We build up to tonights game with Watford at the Keepmoat Stadium.
The win at the weekend over Huddersfield Town extended Rovers’ unbeaten run at home to five games and of course hoisted the side to four points clear of Yeovil in 22nd place, so victory over Watford on Tuesday night could potentially see Paul Dickov’s side move into joint 18th spot.
Watford will be looking to arrest a run without a victory on their travels from Vicarage Road which stretches back to October. However, they have been picking up points with seven draws on the road since that last win which came against Huddersfield Town.
The Hornet’s travelled to the Keepmoat back in January 2010 sitting just one spot above Rovers in 13th spot in the Championship, the home side were in fine form at home taking four victories and drawing just one in their previous five home games while the visitors were five without victory on their travels so many fancied Rovers to taste victory yet again in front of their home fans.
Watford started the game the brighter with a chance within the opening couple of minutes which saw Lloyd Doyley create enough space to squeeze in a shot which James O Connor bravely blocked, but that was really as far as it went for the visitors from then on.
Sean O Driscoll’s side dominated and were inspired by the return of Brian Stock after the skipper had been out for four months through injury and he almost marked his comeback with a goal but for some fine goalkeeping from Scott Loach.
The England U21 ‘keeper was earning his corn in the opening few minutes, he then denied James Coppinger before Dean Shiels flashed a good chance just wide of the mark with Loach scampering across goal. However, the Northern Irishman was to be denied by Loach five minutes later who somehow clawed away a wonderful curling effort from the Rover’s midfielder.
Watford’s goal continued to lead a charmed life and mainly Loach was the cause, denying Coppinger and Billy Sharp as the first half came to a close. But following the restart the breakthrough was to come and in fine style.
Coppinger provided the chance when he superbly backheeled the ball to Shiels who jinked past his marker before smashing his shot low into the goal past the outstretched hand of the Hornet’s ‘keeper who could do nothing to stop it.
It took over 70 minutes for the visitors to have their first real chance of the game, but both Heidar Helguson and Will Hoskins couldn’t make their mark from close range.
Gareth Roberts though was to show the visitors how to go about scoring as he smashed in a blistering volley with under ten minutes remaining and put the game out of the reach of the Hornets. However, Watford did give their travelling supporters something to cheer when Helguson slotted home a consolation goal from the penalty spot after Sam Hird was adjudged to have brought down Hoskins.
The win took Rovers up to 12th spot, just two points from the top ten whilst the visitors dropped to 14th after 24 and 25 games respectively.
Watford Stats (H)
The visitors have the advantage in head to head meetings overall, however, in South Yorkshire it’s a stalemate. With both sides winning three of the nine previous games and three draws being played out.
Rovers won the first meeting between the two sides in South Yorkshire back in September 1959 by one goal to nil.
Rovers are unbeaten in their last three games on home soil against Watford, who haven’t won in Doncaster since April 2009.
Football League Sponsors Sky Bet have Doncaster Rovers at 21/10 to record a victory at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Doncaster Rovers 23/10
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* Odds subject to change, correct as of 11/03/14
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