Saturday 15th November 2014 (3pm), Keepmoat Stadium, SkyBet League One.Paul Dickov will hope his favourable record against local sides continues when Sheffield United visit the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday.
Rovers last league game saw them defeat Yorkshire rivals Bradford City, to add to wins over York, Chesterfield and Scunthorpe this term.
Encounters between the pair – who haven’t met since New Year’s Day 2013 – tend to be tight affairs with the Blades failing to beat the Keepmoat side in their last seven attempts; registering five draws and two defeats.
For Dickov, who has only notched one win at home this term, the chance to put one over on his old Manchester City teammate Nigel Clough couldn’t come at a better time.
Honours were shared during the 12/13 season as both teams scrapped it out for promotion from the third tier.
After a cagey affair, which no one dared lose, it ended 0-0 on a balmy night at Bramall Lane and the sides reconvened the following January in an entirely different spectacle.
Dean Saunders, against his former employers, appeared in total control when his team earned a first half penalty. Dave Syers was sliced down in the area by young goalkeeper George Long who, despite being lucky to stay on the field of play, was beaten by the resultant penalty from Billy Paynter.
David Cotterill’s whipped free kick was met by the head of Syers in the second half as Rovers assumed a seemingly unassailable two goal advantage.
The game turned on its head, however, with the introduction of teenager Joe Ironside. The United substitute earned his side a penalty within minutes of entering the play and Nick Blackman swept home a consolation, or so everyone thought.
The drama had not ceased though as Billy Paynter scythed down Tony McMahon and was shown a straight red card and the day went from bad to worse for the hosts when Dave Kitson slammed home a last minute leveller to rescue a point for Danny Wilson’s side in a pulsating clash.
Attendance – 12785
SUFC 2 (Blackman pen 80, Kitson 89)
DRFC 2 (Paynter pen 18, Syers 63)
Last time out (01/01/13):
DRFC – G Woods, J McCombe, P Quinn (A Griffin, 64), T Spurr, R Jones, D Cotterill, P Keegan, D Syers, B Paynter, I Hume (S Martis, 83), K Bennett (J Coppinger, 76)
SUFC - G Long, T McMahon, D Higginbotham, M Hill, T Kennedy, M Doyle, E Whitehouse (J Cofie, 53), R Flynn (J Ironside, 73), K McDonald, D Kitson, N Blackman
Head to head league results (in Doncaster):
Rovers – 4
Blades – 2
Draws – 6
Rovers – Enda Stevens will make a return to the starting line up following his recent loan acquisition from Aston Villa. Stevens spent time on loan at the Keepmoat last term and will deputise for Cedric Evina (knee). Sam Johnstone should start for the hosts, however Luke McCullough (international) and Andy Butler (ineligible) look set to miss out.
United – Mark Howard, Jose Baxter, Stefan Scougall and Jamal Campbell-Ryce could return to the starting eleven after sitting out Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Walsall in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Fancy a flutter? Rovers 2/1, Draw 12/5, United 13/10
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