November 30, 2016
Rovers 3 Leyton Orient 1
Doncaster Rovers produced one of their best performances of the season so far as they overcame a determined Leyton Orient side, but had to come back from a goal behind to take victory.
Rovers found themselves behind when a 35 yard free kick by Callum Kennedy flew into the top corner of the Rovers net in the 19th minute, but after constant pressure after that, levelled the scores just before half time when Jordan Houghton cracked the ball home through a packed penalty area.
A brace of penalties for Liam Mandeville in the second half followed as Matty Blair and Tommy Rowe were brought down in the penalty area - but keeper Marko Marosi had to produce a good save to deny Paul McCallum from reducing the deficit late on.
November 30, 2016
What the managers said
Darren Ferguson thought that Doncaster Rovers produced their best performance of the season on Saturday as they defeated Leyton Orient to close the gap between new leaders and themselves to just two points.
Speaking after the game, he told BBC Radio Sheffield: "I thought we were good against Hartlepool United, but we were even better this time against Orient. It was disappointing to go behind and we do need to get more clean sheets, but saying that it was only the goal and the (Paul McCallum’s) header that Marko Marosi has had to save."
"Defensively we were strong and the display it was very good. We dominated the ball, moved it quickly and always had options. It was a performance from a very confident team."
"In the last two games, which I’m really pleased about, we’ve also maintained our concentration and we’ve not let things affect us,” added Ferguson. "For example, Hartlepool equalising didn’t make a difference. Leyton Orient going ahead didn’t make a difference. We kept doing what we wanted to do. It’s important we really focus on maintaining our standards. It was our best performance because we were so confident and so dominant and we came from behind. During the 90 minutes you don’t know how all these things are going to pane out so I’m pretty certain it was not far off our best. Our first goal certainly came at a really crucial time and it got us back into the game, though it didn’t alter too much."
New Leyton Orient boss Andy Edwards praised his younger players for their performance, but was disappointed not to take anything from the game, especially after they had taken the lead midway through the first half. He said afterwards: "Obviously we are very disappointed. It was going to be a tough game, everyone knew, against the top scorers in the division, one of the favourites to go up. I thought we approached the game well, the application was good, our attitude was good and we started the game well. Callum scored a fantastic goal and it was a real chance to get something out of the game. I think the goal just before half-time was a real kick in the teeth for us."
Edwards added: "I think both penalties were right, Josh Koroma just came on the pitch and he was a bit naïve in the challenge. Like some forwards do we thought he might be able to get us up the pitch and gain some possession because we were under a little bit of pressure at that point. But he did show that after the actual penalty, he is disappointed and I am disappointed."
November 30, 2016
Voting results v Leyton Orient
We got nominations for five different players to be the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's home victory over Leyton Orient, with the in-form Liam Mandeville just edging ahead of on-loan Jordan Houghton to take the accolade this week.
The players to receive the most votes were:
1 Liam Mandeville (34.29%)
2 Jordan Houghton (31.43%)
3 James Coppinger (22.86%)
We thank you all for taking the time to place your vote; the next poll will open after Saturday's away game at Stevenage Borough.
November 30, 2016
Match highlights
Highlights (well, the goals) from Saturday's home game against Leyton Orient are now available on the Sky Sports web site.
To view them, please click on the logo to the left.
November 30, 2016
Goal scoring review
Looking back to Saturday's games, we begin our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals in League One, where Mark Duffy put Sheffield United ahead in their game at Charlton Athletic, but the Blades had to settle for a point as the home side scored deep into second half injury time.
Also in League One, Jay Emmanuel Thomas scored Gillingham's second goal in the 89th minute of their home game against Rochdale - the game ended in a 3-0 victory for the Gills.
Moving down into League Two, Jonathan Forte scored a second goal for Notts County, but it was not enough to save them from a 3-2 defeat at Barnet - a performance that saw boss John Sheridan threaten to play all the first team in this week's reserve team game (until that game was called off due to a frozen pitch).
Continuing in League Two, Uche Ikpeazu opened the scoring for Cambridge United, who went on to win 3-1 at home to Cheltenham Town.
In the National League, Theo Robinson scored Lincoln City's first goal as they won 2-0 against Maidstone United at Sincil Bank.
Finally, in the Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division, Bradley Grayson scored twice for Buxton in their 3-0 home win over Rushall Olympic.
November 30, 2016
Williams on the way back
Striker Andy Williams is closing in on a return to action after boss Darren Ferguson confirmed that he has resumed full training this week. He did some light training last week, but it is planned for him to step things up this week, with Ferguson telling the Doncaster Star at the weekend: "He’s been out on the grass. He did a session on Monday and Tuesday. He had a bit of rest off his feet on Wednesday then he’ll be doing sessions on Thursday and Friday. He’ll have a bit more rest over the weekend because he’s been out a while. Then he’ll train Monday."
While there are hopes that Williams may be fit to play against Stevenage on Saturday, next week's Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Blackpool in the following midweek looks a more realistic target.
Midfielder Harry Middleton is also back in training after recovering from a slight groin injury picked up against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.
Riccardo Calder missed last week's game against Hartlepool United due to illness, but Ferguson reports that he has now recovered and has taken part in training.
November 30, 2016
Ex-Rover signs for Newport
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Abdoulaye Meite has signed for Newport County on non-contract terms to bring experience to the struggling Exiles squad.
He penned a one-year deal with Finnish outfit Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho in February but left in August after his contract was terminated by mutual consent, so was able to join Newport as a free agent.
Earlier in his career, the former Ivory Coast international was part of the Marseille team that reached the 2004 UEFA Cup final.
November 26, 2016
Rovers v Leyton Orient
Beware of the "new manager" syndrome - that's what Doncaster Rovers need to do after Leyton Orient reported that Andy Edwards has been made manager for the rest of the season following Alberto Cavasin being 'relieved of his duties' on Wednesday.
Defender Mathieu Baudry could face his old club for the first time since making the switch north in the summer, but boss Darren Ferguson is urging his players to give their opponents every respect and not be complacent, telling the Doncaster Star: “There’ll be no complacency. We’ve got to remind ourselves that if we get to the level of last weekend we’re a hard team to play against. That’s a really key message to the players - try and replicate those sorts of standards."
He added: "We felt they (Orient) might make a change and unfortunately for the manager that proved to be the case. Andy Edwards, who has taken over, knows the club very well. He’s had two games in charge this season already and they’ve played a different formation to what the previous manager was playing. We’ve spoken about that. I think it brings a different dynamic to the team, because clearly they were struggling. But more so at home than away. Their last away game they won 3-0 [at Colchester] so they have clearly been better away from home. That has also been mentioned. It depends on what we do. We’ve got to make sure we’re at our best and we’re aggressive on and off the ball."
Goalkeeper Marko Marosi has been passed fit to play after suffering from an eye injury during last week's game, but Ross Etheridge is sidelined after suffering a finger fracture in the same game. Apart from that, there are no new injury concerns from last week's game. Missing today will be Andy Williams (ankle), Gary McSheffrey (knee), Luke McCullough (knee), Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (knee) and Mitchell Lund (kidney).
Leyton Orient have a number of doubts over player fitness ahead of the game, with Robbie Weir (illness) and Callum Kennedy (groin) facing late checks. Gavin Massey definitely misses out with a one match suspension after being booked for the fifth time this season in their game against Exeter on Tuesday.
Defender Yvan Erichot missed Tuesday’s match with Exeter due to a groin injury, while Jens Janse (shoulder) and Ulrich Nnomo (ankle) are also doubts. Loan player Harry Cornick is still back at parent club AFC Bournemouth to recover from injury, while Teddy Mzague and Liam Kelly are continuing to recover from Achilles and hamstring injuries respectively.
November 26, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials for this afternoon's home game against Leyton Orient will be:
Referee: Robert Jones
Assistant referees: Nigel Smith and Barry Cropp
Fourth official: Gareth Mellor
November 26, 2016
Youth Team 2 Chesterfield 2
Doncaster Rovers denied their opponents victory with virtually the last kick of the match last Saturday. Despite taking the lead, Rovers found themselves 2-1 down with only moments to play, but were handed a lifeline by being awarded a last-gasp penalty.
Chesterfield's academy manager, Mark Smith, told their web site: "It felt like a defeat, they scored with the last kick of the game with a penalty. We've got to learn from things like that with regards to managing games. We were 1-0 down, equalised through a Rawson goal, then took the lead through a good goal from Joel Phillips with ten minutes to go. From there we lived on the edge and had to defend really well at times. We had them right in their own defensive third as we looked to see out the game but elected to cross when there was no-one in there and from one big knock up the pitch they won a penalty and scored from that."
As the only report we've found was on Chesterfield's site, there was no mention of the Rovers scorers or the full team line-up.
November 26, 2016
Pugh moves to Boston
Young Rovers striker Joe Pugh has moved to Boston United on loan until January 1st, and was set to be included in their side for yesterday's FA Trophy tie at Witton Albion.
This is Joe's second loan spell of the season, having previously been gaining experience at non-league club Hyde United.
Joe is the son of former Rover Daral Pugh, who also used to be 'head of youth' at Boston United.
Pugh's arrival is part of a determined effort by boss Dennis Greene to turn things around after a 9-2 hammering at National League leaders AFC Fylde last week.
Greene commented: "We knew Joseph was available and we knew he would be a good addition to the squad for the money he will cost us. We need bodies in at the club, it's as simple as that. We are short in all departments. Although this new signing is of a striker, it doesn't mean we are not looking to strengthen our midfield and defence, because we are hoping to add a couple more. It's just the order that we get the deals done. I am hopeful that Joseph and another one or two which we are working on at the moment will be done in time for the trip to Witton Albion. If the deals are completed they will all be involved on Saturday."
November 26, 2016
Lawrence joins Ghana national set-up
Former Rovers winger Jamie Lawrence has re-joined the Ghana national squad as part of their preparations for their World Cup qualifying game against Egypt.
Lawrence is now working as a physical trainer and is helping with the Ghana squad's fitness.
Jamie worked with the squad last year and was reported to have made a big impact, and has been brought in again by national boss Avram Grant, the former Chelsea manager.
November 25, 2016
Keepers will be OK
Both goalkeepers named in the squad for last weekend's game against Hartlepool had fitness problems by the end of the game. Marko Marosi started the game, but was replaced midway through the first half with what appeared to be concussion, but Darren Ferguson later revealed that Marko was suffering from an eye injury, telling BBC Radio Sheffield: "He couldn`t see out of his eye so he had to come off".
Marosi was therefore replaced by Ross Etheridege - and later in the first half, he required treatement just before the Pools levelled from the penalty spot.
And with no more keepers available to him, Ross had to be patched up and played on. But after the game, Ferguson admitted: "We couldn’t take him off, he had to get on with it and he went and saw the doctor, they’ll both be fine. He’ll have to get on with it; it’s only a broken finger!"
November 25, 2016
Cup game date confirmed
Doncaster Rovers were drawn at home to Blackpool in the second round of the Checkatrade Trophy, and the two clubs have agreed that the game will be played on Tuesday, 6th December, with a 7pm kick-off.
The game is starting earlier "to encourage younger supporters to attend the game".
November 25, 2016
Ferguson to talk to Chelsea
Boss Darren Ferguson has said that he intends to talk to Chelsea in the hope that he can persuade them to allow midfielder Jordan Houghton to remain at the club for the rest of the season.
Jordan's loan agreement runs until January, but he has proved a big hit in a defensive midfield role and Ferguson is keen to extend the deal.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Free Press: “We’re looking to extend the deal. We’ll be having discussions with Chelsea this week and we’ll get an answer this week whether we can do that or not. But certainly I’ll be looking to extend it, no question."
The potential complication in the situation could come with Houghton being out of contract at Chelsea at the end of the season, and part of the Premier League club's decision may depend on what their plans are for him next season. Defender Niall Mason, whose loan also expires in January, is in the same situation at parent club Aston Villa.
But Ferguson is still keen to keep the pair, adding: “Those clubs have got to make decisions on their futures and I’ve got to respect that. That is where those two probably are, they will be thinking at the moment whether they’ve got a future at their actual clubs."
November 23, 2016
Swailes is new Dunston boss
Former Rovers defender Chris Swailes has been named as the new manager at Northern League club Dunston UTS, and he took charge for the first time of their game against Ryhope CW.
It is Chris's second time at the club - he was part of their FA Vase winning team of 2012 and joined from Morpeth Town to replace Billy Irwin, who had been boss at Dunston for several years.
Dunston is Swailes's second club as manager, he had previously been boss at Scottish club Hamilton Academical for three months in early 2015.
He was born in the north-east, at Gateshead, in 1970 and joined Ipswich at a youth team player, but did not play for their first team, leaving for short spells at Peterborough United and non-league Boston United. Moves to Birmingham City, where he also failed to make an impact, and Guisborough Townwere followed by a transfer to Bridlington Town, where he won the FA Vase for the first time.
Bridlington were, at the time, owed by a certain Ken Richardson, who then took over at Belle Vue, with Swailes moving to Rovers to play alongside Russ Wilcox in the heart of the Rovers defence.
He stayed at Rovers for 18 months before moving back to Ipswich for £225,000, where he stayed for two and a half years. Further moves followed to Bury (for £200,000), Rotherham United and Oldham Athletic before moving back to his native north-east to play for Morpeth Town, Darlington and Dunston UTS.
November 23, 2016
Fergie wants defensive security
Clean sheets are the bedrock of a successful team, and Darren Ferguson has held a team meeting to organise a tightening up of the team's defence. Even though Rovers are nicely positioned in third place in the League Two table, he has identified an unnecessary generosity by Rovers at the back - something he is intent in changing.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "We have assessed it and we had a long meeting with the players. We analysed the whole period up to now - and not just ‘we’ve got this many points and scored this amount of goals’. It was really going into detail."
"We looked at the times we’ve lost goals and where we’ve lost goals. And there’s clear stats in there that we need to improve on. One clear one is that we’ve got to get more clean sheets. We’ve conceded far too many goals. And we’ve conceded far too many goals in the last 15 minutes of games. Eight from crosses too. Things like that we just need to tighten up on. And manage games when we have to, keep the belief in games when we come under the cosh. So we went through it very thoroughly and the players were very good in the meeting. It was a good meeting, and it was just to remind them that we’re going along fine. We’ve scored a lot of goals and we look very good going forward but we’ve got to remember that we need to keep clean sheets."
November 23, 2016
George becomes Boro's 'ambassador'
Ex-Rovers defender George Friend has been named at Middlesborough's "NCS amabassador" by the Middlesbrough FC Foundation.
He becomes one of around 40 footballers throughout the country to take on the role for the NCS programme, which will engage with young people, and will involve going in to schools to spread the word.
George said: "I’m really proud to be chosen as NCS Ambassador for Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation. I think NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of activities and challenges whilst building new friendships and benefitting the local community."
"Ultimately, NCS lays a solid foundation for these guys to go on confidently and achieve whatever they want in the future."
Claire Streeter, NCS Coordinator for Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation, added: “It is fantastic to have George on board for another year supporting the NCS programme. We are extremely lucky to have an ambassador that plays such an active role in our programme and understands what NCS is all about. He not only inspires the young people that take part in the programme but also helps encourage more to get involved."
November 23, 2016
Voting results v Hartlepool United
Thank you for your votes on who should be the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's home game against Hartlepool United. We received nominations for eight different players this time, with goal-scoring John Marquis coming in as the clear winner, albeit by a smaller margin than we have experienced for recent polls.
Those receiving the most votes were:
1 John Marquis (29.63%)
2 Craig Alcock (18.52%)
3= James Coppinger, Jordan Houghton (14.81% each)
5 Liam Mandeville (11.1%)
All votes received will be added to the season totals, so even if the player you voted for does not appear above, it will count at the end of the season.
November 23, 2016
Now even the winners have to pay back in McIndoe scandal
As many as a hundred footballers have lost money under former Rovers winger Michael McIndoe's fraudulent investment scam, with the court case still going on.
There has been a new twist of late - for as well as those to have lost money under the scheme, it now seems that even those few to have made money are now to feel the pinch, with lawyers now starting to claw back whatever money they can, with investors being "pressurised" into paying back any profits they were paid.
Letters have been sent out demanding that the money be sent back, with one source telling the Sunday People: " They are being given just 14 days to return the money. People have already been stung by this scam and now even more are."
November 23, 2016
Riccardo wants to make the most of his chances
On-loan Rovers midfielder Riccardo Calder is intent on making the most of his first team chances after struggling to hold down a regular place in the side this season.
Speaking earlier this month, he told the Doncaster Star: "When I’ve played, I think I’ve done well enough. I wouldn’t say not playing is frustrating because you have to deal with stuff like that. We’ve been winning so many games so it’s been hard to change it. Last season when we weren’t winning, the gaffer could change it up. Everyone is doing what they have to do to get into the game. Obviously I want more game time but I know the circumstances of what I need to be doing to get that."
"Every chance I have, I’m trying to take it,” added Calder.
November 23, 2016
Stevenage ticket information details
Tickets for the rearranged away game at Stevenage Borough a week on Saturday are now on general sale from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
Tickets sold for the original date are still valid, but you should contact the ticket office if you cannot make the new date.
Ticket prices for those buying in advance are:
Adults £20 - Senior Citizens/Students/Unemployed £17 - Under 22s £12 - Under 16s £8 - Under 12s £6
Ambulant disabled (proof required) £17.
Tickets bought at Stevenage on match day rise £2 per ticket to:
Adults £22 - Senior Citizens/Students/Unemployed £19 - Under 22s £14 - Under 16s £10 - Under 12s £8
Ambulant disabled (proof required) £17.
Family tickets can also be bought in advance. 1 adult + 2 U16s is £30, and 2 adults + 2 U16s is £40.
Free car parking for 500 cars is available at Fairlands Valley Car Park to the North of the ground. This is signposted from junction 7 of the A1M.
Please then use the signposted underpass to cross the A602 to the stadium, rather than crossing the dual carriageway by foot.
November 20, 2016
Rovers 2 Hartlepool United 1
Liam Mandeville proved to be the match-winner for the second game in a row as he popped up to score Rovers' last minute winner against a determined Hartlepool United side that were almost successful in stealing a point from the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday.
John Marquis squared the ball in the 90th minute, allowing Mandeville to fire home the Rovers winner which keeps Rovers nicely positioned in the promotion race, just a point behind second placed Carlisle United, and five behind leaders Plymouth Argyle, who suffered a surprising 3-0 home defeat against Grimsby on Saturday.
Ferguson made three changes to his starting line-up, with Mandeville given a start after his impressive appearance as a substitute the week before, at the expense of Riccardo Calder. Craig Alcock replaced Cedric Evina and Mathieu Baudry came in for Joe Wright.
Rovers started the game well, although did not really test the visiting goalkeeper enough, but they regularly found spaces down the right. Rovers did have a goal disallowed after being penalised for a handball offence in the build-up. They then suffered a major setback with goalkeeper Marko Marosi forced off the field due to injury in the 23rd minute, to be replaced by Ross Etheridge, who still shows signs of nervousness, but needs time on the pitch to regain his confidence.
Rovers took the lead on the counterattack shortly after Hartlepool had struck the Rovers woodwork, with John Marquis heading home from close range.
That lead did not last long, as Mathieu Baudry brought Amond down - with Amond stepping up to convert the penalty. More worryingly, Ross Etheridge needed treatment for what later proved to be a broken finger - and with Marosi already replaced, Etheridge had to soldier on.
The game was more balanced after the break, although Rovers still had the edge, and ought to have retaken the lead on a number of occasions, with Marquis and Coppinger going close.
The vital winner came late, but proves the worth of keeping going right to the final whistle.
November 20, 2016
What the managers said
A relieved Darren Ferguson faced the press after Saturday's game at the Keepmoat Stadium - relieved because they finally got the goal that won the game, which he said Rovers thoroughly deserved.
Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield afterwards, he said: "It would’ve been a travesty had we not won the game. For me we totally dominated the game. I thought we were really good. We did what we wanted to do really well. We got control of the game and I thought we played some really good stuff."
"I said to the players at half-time ‘keep believing in what we’re doing’ and we did that.' We were very dominant and it’s a good goal that has won us the game. I don’t think we had a massive amount of chances in the game - they were very stubborn - but I thought we were totally dominant. I’d have been disappointed with the result if we’d have not won it but I wouldn’t have been disappointed with the performance. I thought we stuck to what we wanted to do and that’s a real key factor for me."
In contrast, Craig Hignett, the Hartlepool United manager, was very disappointed that they did not leave the Keepmoat Stadium with any points, bemoaning their defensive 'lapses'.
Speaking to the club's official web site after the match, he commented: "We’ve been undone today but two poor bits of defending, where players haven’t been doing their jobs properly. We worked hard but two lapses of concentration have cost us and that’s disappointing. I can’t fault their work rate or effort but we weren’t as good as we have been. This is a hard place to come they are a good side. But we can’t be half-hearted in approaching these games, we have to be at it. Work rate and attitude have to be right and discipline and concentration, right to the end and unfortunately our discipline and concentration let us down right at the end."
November 20, 2016
Match highlights
Highlights of Saturday's home game against Hartlepool United are now available on the Sky Sports web site.
To view them, please click on their logo to the left.
November 20, 2016
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals begins in League One, where Billy Sharp scored Sheffield United's first goal in their 2-1 home win over Shrewsbury Town, which lifts the Blades into second place in the table, albeit six points behind leaders Scunthorpe United.
Also in that division, Jay Emmanuel Thomas netted Gillingham's 84th minute match winner as they took all three points from their game at Walsall by a 2-1 margin.
Ex-Rovers midfielder Paul Green wasn't quite so happy though, he was sent off after being booked twice in seven minutes playing for Oldham in their 1-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United.
In non-league football, Bradley Grayson scored two late goals playing for Buxton in their Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division game at Stourbridge, but his double strike in the last seven minutes still wasn't enough, as they lost 3-2.
Moving north of the border, Harry Forrester scored a 93rd minute winner for Rangers in their 1-0 home win over Dundee.
Finally in the Indian Super League, ex-Rovers striker Iain Hume scored a late equaliser playing for Atletico de Kolkata in their game against NorthEast United, which ended in a 1-1 score line last Thursday.
November 19, 2016
Rovers v Hartlepool United
Darren Ferguson is expected to delay naming his squad for this afternoon's home game against Hartlepool United until he knows whether key defender Andy Butler will be fit to play. Butler was substituted at half time of last weekend's game with the reoccurrence of a neck injury suffered in the dying moments of the Oldham Athletic FA Cup game, but is expected to be fit for today's game.
Apart from that, the squad is expected to be very similar to last week, although Ferguson will have to consider whether to leave Liam Mandeville as a "super sub" again, or give him a starting place as a reward for the match-turning performance at Exeter.
Certain to miss the game are the injured contingent of Frazer Richardson (knee), Andy Williams (ankle), Gary McSheffrey (knee), Luke McCullough (knee), Aaron Taylor-Sinclair (knee) and Mitchell Lund (kidney).
Hartlepool could include former Rovers skipper Rob Jones in their squad, although he is far from certain to play, after struggling with a hip problem recently. Goalkeeper Trevor Carson faces a late fitness test after dislocating his finger last weekend at Cheltenham Town. Scans suggest no serious damage and it is possible he will be fit to play today.
Liam Donnelly also took a knock last weekend, but has already been passed as fit to play.
Definitely missing for the Pools today will be Carl Magnay and Nathan Thomas.
The game is unlikely to finish goalless (famous last words....), with Hartlepool the second highest scorers away from home in the league, with Rovers the top scorers away from home. Rovers also have the best home form of any League Two club.
November 19, 2016
Fergie wants Roves to take charge
Boss Darren Ferguson is asking his Rovers side to take charge of proceedings in today's game against Hartlepool after being highly critical of the way they played at Exeter last Saturday. With Hartlepool being the second highest scorers away from home in League Two, he is well aware of the threat they pose, if allowed to do so, and that could influence his team selection.
Speaking to the Doncaster Free Press, he commented: “We need to make sure we get control of the game in there more. We have to get control of possession and that will have a bearing on the sort of team I’m picking."
Hartlepool boss Craig Hignett also suspects that the game is unlikely to finish goalless. "I wouldn’t think it will be 0-0. I’m hoping we keep a clean sheet, because we have got goals in our side."
Of the threat of Rovers, Hignett added: "They are a good footballing side, they will have a go at you. They will go forward but that will suit us. They do score goals but I am looking forward to it because of that.”
November 19, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's home game against Hartlepool United are:
Referee: Mark Haywood
Linesmen: Alan Clayton and Peter Gibbons
Fourth Official: David Benton
November 19, 2016
Rovers to check on non-league striker?
Doncaster Rovers are to give Hythe Town striker Alfie May a trial, according to KentOnLine, who are reporting that May has already been on trials with Gillingham and Stevenage Borough.
They are indicating that the striker, who has already got 18 goals this season to go on top of the 29 he scored last season, is heading north to Doncaster this Sunday to see if he can impress the Rovers management.
Hythe boss Clive Cooke said: "Of course he’s having his head turned by all this but he’s a level-headed lad and he’s carried on playing well for us and scoring goals. Doing what he does. I’m waiting to hear if he’ll be available for us next Tuesday but I know Gillingham are interested in getting him back in for another look in a game situation this time and Stevenage are waiting to see what develops."
November 19, 2016
Ferguson quandry over Liam
Darren Ferguson has admitted that he unsure whether to keep Liam Mandeville on the bench for this afternoon's game against Hartlepool, or whether his performance last weekend should be rewarded by a starting place.
Ferguson is wondering whether, at the moment, Mandeville is best employed as a high-impact substitute, telling the Doncaster Star: "Perhaps that is the thing to do with him, bring him on in games. I think even at the start of the season he had an impact coming off the bench. I’m not saying he won’t start against Hartlepool. He may very well do. If he did that every week then my job would be easy, he’d be playing. He was outstanding when he came on."
Ferguson praised the way that Liam has knuckled down with some hard work since Andy Williams has been out injured, adding: "He’s answered a question. He was a real bright spark for us. In the last three games he has shown real improvement. I like the lad. He’s got a good personality about him. He looks stronger physically, he was more aggressive. It was a great header for his goal and the two assists were excellent. I was delighted for him and his team mates should be thankful that he came on and did that."
November 19, 2016
Barker still at the Dons!
Former Doncaster Rovers loan striker Richie Barker was thinking that their recent Checkatrade Trophy group game against Norwich City's Under-21s would be his last match as caretaker manager at MK Dons - and yet he is still there, with speculation still of who will replace Karl Robinson, who left the club at the start of the month.
Barker is taking things in the 'one match at a time' mode, telling the MK Citizen: "It's not a concern for me - it's important the club make the right decision and if it takes a bit longer, then so be it. They'll probably want the right manager who will be in charge for as long as Karl was. A few weeks won't seem that long if he's here for six years."
"I can go as far as saying I'll be preparing the team on Thursday morning. I'll continue that on Friday, and if someone comes in I'll stop. Otherwise I'll take the team on Saturday as well."
He added. "I'm always in contact with the chairman, but he's telling me how long he needs me, and that won't change. I said to him on the day Karl left, if it's a day, a week or a month I'll get on with it. I didn't think it would be a day, or a month, but we're halfway there now!"
November 17, 2016
Richardson injury blow
The Doncaster Rovers career of defender Frazer Richardson could be over after a training ground injury is likely to mean he will be injured for the rest of his current deal with the club.
Richardson only signed an extension to his contract earlier this month, which lasts until 30th December - but he has damaged knee ligaments which will keep him in the treatment room for much longer than that.
Boss Darren Ferguson explained to the Doncaster Star: "There was about 20 seconds left on Friday's session and he's reached for the ball, his foot has planted and he's done his knee ligaments. He certainly won't be available before his contract runs out. He's contracted until December 30 and he'll be injured until that."
"I feel for him. He's a great lad, I've said it many times. He just keeps getting injured and this one was an unlucky one - the last seconds of the session."
"He was in a lot of pain. The scan showed it was ligament damage. I was worried it wasn't going to be his cruciate which fortunately it's not. But you're definitely looking at a couple of months."
Frazer has played in only six games since joining the club on 30th August, and only once has completed 90 minutes - the Port Vale game in the Checkatrade Trophy last week.
November 17, 2016
Williams return delayed
Striker Andy Williams has been suffering from food poisoning, which has delayed his return to training. He will have missed a full week of rehabilitation on his ankle by the time he is anticipated to return to Cantley Park today.
Rovers had been hoping that Andy would be ready to play in the rearranged league game at Stevenage Borough on December 3rd, but that may well have to be revised.
Darren Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "We had pencilled in for Andy the 28th to start training again. He’s ill, he’s got food poisoning, which doesn’t help. It’s a nightmare. He won’t be back with us until Thursday and probably won’t start his rehab until Friday so he’s missed a week really. Whether that puts him back a week or not, I don’t know, but it certainly puts him back a bit."
"We were looking at getting a week’s training into him from the 28th, which would have got him ready for the Stevenage game. We’ve also got the Blackpool game in the Checkatrade Trophy between that and Plymouth. So we’ll wait and see on that."
November 17, 2016
Butler doubtful for weekend
Defender Andy Butler is rated as doubtful for this weekend's home game against Hartlepool United after being substituted last weekend at half time.
Butler suffered a spine injury in the closing moments of Rovers' FA Cup defeat at Oldham Athletic seven days earlier, and appears to have received another knock to the same area in the Exeter game.
Boss Darren Ferguson commented "I don’t know if Butler will be fit for Saturday. He probably will be but he’s touch and go at the moment. We’re looking for him train on Thursday but he’s still a little bit stiff. I think he’ll be OK."
He added: "It doesn’t help if someone plays and they keep having to come off. He was a bit unfortunate that he got a knock early in the game in a similar area to the one he got at Oldham. It does take a lot for Butts to miss matches but he just couldn’t carry on. A bit of treatment and a bit of rest and you hope that he’ll be OK."
November 17, 2016
Redfearn and Saunders linked with Mansfield job
Two of the three names mentioned in connection with the managerial vacancy at Mansfield Town have Doncaster Rovers connections, but the leading contender is reported to be former Rotherham United boss Steve Evans.
Also in contention are former Rovers boss Dean Saunders and ex-Rovers player Neil Redfearn.
Mansfield are searching for a new manager after Adam Murray left the club on Monday, and are reported to have made contact with Steve Evans, with a new appointment expected imminently.
Redfearn's coaching abilities are also held in high esteem, with the Daily Star reporting that he will also hold talks with the club. Mansfield are reported by BBC Radio Nottingham to have made contact with Dean Saunders, who has been without a job in management since leaving Chesterfield twelve months ago.
November 17, 2016
Voting results v Exeter City
We received votes for five different players to be the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's away game at Exeter City, but it will be of little surprise to most that the majority of the votes went to a player who was only on the pitch for the last 21 minutes. Liam Mandeville may have only been introduced as a substitute in the 69th minute of the game, but completely turned the game around and enabled Rovers to come away from St James' Park with all three points.
The most votes went as follows:
1 Liam Mandeville (62.5%)
2 John Marquis (18.75%)
Many thanks, as always, go to everyone who took the time to place their vote. The next poll will open after Saturday's home game against Hartlepool United.
November 17, 2016
Goals review
A review of former Rovers players scoring goals during the week begins with the FA Cup replay between Notts County and Boreham Wood. Ex-Rover Jonathan Forte set County on the way to a 2-0 home win by scoring in the 25th minute - the only other goal came deep into injury time at the end of the match.
The other goal we have to mention also comes in a cup game - the FA Vase Second Round replay between Charnock Richard and Staveley Miners Welfare. Former Rovers youth team player Liam Nelthorpe scored Staveley's first goal in the 49th minute of the game, which Staveley went on to win 4-2.
November 15, 2016
Marosi still wants to improve
Rovers goalkeeper Marko Marosi is making the most of his chances in the first team, but knows that he still has to improve some parts of his game if he is to achieve his potential and satisfy the manager.
Marosi has become Rovers' first team regular this season after some erratic displays from Ross Etheridge, who was expected to get the nod after joining Rovers in the summer.
Marko has had to settle for a place on the bench for much of the previous two years at the club, and is relishing the responsibility handed to him.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, he said: "There’s a lot to improve – and I mean a lot. It can all be improved. I’m confident with the distribution it’s just decision making at times, whether to make that pass or not. I think I’ve improved a lot, deciding for myself whether I do give the player the ball or not. I can see more or less everything from where I’m standing. I do think I’ve improved a lot but there’s a lot more improve."
He added: "I’m just happy to be playing. Hopefully I can play a lot more games and help the team. Patience is massive. It’s the most important thing. This is my third season. I just said to myself be patient. Even when it’s not looking good, keep working hard and it’ll come. And it did. I’m jut enjoying it so much, I’m grateful for the gaffer for having faith in me."
November 15, 2016
Fergie considers banning his dad!
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is considering banning his famous father from coming to watch Doncaster Rovers. Even though Sir Alex has achieved so much success in a long career, he seems to be a jinx when he decides to watch his son's team - and the last game, which was the defeat against Crewe Alexandra, may have persuaded Darren to suggest to Sir Alex that he should stay away for the moment.
Darren told the Doncaster Free Press: "He’s bad luck – in fact he’s a nightmare. He was at York in pre-season when Luke McCullough did his cruciate, he came to the Crawley game we drew. He came last year quite a few times, but then again so did a lot of people so I’m not sure I can blame that on him. It’s amazing how it works."
"Even when I was at Peterborough he wasn’t good luck. When we won at Wembley, that was about the only time he saw me win. I banned him from the play-off final at Old Trafford in 2011."
"It’s not just him though, I don’t think my wife and kids have seen Donny win yet. They were at the Crawley game as well and I said to my wife I didn’t think she could come back again. But you get paranoid. I’m quite a superstitious guy and I was a nightmare as a player. I’m trying to get away from it because it doesn’t make a difference."
November 15, 2016
Rovers pair sign up to NCS
Two Doncaster Rovers players have signed up to join the volunteer scheme, called the National Citizen Service, which is aimed at inspiring youngsters to improve their communities.
Joe Pugh and Niall Mason have been named as the club's ambassadors for the scheme, which is hoped will help raise the NCS's profile.
Joe told the Doncaster Free Press: "I’m really proud to be chosen as an NCS Ambassador for this club. NCS is a brilliant programme. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of challenges while building new friendships and doing projects that help the local community. I’m looking forward to getting involved in NCS this season and meeting the inspirational young people on the programme."
NCS schemes take place across Doncaster in spring and summer and is open to young people aged 15 to 17 for a £50 entry fee. The programme involves taking part in team-building adventure trips including activities such as rock climbing and canoeing before being tasked with delivering a community project, such as fundraising.
November 15, 2016
Harper plays on
Ex-Rovers midfielder James Harper thinks that he is a better player now than five years ago, and has no intention on giving up playing, even though he is a relatively 'veteran' age of 35.
He made his Hungerford debut against Poole Town last Saturday, and speaking ahead of that game, told BBC Radio Berkshire: "I'm a better player now than I was five years ago. I can still run about, but at 35, you get hit with the ageism stigma. I'm still enjoying playing and if I couldn't still do it and keep up with the pace, I'd give it up."
However, James is keeping his options for the future open, adding: "I've done my badges, but I'm not ready yet. I need to concentrate on playing 100%. I've seen other people try and do half-and-half, combining coaching with playing. Generally, it's not gone well and I don't think you get the best out of either that way."
His new boss, Bobby Wilkinson, said of his new signing: "I'd been knocking on Harps' door for two to three months. I was taught when I started management that if you want someone, make sure you go round their house and keep knocking on their door until they say yes."
"He has been a credit fitting in around the squad. This bunch have been together for a number of years, but he's been a part of everything on and off the pitch since joining. I need people like James Harper to steady the ship on the pitch when he's playing, but also I need his experience off the pitch when he's not playing. It's great for the club, for the area and the supporters to be able to see a player of his quality, and hopefully it brings a few more through the turnstiles."
November 14, 2016
Exeter City 1 Rovers 3
The score line may not suggest it, but this was a far from impressive performance by Doncaster Rovers - until the introduction of substitute Liam Mandeville, who turned the game around and enabled Rovers to come from 1-0 down to 3-1 up in the final 21 minutes of the match.
Rovers made two changes from the previous league game, with Marko Marosi replacing Ross Etheridge in goal, and Joe Wright reclaiming his place from Mathieu Baudry, who dropped to the bench.
Exeter have been struggling this season - they dropped to second bottom after this result - but Rovers still struggled to impose their authority on the game, which started off at a frantic pace as Exeter attempted to frustrate Rovers' attempts to play their normal passing game.
Chances came to both sides in the first half, with Tommy Rowe going close but for a fine save by keeper James Hamon. The first half ended goalless, with Rovers showing that the Exeter defence were there for the taking. However, it was the home side that took the lead from the penalty spot after Marosi rushed out of his goal to intercept a long ball forward, but brought down Wheeler as he was about to shoot. Fortunately for Rovers, only the yellow card was shown, but the penalty was smashed home by Reid to make it 1-0.
Rovers reacted by bringing on Craig Alcock for Joe Wright and pushing Niall Mason into midfield, and Rovers began to get more possession. And then Ferguson brought Mandeville on to the field, and the game turned around.
Within three minutes, Rovers were level. Coppinger found space to put in a telling cross, and Mandeville's looping header went over the keeper and in off the underside of the cross bar.
Exeter responded by forcing Marosi to make a good save to deny Reid, and then failed to connect with a good cross, and Rovers took the lead in the 77th minute, with Mandeville again at the centre of the action. Marosi slid a pass into the penalty area to Marquis, who powered the ball past the goalkeeper.
And in the dying moments of the game, Rovers took advantage of Exeter's desire to search for the equaliser by Mandeville's run through the home defence, unselfishly squaring the ball for Marquis to slot home his second goal of the game.
In the end, a clear margin of victory, but it masks the whole story of the game.
November 14, 2016
What the managers said
Darren Ferguson acknowledged that Doncaster Rovers put in a below par performance in Saturday's away game at Exeter City, but did not hesitate to praise young striker Liam Mandeville for turning the game around after coming onto the field with just over 20 minutes to go.
Speaking after the game, he admitted: "We didn’t function as a team, credit to Exeter – they are a really good footballing team. They were probably the better team. But, credit to my players, we can’t play brilliantly every time but we have dug out a result. That is key, as over the course of the season every team challenging for where we want to be will have to dig out results like this. That is a real positive."
He added: "Liam changed the game really. He was excellent and clinical, scoring one and setting up two. He was without a shadow of a doubt the difference. He has taken a lot of confidence out of the past few games because he has done really well, and quite clearly he has won us the game – thought it was of course two great finishes from John Marquis."
"I was very brief with my players after the game. They know exactly what I feel about the performance and it'll stay in the dressing room. I'm just pleased we managed to dig out a win because the win is the most important thing. But up until Liam Mandeville came on, we were nowhere near the standards we expect. There's no excuses for the performance; we didn't function as a team and we were nowhere near good enough on the ball. I'll have a good look through the game on the way back. We've got a long journey back and I'll pick the bits and pieces out of it, but I wasn't happy with the performance."
Paying tribute to the 332 supporters who made the long trip to the south coast, Ferguson finished by saying: "We took a hell of a following, and I’m delighted for them. The players know exactly what I feel about that performance. I’m just pleased we managed to dig out a win because that is the most important thing, but until Liam came on we were not up to the standards I expect."
The Exeter press is reporting that the pressure is building on their manager, Paul Tisdale, in what was their seventh home defeat of the season.
But Paul was frustrated with the performance of his side when he spoke to the Exeter Express & Echo after the game, saying: "I suppose the difference was they put two good crosses in and had two good finishes whereas we had umpteen opportunities to get on the end of good crosses we put in but couldn't do it," Tisdale said after the game.
November 14, 2016
Goals review
This week's review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals begins in Malta, where Dene Shields scored again for Xewija Tigers, although their title challenge faltered as they went down to defeat by Oratory Youths by a 2-1 margin.
Back in England, Billy Sharp scored one of Sheffield United's four goals as they cruised to victory over Chesterfield by a 4-1 score line.
Also in League One, Jay Emmanuel Thomas scored a 92nd minute winner for Gillingham, who beat Northampton Town 2-1.
Lastly, in League Two, Uche Ikpeazu scored the middle goal for Cambridge United as they win 3-1 at Crawley Town.
November 14, 2016
Exeter match highlights
Highlights of Saturday's game at Exeter City are now available on the Sky Sports web site.
To view them, please click on the logo to the left.
November 14, 2016
Voting results v Oldham Athletic
We received nominations for seven players to be the "Man of the Match" for last Saturday's away game in the FA Cup at Oldham Athletic. Striker John Marquis was the clear winner on that occasion, gaining nearly half of all votes cast.
The players to receive most votes were as follows:
1 John Marquis (48.28%)
2 Tommy Rowe (13.79%)
3 James Coppinger (13.33%)
4 Matty Blair (10.34%)
November 14, 2016
Voting results v Port Vale
For Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy game against Port Vale, we got votes for seven different players to be the "Man of the Match".
Defender Mathieu Baudry came out as the winner, and with votes fairly evenly spread, just two came out ahead of the pack:
1 Mathieu Baudry (36.36%)
2 Riccardo Calder (18.18%)
Thank you to everyone who continue to place their votes, and regret the delay in confirming the outcome of those polls.
November 14, 2016
Stevenage game moved
With both Doncaster Rovers and Stevenage Borough having exited the FA Cup at the First Round stage, the league game between the two clubs, which had been scheduled for Tuesday, 22nd November, has been put back to Saturday, 3rd December (the date for the FA Cup Second Round) with a 3pm kick-off.
Doncaster Rovers have issued a statement aimed at any supporters who may have already booked train tickets for the original date, asking them to contact the ticket office, either by phone or by email to
November 14, 2016
. . . and the Portsmouth game is moved for TV coverage
It has been announced that Doncaster Rovers' home game against Portsmouth early in the New Year has been moved to accommodate television coverage. The game has been moved forward 48 hours from its original date of Saturday, 7th January, and will now be played on Thursday, 5th January with a 7:45pm kick-off.
The game has been chosen for a live broadcast by Sky Sports - and one person who isn't happy about the move is Portsmouth boss Paul Cook.
He told the Portsmouth News: ‘The schedule for the Doncaster game is absolutely ridiculous. I want to go on record and say there has been no thought process for the fans. Well, I am looking at it from a fans’ point of view and think it is an absolute disgrace."
"For us as a team it is not the end of the world because we travel, it is what we do, we are paid to do that, it’s our job. But when you think Pompey fans have to go to Newport on Boxing Day, then to Yeovil, then at home to Luton and then travel to Doncaster on a Thursday night it is bizarre. Come on, give them a break. I wouldn’t change the games and I don’t see why Sky possess the power to do that."
November 14, 2016
Rovers get home draw in Checkatrade Trophy
Doncaster Rovers have been handed a home tie against Blackpool in the first knock-out round of the Checkatrade Trophy.
The competition is still regionalised, and games are scheduled to be played in the week commencing Monday, 5th December, although the date for the Rovers' game has yet to be confirmed.
November 10, 2016
Rovers 0 Port Vale 0 (3-4 on penalties)
About the only positive thing to come out of Tuesday's low-key Checkatrade Trophy game against Port Vale was that Rovers kept a clean sheet - their defensive frailties is something that boss Darren Ferguson had voiced concerns over recently.
The game ended as a goalless stalemate in front of a crowd of just under 1,500, which perhaps proves the interest in the early stages of this competition.
The game also allowed Craig Alcock and Frazer Richardson to continue their playing comebacks, with each playing half of the game. Ferguson made eight changes for Saturday's FA Cup game, and he made a further six on Tuesday, giving teenage striker Will Longbottom his first start in a senior game, with the rest of the Rovers strike force similarly young, relying on Liam Mandeville and Alfie Beestin. Further back in the side, Paul Keegan was handed the captaincy, and Cedric Evina and Riccardo Calder employed as wing-backs in a 3-4-3 formation.
Port Vale were on top in the early stages before Rovers clawed their way back into the game, with Calder testing the keeper with a 20 yard shot, and Evina saw his shot saved well from the edge of the penalty area.
Rovers began the second half with a little more purpose and were generally on top for much of the game, although chances were again few and far between, with only Longbottom and Houghton going close, and Baudry headed straight at the keeper from a corner.
Under pressure keeper Ross Etheridge had a quiet night, which should have done his confidence good.
So the game went to a penalty shoot-out, with misses by Evina and Longbottom proving to be enough to give the visitors a 4-3 winning margin.
However, other results meant that Rovers still went though to the knock-out stages as group winners, and Port Vale still went out of the competition, with Mansfield Town also progressing to the next stage.
November 10, 2016
What the managers said
The game may not have been a huge spectacle for the spectators, but boss Darren Ferguson was pleased with the outcome of the game, which sees Rovers progress through to the knock-out stages of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Reflecting on the game, he said: "We were pretty solid and I think it’s very good for us that we got a clean sheet. We’ve topped the group so in a lot of ways it’s been a good night. We want to do well in the tournament and we’ve managed to make sure we’ve got a home tie in the next round."
He added: "I thought we deserved to win the game because we had better chances. After the initial first 15 minutes, when we weren’t aggressive enough, we played some good stuff. Apart from the save Ross [Etheridge] made at the end we weren’t really threatened throughout the game."
"I thought Craig [Alcock] was outstanding and it’s good that him and Frazer are back because it gives me more options at the back. I ’ve now got some tough decisions for the weekend. It was good, it was solid. I changed the shape back to the 3-4-3 and given the players I had available and wanted to play I thought that was the right way to go. There was a good balance to the team and I was pleased for Ross getting a clean sheet."
While Port Vale coach Andy Smith was disappointed to have gone out of the competition, the performance of his players was something he took pleasure from. He told the Stoke Sentinel: "I thought the boys played well. We looked comfortable on the ball and created some half-decent chances but not as much as we would have liked, but we passed the ball about really well and had a nice bit of tempo to our play. So, the boys put a good shift in but unfortunately it wasn't to be."
November 10, 2016
Exeter ticket information
Tickets for Saturday's away game at Exeter City are still on sale from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
Rovers received an allocation of 378 seating tickets and 500 terracing tickets which are now on general sale at the following prices:
Seating: Adults £22 - Senior Citizens/Students (with NUS card) £20 - Juniors (U18) £9.50
Terracing: Adults £16 - Senior Citizens/Students (with NUS card) £12 - Juniors (U18) £4.50
Tickets will be available on the gate on match day, but prices will rise to:
Seating: Adults £23 - Senior Citizens/Students (with NUS card) £21 - Juniors (U18) £10
Terracing: Adults £17 - Senior Citizens/Students (with NUS card) £13 - Juniors (U18) £5
Disabled supporters pay the relevant ticket price, but their carer, if required, can be admitted free of charge.
November 10, 2016
Rovers keep eye on Quitongo
Doncaster Rovers are continuing to monitor the progress of Greenock Morton striker Jai Quitongo, even though they had a substantial bid, understood to be in the region of £100,00, turned down in the summer. There has also been interest from the likes of West Ham United, Crystal Palace and Swansea City, so Darren Ferguson knows that the chances of signing the 19 year old are slim, but he continues to monitor events.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "We’ve got a scout in Scotland. He (Quitongo) was with Aberdeen at an early age and got released. We were aware of him before the start of the season and had him watched right away. We think he’s ready. The problem in the summer was I don’t think he felt right coming down to England. He’s only a young kid. Maybe that will have changed by January. I know one or two are looking at him - one Premier League club in particular. We will have another look in January but it is certainly an area that I’m looking to get somebody in for."
November 10, 2016
Richardson signs up
Defender Frazer Richardson has now completed his contract extension, after the agreement had been announced last week. However, the deal is only until December 30th, rather than into January as was previously announced by the club.
Richardson signed an initial two month deal with Rovers, and has impressed sufficiently to earn a longer stay.
November 10, 2016
Wilcox returns to Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have announced that they have appointed former defender and skipper Russ Wilcox as their new "Head of Recruitment", replacing Paul Butler, who left the club last month.
He will be responsible for recruitment at all levels, working alongside boss Darren Ferguson.
Russ explained to the Doncaster Star: "The gaffer is building the club from top to bottom. If he feels the young players are ready he's not afraid to play them. There seems a good balance of young and experienced players in the group. Hopefully we can make one or two quality additions in January and build up the recruitment side in the Academy as well."
"It's a role that really excites me. I've been very impressed with the gaffer and his staff. They are very professional people with a strong work ethic that rubs off on the players .I'm sure I can add value to help Darren and the club achieve its goals."
Wilcox is no stranger to Doncaster Rovers, although his previous time at the club dates back to the Belle Vue days. As he continued: "It's great to be back at the club for a third time. I made one appearance as a 17-year-old under Billy Bremner then returned at 29 to captain the club for two years at Belle Vue. Things have changed significantly since then. The infrastructure at the club is first class. Everything is in place for the club to be successful."
He also has managerial experience with Scunthorpe United and York City, and had a role of first team recruitment at Preston North End, another of his former clubs, last season.
November 8, 2016
Rovers v Port Vale
While Darren Ferguson made a number of changes for Saturday's FA Cup game, some of which were enforced rather than planned, Doncaster Rovers are again likely to give some fringe players another run-out. Heavily hinted to be set to play tonight are Craig Alcock, Frazer Richardson, Riccardo Calder, Niall Mason, Jordan Houghton, Alfie Beestin and Liam Mandeville, and there is every chance that Ross Etheridge will get an opportunity to put in a confidence-boosting performance. A number of the regular first teamers are again expected to be rested, with an eye to Saturday's long trip to Exeter in mind.
Defender Andy Butler, who left the field on a stretcher, will not play - but it seems that it was part of Ferguson's plans to leave him out tonight. He is expected to be fit for the weekend.
Joe Wright will miss the game due to a one match suspension after picking up two yellow cards in previous games in the competition. Tommy Rowe will also miss out as he recovers from a foot injury, but is expected to be fit for the weekend.
Continuing absentees are Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Gary McSheffrey, Mitchell Lund, Luke McCullough and Andy Williams.
Port Vale's head coach, Andy Smith, has also hinted that he will ring the changes for this evening's EFL Trophy game at the Keepmoat Stadium. Definitely out will be Sam Foley, with leading goal scorer Alex Jones doubtful. Jones has missed the last three games with a knee injury, and while he has resumed training, it is in the balance as to whether he is included this evening, although the Port Vale boss suggested that Jones will not play.
November 8, 2016
Butler update
Boss Darren Ferguson is expecting that skipper Andy Butler will be back in action on Saturday, despite a big scare at the end of Saturday's game at Oldham that saw him leave the field with a brace on his neck.
However, Ferguson revealed to the Doncaster Star: "He had an x-ray after the game and there's no break so it's good news. He's in a lot of pain. There's a lot of bruising but there's no break which is the important thing. He took a hell of a knock. The goalkeeper caught his knee right into his spine and he was in a bit of distress as everyone saw after the game. He'll be fine for Saturday I would think. He's a tough boy, it takes a lot for Buts to go down. He'll train Thursday and we're pretty confident he will be fit for Saturday."
November 8, 2016
Ferguson wants to get back to winning
The fact that Doncaster Rovers have not won in their last three games has not gone unnoticed with the Rovers management, and Darren Ferguson is looking to get a win recorded this evening to stop the mini-slump.
He told the Yorkshire Post: "It is three games without a win. Nobody is panicking, of course, but we need to get back to winning ways. We need to stop this small problem at the moment of conceding too many goals. It would be nice to get another win to qualify."
He added: "If you go out of the cups, it puts a lot of pressure on the league. We do want to do well in the league – that’s a gimmie, but we wanted to do well in the cups."
All four teams in the Northern Group E can still advance heading into the final game but a draw against Vale will be enough for Rovers to qualify for the knockout stage.
November 8, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed for this evening's Checkatrade Trophy game against Port Vale are:
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Assistant referees: Billy Smallwood and Alix Pashley
Fourth official: Tom Nield
November 8, 2016
Ferguson a fan of the Checkatrade Trophy
The format of this year's Checkatrade Trophy (formerly the Johnstone's Paint Trophy) may be controversial, with numerous managers and supporters heavily critical of the competition, but Darren Ferguson is not one of them.
Accepted, the rules state that you must start with five first-choice players, with a number of bosses thinking that the format is to the detriment of youth development in the lower leagues, but Ferguson is happy with the opportunity those rules present.
Ferguson said: “I can see where some managers are going from. But I do feel we have benefited from the fact that I have managed to get my squad players some games. The last game we played in this competition worked out perfectly for us in terms of timing. That was coincidental in terms of the timing of my players coming back from injury, but it has served us well."
He added: "Certain managers have said the competition is for the development of players. If it is for the development of young players then it is a great idea. But it has to be right across the board and in terms of the development of young players, they could alter the rules in the sense of playing any team you want to. But I understand why they are doing it the way they are. There will be good bits and moans about other bits. For me, it has been absolutely fine. It has been good, actually."
November 8, 2016
Carden takes over at Warrington
Ex-Rovers midfielder Paul Carden has been appointed as the new manager at Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division club Warrington Town. Carden left Tranmere Rovers late last month, where he had been caretaker manager for a while after Gary Brabin had been sacked, but with the appointment of Micky Mellon at Tranmere, with Mike Jackson joining as his assistant from Shrewsbury, it was time for Carden to leave the club.
The ex-Rover said he is "excited to build on something very special at Warrington. After last season’s promotion. I already know quite a few of the lads and believe they can step up to the next level. But we have quite a few out injured or carrying injuries so I will be looking to strengthen the squad.”
November 7, 2016
Oldham Athletic 2 Rovers 1
Doncaster Rovers exited from the FA Cup at the First Round stage for the first time in several season with a disappointing display, particularly in defence where the home side were given too much room in front of goal.
A much changed team was named by Darren Ferguson, partly through choice, and partly due to a sickness bug that has gone through the squad in the last few days, and Ferguson was unable to name a full bench as a result. Only three players survived from last weekend's draw with Wycombe, and goalkeeper Mark Marosi returning in place of Ross Etheridge, who had a game to forget last weekend.
Oldham's opening goal came in first half stoppage time, and a mistake by Baudry in the centre circle meant he lost possession and allowed Oldham to break upfield to make it 2-0. Right at the end of the game, Mandeville was brought down to earn Rovers a penalty, and while he dispatched the spot kick with great confidence, it was too little too late.
November 7, 2016
Ferguson disappointed
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson was a disappointed man when he spoke to BBC Radio Sheffield after Saturday's defeat at Oldham Athletic.
He reflected: "We're out now for 12 months and 12 months is a long time to have to wait now. Wait until you see the second round draw. Wait until you see who gets Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal in the third round."
"We're not in it. It was a game we really wanted to win and one we should have won with the team I picked."
Of the game itself, he commented: "We can't keep conceding goals the way we are. It's a really poor result. It was a good opportunity to get into the next round. The goal on half time changes the game. It's unprofessional to lose a goal at 45 minutes. It's simply not good enough. Both goals we lost were really poor goals."
"I thought we started the game really well. The first 20 minutes we were really good. They got into it. Their right midfielder caused us problems and got too many crosses into the box. But losing a goal at the time of the first is not good enough and that's the problem lately. We've conceded eight in three games - it's too many."
Rovers were down to five of the allowed seven substitutes, with Niall Mason and Riccardo Calder ruled out at the last minute, with Calder planned to be given a start. He added: "It didn't help that two other players were ruled out when they turned up with illness today. Jordan Houghton went home Friday ill. There's a bit of a bug going around. I couldn't pick any of the youth players to make up the bench because they'd already set off for Hartlepool for their game."
November 7, 2016
Goals review

Our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals at the weekend begins with the FA Cup games, where Matt Kilgallon scored for Bradford City in their game against Accrington Stanley at Valley Parade. However, City conceded in the 80th minute to lose the game 2-1.
Adebayo Akinfenwa scored an 84th minute winner for Wycombe as they defeated League Two promotion candidates Portsmouth 2-1 at Fratton Park, and Jamie McCombe scored the only goal of the game for Macclesfield Town as they won at Walsall.
An FA Cup game on Sunday saw Billy Paynter return to Hartlepool United's side after injury, and he scored their final goal in their 3-0 home win over Stamford.
In Ireland, Sean Thornton scored the third goals for Drogheda United as they beat Wexford Youths 3-0 at home, which saw Drogheda confirmed as promoted at the first time of asking to return to the Irish Premier Division. The result also relegated Wexford.
Finally, Dene Shields was on the mark for Xewkija Tigers as they strengthened their hold on third place in the Maltese top flight with a 2-1 win over Kercem Ajax. His penalty kick levelled the scores on the half hour mark, and he hit the winner quarter of an hour from time with a shot from a tight angle.

November 7, 2016
Match highlights
Some highlights of Saturday's game at Oldham Athletic can be seen in footage supplied by FATV.
To watch them, please click on the logo to the left.
November 7, 2016
Butler "OK"
Rovers defender Andy Butler has taken to social media to tell fans that he is not seriously injured, with fears allayed of a lengthy injury absence following him leaving the field on a stretcher after taking a knock to his spine right at the end of Saturday's defeat at Oldham Athletic.
Butler said on Twitter on Saturday evening: "Hi everyone, I’m ok, little tender but nothing serious, was taken on stretcher as a precaution, I’ll be alright #drfc #madeofstrongstuff."
November 5, 2016
Oldham Athletic v Rovers
The first round of this year's FA Cup sees Doncaster Rovers making the relatively short trip to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic, who ply their trade in the division higher than Rovers.
Darren Ferguson has heavily hinted that there may be a few changes to the side as he hopes to give some players a rest, while taking the opportunity for others to stake a claim for a place in the side. Tommy Rowe is one of those players to sit the game out after suffering a knock in last weekend's game, and while he is fit, Rovers will give him the game off to ensure he returns to full fitness in time for the next league game. James Coppinger is also another likely to be rested tomorrow.
Goalkeeper Ross Etheridge may have had a nightmare of a game last weekend, but he will definitely play in at least one of the next two games, with Ferguson hoping that an instant return to action may help put those memories behind the former Accrington player.
Defender Craig Alcock looks certain to start, and with Frazer Richardson also back in training, he also looks like being added to the squad for the match.
Long term injury casualties Luke McCullough , Mitchell Lund, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Gary McSheffrey and Andy Williams are definitely out of the picture for the game.
Oldham Athletic look certain to include former Rovers midfielder Paul Green in their side, and he could face his former side for the first time since making the move to Lancashire in the summer.
Oldham are likely to welcome Lee Croft back to the squad after missing the last four games due to a back injury.
November 5, 2016
Today's match officials
The match officials for this afternoon's FA Cup game against Oldham Athletic will be:
Referee: David Webb
Assistant referees: Michael Daguilar and Stephen Wade
Fourth official: Duncan Street
November 5, 2016
Voting results v Wycombe Wanderers
Thanks to everyone who voted for the "Man of the Match" for last weekend's home game against Wycombe Wanderers.
We received nominations for five different players this time, with striker John Marquis the clear winner. The players to receive the most votes were:
1 John Marquis (58.33%)
2 Tommy Rowe (20.83%)
3 James Coppinger (16.67%)
The next poll will open after this afternoon's away game at Oldham Athletic.
November 5, 2016
Etheridge could get second chance
Darren Ferguson could give goalkeeper Ross Etheridge a chance to redeem himself this afternoon after last weekend's game seeing Ross make to basic errors that cost Rovers victory.
Etheridge was given his first start for over two months as a result of Marko Marosi's injury, but had a horror game he will do well to forget quickly.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "I’ll assess the situation. I fully expect Marko to be fit for Saturday but maybe the best thing to do is chuck Ross straight back in, keep him in the team and get some games into him. I’ll have to make a decision on that. He has played games but not at competitive level. I think it’s hard to make excuses for the mistakes to be honest. The first goal was really disappointing and you’ve got to be stronger. It was a straightforward cross."
"It’s difficult with the way the loan system is now. I would loan him out to a Conference team to get him games, and it was certainly a consideration because you can bring him back at 24 hours notice should you need to."
November 4, 2016
Alcock back and raring to go
Rovers defender Craig Alcock is set to make his first appearance of the season tomorrow afternoon after having a full week of training this week after recovering from an ankle injury.
Darren Ferguson had intended to play him in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Notts County last Tuesday, but that fell through, but he has no doubts about throwing Craig back into the fray.
Ferguson confirmed that Andy Williams is making good progress as he recovers from an operation to resolve ankle ligament damage, and could be back as early as December, and Tommy Rowe's injury is not as serious as initially feared, although he will be rested for the two cup games.
But Alcock can't wait to get back on the pitch tomorrow, and said: "It’s felt like a long time and you feel helpless when you’re watching the boys out there and you can’t do anything to affect it. All the injured lads have been first class in keeping the lads that are playing on their toes and having a bit of banter and stuff. Obviously it’s been an unfortunate situation with all the injuries but the likes of Gaz [McSheffrey], Lukey [McCullough] and Sincs [Taylor-Sinclair] are doing brilliantly to keep themselves motivated and hopefully they’ll be back sooner rather than later."
November 4, 2016
Fergie happy with FA Cup draw
Boss Darren Ferguson is happy with the draw handed to Doncaster Rovers for tomorrow's first round FA Cup tie and sees the game as winnable, even though he has not denied that he is considering making a few changes to his side for the game.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "I didn’t want to have to travel far because we’ve got Exeter away the week after. If we aren’t going to be at home it’s not a bad one because it’s not too far and we’ll probably take a good support. It’s a fantastic tournament so I want us to get as far as we can. It really grasped everyone last year when we got Stoke and got a big house at home. It’s going to be a hard tie away from home. Any tie is hard but one against a team above us. It’s a winnable game, there’s no doubt about that."
November 4, 2016
Woods goes back to Grimsby
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Neil Woods has been appointed as the new Academy Manager at Grimsby Town. The 50 year old has been working in a similar role at Walsall, but made the move back to Yorkshire when Andy McMillan left the club a couple of weeks ago.
Woods is expected to take up his new role in the next few weeks. He has been with the Saddlers for the last five years.
November 4, 2016
Rovers install new ticket system
Doncaster Rovers have announced that they have put a new ticketing system into action which should make it easier for supporters to buy tickets on-line.
The new system is being provided by a company called Toptix, who have experience with a number of other sporting clubs.
Rovers' Media Manager, Mark Hughesman, told DROS: "We always strive to deliver a quality service to supporters and we felt that it was a key operational requirement over the summer months to carry out a review of the ticketing services we offer and understand which solutions were in the marketplace to best support our needs. TopTix Sport were able to demonstrate a track record in delivering excellent solutions to a range of UK sports clubs."
"We wanted to revamp our ticketing systems in order to enable smarter ways of working and take advantage of new technology on the market and we look forward to working with TopTix Sport to achieve this. The new ticketing website is fully mobile responsive so works across a range of devices from desktop computers, tablet devices and mobile phones and we will be able to roll out a series of incentives over the season such as package offers, pricing benefits and the ability for disabled fans to buy their tickets along with carer tickets on-line”.
November 4, 2016
Reece suspects reason for no deals
Ex-Rovers defender Reece Wabara thinks that he knows why clubs are not rushing to sign him up, with his suggestion that an income outside of football is leading to clubs offering him below-par wages.
He was released by Wigan Athletic in the summer and since has been unsuccessful in getting a contract anywhere else.
He is the founder and CEO of clothing company Maniere De Voir, and has indicated on Twitter that he believes this involvement is affecting his chances to play football, saying: "Catch 22. You use your brain and create something for the long term, but your desire for football gets questioned? Accolades don't lie ??"
"I've been asked countless times, why didn't you stay at Wigan, You had a great season? Your guess is as good as mine. Yet my "desire" is questioned? I get disrespectful offers due to the fact I have other income. I'm a man of principles and that's not right. I wonder... If I didn't have a successful business, would I still be a free agent although I got in TOTY and promoted with two clubs ??"
November 3, 2016
Travel information to Exeter
The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are running coaches to the away game at Exeter City, which is on Saturday, 12th November.
They will leave Retford at 7.15am, Bawtry 7.30am, Harworth 7.20am, Rossington Styrrup 7.30pm, Hare & Tortoise 7.35am, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 8.45am and the Keepmoat Stadium at 8.00am.
Fares for the trip will be:
Members: Adults £24 - Concessions £22
Non-members: Adults £25 - Concessions £24.
November 3, 2016
Marosi thanks boss
Goalkeeper Marko Marosi is grateful for the vote of confidence given to him by boss Darren Ferguson. He started the season as back-up to Ross Etheridge, but took his opportunity with both hands when given a place in the team in mid-August, and has kept his place ever since until injury kept him out recently.
He is expected to be fit for Saturday's FA Cup game, although Ferguson has hinted that he may give Ross Etheridge another chance in the game to prove his worth after a horror-showing last weekend.
Marosi told the Doncaster Free Press: "I feel good at the moment and a lot of that is down to Paul Gerrard [goalkeeping coach] helping me and the gaffer having the faith in me to play me. I’m very grateful for the opportunity he’s given me. I go into every game trying to do my best for the team and trying to stay in the team. I’ll carry on doing that."
"Ross is a quality goalkeeper and we get along really well and we push each other in training. I’m really happy to be playing but I know I’ve got to keep performing to a high level."
November 3, 2016
Callum on the move - twice!
We reported recently that former Rovers youth teamer Callum Terrell had left Scarborough after an awful performance for them last month.
We now notice on the Evo-Stik League web site that he has joined Ossett Town from Welsh club Wrexham - and that stay in Wales must have been short!
November 3, 2016
Ryan opens new hospital
Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan is opening a new MYA hospital in Harrogate to accommodate the rapid growth in the MYA group since it was established in 2007.
Ryan made his fortune by founding the Transform group, but sold out on taking over Rovers in the last 1990s, but has since re-entered the field of work he knows best.
MYA now have ten clinics throughout the country as well as an owned hospital in London and a rented facility in Preston.
The new hospital in Harrogate will create 55 new jobs, 45 of which will be in the hospital and another ten at their head office.
November 1, 2016
Rovers 2 Wycombe Wanderers 2
Doncaster Rovers dropped a valuable two points in the League Two promotion chase on Saturday as they allowed visitors Wycombe Wanderers to equalise twelve minutes from time. Rovers had to come from behind after a goalkeeping error in the 19th minute allowed Matt Bloomfield to score, but that lead lasted only ten minutes, with Tommy Rowe levelling things. John Marquis put Rovers in front five minutes before the break and all the points looked to be heading Rovers' way before another mistake allowed Wycombe to equalise.
November 1, 2016
Rowe injury scare
Initial fears that Tommy Rowe may have suffered a season-ending injury have been dismissed by Rovers boss Darren Ferguson. Rowe was substituted at half time after receiving a foot injury, with a fear that he had broken a bone, but Ferguson was delighted to find that it was merely a bad impact that caused his foot to swell.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "He's fine. No break. The best news of the week. He'll be fine for Exeter. It was just a bad impact and really bad swelling. I think it's because he's got a screw in his foot where he's done it before. It was right on there. We had the x-ray Sunday morning and it was great news. If it'd been a break, it would have been the whole season I think. A bit of luck at last."
Rowe is, however, unlikely to feature in the weekend's FA Cup game at Oldham or the Checkatrade game next week against Port Vale, with Ferguson adding: "I probably would have given him a break anyway but he certainly wouldn't be ready for that. He'll just do a bit of gym work and get some rest into him which he probably needs now. It's the same with a few of the others because really this is about the only opportunity I'm going to get a bit of rest into them."
November 1, 2016
Ball moves to Loughborough
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Jordan Ball has completed a transfer from Matlock Town to Evo-Stik League club Loughborough Dynamo. It marks Jordan's second spell at Loughborough, having previously signed for them in December 2013. He has been on the move on numerous occasions since leaving Doncaster Rovers in 2013, playing for FC Halifax Town, Rainworth Miners Welfare, Mickleover Sports, Ange IF (Sweden) and Matlock.
November 1, 2016
Douglas joins "Hall of Fame"
Rovers legend Colin Douglas has become the second player to join the recently created "Hall of Fame". The Rovers initiative saw James Coppinger become the first to join the club's Hall of Fame, but Dougie, a long-standing hero for the older Rovers fans, is a welcome addition.
Colin was the club's record appearance maker, with 468 games to his name, before Coppinger passed that mark last season.
November 1, 2016
Syers joins Darlington
Ex-Rovers midfielder David Syers has joined Darlington and has no doubt that he has done the right thing by dropping into non-league football. The move allows him to continue training to become an accountant, with his commitment to Darlington being only part time.
The 28 year old most recently played for Guiseley in the National League after leaving Rochdale at the end of last season, and has plenty of Football League experience.
He told the Northern Echo: "Because I never set my sights on being a pro, I never hung my hat on it, coming out of the game is not a massive wrench for me, every year I had was a bonus. When you think of it logically, my career outside the game is going to last a lot longer than being a footballer. Being 28, I’ve got a lot more to offer a non-league side, and a lot longer too. If I’d come out of the game at 32 or 33 it would be a lot more difficult convincing a club I still had something to offer."
He added: "Between the ages of 14, 15 and 16 I was with Darlington, but I stayed at school and went to sixth form and then university and played for teams like Farsley and Harrogate Town. At the end of my degree I was offered a trial at Bradford. I had a job lined up in accountancy to start in the September, but I went to the trial and ended up getting a good six years out of my career."
"I never meant to be a pro, so I’m very happy with the way things worked out for me. It’s put me in a good financial position to be able to start work now, rather than in ten years’ time when I would’ve been coming out of the game.”