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Promotion Within Touching Distance!

18 April 2013

Keepmoat Stadium could play host to a promotion party this weekend if Brian Flynn’s men defeat visiting Notts County in the final home game of the 2012/13 season.

Victory would see Rovers promoted back to the Championship providing either Brentford who travel to Hartlepool, or Bournemouth who face Carlisle, fail to pick up three points.

 

County are out of the hunt for the playoffs but will be a stern test for Rovers after a convincing win over Colchester United last weekend.

 

The last time this fixture was arguably in the spotlight as much came back in 2009, as former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson had recently been installed as Director of Football for the Magpies and Rovers faced them in the Carling Cup at Meadow Lane.

 

Rovers were looking to avenge the defeat a year earlier in the same competition but it didn’t look good for the visitors as County threatened early on. Luke Rodgers smashed a shot against the bar with Rovers ‘keeper Ben Smith beaten, James Clapham then repeated the feat and hit the post in a fast-paced opening 15 minutes.

 

With the home side failing to hit the net the supporters were getting frustrated and as the teams left the field for the half time break they were worried that Rovers could hit them with a sucker punch.

 

How right those fans were as the visitors came flying out of the blocks for the second period and it took under ten minutes for Rovers to get their noses in front. Lewis Guy slid the ball into the path of James Coppinger who dispatched the ball past Russell Hoult low to his right and into the net.

 

Guy then went close as he fashioned a chance of his own after he created enough space to lash a shot goalwards; Hoult managed to make a wonderful stop to keep his side in the game.

 

County brought on Lee Hughes in a bid to get back into the tie but the former Oldham striker couldn’t get his name on the scoresheet, first curling a shot wide before ‘keeper Smith denied him. Smith was called into action again moments later as Craig Westcarr got a shot away but there was no way past the visiting custodian.

 

Rovers didn’t rest on their laurels though, and continued to work Hoult with Coppinger coming close to doubling his and Rovers’ tally. Guy also stung the palms of the experienced stopper on two occasions as the game wore on. But the visitors from Yorkshire were to move onto round two of the competition and look forward to a visit from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

 


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