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Preview: Notts County (H)

19 April 2013

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Notts County travel to the Keepmoat this Saturday for Rovers’ crucial final home game of the season

With the stakes higher than ever and automatic promotion the prize, Brian Flynn this week referred to a trait that his side have called upon in large quantity all season in being able to keep a cool head under pressure that should be the difference for seeing Rovers over the finish line this season.

The Rovers manager this week assured fans of the confident and relaxed atmosphere around the club going into another vital home game this month, knowing that going into the final match at Brentford with Rovers promotion fate still in their own hands will be crucial.

Rovers can take heart from the fact that Notts County were one of fourteen teams the club beat on their home pitch back in October, thanks to second half goals from Paul Keegan and Chris Brown just after the hour mark in a 2-0 victory that took Rovers up to 5th place in the standings.

County have changed managers since the October fixture at Meadow Lane with former development squad manager Chris Kiwomya given the role to take the ambitious club forward, signing a three year deal on the 27th March. 

County’s 61 points and 12th place league standing have ensured another season in League One with Kiwomya tasked with the building a side capable of promotion next season already underway as he assesses his options for next year.

County have only won three of their last ten games under Kiwomya but have shown a youthful enthusiasm in recent weeks as the manager has given many of his former youth players a chance in the first team, making County very much an unknown quantity in Saturday’s key game. 

Last time out against Colchester United, youngsters Curtis Thompson, Tyrell Waite, Haydn Hollis and Romello Nangle all featured in a 3-1 home win with substitute Nangle among the scorers and Kiwomya has suggested he may stick with his young players on Saturday looking at their progression for next season.

Rovers have been every bit as clinical as required in the last part of the season with just three losses in the last ten games including six wins and a draw, in a period that has seen the club maintain the top spot in the league for the last nine games.

Crucial victories against Tranmere and Swindon at home have effectively seen the automatic promotion places turn into a three horse race and Rovers winning and either Brentford or Bournemouth losing on Saturday will see the club promoted at the first time of asking from League One.

After announcing their return to the reserve league this week for next season, Rovers will be hopeful of capping an already positive week with a key victory to move closer to seeing the first team back in the Championship next season. 

Interesting Fact
Notts County are well known as the oldest football club in the world that are now professional, having been formed in 1862, with the club celebrating their 150th anniversary on November 12th of last year. Between 1888–89 and 2011–12 the clubs record of playing a total of 4,664 Football League matches is more than any other English team and has continued into this season.

Last Meeting – League – 27/10/2012

Result – 
Doncaster Rovers – 2 (Keegan 61 mins, Brown 63 mins)
Notts County – 0 

Teams – 
ROVERS - Gary Woods, Paul Quinn, Rob Jones, Tommy Spurr, James Husband, David Syers, Paul Keegan, James Harper, Kyle Bennett; Iain Hume, Billy Paynter
Subs – Chris Brown (for Paynter 46 mins), Andy Griffin (for Quinn 61 mins), Sammy Clingan (for Hume 83 mins), Robbie Blake, Michael Woods, Liam Wakefield, Neil Sullivan gk.

Notts County - Bartosz Bialkowski, Neal Bishop, Dean Leacock, Gary Liddle, Jeff Hughes, Francois Zoko, Yoann Arquin, Jamal Campbell-Ryce, Andre Boucaud, Jordan Stewart, Ashley Eastham.
Subs – Lee Hughes (for Leacock 46 mins), Alan Judge (for Zoko 62 mins), Romello Nangle (for Boucaud 75 mins), Alan Sheehan, Enoch Showunmi, Gavin Mahon, Hamza Bencherif, Romello Nangle, Kevin Pilkington.

Team News
Neil Sullivan will continue in goal with Gary Woods still suffering with back spasms. Andy Griffin (hamstring) is missing alongside long term absentees David Syers, Paul Keegan and Martin Woods.

A fine and dry day with some sunny spells.

Travel - A6182 White Rose Way 
Delays at the Lakeside Shopping Village roundabout due to on-going roadworks. Access to the stadium via the Middlebank roundabout.   

Rovers Player:
Live and exclusive coverage of Doncaster Rovers v Notts County at Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday 20th April 2013 will be available on Rovers Player from 2.45pm. Contact the commentary team via our official Twitter feed @drfc_official throughout the afternoon. 

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