Rovers run out at the Keepmoat for the second time this week
Rovers run out at the Keepmoat for the second time this week as Middlesbrough make the journey down the A1 into South Yorkshire. After the midweek battle with Charlton Athletic on home soil Paul Dickov and his squad will be looking to utilise the full potential of the tremendous home support.
Just before Christmas in 2010 Rovers welcomed Boro to Doncaster with a recent impressive home record, with two victories and one draw from the previous three games on home soil and keen for a quick reversal of fortunes after losing to Leicester City in their previous away game. Tony Mowbray’s Boro on the other hand weren’t in the best of form on the road, taking just four points in their last ten away outings.
However the game started well for the visitors, David Wheater headed an early corner over the top before winger Marvin Emnes burst down the flank to set up Scott McDonald and the Australian international did the rest, finishing coolly from 12 yards past Neil Sullivan after just four minutes of the game.
Rovers upped their game and looked to respond quickly as Mark Wilson and James Hayter went close to equalising before halfway through the eventful first half parity was restored. Billy Sharp created the perfect opportunity for Hayter to nod home from close range, netting his sixth goal in eight games.
Neither side could get their noses in front ahead of the half time break but the visitors came out strongly, Leroy Lita was denied by Sullivan before Sharp was then denied in similar fashion by visiting ‘keeper Jason Steele.
Boro had Steele to thank again as the game went into the final 25 minutes as he denied Joseph Mills but could only direct it back to the Rovers man, but unfortunately he blazed the shot over the bar. Rovers continued to press and Steele was quickly becoming an unbeatable force in the opposing goal as he denied James Coppinger and then watched as John Oster fired over from the edge of the box.
The visitors almost nicked a winner of their own with under ten minutes left but Sullivan showed all his experience and alertness to deny Tarmo Kink’s 20 yard drive.
But just as it seemed like a draw was the obvious outcome Rovers made one last foray forward, and Brian Stock swept home the ball from just inside the area in the fourth minute of injury time to seal the win sending the supporters into raptures and giving them the perfect early Christmas present.
The win lifted Rovers into the top ten to see out the calendar year leaving much to look forward to as they entered the second half of the season, Boro on the other hand were left looking over their shoulders as they sat precariously on the edge of the relegation places with only goal difference keeping them away from 22nd place.