Rovers' final home game of the season, is arguably their biggest.
After the tremendous battling point gained at Millwall on Easter Monday we welcome Reading to the Keepmoat for the final home game of the 2013/14 campaign.
Victory could potentially see Rovers ensure Championship status for next season, with the teams in and around us facing tough opponents in the top half of the table, almost all of which whom still have playoff spots to fight for.
Reading sneaked into the top six with victory in their last game against Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, but they will no doubt be aware of the qualities that Rovers possess and the threat that we pose to their promotion ambitions.
When the Royals last visited South Yorkshire back in the 11/12 season they were in a situation similar to the one that they find themselves in now, chasing promotion to the Premier League and on the back of a victory. Rovers went into the game full of confidence after a tremendous point gained at West Ham in front of almost 35,000 fans at Upton Park.
The visitors started brightly and tested the reactions of Rovers’ ‘keeper Carl Ikeme, Kaspars Gorkss got his head to a corner to power goalwards from Ian Harte’s accurate centre but Ikeme was having none of it. Within five minutes Gorkss found space again from a second flag kick but this time he blasted the ball over the top.
But Rovers then began to find their feet as Giles Barnes and Kyle Bennett both went close with shots from the edge of the box, along with El Hadji Diouf who became a pest for Ian Pearce and Gorkss in the Reading defence.
Diouf was the key to the opening goal, he did well out wide to create space to play the ball into the feet of Bennett who smashed the ball low into the bottom left corner past the despairing dive of Adam Federici.
The Royals began to get frustrated as their attempts at goal were stopped by Ikeme who was in fine form; Jason Roberts, Hal Robson-Kanu and Jobi McAnuff all denied by Rovers’ custodian. Simon Gillett almost doubled Rovers’ lead though just before the break when he saw his shot from the edge of the box stopped by Federici.
Reading came out for the second half in determined mood, with a succession of corners being won and finally the Rovers’ resistance was broken from yet another corner kick. Harte again the architect for the danger, his ball in was met by Pearce and his header gave Ikeme no chance to replicate his heroics of the first half.
Frederic Piquionne went close shortly after as he got to Diouf’s dangerous ball in and it served as a warning that Rovers were far from willing to roll over and succumb to the pressure. The on loan Frenchman again flashed an effort just off target as the game wore on into the final ten minutes, but when the match went into injury time the Royals just poured men forward in search of the winner.
Jason Roberts was denied by Ikeme and then the Rovers ‘keeper was to deny Hunt at the death to earn a very valuable point.
It was to end the visitors eight game winning streak and give the home side hope going into the final games of the season.
Rovers: C Ikeme, P Chimbonda, T Spurr, S Hird, H Beye, S Gillett, J Coppinger, G Barnes, F Piquionne, E Diouf, K Bennett
Royals: A Federici, I Harte, K Gorkss, A Pearce, S Cummings, J McAnuff, M Leigertwood, J Karacan (J Tabb, 64), H Robson-Kanu (A Le Fondre, 64), N Hunt, J Roberts
Attendance – 8287
Rovers will look to gain one win back against Reading who lead in the head to head stats between the two clubs. Rovers need to add to their five wins against The Royals who have a significant upper hand in that respect with 20+ victories in all competitions. But nine games have ended in the points being shared including the visitors last trip to South Yorkshire, but only two haven ended goalless.
Twenty goals have been scored in the last six games between the sides, and the highest scoring game between the sides came in Doncaster. The amazing 7-5 victory for Rovers in the 1982/83 season, which is the highest aggregate score between the sides in the history of the two teams meeting.
The odds of the game being all square at half time and Rovers winning is 6/1 with Sky Bet.
Doncaster Rovers 21/10
To open an account with Sky Bet CLICK HERE
* Odds subject to change, correct as of 24/04/14
Rovers Player will be broadcasting Live audio commentary of the game. Don't miss a kick with our match day commentary team Tom Biltcliffe, Danny Czepiec and Darren Neagle from 2:40pm.
Get in touch with the commentary team on air, tweet @drfc_official with the hashtag #drfclive
Subscribe to Rovers Player can experience all of the below.
• Live Audio Commentary
• Extended Match Highlights
• Full Match Replays
• Exclusive Manager and Player Interviews
• TV News
Click HERE to subscribe