We look ahead to Saturday's match with Sheffield Wednesday.
It’s Yorkshire derby time again this Saturday as Sheffield Wednesday make the relatively short trip across the county to the Keepmoat as Rovers look to extend their recent good run of form and go four games unbeaten with a positive result against the Owls.
The omens are good for Rovers who are yet to lose to Wednesday at the Keepmoat and you have to go back almost ten years since the visitors took all three points in Doncaster.
We look back to the 2008/09 season and in February 2009, the Owls came over to the Keepmoat with ambitions of taking the win after recently defeating their neighbours Sheffield United but Rovers were in good form too after beating Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, 3-2, so it promised to be an engrossing encounter.
Wednesday had the first real chance of the game when Leon Clarke and Michael Gray combined to set up James O Connor, but the diminutive midfielder could only lash his effort over the crossbar. But from then on it was all about Rovers who took the game to the visitors for much of the game.
Paul Heffernan and James Coppinger went close and arguably would have scored but for some last ditch blocks from the visiting defence before Heffernan was to get the perfect chance to break the deadlock. Richie Wellens and Coppinger combined to put the striker through on goal but unfortunately the striker was to pur his effort over the top of the crossbar much to the dismay of the home supporters.
Coppinger was at the heart of much of the attacking play for Rovers and when he combined with John Spicer, Heffernan was again the recipient of the golden chance to score but it seemed not to be his day as again he flashed his effort off target. However, his run of bad luck in front of the goal was to disappear within minutes, Coppinger was again the architect and this time Heffernan was to give Wednesday ‘keeper Lee Grant no chance as he nodded home the right wing cross.
Grant then denied Rovers a second goal as he produced a fine diving save to divert Wellens’ 20 yard piledriver wide of the mark to keep the visitors within a goal of the home side at the break.
But in the second half the Rovers dominance continued, and the Owls had to rely on Mark Beevers being in the right place at the right time to halt Heffernan netting his second of the game. Martin Woods flashed a shot over the bar before Wednesday finally sprang to life.
Jermaine Johnson crossed for Clarke to head goalwards but thankfully the ball cannoned off the woodwork to safety. It was the only real pressure applied by the visitors in the second half and had it got them back on terms then it would have been harsh on Rovers who dominated proceedings almost from the start.
The win lifted Rovers up three places to 16th in the Championship table just five points behind Wednesday who remained in 12th spot following the defeat. But more importantly, it meant the home side were some seven points clear of the bottom three going into the final third of the season.
Sheff Wed Stats (H)
A win this weekend would see Rovers have the advantage in games played on home soil in the league, as things stand both sides have taken two wins apiece in Doncaster with two games ending in a draw.
However, Rovers have tasted victory in the last four games against Wednesday.
The last 11 games played between the two sides have been won without the opposition scoring a goal, and in fact there has only been five occasions over the course of history where both sides have scored a goal in a competitive fixture against each other.
Football League Sponsors Sky Bet have Doncaster Rovers at 9/4 to record a victory at the Keepmoat Stadium
Doncaster Rovers 9/4
Sheffield Wednesday 13/10
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* Odds subject to change, correct as of 14/03/14
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