It’s back to the bread and butter of Championship football this weekend as we welcome Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth to the Keepmoat.
The Cherries have had a tough start to the campaign and it promises to be just as difficult for them on Saturday.
The history books would suggest that there are to be goals this weekend, with only three of the previous 37 games have ended goalless so we look back to a blockbuster of a game back in November 2005.
Rovers started the game sat in 16th place in League One but only five points away from the top six, buoyed by a tremendous away win at Charlton in their previous game the home side were certainly looking to topple the team from the South Coast who occupied 10th spot.
It was a remarkable game, which took just 15 minutes to come to life as the home side was awarded a penalty after Lewis Guy was bundled over in the box. Up stepped the ever reliable Michael McIndoe, the Rovers supporters were expecting the Scot to make it seven from seven penalties but Bournemouth custodian, Gareth Steward, made a good stop to keep the scores level.
Despite the home side being in the ascendency they just couldn’t break down a resolute Cherries defence until the last few minutes of the opening half. Sean Thornton had made a terrific burst forward but was to have possession snatched from him, in nipped Paul Heffernan to take the ball from under the visitor’s noses and sidestep one challenge before slotting home in some style.
If the supporters thought there should have been more goals in the first half, they were far from disappointed in the second and it all started in a startlingly similar fashion to the first half. Rovers were awarded their second penalty of the game fifteen minutes in, this time Steve Foster was impeded by Marcus Browning. McIndoe’s reliability from the spot returned and he slotted past Steward.
The second goal lit the blue touch paper and within two minutes Rovers were three goals to the good. A fine move through midfield culminated in Guy firing the ball into the box, Thornton got his head to it but it fell to Ricky Ravenhill and he dispatched the ball home with a thumping effort.
Before the home side could dream of a victory the Cherries were to get a goal back some 60 seconds after the restart through the impressive Andrew Surman, the young midfielder coolly finishing past Jan Budtz. The visitors sensed a little nervousness in the home ranks and with 13 minutes remaining they well and truly put the pressure on. Budtz inexplicably fumbled the ball into the feet of Dani Rodrigues and the striker couldn’t miss.
With five minutes remaining the home supporters woes were ended as Paul Green curled a delightful effort into the net to restore Rovers’ two-goal cushion.
There was still time for a very late wobble though as the visitors were awarded a penalty, but James Hayter couldn’t convert.
Victory took Rovers above the Cherries into twelfth spot in the table, just three points adrift of Barnsley in sixth place.