Doncaster Rovers wrap up a memorable 2013 by welcoming Millwall to the Keepmoat Stadium
It’s hello to Millwall this weekend who visit the Keepmoat as we say goodbye to 2013 with the final game of the calendar year on Sunday.
Last season wasn’t a good vintage in terms of games against the Lions so we go back to February 2008 to look back at what was a terrific victory at The New Den.
Rovers went into the game off the back of a terrific 2-0 victory over Hartlepool United to keep them hot on the heels of Swansea City who were threatening to run away with the League One title. Millwall on the other hand were looking to the game to try and force themselves away from the drop-zone with just four points separating them and Bournemouth in 22nd spot.
Rovers dominated from the off, with Gareth Roberts showing his prowess in the attacking third rather than in defence as he hit a blistering shot from all of 35 yards which the Lion’s ‘keeper, Rhys Evans, could only parry to safety. Paul Green set up Jason price with just 15 minutes on the clock but the striker didn’t manage to hit the target, if not deadly in-front of goal to this point Rovers were certainly persistent as James Coppinger went even closer as he rattled the woodwork from inside the box.
Evans was to be replaced by Preston Edwards after 20 minutes after clashing with Mark McCammon and Edwards’ first job was to pick the ball out of the net. Rovers won a corner and Price squeezed the ball home from just outside the six-yard box to give the visitors the advantage after Roberts’ initial goalbound effort had been blocked.
Gary Alexander briefly rallied for the home side with what was to be their only real effort of note as he rose to nod Lewis Grabban’s cross just wide of the mark with Neil Sullivan beaten.
After the break Rovers’ incessant pressure finally told with just over ten minutes to go as Coppinger who had impressed throughout, somehow managed to somehow get his foot to the ball and steer it home when it looked like the chance had gone.
With many of the home fans wondering whether their side would stave off the threat of relegation as they left the ground, Paul Green sealed the deal for Rovers in the dying embers of the game with what was their 13th effort on target as the visitors emphasised their dominance over the hosts.
It was to be the second of a four game winning run for Rovers in a memorable season which ultimately culminated in promotion to the Championship with victory over Leeds United in the playoff final.
Statistics v Millwall
Rovers have tasted victory five times on home soil against this weekend’s visitors, with the Lions winning four. Three games have ended in a draw.
The sides have only ever met in League competition in South Yorkshire.
Rovers average over a goal per game against Millwall at home, with the visitors just managing to average a goal a game. So it could be argued this weekend’s game will be a tight affair.
This will be only the second time the sides have met in December, with Rovers taking the other game played in the final month of the year which was also at home. The home side winning 2-1 back in the 82/83 season.
Football League Sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers at 7/4 to beat the Lions.
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* Odds subject to change, correct as of 27/12/13.
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