Doncaster Rovers v Barnsley preview
Danny Wilson will be eager to see an improvement in his side’s away form when they travel the short distance to Doncaster for the South Yorkshire derby on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds go into the game on the back of their first win in three after beating Gary Johnson’s Yeovil Town last weekend, but with three straight league defeats on the road they will be desperate to replicate some of their Oakwell form on their travels.
Recent defeats at Chesterfield, Walsall and Preston had seen Wilson’s outfit struggle to pull away from the League One relegation zone, but following Saturday’s victory – which made it three wins in their last five games in all competitions – the Reds moved up to 16thplace and just two points behind this weekend’s hosts Doncaster.
Paul Dickov’s men will be looking for an immediate response after their five match unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday night with a 2-0 defeat at Bristol City in the FA Cup third round replay.
Two wins and three draws prior to that had seen confidence grow around the Keepmoat, including a spirited fight back last weekend to earn a 2-2 draw at Oldham despite being 2-0 down with only 13 minutes left to play.
That point did extend Doncaster’s unbeaten league run to four games and with wins against Swindon and Coventry of late, Dickov’s side sit only five points behind the play-off places.
If they are to achieve a top seven finish however, they will need to improve on their home form; having picked up just one victory in their last five Keepmoat outings in League One which has seen Leyton Orient, Sheffield United and Gillingham all leave with three points in recent months.
The 71stBarnsley v Doncaster South Yorkshire derby will take place this weekend, with the Reds keen to build on their fine recent record at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Last season on-loan German forward Nick Proschwitz rescued a 2-2 draw for Danny Wilson’s men with an 89thminute equaliser and despite suffering a 2-0 defeat at the Keepmoat in the 2011-12 campaign, the Reds picked up three straight victories prior to that loss.
In October 2008 a solo strike from Jon Macken ensured Barnsley would be returning to Oakwell with all three points, while a year later and it was Adam Hammill’s turn to hit the headlines with his goal earning a repeat score line for the Reds.
Barnsley completed their hat-trick of wins with a classy 2-0 success in Doncaster back in January 2011, with Danny Haynes bagging a brace to continue the Club’s fine run of form against Donny.
The 70thmeeting between the two sides came at Oakwell in December and it ended all square following Theo Robinson’s second-half equaliser; cancelling out Lewin Nyatanga’s fifth minute opener.
That stalemate continued a sequence of draws between the Clubs in recent times, with both clashes last season ending in draws after Proschwitz’s brace at the Keepmoat, while it ended goalless back at Oakwell.
Slovakian forward Milan Lalkovic could be set to make his first start for the Reds following an impressive 22-minute cameo against Yeovil on Saturday.
The former Chelsea man replaced Leroy Lita on 68 minutes and showed glimpses of the talent which saw him capped at U21 level for Slovakia.
If selected from the off, Lalkovic is likely to start alongside the Club’s trio of other new signings, with last weekend’s goalscorer George Waring, midfielder Ben Pearson and on-loan Chelsea man Alex Kiwomya all making their debuts against the Glovers.
There could be another debut this weekend as new signing Josh Scowen joined the Reds from Wycombe Wanderers late on Thursday night. The 21-year-old signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Oakwell after snapping up the central-midfielder for an undisclosed fee.
One man who is yet to make his Barnsley bow however, is Mike Phenix; who signed for the Reds in late October from Conference side AFC Telford and despite failing to make an appearance so far, the forward did feature on the bench against Yeovil.
Saturday’s hosts Doncaster will be without influential midfielder Dean Furman at the Keepmoat, with the South African away on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, while experienced centre-half Rob Jones continues to struggle with a knee problem.
Winger Kyle Bennett returned to the Rovers starting XI against Oldham last weekend following injury and he could be joined in the Donny line-up by forward Nathan Tyson who came off the bench to score his side’s first goal at SportsDirect.com Park on Saturday.
Man in the Middle
Kevin Wright will take charge of the eighth Barnsley game of his career when the Reds face Doncaster this weekend. The Cambridgeshire referee’s record with the Reds has been somewhat mixed over the years; overseeing three Barnsley victories, three defeats and one draw which came back in December 2006 against Leeds United.
The most recent of those meetings came earlier this season when Danny Wilson’s side picked up their first win in six games to defeat Rochdale 1-0 at Spotland following Peter Ramage’s 10thminute header on his second debut for the Club.
The experienced official has been in charge of 18 games so far in the 2014-15 campaign, where he has brandished 58 yellow cards and four red. Three of those dismissals have come in recent times however, with Wright sending off three players in his last five outings. Blackburn’s Tom Cairney, Wolves’ Kevin McDonald, as well as John Eustace - who was sent off in Derby’s top-of-the-table victory at Ipswich last weekend – have all been dismissed by Wright in the past two months.
Their Star Man
Winger Kyle Bennett may only have found the back of the net four times this season but his blistering pace has continued to cause havoc for defences throughout League One. The 24-year-old -who began his career with Wolves before a spell at Bury prior to his move to Doncaster in July 2011 – spent the majority of last season away from the Keepmoat with loan spells at both Crawley and Bradford in the third tier.
The former England U18 international made just four appearances in a Doncaster shirt last time out, but since his arrival in South Yorkshire, Bennett has been a regular; scoring on his home debut in a 3-0 League Cup success against Tranmere, before notching another four times in the 2011-12 season including the second in a 2-0 victory against Barnsley. Three more goals were added to the wide man’s Doncaster tally a season later as Rovers earned an immediate return to the Championship after claiming the League One title.
Despite not featuring upon their return to the second tier last time out, Bennett is once again a regular fixture in the Donny line-up; featuring 27 times and netting in wins against Colchester and Chesterfield, with his most recent strike coming in late November; equalising for Rovers at Rochdale in a 3-1 success. The winger’s powerful performances have seen him claim three assists as well this season; two of which came in the Club’s 4-1 FA Cup win against Weston-Super-Mare in November.
Welshman David Cotterill arrived at Oakwell in February 2012 at the age of 24 following spells with Bristol City, Wigan Athletic, Sheffield United and Swansea. His second stint in South Yorkshire began with a 3-1 home defeat against Birmingham and it failed to get much better for the Wales international, with the Reds losing all five of Cotterill’s first five games in a Barnsley shirt including a 4-0 home loss against Reading.
That woeful record came to an end in the midfielder’s sixth appearance however and it was one to remember for the current Birmingham man, as he netted the winner against Peterborough at Oakwell; steering home from the edge of the area after good work by Nathan Doyle. The strike ended a run of four straight defeats for the Reds but despite that, it would prove to be the only game in which Cotterill won as a Barnsley player, losing nine and drawing one as the Reds finished 21stand survived relegation by eight points.
At the climax of the 2011-12 campaign Cotterill’s short-term deal at Oakwell came to an end but the ex-Portsmouth loanee decided to remain in South Yorkshire and agreed a two-year deal with Saturday’s hosts Doncaster. After scoring on his league debut against Walsall, the Welshman never looked back, hitting 10 goals in his first season at the Keepmoat Stadium as Rovers won promotion to the Championship as League One Champions. Cotterill found the back of the net in big wins against Preston, Scunthorpe and Carlisle but it was his goals against Oldham and Colchester which proved to be more decisive, as he notched the winners to earn his new Club six points.
Last season the versatile midfielder was a regular on the Doncaster team sheet once again but as Rovers struggled with life back in the Championship, so did Cotterill, and although he notched in local derbies against Huddersfield and Leeds, the Bristol City youth product ended the season with just four goals to his name. As the season reached its conclusion Rovers suffered immediate relegation back to League One, after narrowly losing out to Birmingham on goal difference. It would not be the last thing Donny would lose out on to the West Midlands Club however, as Cotterill agreed a two-year switch to St Andrews after turning down a new deal at the Keepmoat during the summer.
Going to the match? – address and postcode
Doncaster Rovers play at the Keepmoat Stadium, its address is as follows:
How to get there
From the A1(M) join M18 Eastbound at Junction 35 (signposted Hull), or from the M1 join the M18 Eastbound at Junction 32. Once on the M18, leave at Junction 3 and take the A6182 towards Doncaster (the stadium is well signposted from Junction 3 and is about one and a half miles away). You will pass a retail park on your left and then at the next island (which has the Lakeside Pub visible behind it) turn left onto White Rose Way. The Lakeside Shopping Centre is now on your right (the stadium is located directly behind the shopping centre). At the next island turn right into the industrial estate, and after passing the Tesco distribution centre on your right, turn right at the bottom of the road and the stadium is further down on your left.
Keepmoat Stadium has 1,000 parking spaces and therefore parking at the stadium on a match day can sometimes be difficult. A range of local businesses offer parking facilities around the stadium, however the club advise if you park with a third party you do so at your own risk. Keepmoat Stadium also has several disabled parking spaces available but advise that these are limited in number, we therefore suggest that you phone in advance on 01302 762576 to discuss your parking arrangements.
Parking at the stadium is £5 per vehicle on a match day.
By Bus or Train:
Keepmoat Stadium has excellent public transport links and there are several park and ride facilities in Doncaster that use the stadium. Regular buses are available from Doncaster town centre to the stadium both before and after the game.
Doncaster Station is just under two miles away so you are probably best taking the bus or a taxi to the ground. If you fancy the long walk (around 25-30 minutes) then as you come out of the station turn right and then keep straight on this road (the A 6182 Trafford Way) and you will eventually reach the stadium complex on your left.
Tickets are priced as follows:
Over 60s: £17
Young adult (17-20 years): £13
Juvenile (12-16 years): £8
Juvenile (Under 12 years): £5
The official club coaches depart Oakwell at 12:45pm on matchday and is priced at £13 per seat.
Tickets will remain on sale until 4pm on Friday 16th January, subject to availability.