Saturday 11th April 2015, Keepmoat Stadium, Sky Bet League One.Rovers return to home soil on Saturday when they entertain play-off chasing Rochdale. It is the first time Dale have crossed the Pennines for a league fixture in Doncaster for more than 11 years.
The South Yorkshire side hold much of the upper hand on their own patch, recording 35 wins in all competitions compared to the Lancashire outfit’s 8.
Keith Hill’s side are flying high at the moment though and find themselves gunning for what would be an unlikely place in the top 6 places of League 1.
However the Spotland club have not defeated Doncaster in the five meetings between the pair since the ill fated 97/98 season.
Goals from Francis Tierney and Chris Brown sandwiched Kevin Townson’s effort on a Tuesday night in October 2003 and that is the last time the sides met in the league in DN4.
Since then there have been two meetings in the League Cup, both won by Doncaster. The first came in the 06/07 season – again at Belle Vue – where Rovers, thanks to a Mark McCammon brace and James Coppinger, atoned for the goals scored by Adam Rundle and John Doolan.
Bongani Khumalo’s last minute goal was enough to edge out Keith Hill’s men in the first round of last season’s competition also when the sides were two leagues apart.
Rovers’ untimely relegation and Rochdale’s promotion from League 2 saw the sides collide in an entertaining game at Spotland in November.
Matt Done scored within the opening ten minutes before Kyle Bennett restored parity midway through the first half. Done then undid all his good work when he was shown a straight red card after ten minutes of the second half and Rovers eventually got their rewards for untold amounts of pressure late on courtesy of Theo Robinson and Curtis Main.
Last time out (Tues 21st October 2003):
DRFC 2 (Tierney, 2; Brown, 75)
Dale 1 (Townson, 4)
Attendance – 5890
DRFC – A Warrington, J Price, M Albrighton, S Foster, T Ryan, F Tierney (L Fortune-West, 66), J Doolan, P Green, M McIndoe, G Blundell, C Brown
Dale – N Edwards, W Evans, G Griffiths, D Burgess(M Antoine-Curier, 80), M Simpkins, L Bertos, C Beech (S Grand, 66), G Brannan, C Shuker, L McEvilly, K Townson (R Patterson, 45)
Head to head league results (in Doncaster):
Rovers – 32
Dale – 7
Draws – 9
Rovers – Paul Dickov is sweating on the fitness of defender Luke McCullough (knee) who missed Tuesday’s defeat to Sheffield United. James Coppinger (dead leg) and Nathan Tyson (ankle) should shake off respective knocks in time.
Dale – Keith Hill said in the aftermath of Tuesday’s last minute win over Port Vale that Jamie Allen, Matty Lund, Ollie Lancashire, Scott Tanser and Joe Bunney could all come in to the fold.
Fancy a flutter? Rovers 6/5, Draw 5/2, Dale 5/2
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