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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Nottingham Forest (A)

14 March 2014

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We build up to Saturday's away trip with Nottingham Forest.

The team coach is back out this weekend as the squad make the trip to Nottingham to face Forest at the City Ground after two consecutive home games. 

Our hosts on Saturday have an indifferent record over the past month and haven’t won at home since the start of February and their last in front of their own supporters ended in a heavy defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Previous Encounter

Fortune certainly has favoured Rovers in the home town of Robin Hood over the past few visits and when we made the short trip to Nottingham on Boxing Day 2008 it was to be a wonderful away day. 

Going into the game both sides were struggling in the Championship table and both ensconced in the bottom three but with just three points separating each other so a victory was vital for both. With Rovers going into the game after a home defeat to Wolves and the hosts winning at Southampton, the home supporters amongst the 26,000 crowd were dreaming of three points, however, Sean O Driscoll’s side had other ideas.

Forest started brightly with the livewire Robert Earnshaw briefly getting a sight on goal, but stout defending put an end to him harbouring any ambitions of opening the scoring. The Welsh international then had a hand in the opener, but it was for Rovers and not his employers.

He made a hash of a pass and fed the ball directly to Martin Woods and he curled in the most inviting of crosses for Paul Heffernan to head home almost unmarked.  It seemed to be all about Earnshaw again moments after the restart but for all the wrong reasons from a Forest point of view as he slipped at the vital moment with only Neil Sullivan to beat. 

Woods turned from provider to scorer with just over 30 minutes played as he gave the home fans a lesson in finishing prowess as he clipped a delightful chip over Lee Camp into the unguarded net from the edge of the box. The home fans were incensed at the performance of Forest and their frustrations got even louder when Rovers made it three as the half time whistle was about to be blown. 

Richie Wellens lined up a shot from the edge of the box following the award of a free kick for a foul, he curled it goalwards and it cannoned off the wall and gave Camp no chance whatsoever as it rolled past him and into the goal. 

Upon the restart it couldn’t have got worse for the home side, after three substitutions one of the players who had been introduced, Julian Bennett, was injured and had to leave the field of play leaving Forest with ten men for over 40 minutes. 

Rovers turned the screw and netted a fourth when Heffernan bagged his second of the game after a John Spicer effort had been blocked on the line.  With the game all but over Rovers could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas a little and Forest finally brought some cheer to their supporters with two goals, one courtesy of Rover’s Sam Hird as he deflected a cross into his own net before Joe Garner scored a second late in the day. 

The win hoisted Rovers off the foot of the table and level on points with Forest and just five points off safety, it was also to be the springboard for a eight game unbeaten run which went a long way to preserving the club’s Championship status at the end of the season.

Nottingham Forest Stats (A)

The City Ground has been a happy place for Rovers in recent history, with only one defeat in the last six visits.  In fact the last two trips into Nottingham have been played in March and the stats read one win for Rovers and one game ending in a draw.  Rovers have defeated the hosts four times in the month over the course of history, home and away.

Rover’s 4-2 win over Forest on Boxing Day 2008 is the highest victory for the visitors at the City Ground. 

Although our hosts this weekend have the overall head to head advantage, over the last ten meetings between the sides the results have been very favorable for Rovers as the record reads four victories, four draws and just two defeats. 

Sky Bet

Football League Sponsors Sky Bet have Doncaster Rovers at 6/1 to record a victory at the City Ground.

Nottingham Forest 1/2

Draw 3/1

Doncaster Rovers 6/1

To open an account with Sky Bet CLICK HERE 

* Odds subject to change, correct as of 14/03/14


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