Saturday 2nd January 2016 (3pm), Sky Bet League One, Roots Hall.Doncaster Rovers travel to play-off chasing Southend United for their first game of 2016 looking to close the gap on their opposition to three points.
Darren Ferguson’s side recorded a 2-1 victory over lowly Oldham Athletic on Monday to continue their five game unbeaten streak on the road.
The Shrimpers – despite a 4-0 mauling on Monday at the hands of Millwall – are still handily placed to mount a challenge for a second successive promotion.
Rovers haven’t visited Roots Hall for close to eight years when the pair met in the League One play-off semi-finals and a nervy stalemate in Essex was followed up in the second leg by a 5-1 rout by Sean O’Driscoll’s men who would go on to defeat Leeds United in the final at Wembley.
Phil Brown’s side, who were relegated to League Two in 2010, returned at the third time of asking via the play-offs last season in a dramatic penalty shootout win over Wycombe and came to the Keepmoat Stadium in mid-august when the pair played out a forgettable stalemate.
Rovers historically hold the upper hand, winning seven of the previous ten meetings; most notably the 1-0 FA Cup round 1 win in 1998 when fans favourite Dave Penney netted to separate the two sides.
Attendance – 5164
Last time out (19th Aug 2015):
Rovers: Stuckmann, McCullough, Butler, MacKenzie, Taylor-Sinclair, Evina (Main 66’), Wellens, Middleton (Chaplow 53’), Forrester (Whitehouse 82’), Coppinger (c), Williams
Southend: Bentley, White (c), Coker, Worrall, Timlin, Mooney (Pigott 70’), Atkinson, Hurst (Weston 61’), Bolger (Prosser 66’), Leonard, Barrett
Head to head league results (in Doncaster):
SUFC - 9
Rovers – 3
Draws – 2
WHAT ARE THE ODDS? SUFC 6/5, Draw 12/5, Rovers 11/5
Listen to ROVERS PLAYER for live coverage from 14:45 with Tom Biltcliffe and Danny Czepiec.
Follow ROVERS WALL for all the action as it happens from 14:00.