We look ahead to Saturday's match at AFC Bournemouth
After the long trip to Somerset last week, it’s another far flung destination that welcomes Rovers this weekend as The Goldsands Stadium, Bournemouth, awaits us. Rovers have taken points from five of the previous seven games and look to add to that tally with three points hopefully for us to return with at the end of 90 minutes on the South Coast.
Bournemouth go into the game on the back of a month without a victory, as Paul Dickov’s side look to bounce back after the narrow defeat to Yeovil so it promises to be an intriguing contest.
Just over six years ago, Rovers travelled to Bournemouth following a run of three straight victories without conceding a solitary goal, with the Cherries also in good form after winning their previous two games and scoring six goals. However, the league table told a different story, with Rovers flying high in second place meanwhile the hosts were languishing in 23rd place some eight points from safety.
Rovers netted almost from the kick off in fine style, just 56 seconds had passed when Jason Price was given the freedom of the penalty area to nod home from close range. The early goal infuriated the home supporters and players it seemed as the game was littered with hard tackles and raised tempers throughout.
The visitors were within a whisker of doubling their early lead after 20 minutes following a flowing move fit to grace any football pitch in the country. James O Connor advanced into the opposing half and pinged the ball into the feet of Price, he coolly backheeled the ball into Brian Stock but unfortunately his shot on goal didn’t have the accuracy of the build up as the ball flashed wide of the net.
The first real flashpoint of the game came shortly after, Cherrie’s midfielder Shaun Cooper was cautioned for his part in a moment of pushing and shoving with James Coppinger. Andy D’Urso’s decision to book the Bournemouth man infuriated the home supporters and the temperature rose again when they were refused a penalty when Marvin Bartley went down in the box.
But the incident packed first half was to come to a crescendo just before the break, a 15 man argument involving both sets of players ended with Price and Mark McCammon seeing a yellow card but Bournemouth were to be reduced to ten men as Cooper saw his second yellow card in 15 minutes and was sent from the field.
The dismissal all but ended the host’s chances of a way back into the game as Sam Vokes struggled against the Rovers backline, looking very isolated up front on his own. Rovers gradually turned the screw and made the extra man count with 20 minutes remaining, Richie Wellens couldn’t have played a better pass for Price to run onto and the striker didn’t disappoint, sidefooting the ball past Gareth Stewart.
Jo Kuffour and Vokes both went close as the game came to a conclusion but in truth Rovers were more than deserving of victory and leaving them four points clear in second place in League One with Carlisle United heading the chasing pack.
Bournemouth (A) Stats
Rovers go to the South Coast with two wins stored from their last two visits to the home of the Cherries. In fact you have to go back to March 2007 to find the last victory for the home side against the travelling side from South Yorkshire.
Victory at The Goldsands Stadium would see Rovers level up the head to head record, with the home side currently leading by 14 – 13, 11 games have finished with honours even.
Both sides average over a goal per game played in games between the sides so it would arguably be foolish to expect a 0-0 draw this weekend. In fact there have been only three games that have finished that way, the last one being back in November 1979.
Football League Sponsors Sky Bet have Doncaster Rovers at to record victory against Bournemouth.
AFC Bournemouth 8/11
Doncaster Rovers 15/4
To open an account with Sky Bet CLICK HERE
* Odds subject to change, correct as of 14/02/14
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