Doncaster Rovers take a look at the history books and a first ever trip to Wembley.Seven years ago today, Doncaster Rovers ended their 50 year exile from the second tier after defeating Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United in the League One play-off final at Wembley.
James Hayter’s headed goal early in to the second half was the difference between two clubs who had been on very contrasting paths to get to that particular stage.
The former European Cup finalists and First Division winners were up against the upstarts from down the road who had been in the Conference just five years previously.
Hayter, an unassuming but tireless forward, was the epitome of the principles preached by then boss Sean O’Drsicoll on what was Doncaster’s first – and only – visit to the national stadium.
doncasterroversfc.co.uk takes a look at how the national media reacted.
Daily Mirror - “And make no mistake, Rovers deserved it.
Just 90 seconds into the second half, Leeds were guilty of ball-watching at Rovers skipper Brian Stock's rightwing corner and Hayter, unmarked 10 yards out, sent his emphatic header into the net.
Hayter, making only his second start since January after a hernia operation, said: "I've been dreaming about scoring the winner at Wembley all week, but when it happened I didn't know what to do. I made a right idiot of myself."”
Daily Telegraph - “Doncaster offered more invention, greater fluidity of movement and more individuals prepared to take charge. None of O'Driscoll's players hid. With James Coppinger pulling the strings behind the tireless pair of Hayter and Jason Price, Doncaster boasted an attack that constantly troubled Leeds defence.
Brian Stock, Paul Green and Richie Wellens were endeavour personified in midfield while Rovers' full-backs, particularly the energetic James O'Connor, kept pushing on to good effect. Rovers' football was intelligent, their belief unbreakable.”
BBC News - “Only five years ago , the team were in non-league football while local rivals Leeds United were playing in the Premier League. But in the past few seasons, Sean O'Driscoll's team have made an unprecedented ascent which culminated in their 1-0 victory over Leeds United at Wembley on 27th May, 2008.
More than 70,000 fans travelled from Yorkshire and watched as James Hayter headed home Brian Stock's corner in the 47th minute.”
BBC Sport - “Promotion to the Championship is a remarkable feat for a club who were playing Conference football five years ago.
Victory was no less than they deserve however as throughout this season Doncaster have played with an attractiveness befitting of a Championship side...
Doncaster were the better side at Wembley, even though Leeds went all-out on attack in the final 10 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
Rovers had a number of great opportunities to take the lead inside the first 10 minutes as Leeds struggled to cope with Doncaster's slick passing.
Leeds were vulnerable down the flanks and had it not been for Ankergren Doncaster would have been out of sight.”
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