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Fleetwood Town match preview

5 October 2018

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Rovers return to the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday when they host Fleetwood Town in Sky Bet League One.

Rovers will be looking to avenge Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat away at Accrington Stanley which ended their run of four wins in a row, as well as ending their seven-match unbeaten streak.

Rovers will be buoyed by the fact they are yet to be on the losing side at home in the league this season, following two goalless draws and three wins so far at the Keepmoat Stadium, with their last home outing coming against Bradford City in a 2-1 victory a fortnight ago.

Brief history of Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood play at the 5,327-capacity Highbury Stadium, which has been the club’s home since 1934.

This current Fleetwood team is the third incarnation of the club, having twice reformed since they were first established in 1908, with the latest reformation coming in 1997.

Fleetwood reached the Football League for the first time in 2012, having won the Conference Premier title that year. Jamie Vardy top scored for the Cod Army in their title-winning season, grabbing 31 goals in the league which would then help him seal a move to Leicester City for £1 million, an amount that was a record fee paid for a non-league player.

The Cod Army were promoted to League One in May 2014 via the play-offs at Wembley Stadium, which would be their sixth promotion in 10 years, marking a meteoric rise from the North West Counties Football League First Division up to the third tier of England’s professional leagues.

Who’s the gaffer?

Joey Barton is the man in the visiting dugout, having been named as the Cod Army’s manager ahead of this season, taking up his first managerial position with Fleetwood.

Barton has taken charge of 14 games so far, winning three, drawing seven and losing four, leaving him with a win percentage of 21.4 per cent, with Fleetwood currently lying in 13th in the League One table.

Ones to watch

James Husband

The Rovers’ youth product is set to make his first return to the Keepmoat Stadium following his departure to Middlesbrough in 2014. Husband came up through the ranks at Rovers having joined in 2010, making his debut for the club against what would be his future employers in Boro in 2012. Husband featured regularly for the club during their League One title-winning season, scoring three times in 33 games in the league. Husband rarely featured for Boro however, instead spending time on loan at Fulham and Huddersfield Town, before moving to Norwich City last season. Husband joined the Cod Army towards the end of August, initially signing a loan deal until January.

Kyle Dempsey

The midfielder joined the Cod Army ahead of last season following a successful loan spell at Highbury the year before. Dempsey started his career with Carlisle United, before his impressive displays for the Cumbrian side saw him earn a move to the Championship with Huddersfield Town. Dempsey featured in 24 games for the Terriers during the 2015/16 season, scoring once, before his move to Fleetwood, initially on loan, where he would help them reach the League One play-off semi-final. He made his move permanent in the summer of 2017, missing just one game in League One last year.

Wes Burns

The Welshman joined from Bristol City in January 2017, having spent time on loan with the Cod Army the year before. Burns rarely featured for the Robins, instead spending time on loan at Forest Green Rovers, Oxford United and Cheltenham Town before temporarily spending time with Fleetwood towards the end of the 2015/16 season. Burns spent the first half of the following season on loan at Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen before his loan deal was cut short to enable him to join up with Fleetwood on a permanent deal in 2017.

Who’s the ref?

John Busby will be the man in the middle when the two sides meet on Saturday. Busby last took charge of both teams back in November 2017, officiating the goalless draw at Highbury in League One.

So far this season he has taken charge of 11 games in league and cup competitions, dishing out 19 yellow cards and brandishing a red card just once.

He will be joined by assistant referees Ian Dudley and Richard Wild, with David Benton being named as fourth official.

Last time out

The last game between the two sides was in February 2018, with Rovers running out 3-0 winners over the Cod Army. Alex Kiwmoya’s first goal for the club on his home debut put Rovers in front, before Tom Anderson scored either side of the break to seal three points.

Tickets for Saturday’s Sky Bet League One clash with Fleetwood Town are still available via the Club Doncaster Box Office, purchase yours now either by visiting in-store at the Keepmoat Stadium, by calling on 01302 762576, or online at 

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