guiding them into the top half of the Vanarama National League on a limited budget.
Maguire told the Chester Chronicle: "We are moving in the right direction at this football club and much of the credit, rightly, goes to the players for getting us into this position. But Jon McCarthy is the architect of what is going on here and a huge asset for Chester Football Club. His work ethic, attention to detail and approach to his work and understanding of what the club is about is phenomenal and myself and the board all share the same view on the job that he is doing and how he is vital to our future success."
"Jon’s future is something that we have discussed. We are conscious of making sure we keep such a talented manager as the job he has done here on the resources we have is superb. I’m not sure there are many who could have done as well as he has. We are very lucky to have him."
McCarthy added: "I realise that I am a young manager and I haven't played many games, so I don't think it is a situation where I should be arrogant and think I am any better than Chester because I'm not. Chester gave me an opportunity and if they felt like I was worth an extension on my contract, then that isn't something I'm going to disregard at all. I would be very interested in extending my contract here."
"Nobody has handed me a pen and I haven't seen anything that I have had to write on yet but I get on well with the people here and the board and there has been some positive discussion. It's all good."
January 25, 2017
Travel information to Newport County
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Newport County on Friday, 10th February.
The coaches will leave Retford at 2pm, Bawtry 2.15pm, Harworth 2.05pm, Rossington 2.15pm, Hare & Tortoise 2.20pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 2.30pm and the Keepmoat Stadium at 2.15pm.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £22 - Concessions £20
Non-members: Adults £24 - Concessions £22
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
January 24, 2017
Rovers 3 Crewe Alexandra 1
Doncaster Rovers picked up a 3-1 win for the third game in a row as they consolidated their position at the top of the League Two table.
Rovers kept the same side that beat Barnet seven days earlier, with Liam Mandeville omitted as a precautionary measure after a problem in the other thigh to the one that has kept him out of recent matches.
While Crewe probably started the better of the two sides, it was Rovers who went in front in the 23rd minute as on-loan midfielder Conor Grant scored his first goal for the club by drilling home a shot from 25 yards.
Rovers then looked comfortable but did not take advantage of their possession, and they paid the price nine minutes later when Chris Dagnall's volley was well saved by new keeper Ian Lawlor, but the Rovers stopper could not keep hold of the ball, with Jones reacting quickly to fire the ball into the net.
Rovers were impressive after the break, with Andy Williams twice going close to putting Rovers back into the lead, but their second goal eventually came in the 56th minute, with a well taken free kick by Conor Grant met by an unmarked John Marquis, who headed home from ten yards. The third for Rovers followed in the 67th minute, with Andy Williams heading the ball onto the crossbar, with the ball bouncing downwards for Tommy Rowe to nod over the line.
While Rovers were denied a clear penalty eight minutes from time when James Coppinger was brought down, the win was still clear enough to send the home fans home happy.
The "Man of the Match" voting for Saturday's home game against Crewe Alexandra is now open and will remain open until Wednesday evening.
January 24, 2017
What the managers said
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson was delighted with the performance of his side on Saturday afternoon, but admitted that it wasn't easy.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, he said: "It’s a game that I knew would be difficult. We managed it well, it was very close in the first half but I think they shaded it, what we managed to do in the second half was keep believing and our quality shone through. The belief in the camp is very strong, regardless of how the games go and I think the last three games have been an example of that."
"There was good quality in the goals - against a good team who’ve got players better than where they should be. The quality of the passing and the movement was very good. I’m delighted, it’s a really good result for us. We lost our discipline a little bit in the last 15 minutes of the first half and became a bit ragged. I don’t want a game like that where we attack and they attack, we need to be compact all over the pitch."
"We just seemed a bit anxious to get that second goal and I told them just to keep doing what we’re doing. Just make sure we don’t get done on the counter attack. In the second half we were very good and we managed the game very well. On another day we could have had three penalty kicks and it should’ve been more than three really. But it was still really pleasing. It’s hard work to keep going and going and going but we’ve got another 19 games to go and we need to keep doing it."
In contrast, Crewe boss David Artell was not happy with the way his side conceded three goals, bemoaning their second half display in particular. Speaking to the Crewe Chronicle, he commented: "At half time we were full of optimism, but the second half was the same old story. The two goals were criminal and we have to do better. We have to improve or we are in for a long old season."
"We could see it coming, it was cheap. These are top of the league, rather than capitulating at the first sign of pressure we have to say 'bring it on' and really enjoy that side of defending. Cheltenham will ask questions next week too. I thought our reaction to going behind was superb and we had a great chance to go ahead. We were the better team in the second half of the first half and should have been in front, but cheap goals change games and it cost us."
"At half time I asked them players if they really believed, and I got the answer in the second half. I'm not going to stand there and watch that for the next 20 games. I'll be out of a job and so will the players. We have to keep the ball better, that's what Crewe Alex players are renowned for. And they have to actually believe they can do it for 90 minutes."
January 24, 2017
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals at the weekend begins in League One, where Billy Sharp put Sheffield United in front in their home game against Gillingham. That half time lead was reversed before United levelled the scores to make it 2-2 by the final whistle.
Also in League One, Adebayo Akinfenwa scored a late equaliser for Wycombe Wanderers in their home game against Luton Town - the game ended 1-1.
In the National League, ex-youth team striker Michael Rankine scored twice for Adam Lockwood's Guiseley as they continued their upturn in form, defeating Macclesfield 2-1 away from home.
And in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division, Waide Fairhurst scored Frickley Athletic's second goal as they won 2-0 at home against Sutton Coldfield Town.
In the Evo-Stik League First Division (North), Alex Peterson scored Ossett Town's final goal from the penalty spot in the last minute of the game as they won 3-0 at Goole AFC.
Finally, the on-loan Tyler Garratt gave Eastleigh a half time lead by heading home a cross in from the right. However, the home side, Sutton United levelled matters after the break, with the final score being 1-1.
One former Rover not celebrating at the weekend was goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who was sent off while playing for Wolves 20 minutes from time. Reports suggest the sending off was reasonable, although Wolves were planning to launch an appeal.
January 24, 2017
Mason recovering after horror injury
Ex-Rovers loan midfielder Ryan Mason suffered a horrendous head injury while playing for Hull City against Chelsea at the weekend. A collision with Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill left him with a fractured skull, with him being carried off the pitch on a stretcher, and taken straight to St Mary's Hospital in London, where he had emergency neuro-surgery.
He is now reported to be in a stable condition, but was reported to be recovering well from the surgery, and yesterday was conscious and speaking to visitors.
Hull issued a statement which read: "Ryan and his family have been extremely touched by the overwhelming support. They would very much like to thank all of those who have posted such positive comments both on social media and in the press over the last 24 hours."
We would like to send our best wishes to Ryan and his family and hope he makes a full and speedy recovery.
January 24, 2017
Dean extends his stay
Former Rovers midfielder Dean Furman will be staying at South African club SuperSport United after the club exercised an extension option in his contract.
Furman, now aged 28, joined SuperSport in August 2015 with a two year deal and a one-year option. He has missed just one of SuperSport's games this season as they climbed to the top of the Absa Premiership before the New Year break.
January 21, 2017
Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
Doncaster Rovers are reporting no new injury problems ahead of this afternoon's home game against Crewe Alexandra - and the battle for places in the side has intensified with news that young striker Liam Mandeville has trained all week and returns to the squad after missing the last three matches with a thigh injury.
That leaves Gary McSheffrey (knee), Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (knee), Marko Marosi (ankle) and Luke McCullough (knee) as long term absentees, while Mitchell Lund will not be considered, even though he has returned to training and took part in a behind-closed-doors match during the week, with another planned for next week as part of his recuperation.
Crewe boss David Artell will be without Billy Bingham (thigh) and Callum Saunders (hamstring), although young midfielder Ryan Wintle could be included again after being a late substitute last weekend against Luton, which was his first game since November.
The new Crewe boss has not been afraid to make changes to the side, who are still looking for their first win in eight games.
They will be boosted by the loan signing of ex-Rovers loanee Jordan Bowery, who has joined Crewe on loan from Leyton Orient.
January 21, 2017
The managers' comments
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is not underestimating the threat that Crewe Alexandra could pose this afternoon, even though they are on a poor run of form.
Speaking ahead of today's game, he said: “They’re always a good footballing team, it never changes, I watched their game against Luton and a couple of others and I think they’ve been very unlucky. I think they’ve missed really good chances at key moments in games. “They’ve got some very good technical players, very good wide players which we need to be aware of. We’ve already done work on that. They’re good on the counter attack."
"We’ve got to make sure we do certain things correct. I want us to be aggressive against them. There’s certain things that Crewe do that haven’t changed and they’ve got one or two players in wide areas who will really hurt us if we let them. They’ve got the experience of Ryan Lowe."
Crewe boss David Artell commented: "What a shot in the arm it would be to go to Doncaster and get a result. The Keepmoat is a nice ground, it'll be a nice pitch, they will try to play football and not physically dominate us like some teams might try. It's set up to be successful, and we've got to make sure we are."
January 21, 2017
Mandeville back and raring to go
Assistant boss Gavin Strachan has reported that teenage striker Liam Mandeville is fully recovered from his thigh injury and is raring to go this afternoon - although the good partnership of Andy Williams and John Marquis last weekend may mean that Liam has to be content with a place on the bench.
Speaking to DROS in the pre-match press call, Strachan said: "In some ways the injury might have done him a favour. He played a lot of games in a short space of time which is something he hasn’t done before. He looks really lively and that gives the manager a nice problem. He’s taken on board the stuff we’ve tried to do with him, his self-belief and confidence is growing. It’s about maintaining that now."
"He’s been back in training this week and he’s looked really lively. It gives the manager a wee problem, but a nice problem."
January 21, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Crewe Alexandra are:
Referee: Andy Haines
Assistant referees: Michael Denton and Richard Bartlett
Fourth official: Iain Siddall
January 21, 2017
Final game kick-off changed
The Football League have announced that the time of the kick-off for all League Two games on the final day of the season - Saturday, 6th May - have been changed, to allow live TV coverage on Sky Sports for two key games.
Rovers are due to play Hartlepool United away on that day, so it would be nice to believe that the TV cameras will be there to capture a promotion celebration!
Two games are scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports, with the selection of which games being televised to be made closer to match day.
January 21, 2017
Bowery joins Alex from Orient
Crewe Alexandra have confirmed that they have signed Leyton Orient striker Jordan Bowery on loan until the end of the season. Bowery has been at Brisbane Road since being released by Oxford United in June, and becomes new Crewe boss David Artell's first signing in a bid to boost their scoring capabilities, with Orient only having scored 25 goals in their opening 26 games.
Jordan had a loan spell at Rovers in the 2013/14 season while he was on the books at Aston Villa, playing three games, and has also played for Chesterfield, Barrow (loan), Rotherham United, Bradford City and Oxford United.
January 21, 2017
Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
Doncaster Rovers are reporting no new injury problems ahead of this afternoon's home game against Crewe Alexandra - and the battle for places in the side has intensified with news that young striker Liam Mandeville has trained all week and returns to the squad after missing the last three matches with a thigh injury.
That leaves Gary McSheffrey (knee), Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (knee), Marko Marosi (ankle) and Luke McCullough (knee) as long term absentees, while Mitchell Lund will not be considered, even though he has returned to training and took part in a behind-closed-doors match during the week, with another planned for next week as part of his recuperation.
Crewe boss David Artell will be without Billy Bingham (thigh) and Callum Saunders (hamstring), although young midfielder Ryan Wintle could be included again after being a late substitute last weekend against Luton, which was his first game since November.
The new Crewe boss has not been afraid to make changes to the side, who are still looking for their first win in eight games.
They will be boosted by the loan signing of ex-Rovers loanee Jordan Bowery, who has joined Crewe on loan from Leyton Orient.
January 21, 2017
The managers' comments
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is not underestimating the threat that Crewe Alexandra could pose this afternoon, even though they are on a poor run of form.
Speaking ahead of today's game, he said: “They’re always a good footballing team, it never changes, I watched their game against Luton and a couple of others and I think they’ve been very unlucky. I think they’ve missed really good chances at key moments in games. “They’ve got some very good technical players, very good wide players which we need to be aware of. We’ve already done work on that. They’re good on the counter attack."
"We’ve got to make sure we do certain things correct. I want us to be aggressive against them. There’s certain things that Crewe do that haven’t changed and they’ve got one or two players in wide areas who will really hurt us if we let them. They’ve got the experience of Ryan Lowe."
Crewe boss David Artell commented: "What a shot in the arm it would be to go to Doncaster and get a result. The Keepmoat is a nice ground, it'll be a nice pitch, they will try to play football and not physically dominate us like some teams might try. It's set up to be successful, and we've got to make sure we are."
January 21, 2017
Mandeville back and raring to go
Assistant boss Gavin Strachan has reported that teenage striker Liam Mandeville is fully recovered from his thigh injury and is raring to go this afternoon - although the good partnership of Andy Williams and John Marquis last weekend may mean that Liam has to be content with a place on the bench.
Speaking to DROS in the pre-match press call, Strachan said: "In some ways the injury might have done him a favour. He played a lot of games in a short space of time which is something he hasn’t done before. He looks really lively and that gives the manager a nice problem. He’s taken on board the stuff we’ve tried to do with him, his self-belief and confidence is growing. It’s about maintaining that now."
"He’s been back in training this week and he’s looked really lively. It gives the manager a wee problem, but a nice problem."
January 21, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Crewe Alexandra are:
Referee: Andy Haines
Assistant referees: Michael Denton and Richard Bartlett
Fourth official: Iain Siddall
January 21, 2017
Final game kick-off changed
The Football League have announced that the time of the kick-off for all League Two games on the final day of the season - Saturday, 6th May - have been changed, to allow live TV coverage on Sky Sports for two key games.
Rovers are due to play Hartlepool United away on that day, so it would be nice to believe that the TV cameras will be there to capture a promotion celebration!
Two games are scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports, with the selection of which games being televised to be made closer to match day.
January 21, 2017
Bowery joins Alex from Orient
Crewe Alexandra have confirmed that they have signed Leyton Orient striker Jordan Bowery on loan until the end of the season. Bowery has been at Brisbane Road since being released by Oxford United in June, and becomes new Crewe boss David Artell's first signing in a bid to boost their scoring capabilities, with Orient only having scored 25 goals in their opening 26 games.
Jordan had a loan spell at Rovers in the 2013/14 season while he was on the books at Aston Villa, playing three games, and has also played for Chesterfield, Barrow (loan), Rotherham United, Bradford City and Oxford United.
January 20, 2017
Rovers have another TV date
Doncaster Rovers are to have one of their games televised for the second time this season, with Sky Sports announcing that the home game at Plymouth Argyle will be shown live.
The news comes only two weeks after the televised home victory over Portsmouth.
However, to fit in with TV schedules, it means that the game has been put back 24 hours to Sunday, 26th March, with the kick-off amended to 2.45pm.
As the league table presently stands, it pitches the top two clubs in League Two against each other at what could be a key stage of the season.
January 20, 2017
Another chance to meet club bosses
Rovers have announced that they are to hold another of their "Meet the Owners" meeting at the Keepmoat Stadium, which gives the club's supporters the opportunity to ask questions to those who run the club, including boss Darren Ferguson and CEO Gavin Baldwin, as well as members of the club's board.
The event will take place in the "Legends Lounge" in the East Stand at 6.30pm on Monday, 6th February, with the doors opening at 6pm.
This is the fifth year that the club have had these meetings. Admission to the event is free, although for safety reasons, tickets must be obtained from the club's ticket office.
January 20, 2017
Keshi recalled from Trotters and moves out to Cobblers
Bolton Wanderers' attempts at getting promoted from League One at the first time of asking were dealt a blow earlier this week when it was confirmed that Crystal Palace have recalled ex-Rovers loan striker Keshi Anderson from his loan at the club.
The21 year old has played ten games during his loan spell with the Trotters, but only scored one goal - and he has not played for Bolton since mid-December, which has led to Palace recalling him half way through his season-long loan deal.
Just 24 hours after being recalled, Palace announced that Keshi has moved on loan to Northampton Town for the rest of the season. He is the first new recruit brought in by new Northampton boss Justin Edinburgh, who was appointed as boss on Monday, with the club 16th in the League One table.
Edinburgh told the BBC: "I felt we needed a striker who could stretch defences and worry them with speed and movement, and Keshi can do that."
Anderson added: "The gaffer seems good. When he was at Gillingham he wanted me then, and it is always nice to know the manager is so keen on you. He has come in here and me being his first signing speaks for itself, he is obviously still keen and I just want to come in and live up the standard he thinks I can be."
January 20, 2017
Johnstone joins Villa on loan
Former Rovers loan goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has joined Aston Villa on loan for the rest of the season as boss Steve Bruce hopes to mount a promotion challenge from the Championship.
It marks Johnstone's eight loan move away from parent club Manchester United, having previously played for Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yeovil, Doncaster Rovers (twice) and his home town club Preston (twice).
A move away from United has been mentioned in the press on numerous occasions during the season, once it became clear that he was not included in the first team picture at Old Trafford.
Johnstone told BBC West Midlands: "It's a massive opportunity. Look at the size of the club. Look at the manager and his track record. Look at the players, the fans. You can't turn down something like this."
Johnstone is Steve Bruce's first signing for Villa since he was appointed as boss in October.
January 19, 2017
Voting results v Barnet
Double goal scorer James Coppinger totally dominated the voting as "Man of the Match" for Saturday's away victory at Barnet. His double strike and overall contribution led to him taking nearly all of the votes cast, a domination that we have seen only rarely during over a decade of running the voting.
Coppinger got 86.36% of the votes - just three other players received any votes, which were evenly split between Tommy Rowe, Matty Blair and John Marquis.
Thanks to to everyone who took the time to vote - the next poll will open after this weekend's home game against Crewe Alexandra.
January 19, 2017
Copps in Team of the Week
Rovers midfielder James Coppinger has been named in the latest Football League Team of the Week after this weekend's set of matches.
The Football League select the most impressive performers in each position, chosen from teams throughout the Football League, with Rovers players being selected on several occasions so far this season.
The full team selected is: Sam Slocombe (Blackpool), Scott Malone (Fulham), Paul Huntington (Preston North End), Aristote Nsiala (Shrewsbury Town), Callum Connolly (Wigan Athletic), Isaiah Osbourne (Walsall), James Coppinger (Doncaster Rovers), Conor Chaplin (Portsmouth), Tom Lawrence (Ipswich Town), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City), James Vaughan (Bury).
Manager - Paul Lambert (Wolverhampton Wanderers).
January 19, 2017
Lund returns to action in friendly
Defender Mitchell Lund played his first game since August when Doncaster Rovers fixed up a friendly fixture against Scunthorpe United yesterday.
Lund has been out of action since suffering kidney damage in the game against Yeovil Town in late August, and while it has been a frustrating time for him, thankfully he now appears to be fully recovered and ready to resume his playing career.
Rovers have another friendly lined up for next week as part of his return, with boss Darren Ferguson explaining: "We wanted him to get through the Scunthorpe game and then there’s another friendly with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. If we get him through that one then I’ll have a chat with him about where we go next. We’ve not got bad cover in that area, so do we send him out on loan to get him games and then get him back? I’d only let him go out for a month to get him up to speed for the business end."
Ferguson added: "We’ll see where we go with that. He did very well against Scunthorpe though he may have been blowing a bit at the end. But he looks good. He looks fit, so I’m pleased."
January 19, 2017
Horsfield moves to Dutch league
Ex-Rovers loan defender James Horsfield has signed a one year contract extension with Manchester City, that will see him remain at City until June 2018. In the same announcement, City also announced that he will join Dutch club NAC Breda on loan until the end of the season. He joins fellow Blues Ash Smith-Brown, Brandon Barker, Thomas Agyepong and Manu Garcia at the Dutch side.
Horsfield played three games on loan for Rovers last season, and has been a regular in City's Development Squad this season, mainly as a right back, but also playing at centre half and in midfield.
NAC Breda are currently fifth in the Eerste Divisie table.

 

January 19, 2017
Rowe start to show class
Tommy Rowe is now showing the authority that boss Darren Ferguson knew that he had, with Ferguson acknowledging that Rowe was expecting too much of himself earlier in the season. The 28 year old is now dictating play in the way that Ferguson is wanting, and he enthused about the form of his summer signing.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: "I think the last few games he has been very good. I think with Tommy, maybe in the initial part of the season he put too much pressure on himself where he felt he had to be the best player in every game. That’s just the way the lad is. I think now the season has kicked in and he’s settled down a bit, he realises he’s part of a good team. He needs to make sure he has an influence in every game. Certainly in the last few games he’s been very very good for me."
January 19, 2017
Travel information to Yeovil Town
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Yeovil Town on Saturday, 28th January.
The coaches will leave Retford at 7.00am, Bawtry 7.05am, Harworth 7.15am, Rossington 7.15am, Hare & Tortoise 7.20am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 7.30am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 7.45am.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £25 - Concessions £23
Non-members: Adults £27 - Concessions £25
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
January 16, 2017
Barnet 1 Rovers 3
Despite going behind, Rovers roared back in style to register a significant win over an in-form Barnet side, mainly thanks to a double strike from James Coppinger.
Rovers included new signing Ian Lawlor for his debut in goal in preference to Ross Etheridge, but apart from that, Andy Williams returned to the starting line-up in place of Craig Alcock as the team lined up in more of a 4-4-2 formation than of late.
Things didn't get off to the best of starts as pressure from Barnet forced a mistake from Niall Mason, who hit a woefully under hit back pass to his goalkeeper, but John Akinde had plenty of time to nip in to intercept before cracking the ball past Lawlor to put the home side one goal up after 13 minutes.
But then Rovers stunned Barnet with three goals in a 13 minute spell to put the game out of reach.
Firstly, Matty Blair surged down the right wing before playing the ball in to Coppinger, whose shot flew past the Barnet keeper from a tight angle 15 yards out.
Rovers were in front on 28 minutes after a free kick into the box bobbled around before being forced home by John Marquis, and the third came just three minutes later as Jordan Houghton's pass into the box was only cleared as far as Coppinger, whose curled shot from just over 20 yards left the Barnet keeper with no chance of saving it.
You may have thought that more goals would inevitably follow. While they didn't, it's true to say that Rovers had the rest of the game well under control, snuffing out any threat from Barnet before it had the chance to be dangerous. There were scoring opportunities that were missed, but the manner of victory was still impressive.
January 16, 2017
What the managers said
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson was delighted by the overall performance of his side on Saturday, commenting after the game to the Doncaster Star: "That’s what I’m after. That is us, when we’re in complete control of the match. It may look like a swagger but I’m fine with that. As long as it’s not over-arrogance, we need a bit of that arrogance and authority in a game."
Interestingly, he suggests that there is even more to come from his squad, revealing: "At times I don’t think some of them realise how good they are. They’re good players. I still think we’ve got more in us. They need to play with a bit more confidence."
Of the game itself, he added: "I had a funny feeling Copps would score. I said it to him. It’s two wonderful goals. The second one is something we do in training a lot, that sort of finish. The boy is a good player. I’ve said it enough times about Copps. He’s a very good player and a great professional."
Barnet's Interim Manager, Rossi Eames told their official club web site: "We’re disappointed. In the first 15 minutes I thought we were at it – like we spoke about – and came out of the traps well and got a good goal from pressing. Then we took our foot off the gas and didn’t do the things we’ve done so well in the past few games. There were a couple of roles and responsibilities which should have been done better. Against a team like Doncaster if you don’t do those things well you will get punished.!
He added: "It was quite an even first 15 minutes. We set up well and we were quite happy with how we set up. We got the press right and forced a mistake from them to go 1-0 up but we weren’t able to consolidate that lead for long enough during the game which would have helped us kick on. If you can then grow in confidence into the game that might allow you the opportunities to nick a second. You’re playing against the team top of the league – they won’t make it easy for you and they didn’t make it easy for us today."
January 16, 2017
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals begins in League One, where David Wheater put Bolton Wanderers in front in their home game against Swindon Town. Sadly for Bolton, a 65th minute Swindon equaliser was followed by an 89th minute winning goal for the visitors.
Also in League One, Marc-Antoine Fortune scored Southend United's first goal in their home game against Rochdale, which ended up 2-1, thanks to a 93rd minute winning goal for Southend.
Finally, in the Scottish Championship former Rovers defender Gary MacKenzie scored again for St Mirren in their away game at Dunfermline. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
January 16, 2017
New limited edition kit goes on sale
Doncaster Rovers have announced that a limited edition version of the replica kit has gone on sale in the club shop "due to popular demand".
The white kit, which was promoting the British Heart Foundation, was worn by the players in the 5-1 victory at Morecambe - the game that saw James Coppinger make his 500th appearance for the club. It will also be worn by Rovers for the home game against Luton Town in February, which has been designated by the club as a fundraising match for the charity.
CEO Gavin Baldwin told DROS: "We have been inundated with fans asking if we can produce these shirts, so we’re delighted to be able to fulfil that demand and assist a good cause at the same time. Our partnership with the British Heart Foundation is something we have taken tremendous pride in, and look forward to continuing this in the second half of the season."
January 14, 2017
Barnet v Rovers
Goalkeeper Marko Marosi will be missing for around three months after being injured in the closing minutes of the home win over Portsmouth just over a week ago, and is the only new injury problem reported by Rovers ahead of today's game at Barnet.
Rovers' recent good sequence of results could be under threat today against a Barnet side who themselves have good recent form, but boss Darren Ferguson will have to decide on whether to include goalkeeper Ross Etheridge, who has returned apparently rejuvenated from a loan spell at Alfreton Town, or plump for new signing Ian Lawlor, who signed yesterday from Manchester City.
Apart from Marosi's absence, Mitchell Lund, Gary McSheffrey, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Luke McCullough all remain out due to injuries, although all four are continuing to make good progress in the treatment room. Teenage striker Liam Mandeville is still struggling with the thigh injury that has seen him miss the last two matches, with new signing Alfie May hoping for his first time on the pitch for Rovers after signing earlier this month from non-league Hythe Town.
Barnet also have injury concerns over their first choice goalkeeper, with Jamie Stephens substituted due to a knee injury early in last week's game against Leyton Orient. John Vickers, who is on loan from Swansea City, looks set to deputise if Stephens fails to recover.
Barnet continue to be without long term injury victims Michael Gash, Shaun Batt, Ben Tomlinson and James Pearson. Luke Gambin could be left out after being transfer listed after turning down new contract offer.
January 14, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's away game at Barnet are:
Referee: John Brooks
Assistant referees: Christopher Husband and Neil Radford
Fourth official: Robert Hyde
January 14, 2017
Rovers sign City keeper
Doncaster Rovers have signed 22 year old Manchester City goalkeeper Ian Lawlor on a two and a half year contract as Darren Ferguson moved to cope with the loss of Marko Marosi for most of the rest of the season.
But instead of signing someone on loan to cover Marosi's absence, he has opted to sign Lawlor to the club until the summer of 2019, which suggests that he will be offloading one of the existing goalkeepers in the summer.
Lawlor has been signed in time to be included in the squad for this afternoon's game at Barnet, with Ferguson non-committal as to which keeper he will elect to use.
Lawlor is clearly impressed by the ambition of the club, and the fact that Rovers are top of the League Two table has enabled them to beat off competition from other clubs to get their man.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ian said: "I’m delighted to be here, I’m looking forward to progressing and getting involved with the lads. I spoke with the manager and saw the ambition of the club, obviously we’re on a great run at the moment but to see the future is something I want to be a part of. It’s nice to have the feeling that they want me to come in on a permanent basis. But there is nothing guaranteed in football, so I’m ready for a battle. I’ll work hard every day and, if selected come the weekend, will give everything I have."
Lawlor is a Republic of Ireland U19 and U21 international and while he has been called up twice for their senior squad, has yet to add a senior cap to his collection. He has come through City's academy, with spells on loan at Barnet and Bury after turning professional in 2012.
January 14, 2017
Ticket information v Yeovil Town
Doncaster Rovers have announced that they have received 500 tickets for the terracing and 567 tickets for seated areas when Rovers are due to play Yeovil Town on Saturday, 28th January.
Tickets have been on sale to season ticket holders for the last few days, and go on sale to Alliance members tomorrow.
Remaining tickets will go on general sale from Monday, 23rd January.
Please note that there is a £1 reduction in price for most categories of tickets sold on-line.
Ticket prices for the game are as follows:
Allocated seating (Screwfix Community Stand):
Adults £22 - Senior Citizens (65+) £18 - Young adult (16-21) £14 - Under 16s £6 - Disabled (+ carer) £18
On-line prices: Adults £21 - Senior Citizens (65+) £17 - Young adult (16-21) £13 - Under 16s £6 - Disabled (+ carer) £17
Terracing (Radio Cabs Stand)
Adults £16 - Senior Citizens (65+) £14 - Young adult (16-21) £12 - Under 16s £5
On-line prices: Adults £15 - Senior Citizens (65+) £13 - Young adult (16-21) £11 - Under 16s £5
Ticket prices bought on the day at Huish Park will all rise by £2 apart from the U16s category.
January 14, 2017
Provisional agreement for Hythe friendly
Hythe Town boss Clive Cook has paid tribute to the manner in which Doncaster Rovers negotiated with them over the transfer of striker Alfie May, and has revealed that the two clubs even talked about Rovers travelling down for a pre-season friendly in the summer.
May joined Rovers earlier this month after having Alfie up for training before Christmas and it seems the two clubs continue to have good relations.
Cook revealed to Kent Live: "Doncaster were very good and Darren, their manager, was very good in the whole process. We are happy with the undisclosed fee. They treated us like a proper football club, they didn't treat us like minnows. They were very, very good to Hythe Town and I was impressed."
"Darren looked after Alfie when he went up and made a good impression on him. I feel that non-league players sometimes get disregarded but he could be a future star. Everyone says it, but look at Jamie Vardy. I'm just so pleased with how Doncaster handled it and that Alfie got a two and a half year deal. I think he will do very well."
As far as the friendly, he added: "It was spoken about but it's a long way away and depends on their plans. It would be very good to see Alfie back, especially for the fans to see how he has improved. It would be good but it has to fit into the plans of Doncaster Rovers."
January 11, 2017
Marosi out for three months
Goalkeeper Marko Marosi will be stuck on the sidelines for three months after it was found that he has damaged ankle ligaments. The 23 year old stopper was carried off in the later stages of Thursday's home game against Portsmouth and was sent for a scan, which revealed ligament damage and a chipped ankle bone.
Boss Darren Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "Marko is out for three months. He's torn his ligaments and a tiny bit of bone in the ankle has come off and broken away. He had a scan on Monday. It is almost identical an injury to the one Craig Alcock had in the summer. It's a minimum of three months."
Rovers had recalled Ross Etheridge from his loan at Alfreton Town ahead of the game against Portsmouth, and he looks set to be given an extended run in the side, although Ferguson does seem intent in signing more goalkeeping cover, with only youth team keeper Louis Jones as an alternative.
The Rovers manager added: "It leaves us with Ross and Louis (Jones). The reason I brought Ross back was I didn't really want to have to have Louis on the bench, no disrespect to him. We did our job getting Ross out on loan which has give him a lot more confidence. It got him games and gave him sharpness. I brought him back for the Portsmouth game and he did very well when he had to come on."
"Certainly, I'll be looking to get one (a goalkeeper) in. There's a chance it will be before the weekend but you never know. We made one or two calls on Monday and Tuesday and we're waiting on calls back. It's going to be for competition. I have to make a decision on who starts on Saturday. That's why I want this done as quickly as we can. Hopefully we can get someone in by Thursday if we can and make a decision from there."
January 11, 2017
Beestin signs until 2019
Young midfielder Alfie Beestin has signed an extension to his contract at Doncaster Rovers, which now means he will be at the club until the summer of 2019.
He signed a one year deal in the summer when he joined Rovers from Tadcaster Albion, and has made eight first team appearances so far, albeit mainly from the substitutes' bench.
But Rovers boss Darren Ferguson clearly rates him, with the player pleased to have received a vote of confidence from his manager.
Speaking to DROS, Alfie said: He said: “I’m really pleased, to get another two years is really pleasing and the pressure is off a bit. I feel like the gaffer wants me. He feels like I have a part to play, and I’m not here just to sit on the bench."
January 11, 2017
Mansfield Town 1 Youth team 1
The Rovers youth team were held to a 1-1 draw in their first game of 2017 last Saturday, being pegged back from a 1-0 half time lead. Two own goals were scored in the game, and while there were several goal scoring opportunities for each side, a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping prevented further goals in the game.
Mansfield Town: Sundby, Bloor, Baldwin, C.Smith, Ratcliffe (C), Harrison, Wilder, A.Smith (Law 60), Hakeem, Marriott (Dumbleton 46), Blake (Reittie 69)
Unused substitutes: Walker, Behailu
Doncaster Rovers: Jones, Walker, Amos, Morgan (Prior 85), Barker (C), Fielding, Townrow (Foulkes 62), Fletcher, Henderson (Scattergood 85), Longbottom, Overton (Morris 77)
Unused substitute: Leverton (GK)
January 11, 2017
Goals review
A review of ex-Rovers players scoring goals since last weekend begins in the National League, where Michael Rankine scored the winning goal for Guiseley ten minutes from time to give them a 2-1 victory over Maidstone, and while they remain in the relegation places, Guiseley are now only a point behind Maidstone.
Meanwhile, in the Vanarama National League North, ex-Rovers midfielder scored a late equaliser for Darlington 1883 in the 90th minute of their home game against Nuneaton Town - but that still wasn't enough to take a point, with Nuneaton hitting back to score a winner with only seconds remaining, the game ending in a 2-1 win for the visitors.
And in the FA Cup Third Round, Theo Robinson was Lincoln City's hero as he scored twice against Championship club Ipswich Town - but the home side hit back to level on both occasions, so the game ended 2-2, and it goes to a replay at Sincil Bank next week.
January 10, 2017
Ferguson after permanent deal for Conor
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson wants Everton midfielder Conor Grant to become a permanent member of the squad when his loan expires at the end of the season.
Ferguson revealed to the Doncaster Free Press last week that Rovers have had a bid accepted by Everton, but Grant requested that his Rovers return was only on loan so he can keep his options open at the end of the season.
Of course, if Rovers can maintain their promotion challenge, the prospect of playing in League One next season may be a sufficient 'carrot' to persuade Grant to sign on in the summer.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, Ferguson said: "Conor just wanted to come and play and enjoy his football. The hope is, he does that, we’re all successful together and then certainly I’d be looking at doing a permanent in the summer if we can. As a club we had a bid accepted by Everton to sign him permanently. That shows where we want to go as a football club. But the boy decided he wanted to come on loan."
"When I met him and his dad, he obviously had reservations about coming to League Two. He feels he’s got a point to prove and he should be playing at a higher level. We managed to convince him as a club we want to be at a higher level. If he comes in and helps us be successful and someone offers him a fortune, he’s done his job. But we will be competitive in that sense. If we get to where we want to, then we’ll try to keep him."
Ferguson revealed that he was quick off the mark once he heard that Conor's loan at Ipswich had been cut short in November, adding: "As soon as that happened, we put in that call. You think, it ain’t going to happen. But then as time went on it got more and more positive. It obviously helped that we’re doing well in the league. I just think he’s such a good lad. He’s had a bad experience at Ipswich and sometimes when that happens you just want to go somewhere where you can trust the manager and players, you know you’re going to play more of the time if you’re on form and you know you enjoy the way the team tries to play."
January 10, 2017
Injury update
The injury situation at Doncaster Rovers should improve in the coming weeks, with all three long-term injury casualties reported to be ahead of schedule in their recovery.
Defender Aaron Taylor-Sinclair was feared to be set to miss the whole season after suffering knee ligament damage at the end of last season, but is doing well and could be in with a chance of being fit to play by the end of February.
Striker Gary McSheffrey is also doing well and is a little ahead of Taylor-Sinclair, and could be looking at a mid-February return.
And defender Luke McCullough, who had serious cruciate ligament damage when playing in a pre-season game in the summer, could be fit enough for a return for the final month of the season, although Darren Ferguson is to be extremely cautious and will not risk him playing unless he is totally convinced by his fitness.
Teenage striker Liam Mandeville missed the Portsmouth game with a thigh injury, but his injury is not thought to be serious and should be back in contention for the weekend. With Andy Williams now fit, and the signing of Alfie May last week, Rovers are not short of attacking options and will not risk Mandeville if he is not fully fit.
January 10, 2017
Sheridan sacked by Notts County
Notts County have sacked former Rovers midfielder John Sheridan as their manager. County went on a run of nine successive league defeats that left the club only a point above the League Two relegation places, and a record of winning only six of his 24 league games since joining in the summer was clearly not good enough for the club bosses.
Sheridan's final game was a 4-0 defeat at Cambridge on 2nd January and with the club set to be taken over by businessman Alan Hardy, Sheridan's job was always in doubt.
He had admitted that he was under pressure due to their poor results before Christmas.
A club statement issued a very brief statement which read: "Notts County FC can confirm that John Sheridan is to leave his position as manager with immediate effect. The club will be making no further statement at this time."
Former Manchester United striker Alan Smith, now a midfielder at County, has been named as caretaker manager while the club decide who to appoint as a new manager.
January 10, 2017
Stuckmann leaves Partick
Ex-Rovers goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann has left Partick Thistle at the end of his short term contract, playing just five times for the club during his time in Scotland.
Stuckmann joined Thistle in September at a time when first choice keeper Tomas Cerny was injured, and played in two wins and three defeats before Cerny returned to fitness to reclaim his first team place.
Partick have now signed former Hearts and St Mirren goalkeeper Mark Ridgers as cover for Cerny, thus meaning that the experienced Stuckmann is no longer required.
January 10, 2017
Ferguson - still a place for Tyler at Rovers
Defender Tyler Garratt may be just over half way through his month's loan at Eastleigh, but his loan move does not necessarily mean that his career at Doncaster Rovers is over, says boss Darren Ferguson.
Garratt has struggled to force his way into the first team picture at Rovers, but Ferguson insists that the youngster needs some competitive games to 'toughen him up'.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, Ferguson said: "I just feel he needs games. He’s been a little bit unfortunate. We all need to remember that he’s hardly played any real first team football."
"We got him as a young boy coming out of Bolton. We managed to nick him really, because they wanted to keep him. I feel, going to Eastleigh in that league with Martin as his manager, he will taste that different sort of environment which will toughen him up. I think it’s the perfect move for him. I’m really pleased he’s got that move actually."
"Tyler’s got a lot of good attributes. Certainly, going to that sort of environment, he’ll have to toughen up quick."
January 10, 2017
Ikeme signs on for more at Wolves
Former Rovers loan goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has signed a new contract at Wolverhampton Wanderers, meaning he will now stay at the club until the summer of 2019. Ikeme first joined Wolves as a youth team player as a 15 year old - and now has 15 years at the club under his belt.
Speaking to the Express & Star, Carl said: "I'm delighted. I've been here since I was 15 years of age - it's something I'm proud of. I've got good relationships with everyone here including the fans. I want to continue it and have more success here. or me personally I feel like I've always got a challenge here. And under the new gaffer I feel like the club is moving in the right direction. It's given everyone impetus and belief that we can do well. I'm looking forward to being a part of that."
Wolvers boss Paul Lambert added: "I think it is important to get players like Carl Ikeme signed up to a new deal. He knows exactly what the club is about and if you get a core of lads like that then they can look after the dressing room as well. Carl has been terrific since I arrived and I think this is a big signing for the club.He is a big presence, a great lad and a top goalkeeper."
January 9, 2017
Barker leaves Dons to join Charlton
Ex-Rovers striker Richie Barker has left MK Dons after 'holding the fort' as caretaker manager following the sacking of previous boss Karl Robinson. He kept the position until Robbie Nelson was appointed as their new boss in early December. Despite initial intentions that he would stay at the club in some capacity, the club's chairman Pete Winkelman ultimately decided it would be best if they parted company.
Barker had been at MK Dons for two and a half years, joining shortly after being sacked as manager at Portsmouth.
Less than 24 hours after it was made public that he had left the MK Dons, it was announced that Barker had joined the coaching staff at Charlton Athletic - where ex-MK Dons boss Karl Robinson is now manager, thus reuniting the pair, with Robinson telling the club's official web site: "Once Richie became available, I wanted to act to get him".
January 9, 2017
Mandeville - I'm happy at Rovers
Teenage striker Liam Mandeville is trying hard not to listen to the transfer speculation that inevitably has arisen following his stunning form of late, getting his first team chance when Andy Williams suffered an injury in December.
Boss Darren Ferguson has admitted that the club is aware of other clubs showing interest in Mandeville, but both are trying to dampen down speculation.
Mandeville told the Doncaster Free Press recently: "I don’t think about any of that. I’m happy here and I want to get promotion. You can’t really control any of the other stuff."
He added: "It’s going well at the moment and hopefully it can continue. I wasn’t ever expecting any of this to happen so it’s nice. I’m really enjoying my football. This team is focused on winning promotion and we’re on course at the moment. We’re averaging two points per game, and I think that will see us through."
January 9, 2017
Voting results v Portsmouth
Voting for the "Man of the Match" for Thursday evening's home game against Portsmouth turned out to be a competition between just four players, with double goal scorer John Marquis being the clear winner, gaining exactly half of all votes cast.
The four to receive votes were:
1 John Marquis (50.0%)
2 Marko Marosi (28.57%)
3 Mathieu Baudry (14.29%)
4 Tommy Rowe (7.14%)
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to take part. The next vote will open after Saturday's away game at Barnet.
January 9, 2017
McDermott lifts lid on McIndoe scandal
Former Walsall teenage footballer David McDermott is the first to publicly make comment on being a victim of the failed investment scheme that has landed former Rovers winger Michael McIndoe in hot water with the Fraud Squad.
Numerous names have been reported in the press as being victims of the "Ponzi scheme" which collapsed, leaving most investors well out of pocket, with court documents citing a total of £3.5 million being owed to 17 people, mainly footballers. Dozens of others are suspected to be victims but with few willing to comment, the extend of the fraud is yet to be determined.
McDermott, now aged 28, made his debut for Walsall as a 16 year old and was 21 when he was first introduced to McIndoe at one of his lavish beach side parties in Marbella around 2010.
Speaking to the Express & Star, McDermott said: "We were 21 and we looked up to him. He did not drink, he did not do drugs, he had a successful career and was making all this money, flying us over, and having women around us all the time. We took his word as gospel."
He continued: "He was networking. People saw the money and they were like ‘flipping heck let’s get involved’. Some people had spare cash and thought they would put the money in for two or three months and take it back out. It was everyone, footballers, businessmen. I would get approached because football is a small community and word gets around."
McDermott, family members and friends put their savings into the scheme while others took out bank loans. “When I came back from Marbella and four or five months later he phoned up one day and said ‘they’ve stopped it and pulled the plug on it’. My response was as long as I got my money back. We trusted him at that point."
He added: "A lot of the lads it has been the same to pay it off. It has consumed their lives. A lot of the lads just wrote their money off. A lot of people are scared and embarrassed to come forward. The biggest thing is to be associated with what went on. I don’t think people need to be scared. If someone offers you an investment and your friends are involved you have a chance you are going to take it. You can change as a person. Seeing all that money at just 21 it is hard not to."
Scotland Yard’s Falcon fraud squad has launched an investigation into the scheme. McIndoe was declared bankrupt in October 2014 and is now understood to be living abroad and unsurprisingly was not available for comment.
January 8, 2017
Ticket information v Barnet
Tickets for the away game at Barnet on Saturday, 14th January are now on sale from the ticket office at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Due to late receipt of the tickets, the schedule for sale of tickets is more compressed than usual - from Monday morning they will be on sale to season ticket holders and Alliance members, with any remaining tickets going on general sale from Wednesday, 11th January.
Ticket prices are as follows:
Adults £23 - Senior Citizens (60+) £14 - Young adults (17-20) £14 - Juniors (16 & under) £5
All disabled supporters, whether ambulant or in wheelchairs, should contact Barnet direct for tickets for themselves and their carer. Barnet's phone number is 0208 381 3800.
January 8, 2017
Travel information to Barnet
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Barnet on Saturday, 14th January.
The coaches will leave Retford at 9.15am, Bawtry 9.30am, Harworth 9.20am, Rossington 9.30am, Hare & Tortoise 9.35am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 9.45am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 10.00am.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £22 - Concessions £20
Non-members: Adults £24 - Concessions £22
To book a place on the coach, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) after 6pm, Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm or Steve Warnes (07780 316923)
Please note that all bookings for Saturday games have a deadline of the Wednesday before the game, and for all midweek games, the deadline is the previous Sunday.
January 8, 2017
Goals review
A little belatedly, we look back on goals scored in recent games by former Doncaster Rovers players.
We begin with games from Saturday, 31st December and start in League Two, where Jonathan Forte scored Notts County's second goal, but it was still not enough to save County from a 3-2 home defeat by promotion chasing Carlisle United.
Moving north of the border, we start in the Scottish Premier League, with Martin Woods scoring Ross County's winning goal as they registered a 3-2 home win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
In the Scottish Championship, Gary MacKenzie scored for St Mirren in their 1-1 home draw against Morton.
And then we move on to games played on Monday, 2nd January.
There are a couple of goals to mention from these matches, beginning in League One, where Billy Sharp scored Sheffield United's first goal in their 3-1 away win at Bury.
In League Two, Uche Ikpeazu scored Cambridge United's second goal as they beat a beleaguered Notts County 4-0, which ultimately cost County boss John Sheridan his job.
January 8, 2017
Houghton stays for rest of the season
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that Chelsea midfielder Jordan Houghton has signed an extension to his loan deal at the club, and he will now stay at the Keepmoat Stadium until the end of the season. That is welcome news, with Houghton being a key part of the Rovers midfield this season.
The news was confirmed at the same time that Chelsea announced that Jordan has signed a new deal at Stamford Bridge, meaning he will remain under contract with the Blues until the summer of 2018.
Jordan told the Doncaster Free Press after his loan extension had been confirmed: "I’ve enjoyed every moment since I’ve been here, I’ve moved up and am settled up here. It helps that I’m playing every week, and hopefully that can continue for the rest of the season. There were three clubs interested in League One, but I never had my head turned because I want to finish off the good start to the season we have."
"I want to get that promotion and hopefully win the title. It was the right decision for me, and all the parties I think. Chelsea were happy for me to stay because I’m playing. And I’m happy because I’m enjoying it, and hopefully Doncaster are enjoying it as I’m part of a winning side."
January 8, 2017
Mason also confirms he's staying
On loan defender Niall Mason has had his loan from Aston Villa extended until the end of the season. The versatile Villa youngster has been a regular in the Rovers side in the first half of the season and has his eyes on promotion.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "I’ve had a really good time since I’ve been here, and had a really good experience. I can’t wait for the coming months now. I am gaining a bit of confidence, knowing I can play first-team football which is brand-new to me. Promotion is the target, to keep the performances we know gets us results and win as many games as possible. We need to keep maintaining those standards to ensure we get over the line. I want to keep playing every game and try to keep performing well."
Niall's willingness to play wherever he is needed has not been missed by boss Darren Ferguson, who told the Yorkshire Post: "He’s shown his flexibility. He’s played right wing-back, right-back, left centre-half, left-back, midfield. We knew he had that flexibility. I thought he was excellent when he went to centre midfield at Notts County. It’s a position he likes to play. He’s done very well at left-back, though he is right-footed. With Tyler Garratt going out on loan and Cedric Evina looking for another club, I still feel we’ve got options in that position. He’s been an important player for us. He’s done very, very well. I like him. He’s only young and he’s got a lot of improvement in him, but he’s got the right attitude."
January 8, 2017
Macheda's Italian move confirmed
Italian Serie B side Novara have confirmed the signing of former Rovers loan striker Federico Macheda, with his contract believed to last until the end of the 2017/18 season.
Macheda had a brief trial at Novara in December, and was a free agent after being released by Cardiff City at the end of last season.
A brief statement issued by Novara said: "The Novara Calcio Company is pleased to inform journalists and fans that it has reached an agreement for the attacker’s registration, Federico Macheda, born 1991".
Macheda played for Rovers while on loan from Manchester United, and also had loans at Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart and Birmingham City while on the books at United. A full transfer then followed to Cardiff in 2014, where he signed for ex-Man United striker Ole Gunnar Solkjaer, but following a change in manager, he struggled to hold down a regular first team place.
January 8, 2017
Match officials
Due to sporadic updates of this site in the last couple of weeks, we have not included details of appointments of match officials for recent games.
For the away game at Mansfield Town on Saturday, 31st December, the match officials appointed by the Football League were:
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistant referees: Timothy Wood and Matthew McGrath
Fourth official: Nick Hopton.
For the home game against Stevenage Borough on Monday, 2nd January, the match officials were:
Referee: Mark Brown
Assistant referees: Stephen Wade and Matthew Bristow
Fourth official: Neil Hair
Finally, for the home game against Portsmouth on Thursday, the match officials were:
Referee: Jeremy Simpson
Assistant referees: Shaun Hudson and Tony Peart
Fourth official: Andrew Madley
January 7, 2017
Rovers 3 Portsmouth 1
Rovers fans will be starting to think that promotion could well be achieved this season after Thursday evening's impressive victory opened up a four point gap at the top of the League Two table. Perhaps more importantly, it opened up a ten point gap between Rovers and fourth placed Portsmouth - and the longer that gap can be maintained, the sooner the dreams of automatic promotion could be achieved.
With the game brought forward 48 hours due to the dictates of the lords and masters of football these days - Sky Sports - Rovers turned on the style in front of the television cameras to inflict Portsmouth's first away defeat since September. Rovers have produced a good set of results over the Christmas and New Year period to consolidate their promotion challenge - but, as everyone knows, promotion isn't won in January, and that form needs to be maintained.
Rovers applied the pressure right from the start against Portsmouth, taking a fifth minute lead, with Coppinger's cross being headed home by John Marquis. They failed to capitalise on that dream start, and Portsmouth eventually levelled matters as the game headed towards the half time break, with a pass from Jordan Houghton being intercepted by former Rovers winger Kyle Bennett, who fed the ball for Naismith to score.
Rovers went back in front after an hour's play, with a superb goal by Tommy Rowe ending a flowing move that started off in the right back position. Coppinger fed Rowe, who finished superbly, even though he was assisted by an only half-hearted interception attempt by a Portsmouth defender on the edge of the box.
That lead was increased in the 71st minute when a cross in from Rowe on the left was volleyed home in style by Marquis for his second goal of the game.
The only down-side to Rovers' victory was the sight of goalkeeper Marko Marosi being carried off the field on stretcher four minutes from time after landing on his ankle awkwardly, although the recalled Ross Etheridge coped well with all that was asked of him in the last few minutes of action.
January 7, 2017
Voting results v Mansfield Town
Apologies for the delay in confirming the results of the "Man of the Match" for the away game at Mansfield Town on Boxing Day.
Defender Andy Butler was the clear winner of the voting, gaining over one in three of the votes cast, with the in-form Liam Mandeville his closest rival.
We received nominations for nine different players this time, with the most votes going as follows:
1 Andy Butler (38.46%)
2 Liam Mandeville (15.38%)
3= Mathieu Baudry, Jordan Houghton (11.54% each)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to place their votes, we really appreciate it.
January 7, 2017
Voting results v Stevenage Borough
We received nominations for seven different players for the "Man of the Match" in the home game against Stevenage Borough on Monday.
Again, a defender won the voting by a clear margin, this time it being Mathieu Baudry who caught the eye of most supporters.
The players to receive the most votes were:
1 Mathieu Baudry (48.15%)
2 Matty Blair (11.53%)
3 Tommy Rowe (7.69%)
We thank everyone who took the time to vote. Every single vote received this season will go towards the season's totals, at which stage a "Player of the Season" will be revealed.
January 7, 2017
What the managers said
As has been the case in a number of matches this season, the half time talk given by Darren Ferguson proved to be the key to success.
Speaking after the game, he explained: "I think the goal was a hindrance rather than a help. Sometimes that happens with an early goal. All of a sudden we started to play counter-attacking and we couldn't get control of the game. I thought Portsmouth were the better team in the first half and I was pleased we went in level at the break."
"Half time came at the right time for us. The problem was that we didn’t keep the ball well enough. If you keep giving the ball back to Portsmouth they’ll cause you problems because they’re a good technical team.
"In the second half we kept the ball much, much better, which allowed our centre halves to get up the pitch and we could go and press them. That was the big difference and the second goal was a really good example of that. We were much more like ourselves after half time and we were much more composed on the ball, and that won us the game."
He then went on to praise striker John Marquis, whose two goals were taken well and have been important factors all season.
Ferguson added: "He was outstanding and he has been all season. He hasn't scored for four or five games but his two goals were excellent. They were really clinical finishes. He gave their centre-halves a really long night."
However, he played down whether the result could be a turning point in Rovers' ambitions for this season, commenting: "With 21 games to go, 10 points is catchable, there is no question about that. What we have done is maintain the home form and the unbeaten home record which is proving really crucial. Time will tell how significant that result was."
Portsmouth boss Paul Cook was particularly disappointed with the way his players started the game, and told their official club site: "We’ve prided ourselves lately on starting games properly, but we were an absolute shambles in the first 5-10 minutes. We conceded a sloppy goal and that’s always going to happen if you don’t do things correctly. But I then thought we took control of the game until half-time and thoroughly deserved to get back level. You expect us to go on and win from that point, but instead we were punished for giving the ball away so cheaply in the middle third of the pitch."
"Doncaster are a good side and we have to give them credit for being at the top of the table, although there’s still a long way to go. But if you don’t respect your opponents and don’t respect possession of the ball then teams like them will hurt you – and that’s exactly what they did. We’ve got an arrogance about us at times that just isn’t correct. It should come off the back of victories, but sometimes we show it before we’ve won and that’s not a good trait. I say all the time that it’s only at the end of the season that the plaudits are dished out, so we just have to concentrate on the next game. And I have to praise the travelling Pompey fans who made such a long journey to support us on a Thursday night."
January 7, 2017
Rovers sign Donaldson - then loan him out
Doncaster Rovers have signed teenage midfielder Tony Donaldson after he has trained with the club for several months, on a contract which will last until the summer of 2018.
He has joined Rovers from non-league club Runcorn Linnets after being at Wigan Athletic's youth team set-up.
No sooner had news come out of the club that he had signed, than he was on his way to AFC Telford on a month's loan to gain some first team match experience.
Donaldson has joined Telford for one month, remaining with them until 4th February. He is set to be involved in Telford's home game against Gainsborough Trinity this afternoon.
January 7, 2017
Etheridge returns from loan spell
Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge has been recalled from his loan spell at Alfreton Town, despite only joining midway through December, during which time he has played three games and did not experience defeat during that time.
He was recalled in time to be included on the bench for Thursday evening's game against Portsmouth - and it proved just as well he was there, with Marko Marosi picking up an ankle injury in the closing minutes of the game.
January 7, 2017
Match highlights
Highlights of Thursday evening's home game against Portsmouth are now available on Sky Sports' web site.
To view the highlights, please click on the logo to the left.
January 4, 2017
Grant returns to Rovers
Everton midfielder Conor Grant has returned to Doncaster Rovers on loan for the rest of the 2016/17 season. The deal was struck with parent club Everton, who had recalled Grant from his loan spell with Ipswich Town due to him not playing enough games for them. He played his last game for Ipswich on 22nd October, but was signed by Rovers in time for him to make his 'second debut' in Monday's home game against Stevenage Borough.
Conor signed a new two year deal with Everton last summer, but feels as though he has 'unfinished business' at Rovers, with last season's loan at the club being cut short due to injury.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: "I’m delighted to be back, it feels like I have unfinished business with Rovers after injury ended my loan spell last season and relegation. There were other offers, but the manager made it an easy choice for me. The fans took to me last time, so it was a straightforward decision really. The manager told me how much he wanted me, and having a manager who has confidence and believes in you makes a real difference in football."
But Conor is hoping that this season will have a happier ending than twelve months ago, adding: "I am a creative player, so I want to create and score goals, but I just want to help out the team in any way I can. So, really, my only target is to ensure we win promotion and are all celebrating by the end of the season."
January 4, 2017
Rovers give teenage duo contracts
Doncaster Rovers have handed teenage starlets Reece Fielding and Will Longbottom their first professional contracts, with both having featured in the first team squad during the first half of the season.
The pair have agreed two and a half year contracts, meaning they will be at the club until the summer of 2019.
January 4, 2017
Rovers release two
As part of his transfer dealings in the January transfer window, boss Darren Ferguson has decided to allow midfielder Riccardo Calder to return to Aston Villa, deciding against extending his loan for the second half of the season. Calder was a success in his loan at Rovers last season, but has struggled to feature regularly in the starting line-up so far this season, being mainly used as a substitute.
Also leaving Rovers is defender Frazer Richardson, who has reached the end of his short-term contract with the club. Richardson was signed as cover during an injury crisis earlier in the season, but has been injured for most of his time at Rovers. He is still recovering from injury, but Rovers are allowing him to continue his rehabilitation with the club.
Darren Ferguson told DROS: "I’d like to thank Riccardo and Frazer for their contributions to the club. Both have fantastic attitudes and have contributed to getting us where we are now."
January 4, 2017
Pugh moves to Frickley
Rovers youngster Joe Pugh has joined non-league club Frickley Athletic on a month's loan. He signed in time for their game against Whitby Town on Monday, and will remain with Frickley until 2nd February.
Joe has also been out on loan at Boston United and Hyde United earlier this season.
January 4, 2017
Match highlights
Brief highlights of Doncaster Rovers' home game against Stevenage Borough on Monday are now available on the Sky Sports web site>
If you would like to view them, please click on the logo to the left.
January 3, 2017
Rovers 1 Stevenage Borough 0
The "Man of the Match" voting for Monday's home game against Stevenage Borough is now open. If you would like to take part, please click on the logo to the left.
Please note that the voting for the Mansfield Town game is still open, so please make sure that you use the link for the intended match.
January 1, 2017
Mansfield Town 1 Rovers 1
A penalty by Liam Mandeville enabled Doncaster Rovers to take a point from their final game of 2016. Mandeville's goal, which came from the spot after Matty Blair was brought down by the Mansfield goalkeeper 13 minutes from time, was perhaps tough justice on the hosts, with Rovers barely putting a shot on target until that stage.
Rovers were certainly far from at their best, but Mansfield weren't a great deal better either, with passes going astray on a frequent basis. Mansfield had clearly decided to push forward and get early balls into the Rovers penalty area, but it still took them until the 59th minute to take the lead, when Matt Green gave the Stags a deserved lead. Williams and Mandeville then went close, but it looked as though it was going too be a fruitless task for Rovers until that penalty incident, with Rowe attempting to take the ball towards the goal, with the keeper bringing Blair down as he attempted to go around him.
Mandeville's penalty sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to give Rovers a point. The result put Rovers clear at the top of the league table, although results later in the afternoon would see them finish the day in third.
The "Man of the Match" voting for the game is now open, and will remain open until Wednesday evening. Please note that from Tuesday morning, there will be two votes running concurrently, so please make sure you select the right one when placing your vote!
As usual, please click on the logo to the left to vote.
January 2, 2017
Rovers v Stevenage Borough
Skipper James Coppinger is set to return to the side for this afternoon's home game against Stevenage Borough. Coppinger has now completed a three match suspension due to his sending off at Plymouth, and is almost certain to be included in the starting line-up.
There seem to be no new injury concerns arising from Saturday's game at Mansfield, with the longer term injury casualties, Gary McSheffrey (knee), Mitchell Lund (kidney), Luke McCullough (knee) and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (knee) still absent.
Midfielder Jordan Houghton will continue in midfield after having his loan extension confirmed, and new signing Alfie May is expected to be included in the squad after completing his transfer from Hythe Town yesterday.
Stevenage are set to includ Tyler Walker for his first start since October after recovering from injury. He came on as a subsitute on Saturday without suffering any after effects and will be included today. That means that Tom Conlon (knee) is their only long term injury casualty.
Stevenage boss Darren Sarll is hoping that the loans of Jack King, Harry McKirdy and Henry Cowans will all be extended in time for the game.
Changes could be on the cards, though, with Sarll questioning the desire of his players after losing both games over Christmas, with Jobi McAnuff, Charlie Lee, Michael Tonge and Reda Johnson hoping for recalls.
January 2, 2017
May signs for Rovers
Darren Ferguson unveiled striker Alfie May as his first signing of the New Year, and has hinted that Alfie may be in line for his debut in today's game against Stevenage Borough.
May has signed a two and a half year contract, with the fee paid to Hythe Town remaining undisclosed, but Hythe have said that a sell-on clause has been included.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "He did well in the week he was in with us on trial. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I’ve just got to manage how quickly I think he can play a part. With goalscorers, sometimes you just chuck them in and they are liable to get you a goal. There is a chance he will be involved on Monday, certainly.”
Hythe boss Clive Cook paid tribute to the departing Alfie, telling Kent OnLine ahead of their game on Saturday: "Hopefully, this game will be the last we ever see of him at this level. He’s a smashing lad, easy to manage. He just wants to work hard and play football. I’m not sure whether to start him or bring him off the bench. Do I go with my head or my heart? We want to say goodbye but at the same time I don’t want to think that one tackle could undo all the hard work he’s put in."
"Alfie’s created an awful lot of interest and it’s great to see that Football League clubs can find talent in non-league players. It shows the players there is a pathway there for them if they work hard enough."
May cannot wait to get started on the next chapter of his career, telling DROS: "From the minute I met the players, they came out their way to ask where I was from and introducing themselves. It made it so much easier and took a lot of weight off my shoulders. It is a big step, but I feel confident I can play in League 2 and training every day will only improve me. I’ve done really well in non-league with Hythe, I’ve felt they’ve really got the best out of me, but working with Darren Ferguson as manager is different – I reckon he can get goals out of me too."
Hythe chairman Paul Markland told his club's website: "Alfie has been scoring plenty of goals and has been noticed by several Football League clubs. Doncaster were keenest and, after a bit of negotiation, we settled on a deal that we are happy with, including a sell-on percentage. They were astute, but fair and professional, and didn’t play the big club-little club card. I am glad we have helped Alfie into a career as a professional footballer. I’m sure he will do well."
January 2, 2017
Keepmoat's 10th anniversary
Today's game at home to Stevenage marks Doncaster Rovers' 10th anniversary at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The opening game at the new stadium was a virtual sell-out against Huddersfield Town, which Rovers went on to win 3-0, with the first goal being scored by Mark McCammon.
Rovers have not hinted as to whether there are any special plans for today, but boss Darren Ferguson said: "It’s a big occasion and we’re aware of that. It’s even more important that we get that result. It’s ten years at the Keepmoat. It’s a fantastic stadium and hopefully we get the win."
January 2, 2017
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Stevenage Borough are:
Referee: Mark Brown
Assistant referees: Stephen Wade and Matthew Bristow
Fourth official: Neil Hair
January 1, 2017
The match officials v Mansfield
The match officials appointed by the Football League for Saturday's away game at Mansfield Town were:
Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistant referees: Timothy Wood and Matthew McGrath
Fourth official: Nick Hopton
January 1, 2017
What the managers said
Darren Ferguson was unhappy only to have taken a point from Saturday's away game at Mansfield Town, although he did concede that it was a decent result considering how Rovers played.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield after the game, he commented: "I`m never happy with a point. The way the game went I suppose a point was not a bad result.We were not at our best until Mansfield scored and we had to react. We have had two tough away games in a week, local derbies, so four points is not a bad return."
He added: "The change in formation to three at the back allowed us to get a grip back on the game. I am never happy with a point, but we are right on our two points per game target. My two centre-halves were outstanding, very good. We spoke about keeping a high line and winning the first ball, and those two were outstanding. We dealt with the physical side of the game very well, the effort and endeavour was fantastic. I didn't think they caused us many problems, we just didn't get control of the game until they went ahead. When we did I thought we'd go on to win, and were unfortunate not to with Tommy Rowe's header against a post. The players know one or two didn't get to the standards they've set recently. But you get that, and you have to dig in - and we've done that and got a point. We're still seven points ahead of fourth, which is a good gap."
Steve Evans was disappointed not to have take all three points from the match, thinking that Mansfield were the better team for three quarters of the game.
He told Mansfield Town's official club site: “I think the game today was in two parts. It was probably 77-78 minutes in the game in which we were the better side by a long way, and probably should have put the game to bed, but that didn’t happen. We are a bit disappointed to have drawn a game in which if we had got the second goal, and we should have had the second goal, then the game would have been dead. You have to punish the better teams, because they are always going to be resolute, always going to come back at you. So, we go away disappointed."